Discovery Seminars - Spring 2020

Small, engaging, 1-credit classes for first-year students in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. 

Are you ready to start your journey?

College is a time for exploration, self-discovery and personal reflection. Start your Sun Devil journey with a Discovery Seminar - a small, engaging, 1-credit course designed exclusively for first-year students. These courses offer an array of benefits for students, including:

Explore the seminars

Drugs, Needles, and People
Phillip Scharf, Assistant Vice President - Education Outreach and Student Services

So you want to be a doctor? Have you ever thought about going into healthcare? Are you curious what medical school and careers in healthcare might look like? Come find out first-hand what you need to do as undergraduate to be prepared for a successful career in medicine and other healthcare professions. We will tour medical school facilities, interact with current healthcare professionals, acquire skills to be prepared for the MCAT (the medical school entrance exam), and learn from current ASU upperclassmen who are on the journey to medical school. Gain the insights you need to become a successful candidate for a career in medicine.

Session C
M 4:10-5:00 PM, PVW163
Class #: 31164


Games, Utopia, and the Good Life
Shawn Klein, Lecturer- School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

What would you do in Utopia? In his classic The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, Bernard Suits argues that with all our needs satisfied, we would play games. Through a shared inquiry into this text, we will explore the nature of game-playing and its role in a meaningful life.

Session C
M 2:00-2:50pm, PVW159
Class #: 22836


My Favorite Murder: Writing About True Crime
Courtney Fowler, Instructor - Department of English

The course will look at true crime narratives over the history of the United States while analyzing the pop culture impact of true crime productions since the advent of the internet and civilian web-sleuthing. Examples of course materials include texts like "In Cold Blood," documentaries like "Thin Blue Line" and podcasts like My Favorite Murder, as well as sites where civilians act as private investigators and moral juries, like the webpage Websleuths.

Session C
T 4:30-5:20pm, PVW159
Class #: 22839


Speaking OUT: LGBTQ Youth & Their Allies in Politics & Pop Culture
David Boyles, Instructor- Department of English

Traditionally, the experiences of LGBTQ youth and their allies have largely been absent in political conversations and pop culture representations. But that has changed in the past decade. This course will examine the increasing visibility of LGBTQ youth and allies' stories in pop culture from comics to TV to YouTube to events such as Drag Queen Story Hour as well as political organizations that center LGBTQ youth and educate young people on being allies such as GLSEN and the Trevor Project. Drawing on the disciplines of rhetoric, political science, cultural studies, and queer studies, we will discuss how this increasing visibility has changed our cultural conversations.

Session C
W 2:00-2:50pm, PVW159
Class #: 22837


Sun Devil Support Network: Leadership for Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention
Kimberly Frick, Associate Director- Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention Program

This is an interdisciplinary lesson plan that focuses on theories and frameworks from sociology, psychology, public health, and social justice. This course has a strong emphasis on experiential learning and provides students with opportunities to apply the skills they have learned in a real world setting. This class incorporates elements of community service, leadership, and skill building though activities designed to prepare them to serve as Sun Devil Support Network Advisors. Following completion of this course, students will be invited to serve as Sun Devil Support Network Advisors specifically for The College.

Session C
Th 4:30-5:20pm, PVW159
Class #: 22840


The Exciting World of Latin America
Charles Ripley, Instructor - School of Politics and Global Studies

From caravans and border walls to Colombia’s peace process and crisis in Venezuela, Latin America has never been so important! Returning from recent trips in Central and South America, professor Dr. Charles G. Ripley brings compelling first-hand knowledge to an engaging course on the region’s most pressing political and social issues. With exciting lectures and rare documentary-style footage actually filmed in the Americas, this course will appeal to a broad range of students in our interdisciplinary College. 

Session C
Th 3:00-3:50pm, PVW159
Class #: 22844


The Meaning of Life
Roumen Bezergianov, Counselor- ASU Counseling Services

This seminar will explore life's unconditional meaning, as described by Viktor Frankl in his book "Man's Search for Meaning", and ways to fulfill meaning in our unique lives.  

Session A
F 4:10-6:00 PM, PVW159
Class #: 22906


War and Homecoming in Memoir and Fiction
Keith Brown, Professor- School of Politics and Global Studies

Guerrilla wars and insurgencies are brutal and traumatic, leaving scars on individuals and societies. How can reading, writing and reflection contribute to understanding and healing? This class explores how authors, including veterans, have tackled concepts of patriotism, valor, duty, obedience and empathy.  The primary readings will be the novels Rifleman Dodd, Matterhorn and Fives and Twenty-Fives.

Session A
M 11:50am-1:40pm, PVW159
Class #: 31165


What are you MAD about?
Kendon Jung , Coordinator - Changemaker Central

There is a lot happening in the world. But, you have the power to change it. In this course, you will unpack what you are MAD about. Over  seven weeks, you will explore the connected unintended consequences, and decide how you will (M)ake (A) (D)ifference socially, economically, and environmentally.

Session A
M 4:10-6:00 PM, PVW159
Class #: 22841


You Gotta Have Hope: The Science and Practice of Hope
Rick Miller , Professor of Practice and Clinical Director - T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

This seminar will examine hope as a uniquely human dynamic that contributes to well-being across the lifespan. Students will read research and be exposed to practices that foster hope and overcome hopelessness. Most importantly, students will learn about the need to promote a culture of hope that creates positive futures. Science is advancing our understanding of HOPE. This seminar will examine this uniquely human dynamic from three perspectives: The Soul of HOPE; the Science of HOPE; and how HOPE can be instilled by Culture.

Session A
F 11:50am-1:40pm, PVW159
Class #: 31167


Media: A Seminar for Movie Buffs
Umar Sulayman, Instructor - School of International Letters and Cultures

The American culture is closely tied to movies, one always hears people say "you remind of this character in that movie or there is a movie you need to watch". In this class, we will watch movies from different countries in the Middle East to discover the social, political and religious nature of those countries. Students will discuss the different events and characters and how the Arabic culture is conveyed in those movies. 

Session B
W 4:10-6:00pm, PVW159
Class #: 26153


The Real Judge Judy: Municipal Courts in Action
Gregory Broberg, Instructor - School of Social Transformation

Experience for yourself how local courts solve local problems. Instead of watching Judge Judy, see how judges and court personnel carry out justice and solve real world problems.  You will get to meet with judges and court administration staff and see “courtroom drama” first hand. 

Session B
F 11:50am-1:40pm, PVW159
Class #: 26218


Session A: January 13, 2020 – March 3, 2020
Session B: March 16, 2020 – May 1, 2020
Session C: January 13, 2020 – May 1, 2020