This course will involve an examination of diversity including ethnic, racial, gender, age and other factors which impact the culture of interaction in the workplace. Readings, lecture, videos, interactive exercises and student experience will illustrate topics and lead to a better understanding of the origins and ongoing existence of multiculturalism within the contexts of domestic and global work settings.
Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours. PRQ: Consent of department.
Judith Calleja (3 credit hours)
The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One area of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since before the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925, school boards and legislatures have tried to eliminate, add equal doses of creationism to, or water down the coverage of evolution. They have targeted evolution as a cause for many of their perceived “social evils,” don’t understand science, and cannot separate evolution from “Sociail Darwinism.”
This course will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, and explain where each side gets their ideas and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific question from a non-scientific question. A preliminary survey of primarily biological evolution will provide students with the necessary information to counter creationist arguments. This course is designed to give students the ability to not only defend evolution but, more importantly, attack non-scientific intrusions into the public school system. It is not a course in biological evolution but complementary, and can be taken by any upper-levl undergraduate with an interest in science and society.
Catalog Description: Evolutionary theory and tenets of present-day anti-evolutionists with emphasis on providing students with the skills to articulate the theory of evolution as it applies to the biological sciences. Not a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.
Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)
This blended online course will survey all of the major groups of land plants but will not cover the algae or fungi, since they are not really plants. We will look at the anatomy, morphology, a bit of physiology, and the evolution of the groups. We will use modern groups in a sequence so that they parallel past evolutionary stages and show how each successive structure or physiological process which evolved gave that particular group a selective advantage over the previous group. Lecture and lab material are integrated into a seamless presentation of PowerPoints with a narration for each image. This course cannot be used for credit toward a major in Biological Sciences.
Catalog Description: Lectures, discussions, and reports on topics of special interest in a particular field of biology. Topics may be selected in one or more fields of biology to a total of 6 semester hours toward any one degree. PRQ: Consent of department.
Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)
Health has evolved into a multidisciplinary concept; the study of the concept has broadened beyond the realm of physicians, epidemiologists and now includes economists. This course will examine this universal concept from an economist’s perspective, which will include an analysis of market for health care, the social determinants of health, the role of the government, the role of private sector and an evaluation of the efficiency of public policy.
Catalog Description: Topics of current importance to consumers, resource owners, business, and government. May be repeated up to 9 hours as topics change and can be taken concurrently. PRQ: ECON 260 and ECON 261.
Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)
Though maps have been used by civilizations for well over 5,000 years, practically all aspects of mapping today involve computers – from the collection of real-world data by GPS or satellites, to drafting and printing. Rather than study the history of maps and mapping, we will instead study the concept of maps as tools of modern communication and visualization. This course is also the starting point for NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography.
Catalog Description, GEOG 256: Introduction to maps as models of our earth, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Use of satellite and aerial imagery, land surveying, and geographic information systems in map production. Thematic maps and how they are used. Map design for informational and persuasive purposes. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory.
Catalog Description, GEOG 556: For graduate students with little formal background in mapping. Maps as models, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Processes of map production, including imagery and surveying. Principles of map design.
TBD (3 credit hours)
This course is intended to provide the student with a broader understanding of water and its importance to our lives and earth’s complex environment. We will consider issues facing water such as whether the supply of water will continue, how man-made developments have altered water availability, how pollution has eroded this natural resource, and where/how we can restore our water resources. Relevant video clips, online tutorials, and supplemental readings will be used throughout the course to provide examples of water-related issues affecting northern Illinois, other regions of the U.S., as well as various countries around the world.
Catalog Description: Evaluation of water as a resource; its availability, distribution, use, and quality. Operation of the hydrologic cycle and relationships between surface water and the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere. Human impacts on water resources and the management of water-related hazards, including flooding, drought, and the spread of disease. Lecture and field experience.
Sharon Ashley (3 credit hours)
Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.
Catalog Description: Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale, longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.
Sharon Ashley & Walker Ashley (3 credit hours)
Land Use Planning/Regional Planning is a course designed to study the processes and policies concerning land development decisions. Mapping and GIS decision-making techniques are applied to the analysis of urban growth and land-use patterns at global, national, state, regional, and local scales. Hands-on exercises developed for Google Earth and other GIS software incorporate land, environmental, demographic, and business information to demonstrate typical planning scenarios. In addition to applying towards the B.G.S., this class also counts toward NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Catalog Description, GEOG 455: Study of processes and policies in land use and land development decisions. Mapping and GIS decision-making techniques applied to the analysis of land-use patterns and management conflicts at national, state, regional, and local government scales. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience.
Catalog Description, GEOG 659: Geographic basis and practice of regional mapping, GIS, and spatial decision processes applied to land-use, social services, transportation, and environmental management concerns. Problems of integrating land, transportation, and environmental management over a multijurisdictional geography. Lecture and laboratory.
Richard Greene (3 credit hours)
Catalog Description: Indonesian political, social, and cultural life from prehistory to the present. Attention given to the cultures of various peoples of Indonesia and the efforts of the modern state to create a national sense of identity.
Eric Jones (3 credit hours)
It has been almost 70 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camps by Allied forces ended WWII and the European Holocaust. For many people, the historical fact of the annihilation of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators is too terrible a reality to bear. Faced with the most horrifying example of human brutality in recorded history---and the indisputable implications of that example---many people ignore the Holocaust, pass over it in silence, or deny it altogether.
This course will examine how the Holocaust has influenced, informed, and been revealed through the literary imagination. Students will read various types of literature---including poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, and non-fictional essays---by European and American writers in order to understand the enormity of the Holocaust in human history and its impact on human consciousness. Writers will include Jean Amery, Primo Levi, Paul Celan, Elie Weisel, Jerzy Kosinski, Tadeusz Borowski, Cynthia Ozick, Ida Fink, Nellie Sachs, and Arnost Lustig, among others.
There will also be a one-day field trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie.
Catalog Description: Varied honors topics in the Liberal Arts and Sciences that are interdisciplinary in nature or can be fruitfully approached from multiple disciplinary perspectives. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as the topic varies.
Stephen Franklin (3 credit hours)
This course will provide an overview of issues and theories in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. We will pay particular attention to the development of LGBT identities and activism in the United States, with a focus on the intersections of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and class. We will also explore the connections – and the contentions – among feminist, gay and lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender identities, activism, and scholarship.
*Special Note on Transportation*
Bus transportation for DeKalb based students will be provided for this course. The bus leaves from the Holmes Student Center Normal Road (east) entrance at 6:30 pm. Please plan to arrive no later than 6:20 pm so that we can ensure leaving on time. The bus will depart NIU-Rockford at 8:30 pm with an arrival estimate of 9:15 pm at the Holmes Student Center.
For off campus student and students who wish to travel to NIU-Rockford on their own, please plan to arrive at the NIU-Rockford campus at 7:15 pm for the start of class. Class will dismiss at 8:30 pm.
Catalog Description: Survey of issues and theories in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Interdisciplinary study of sexual orientation and gender identity, with attentin ro race, ethnicity, and class.
Elizabeth Schewe (3 credit hours)
Catalog Description: Survey and analysis of candidates, issues, and partisan trends in presidential elections from the era of the New Deal to the present. Also considers how election rules and campaign styles have changed over time. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
Art Ward (3 credit hours)
This course will examine American politics and history through the perspectives of those who have understood it best and influenced it most. We will engage with the original writings and speeches of some of the greatest statesmen in American history, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Our goal will be to appreciate the importance of the issues these leaders grappled with, to understand distinctively American approaches to politics, and to apply this appreciation and understanding to contemporary issues and problems.
Catalog Description: Analysis of the political thought of selected American statesmen and stateswomen having political responsibility at the critical moments in American history. Attention given to the relationship between the political philosophy in their thinking and the political actions they initiated. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
Adam Seagrave (3 credit hours)
The major objective in this course is for students to develop an understanding of psychopathology as a variant of normal behavior. It is hoped that students will come to view human behavior on a continuum where psychopathology represents a departure from normal behavior in that it is more extreme, exaggerated, disabling, maladaptive, distressing, and/or disturbing to those within the context of the person’s environment or to society. Students are expected to become familiar with the various paradigmatic viewpoints exploring the depth of all diagnosable psycho-pathological disorders. Students will become familiar with the current methods of classification and diagnosis of psychopathology and gain an understanding of the treatments that are used to help individuals and families who experience these conditions. Finally, familiarization with research and research methods will be an important part of the course, as it reflects an essential component of the science of psychology.
Catalog Description: Introduction to the study of pathological behavior. The development, maintenance, and treatment of problem behavior discussed from theoretical, empirical, and clinical perspectives. PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 102, or consent of department.
Phil Krasula (3 credit hours)
Alport (1985) writes that social psychology is a scientific study of the way in which people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real or imaged presence of other people. This course will examine how people are influenced by immediate surroundings, cultural norms, and family background through lecture, films, activities and small group discussions. Major learning components will offer students enhanced knowledge on critical societal problems such as attitudes, attitude change, conformity, group processes, interpersonal attraction, discrimination/stereotype, pro-social behavior, and health.
Catalog Description: Behavior in the context of social interaction, with emphasis on experimental findings. Includes such topics as interpersonal judgment and perception, social attraction, aggression, prejudice and social influence, including attitude formation and persuasion, conformity, and social modeling. PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 102, or consent of department.
Joanna Messina (3 credit hours)