Every year, Seton Hall juniors are allowed to make their own decision of taking a variation of the of the required core class, Engaging the World, to studying abroad to linking it to the fashion industry,
Differing from the previous two core classes, the university’s website describes Engaging the World as discipline-specific course.
“We offer our students something unique through our Engaging the World courses, something that makes them stand apart, something that is specific Seton Hall that other schools do not offer,” Ines Angeli Murzaku, professor and founding chair of the Department of Catholic Studies, said. “These courses prepare the students for real life.”
The variety of these core classes set out to accomplish learning objective such as reading comprehension, critical thinking and religious relevance. The objectives are filtered into the design of each course differently, leaving a lot of room for professors with specialties, accreditation and experience in more than one discipline to create a unique, modern, and enjoyable experience for students.
Professor Mary M. Balkun, who teaches an Engaging the World course called “Representations of the Body in Early America,” said she uses the social media tool, Pinterest, as a means of getting discussion started and preparation for class readings. The students were to create Pinterest boards on body-related topics and later present what they had learned to the class.
“The results were amazing,” she added. “The topics included the dying body, the body at birth, the body in motion, the raced body, and the body as art. They showed creativity and a new awareness of the body as an object for study.”
In the course, “Journey of Emigration: Meeting the Other,” faculty members of the Italian, French and Spanish departments teach it in rotations. Gabriella Romani, associate professor of Italian, said the objective of the class in regards to the university’s general mission statement is to become global servant leaders.
“Encountering the world means confronting and meeting differences (in cultural, racial, religious, ethnic terms), but also, and perhaps foremost, understanding oneself,” Romani said.
Professors are able to use both newer multi-media tools in their design of the course as well as personal experience.
“Being Italian and having moved to the US as an adult, I have asked myself the question of ‘what it means to be Italian,’ especially in light of people’s varied assumptions on the Italian identity that did not coincide with my own personal experience,” Romani added.
“I guess, this course comes out of both my academic and personal interest in exploring the concept of identity formation.”
Nicole Peregrina can be reached at email@example.com.