Ryan Donaldson ’15

Major: Medical Technology
Hometown:North Canton, Ohio

When I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. I was interested in becoming a medical technologist, and heard that Mount Union had an outstanding medical technology program.

Humanities Foundations Courses

Course Descriptions

AFR 206 Africana World(s) and the Emergence of the Modern.  Jazz?  Gumbo? Blues? Zombies?  All are cultural forms emerging from the slave trade and the African diaspora. Africa World & the Emergence of the Modern is a broad introduction to Africana Studies as an interdisciplinary field of study devoted to the historical, cultural, social and political legacies and subjective consequences of the African diaspora with its dispersal of African peoples across the globe through the slave trade(s) – Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Saharan—the largest forced migration in human history.  Students will engage with the origins and history of the discipline and its methodology as grounded in cultural theory and Africana philosophy as well as pertinent disciplinary approaches to issues of philosophy and theory, culture and ideology, aesthetics and specific cultural practices.  4 Sem. Hrs.

AST 206H American Culture and Society.  An interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture and society in America.  The topics to be covered will be chosen by the professor but might include such topics as Puritanism, jazz and blues aesthetics, gender in America and the American west.  The instructor will introduce students to American studies and explore the importance of interdisciplinary study.  4 Sem. Hrs.

COM 227 Public Advocacy and Argumentation. The study of the principles of argumentation, including collection and evaluation of evidence, modes of reasoning, briefing as a means of organizing written arguments and the refutation of arguments. 4 Sem. Hrs.

COM 265 Persuasion and Social Movements.   A study of rhetorical theory and criticism developed within social movement research literature.  Focus will be on both US and international social movements.  Persuasive strategies used by those advocating change as well as those opposed to change will be considered while examining both primary and secondary sources. 4 Sem. Hrs.

ENG 200 Poetry Matters: Metaphor, Creativity and Imagining the World.  Language is the key to understanding human thought and ways of knowing.    Poetic language opens to way to considerations of “voice,” that magical marker of self –private and public, personal and collective – metaphor and aesthetics, all ways of perceiving, shaping and understanding the world in historical and cross-cultural contexts.  Prerequisite:   First Year Seminar.  4 Sem. Hrs.

*ENG 250 True Lies: Introduction to the Literary Imagination.  What distinguishes literature from other kinds of writing?  How is it that fictional works reveal deep truths about our lives and the world around us? Why is it that, across time and across cultures, institutions and those in power frequently fear the power of literature and seek to silence its voices? To answer these and other questions, you will be introduced to readings in a variety of literary forms, from drama composed in ancient times to today’s detective stories and cyberfiction.  You will also become familiar with some of the important assumptions, questions, and debates typical of the dynamic and ever-evolving field of English studies.  Instruction in close reading, critical thinking and persuasive writing will provide a foundation for understanding and exploring the humanities. 4 Sem. Hrs.

FRN 235 The Peoples and Cultures of Contemporary France.  In this course students will examine various aspects of contemporary French culture including, but not limited to, education, family, religion, politics, immigration, media, personal space, language, and the arts. Class discussions will emphasize cross-cultural comparisons.  Taught in English.   4 Sem. Hrs.

GRN 235 The Peoples and Cultures of Contemporary Germany.  A study of unified Germany with an emphasis on social, political, economic and cultural trends from 1945 to the present.  Course readings and all class discussions are in English.  4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 101 Western Civilization I.  A survey of the development of Western civilization from its earliest times to the mid-17th century. It emphasizes the evaluation of institutions and the cultural contributions of successive periods. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 102 Western Civilization II. A survey of the development of western civilization stressing major cultural, political, economic and institutional changes from 1648 to the present. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 206 Nineteenth Century United States. An examination of U.S. history from 1787 to 1880, including the Early National Period, Civil War, and Reconstruction. Political, economic, social, military, and cultural history will be discussed. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 215 The Middle East. An interdisciplinary study of social, economic, cultural, and political developments in the Middle East from the decline of the Ottoman Empire to the present in the context of nationalism, religion, and international affairs. Elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be given careful examination.  4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 225 History of Africa. A study of the social, economic, and political history of Africa from the prehistoric era to the present, emphasizing Sub-Saharan tribal histories, slavery, colonization, anti-colonial movements, and the development of modern states. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 230 Problems of Developing Nations.  An interdisciplinary study of the social, economic and political history of the developing world from 1945 to the present. The course will focus on three broad geographical areas, Asia, Africa and Latin America, in the context of foreign aid, globalization, population growth, and human rights. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 275 African-American History. A survey of African-American History from colonial times to the present. Slavery, abolition, segregation, civil rights, and social reform will be discussed in the context of social, political, economic, and intellectual history. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 280 American Women’s History. This course concentrates on women as active participants in the history of the United States from pre-colonial contact to the present. It will begin with an examination of the status of women in Europe, Africa, and the Americas prior to colonization and will consider the changes that occurred as a result of Europe’s “discovery” of the Americas. It will examine both the general contributions women have made to the economic, social and political spheres and the roles specific women have played in the development of the nation. Women of all socio-economic, religious, ethnic and color groups will be considered. 4 Sem. Hrs.

HST 290 History of Civil Rights Movements in the U.S. A study of the origins, development, and ramifications of the modern civil rights movement from the Niagara Movement to the presidency of Barack Obama.  The course will focus on the development of black socio-political identity in the context of American culture and society. 4 Sem. Hrs.

 *IDS 200 Why Forgive?  In the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, school bullying, wars, and heated political arguments the question, “Why forgive?” has taken on new importance in the twenty-first century.  This course explores the concept of forgiveness and the second-level questions raised by the plethora of answers to the question from the viewpoint of several religions, music, literature, poetry, and film.  Prerequisite:  First Year Seminar.  4 Sem. Hrs.

JPN 235 The Peoples and Cultures of Contemporary Japan.  A study of Japan with an emphasis on social, political, economic and cultural tends from 1945 to the present.  Students will examine the issues of the Japanese people and Japanese society through both American and Japanese viewpoints.  Course reading and all class discussion are in English. 4 Sem. Hrs.

*MUS 250 Music in American Life.   A study of musical practices and genres of the United States of America, how these have reflected and informed groups of Americans throughout history, and how they continue to relate to the American experience today.  From the music of Native Americans and the music of the colonial era to the latest in popular music styles, the course includes such diverse areas as folk, church, country, jazz, blues, concert, stage, and popular music.  4 Sem. Hrs.

PHL 120 Contemporary Moral Problems.  This course explores some of the major moral issues confronting contemporary society.  Following a brief review of ethical theory, topics discussed may include abortion, physician-assisted suicide, war and pacifism, capital punishment, sexual ethics, legal regulation of drugs, affirmative action, civil disobedience, surrogate parenting, cloning and genetic engineering, global poverty, and environmental ethics.  4 Sem. Hrs

PHL 220 Ancient Greek Philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle form the core of this introduction to the early history of Western philosophy. Other areas covered may include Pre-Socratics such as Pythagoras and Zeno, later Greek and Roman philosophies such as Stoicism and Skepticism, and early Christian and Medieval philosophies influenced by Greek ideas. Ancient philosophies from other cultures may be presented as points of comparison. 4 Sem. Hrs.

PHL 240 Existentialism.  This course provides an overview of a major philosophical movement which grew out of modern philosophy and laid the groundwork for post-modernism.  Historical precedents, central themes and key figures of the existentialist movement are discussed.  The course will read and discuss excerpts from the main works of five existential philosophers: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus.  Attention will also be given to instances of existentialist thought in modern film, literature, art and architecture. 4 Sem. Hrs.

PHL 280 Bio-Medical Ethics.  Following a brief review of ethical theory, class discussion will focus on ethically complex issues involved in current medical practice.  Topics may include research ethics, end-of-life decision-making, abortion, environmental issues, genetic testing and engineering, the just distribution of medical resources, and the responsibilities of healthcare providers concerning confidentiality, truth-telling, and informed consent. 4 Sem. Hrs.

PSJ 150 Introduction to Peacebuilding and Social Justice. This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of peace and justice studies. The study of peace, conflict, and social justice draws from many fields, including (but certainly not limited to) religious studies and theology, literature, philosophy, communication, history, political science, sociology, and psychologyThis course emphasizes a humanistic approach to the field of peace and justice studies, and students will explore the methods, content, and key questions and issues in the field. The course investigates theories of violent conflict and explores the theories and practices of strategic, effective, and just peace-making, drawing from a variety of academic disciplines. The course also provides students with basic conflict mediation and resolution skills. The course emphasizes written and oral communication skills, particularly analytical and persuasive argument.  4 Sem. Hrs.

*REL 200 Biblical Texts and Contexts.  This course involves a close reading of biblical texts, which will be examined in light of literary, historical, social, and religious contexts. The course will address enduring questions raised by the text, including creation, suffering, community formation, ethics, and salvation. Students will learn and practice several critical methods of analysis, including the concept of social location. 4 Sem. Hrs.

REL 220 Religions of the World.  This course is an introductory study of the history, thought and practice of the religions of Africa, India, Asia and the Middle East. It will focus on the basic tenets, examine some of the basic texts, analyze the historical contexts in which the religions developed and explore some of the rituals and worship practices.  4 Sem. Hrs.

REL 260 Islam: An Introduction. The course on Islam will study the development of Islam from its Arabic beginning to its Asian outgrowth. The student will come to understand how Islam came to be a major religion in the world. The course examines the major tenets, important rituals, significant people, profound developments and major viewpoints. The course seeks to provide an understanding of Islam that will broaden student's perspective on what it means to be a religious person in the 21st century. 4 Sem. Hrs.

WRT 230 Rhetorical Grammar.  A course introducing students to the rhetorical choices writers make at the sentence-level to create a particular effect among readers, including grammatical, punctuation, and mechanical choices. In this class, we will wrestle with some of the big questions surrounding language use today: What are the consequences for “incorrect” grammar today? How do societies decide what makes for “correct” grammar? What makes good writing good? How does language use affect meaning? In addition to asking the big questions, we will examine how people use language “rules” to shape writing, and how people break those rules for certain, deliberate effects. We will also learn and practice the methods of studying language use that can be helpful for anyone who wants to communicate well. Practically speaking, we will study examples of effective communication and practice using their successful strategies to produce and revise our own work. This class can be beneficial for the student who just wants to gain a better grasp of grammar as well as the student who really wants to learn more about the power of language in our lives. Typically offered every semester. 4 Sem. Hrs.

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