Discovery Seminars - Fall 2019

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- Educational 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 an 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 p.m., PVW 159
Class #: 86467


International Year of Indigenous Languages @ASU
Tyler Peterson, Assistant Professor- Department of English

The United Nations has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Did you know that there are five Indian tribal communities within a 50-mile radius of the ASU campus, and that each of these tribes speaks their own language? In this seminar we will work with members and speakers of these tribes on a language project that will realize IYIL at ASU.

Session C
W 4:10-5:00 p.m., PVW 159
Class #: 86468


Sociology of Summer Camp
Paul LePore, Associate Dean- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Each year, more than 11,000,000 kids (and adults) attend one of the 12,000 summer camps operating in the United States. Camps are a big business, grossing more than $2.8 billion annually and employing more than 1.5 million staffers. Lots of famous people were former campers – Bob Dylan, Julia Roberts, Mark Zuckerberg and Denzel Washington, just to name a few! For many, summer camp provides some of the most poignant memories from childhood and adolescence. So why do camps “work” and how might you look at what happens at camp to understand and enhance how other complex organizations operate?

Using a sociological lens, we will explore the history of camps in the U.S., watch some classic camp movies, learn key social science research skills (so we can interview people about their own camp experiences), and culminate our course with a weekend trip to a camp in the valley.

Session C
W 4:10-5:00 p.m. , PABLO 105
Class #: 86471


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 the crisis in Venezuela, Latin America has never been so important!  Returning from recent trips in Central and South America, award-winning 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
T 3:00-2:50 p.m., PVW 159
Class #: 86462


Choose Kind: The Science and Application of Kindness
Bethany Van Vleet, Senior Lecturer- T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

Denise Bodman, Principal Lecturer - T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

Kindness will be explored through academic literature, film and, most importantly, action!  We will examine factors that encourage and hinder kindness and the benefits of kindness. The study will expand beyond the classroom walls as students take the lead in organizing one or more class service projects.

Session A
W 2:00-3:50 p.m., PVW 163
Class #: 86450


Innovation 101: Discover the Innovator in You
Paul LePore, Associate Dean- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Minu Ipe, Clinical Professor - W. P. Carey School of Business, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship

So you think innovation is just for rocket scientists and software engineers? Think again! The truth is everyone has the capacity to invent, to design, and to create new solutions. Whether you are studying the sciences, the humanities or the arts, you are able to do things you could never before imagine through innovation. In this course, you will have the opportunity to explore your own creative potential and decide how you want to make an impact in the world. Over seven weeks, you will learn how innovation occurs, what it really means to have an innovation mindset, and debunk the myths of innovation that bind us. Most importantly, you will discover the innovator in you.

Session A
Th 3:30-5:30 p.m., ARM 147
Class #: 92026


King Arthur
Ryan Naughton, Instructor- Department of English

When he pulled the sword from the stone, King Arthur became a legend. For over 1,000 years, that legend has been told and retold, again and again. In this course, we will investigate a variety of texts as we seek the legend's origin and why it continues to be popular.

Session A
W 4:10-6:00 p.m., PVW163
Class #: 86456


Science and the Future: The Science Behind Sci-Fi
Kenro Kusumi, Professor and Associate Dean- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Life Sciences

Science fiction has played a key role in stimulating public imagination, presenting both utopian and dystopian future worlds. In this class, we will review science fiction through a scientific lens, critically examining what is supported by current scientific theory versus what verges into the realm of fantasy.

Session A
M 4:10-6:00 p.m., PVW 163
Class #: 86455


Discovering Mexico City
David William Foster, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies; Head of Spanish-Portuguese Faculty- School of International Letters and Cultures

Along with a survey of the social history of Mexico City, which dates back to the early 16th century, we will examine major cultural representations in terms of short stories, photography, film and music.

Session B
W 4:10-6:00 p.m., WXLRA308
Class #: 91975


Functional Neuroimaging of the Human Mind
Gene Brewer, Associate Professor- Department of Psychology

In this course, students will begin by reading and discussing a few neuroimaging papers that use EEG to study human cognition (e.g., memory). Students will then attempt to replicate one of the scientific findings in a selected paper. This course will primarily be held in a neuroimaging laboratory. The students will get exposure to several concepts that are important for the scientific enterprise; reading literature, computer programming, data collection, statistics, and replication to name a few.

Session B
W 2:00-3:50 p.m., PVW 163
Class #: 86453


Making Citizens: You? Me? Us?
Susan Carrese, Clinical Assistant Professor, Experiential Education Coordinator- School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

We'll examine fundamental questions:  Who is a citizen, who can become a citizen and who is 'stateless'? Can citizenship be learned? Can you be a citizen of the world? You'll see nationally-acclaimed speakers at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership event series, read both classic works and the New York Times, and complete a personal research project.

Session B
M 4:10-6:00 p.m., WXLRA308
Class #: 91974


Pirates! An Oceanic Seminar for Rebels, Outlaws, and Adventurers
Soren Hammerschmidt, Instructor- Department of English

Avast, ye swabs, and heave to! From swashbuckling piracy via children's stories to gun-toting contemporary pirates, we will discover dastardly deeds as well as a tendency toward social justice. Who were these pirates? What turned them into such fearsome figures in the landlubbers' imagination? And who keeps casting Johnny Depp?

Session B
M 4:10-6:00 p.m. , PVW 163
Class #: 91310


*Session A duration: August 22 to October 11
*Session B duration: October 16 to December 6
*Session C duration: August 22 to December 6