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Theme Descriptions

First Year Seminar Themes and Descriptions

Creating Your Personal Success Plan (or Your Bespoke Success Plan) with Kirby Trask

This is a designated Personal Success Plan Course, in which students outline the strengths and assets that will help them face challenges, identify obstacles, and form an action plan for college success.  The mission of Roberts Wesleyan College as a liberal arts and faith based institution will be discussed and understood.  Students will explore who they are, what they believe, share, listen, and learn together.  The professor will facilitate discussion and activity throughout the course.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Kirby Trask, here

Setting Captives Free: Abolition in the 21st Century with Megan Hoose

Human slavery is at an all-time high, not only in third-world countries but in our own suburban neighborhoods. In an age in which a preschooler can be bought for the price of a latte, we will not only look at the complex causes and scope of human trafficking but learn how simple it is to become part of the solution.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Megan Hoose, here

“Clink! Sip! Ah” and Our American Culture with Walter Fleming

T. S. Elliot, the poet and essayist, is reported to have once said, “I measured out my life with coffee spoons.” It is amazing to consider the role of coffee in our American culture. Recent statistics claim that there are more than 31,000 specialty coffee shops in our country. For many of us, cafés are regular stops during our weekday routines and frequented venues in our local church. This semester we will explore the history of coffee, its production and distribution, and its significance in our social fabric.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Walter Fleming, here

Thrive and Pursue Your Dream with Santhiny Rajamohan

Educator and author, Dr. Norman Eng suggests the secret to student success and engagement is the ability to place focus on “students, not content.” We get it, many students are not engaged in class. While students may not be able to control institutional factors at Roberts Wesleyan College (i.e., funding, culture, etc.), students can care more about their destiny in the classroom. This seminar shows students the secrets to Surviving or Thriving at a Christian college. The way to know your fate is to know yourself, and then go for it. The goal of this seminar is to focus on the student to thrive in college and have them determine their fate in the academic community based on their attitude, character, and integrity.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Santhiny Rajamohan, here

Your mission - if you choose to accept it with Tammie Myslivecek

Some freshmen begin college full of certainty about their chosen major, while others begin as “undeclared,” hoping that the right path will become clear as they move forward.  And many students change their major at least once before they graduate. College is a time of transition and change that can be both exciting and nerve-wracking!  But college is also a time of self-discovery and growth, a time of finding out how you were built and how you are not built! In this class, we will explore the notion of vocation, or calling, the way we learn to hear what God has and has not built us for, not only for our future careers, but in play, love, life, faith, and mission.  Through a series of readings, guest speakers, activities, and service, you will gain perspective on who you are, the community we share, and the world we’ve been called to bless.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Tammie Myslivecek, here

Global Poverty and Sustainable Innovation: The Power of Hope with Jason Taylor

Nearly a billion people, making less than $1.90 per day, live in “extreme poverty” worldwide.  Many of these individuals live without adequate access to food, clean water, shelter, basic electricity, education, and healthcare needs.  Eradicating extreme poverty remains an important global challenge facing us today.  This FYS section will investigate how socioeconomic status, gender, race, geography, infectious diseases, and natural disasters contribute to the global poverty crisis. We will also examine relevant stories of innovation that have provided timely sustainable development and hope for the future.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Jason Taylor, here

We have a choice! with Sandra Brzoza

Attitude can be one of your greatest assets.  Ultimately your attitude is your choice.  Attitude is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.  Attitude can make or break a person, company, church, or home.  You have a choice everyday regarding the attitude you embrace for the day.  You are in charge of your attitude.  Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.  During this FYS course we will explore attitude, the impact of attitude, identify your own attitude related to issues, and work to make your attitude one of your greatest assets.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Sandra Brzoza, here

Surviving a First-Year Collegiate Apocalypse with Angela Merrill

It can be hard to stay focused and plan ahead, especially if you're not sure what you're planning for or WHY you have to plan for it. On the other hand, you may know exactly what you want out of life, but now that you are facing a small apocalypse you are just not sure how to navigate successfully.  This seminar will introduce methods and techniques for navigating the resources offered to you on campus along with time management, goal setting, adjusting to a college career, discovering your WHY, community involvement and future achievement.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Angela Merrill, here

What it means to belong, build resilience and maximize on the student experience with Celeste Donleavy

Through literature, activity and discussion we will explore both the mission of Roberts Wesleyan College and how issues of digital addiction, personal wellness, financial insecurity, stress in dealing with school and family life, and interpersonal relationships may present challenges and opportunities in a culturally diverse and faith-based educational setting. This class will focus on the transition to college, optimizing on the student experience and providing a safe space for students to grow and develop here at Roberts.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Celeste Donleavy, here

Honors Theme: Freedom in Rochester and the World with Amy Kovach and Jeffrey McPherson

A key component to the Global Honors Program is the Honors First Year Seminar course. First Year Seminar is designed to introduce first year students at Roberts Wesleyan College to college life. In addition to introducing the students to their new academic setting, the Honors First Year Seminar course will focus on a foundational principle held by B. T. Roberts: freedom. In this course, students will explore political movements and innovations from Rochester, NY, that led to various forms of freedom, not only in Western New York, but in the country and subsequently the world. Through a series of readings, historical Rochester site visits and guest lecturers, students will learn about: B.T. Roberts and the rich history of Roberts Wesleyan College, his views on women’s rights and slavery and his foundational work in the Free Methodist church. The work and lives of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, and explore how their freedom movements impacted the world. Additionally, students will learn about modern day slavery and the lessons learned from connections between the past and present. The Erie Canal, discovering how the canal system opened up freedom of commerce in the Rochester area and around the world. The invention of Photographic Film and how it revolutionized photography. Students will also research how the camera has been used to photo document freedom movements around the world. Throughout the course, students will discuss what it means to be free as Christians and the responsibilities Christians have to those suffering from oppression. To put hands and feet to the discussions and explorations, the class will participate in a service project working with a local anti-human trafficking organization. This course will allow students to see the global impact of local political movements and innovations and will help students realize that, no matter their location, they can make a difference in the world.

Learn more about your faculty mentors, Amy Kovach and Jeffrey McPherson.

We R Who We R: Finding Our Truth and Living Our Truth with Diana Abbott

Navigating through life feeling comfortable with who we are is not always easy, especially as we embark on our journey in college. This course is designed to offer students a range of activities, discussions, and opportunities to Let Go, and Let God help us find true purpose so we can be the servant leaders God intends us to be while being true to ourselves. Knowing who we are and understanding our place in our world today is a challenging undertaking. Through targeted course content focused upon God's love and grace, we will begin to deconstruct who we are expected to be in order to construct who we want to be.

Learn more about your faculty mentor, Diana Abbott, here