Volume 97 Issue 4 News

New courses come to Juniata

by Liam Benfer

In the spring semester, students have the opportunity to enroll in classes that were not previously offered at Juniata. New classes will be offered in the politics, geology, philosophy, biology and peace and conflict studies departments.

Charlotte Ridge, adjunct professor in the politics department, will be teaching a course on lobbying. Ridge said, “The course is one credit and it is on lobbying. The politics department is offering the class so students can go to the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania’s lobby day with additional knowledge about lobbying techniques and ethics.”

Through this course, the politics department hopes to teach students a useful skill. “Lobbying is a practical skill for anyone who is interested influencing the government, not just for people who want to be professional lobbyists or politicians. Social workers may want to advocate for themselves and their clients. Scientists, doctors, teachers, artists all have vested interest in government funding and regulations,” said Ridge.

Juniata’s geology department will be offering a course on geochemistry. Ryan Mathur, professor of geology and geology department chair, described the new course. “We want to provide a chemistry class that has a more applied field for our majors as well as any student interested in the environment. The class design is to show the relevance of water-rock interaction as applied to solving modern issues we have when studying the physical earth.”

Geochemistry is a 100 level course with no prerequisites, and it is intended to provide an option for any students interested in the field. “There are many students interested in science and the environment. Our objective is provide a course that blends geology and chemistry at the 100 level for students to enjoy,” said Mathur.

The new course that will be offered in the philosophy department is entitled “Philosophy of Mind/Psychology.” He describes the course as such, “The purpose of this course is to examine the most important debates regarding the mind-body problem, the nature of thinking and consciousness through both classical and contemporary philosophical literature. The goals are to provide a historical and conceptual overview of how the different issues gravitating around the problem of the “mind” has arisen (Section 1) and to provide a critical assessment of the most important debates in contemporary philosophy of mind (Section 2).”

“The course will provide a necessary conceptual background for any students who are interested in the human mind or consciousness related issues, such as the students from psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, artificial intelligence, communication, etc.,” added Xinli Wang, professor of philosophy and philosophy department chair.

In the biology department, students may take “Talk Nerdy to Me,” a course on communication in scientific writing. Jay Hosler, professor of biology, gave insight regarding the course material. “Students will practice techniques designed to help them build a narrative that will make their science writing engaging to a general audience without compromising the integrity of the material. The course will focus on scientific research, but the techniques are easily generalizable to any discipline,” said Hosler.

The peace and conflict studies department will also be offering a course on restorative justice taught by David Ragland, visiting assistant professor of peace and conflict studies.

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