New Courses Inspired by Our Museum & Our Community

May 15, 2012 — Students looking to mix up their course list this fall can go behind the scenes at the Academy of Natural Sciences in “Writing in Museums” or gain a deeper understanding of the city and its social structure in “Urban Life: Re-examining the City Through an Experiential Lens!”

Students sorting specimens in boxes 

In a unique creative writing course offered this fall — Writing in Museums — students will find inspiration in the vast collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Participants will spend six different class periods at the Academy, exploring areas such as Mammalogy (mammals), Entomology (insects), Malacology (mollusks), Vertebrate Paleontology (fossils), Dioramas, and the Live Animal Unit. Creative writing assignments will be based on these visits and can be written in the genre of each student’s choosing: poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction.

To facilitate travel time to the Academy, Writing in Museums (WRIT 304) will be offered once a week on Mondays from 2-5 PM.  This 3-credit course will be taught by associate teaching professor Harriet Levin Millan and is open to all majors. Credit hours may be used toward the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing.

With over 17 million specimens, the Academy is sure to inspire!

Lift Students

In Urban Life: Re-examining the City Through an Experiential Lens, 15 Drexel students will work side-by-side with 15 low-income community members in the LIFT program, a national non-profit whose mission is to combat poverty and expand opportunities for people in the United States. Urban Life presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between participants who may not have otherwise had an opportunity to learn together. This course will encourage students to reevaluate their experiences with and knowledge of the city, civic engagement, social class and urban policy. Students will gain a deeper understanding of urban sociology through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly course meetings.

This course seeks to explore the relationships between individuals and the city and is modeled after the Inside-Out Exchange Model, a program that pairs students with prison inmates in a classroom atmosphere.

Urban Life will be offered Wednesdays from 2:30-5 PM at the LIFT West Philadelphia Office. This 3-credit course will be taught by Cyndi Rickards, assistant teaching professor of criminal justice in the Department of Culture and Communication.