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Spring Courses

February 01, 2018

Gain the skills to ace your first co-op, find out what it takes to become the next big blogger, and learn how Hollywood has affected the environmental movement in these new spring courses.


Film, Celebrity and the Environmental Movement (COM 318.001)

Cameron Diaz was spotted sporting a handbag made from recycled materials. Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson own electric cars. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar. Is this true environmentalism, or just the pop culture fad of the hour? This course will look at the environmental movement through the lens of “eco celebrities” and mainstream environmental films. We will discuss how Hollywood shapes our perceptions of the environment and whether this has helped or hurt the environmental movement. We will look at these films and celebrity efforts through the framework of mass media and behavior change theories.

This course provides an opportunity to apply theories and frameworks addressed in introductory communication courses. Students will critically assess messages in popular media, learn about environmental issues, become familiar with relevant theories, and communicate their ideas through written assignments, class discussions and oral presentations.

This 3.0 course, taught by Susan Stein, PhD, is open to all undergraduate students above the freshman level. It will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Public Service Campaigns (COM 378.001)

Remember the solemn Native American, sitting on his horse, crying as he looked out over mounds of garbage in a haze of billowing smog? Or watching “Spokesdog” McGruff Take a Bite Out of Crime™?

These are just a few of the most effective public service campaigns of the last 25 years. This course will focus on designing effective public information campaigns that are well grounded in theory. Topics include the theoretical foundations of such campaigns, the social issues that create our need for them, and the communication strategies that have — and have not — been successful in reaching their intended audiences.

Working with local non-profits such as the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC), the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, and LeCat Café, you will help organizations resolve their specialized PR and promotional challenges in a collaborative-learning environment.

This 3.0 course, taught by Rosemary Rys, is open to all undergraduate students above the freshman level. It will meet Tuesdays from 6:30 – 9:20 p.m. Location TBD.

Desktop Publishing (COM 340.001)

Create and publish stunning, professional-quality promotional and marketing publications, like business cards, posters, ads, newsletters and/or brochures, with no prior experience necessary. Learn the essential building blocks — type, color, image —of graphic design, persuasive copywriting techniques and layout fundamentals using the latest design software.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Susan Magee, is open to all undergraduate students above the freshman level who have a minimum grade of D in HUM 103, HUM 105, HUM 108, ENGL 103 or ENGL 105. It will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 – 4:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Electronic Publishing (COM 335.001)

Become an electronic/digital publisher by creating your own professional, visually-appealing blog, website or online publication with no coding or programming experience required. This course covers how to identify a niche, write and format compelling, audience-focused text, and integrate graphics. Learn how to use SEO and social media to drive traffic and basic analytic metrics to assess results.

This 3.0 course is open to all undergraduate students above the freshman level. It will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 – 3:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Intercultural Communication (COM 345.001)

Drawing from theories in communication and cultural anthropology, intercultural communication is the study of the cultural influences on communicative practices in interpersonal and group dynamics. This course engages students through discussions on representation of intercultural communication in media, movie analysis, interactive student-led sessions, and original projects to better understand stereotypes and the effects of culture in online contexts.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Asta Zelenkauskaite, PhD, is open to all undergraduate students above the sophomore level. It will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. Location TBD


Writing Your Way to a Successful Co-op (ENGL I199.001)

This online, one-credit course — a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Steinbright Career Development Center — is based on the skills that CoAS students tell us they use on co-op, and the skills employers tell us our students need to develop more fully. Perhaps surprisingly, discipline-specific skills are not the skills that make the difference between successful and unsuccessful co-ops. Instead, data show that skills such as writing, conscientiousness and interpersonal skills are most used and needed on co-op. This 10-week, one-credit course is intended to be taken during your first co-op experience. You will use writing as a tool to analyze and improve skills needed on co-op and to share your co-op experiences with others. All work will be online; completing short writing tasks by due dates will ensure your complete success in this course.

This 1.0 credit online course, taught by Karen Nulton, PhD, is open to undergraduate students on spring-summer co-op. The course can only be taken in conjunction with a co-op experience. It is recommended for those on their first or only co-op but is open to any CoAS student.


Women’s Health Psychology (PSY 356.001)

Women’s health psychology is at the intersection of physical, psychological and current social issues. Through an interdisciplinary lens, this course explores the major psychological and behavioral factors influencing health and illness among women. Topics such as sexual reproduction (e.g., sexuality, infertility, abortion), eating and weight conditions, and chronic diseases and their expression will be discussed. Sex differences and relevance to family members, as well as exciting new directions in health promotion, also will be addressed.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Pamela Geller, PhD, Psychology faculty, Co-Director of the Mother Baby Connections program, and editor of the book, Women’s Health Psychology The class is open to undergraduate students and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:50pm. Location TBA.