Erin White Physics Major

Erin White '18

Major: Physics/Math/Spanish
Hometown:West Chester, Ohio

Using my degree to help people is the ultimate goal for me.

Theme Clusters

Offered Themes Courses 2018-2019

(revised 3.14.18)

Descriptions of the courses in the departmental curricula are detailed on the following pages. Each course is identified by a three-letter discipline code and a three-digit number followed by the course title. Suffixes following the course number indicate that the course meets a Foundation requirement for the Integrative Core, and will emphasize the development of written and oral communication skills, and will introduce students to the basic approaches of each area as a means of understanding the world: 

              A                Fine Arts

              H                Humanities

              N                Natural Science

              S                Social Science           

The semester hours of credit given for satisfactory completion of the course follow the course description.

Some courses are offered more frequently than others. The current Schedule of Classes should be consulted in order to determine when the courses are taught.

Theme Clusters

Students can count no more than one course that is marked with a * toward the Theme requirement.


Cluster 1 - Truth & Beauty in Art and Design: More than Meets the Eye

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Or does it exist beyond our common experience?  Art and design are born of complex relationships between creativity and reality, the world of ideas and the physical or social worlds.  Courses in this cluster explore these relationships across a range of disciplines and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.  What relationships exist between art/design and political structures, social movements, history, and ethical values?  What is the relationship between creative expression and our perceptions of truth and reality? How does reality combine with imagination, philosophy, and purpose to shape the design process? The performance or creation of a work of art?  These questions go to the heart of what inspires and motivates artists, writers, musicians, performers, designers, and others in the creative world.

  • ART 215 – Design II
  • ART 351 – Modern Art History
  • ENG 265 – British Literature II
  • FRN 302 – French and Francophone Theater Workshop [taught in French]
  • HST 201 – Museum Studies
  • MUS 352 – World Music and Ethnographic Study
  • PHL 260 – Aesthetics
  • PHY 254 – Science, Sound and Music
  • PSY 260 – Sensation and Perception
  • THE 343 – Costume Design
  • WRT 310 – Theory and Practice of Editing 

Cluster 2 - Am I Healthy? Understanding & Promoting Wellness

“How are you? I’m well, thanks”: exchanges like this one mark dozens of your daily encounters, but have you ever stopped to wonder, what does it mean to be “well”?  Wellness takes many forms -- mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, economic, cognitive, intellectual – and university life presents each of us with a range of challenges to wellness.  Courses in this cluster explore issues of wellness as defined by and from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

  • *ATP 394 – Cultural Competencies in Healthcare
  • COM 385 – Health Communication
  • ECN 310 – Health Economics
  • MUS 350 – Hearing Heaven: Death, Dying, and the Music of Mahler
  • NUR 420 – Community Health Nursing
  • *PBH 300 – Principles of Health Behavior and Health Education
  • PSY 280 Cultural Health Psychology
  • PSY 390 – Intro to Marriage and Family Therapy
  • REL 270 – Death and Dying
  • SOC 250 – Medical Sociology

Cluster 3 - Data and Information in the Technology Age

Was Churchill right?   Does “[t]rue Genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information”?  In this our Digital Age technology both floods us with information and provides us the tools for making sense of it all.  Courses in this cluster explore and engage with the use and analysis of data and information through technology as used across a range of disciplines and disciplinary perspectives. 

  • CHE 210 – Environmental Chemistry
  • *EDU 218 – Educational Technology
  • PHY 220 – Observational Astronomy
  • PHY 230 – Electronics
  • POL 317 – Education Policy
  • WRT 311 – Publications Management
  • WRT 312 – Writing and the Web

Cluster 4 – Ethics, Justice, and Society

What is a just and ethical society? How do matters of ethics and justice apply to personal, social, and political decision-making? Courses in this cluster address issues of justice, human rights and dignity, and values and ethics across a range of disciplines. The ways in which various structures of power and privilege have shaped and/or challenged ideas about personhood, identity, human nature, and the Earth will be an ongoing concern in these classes. 

  • AFR 260 – Rap and Rhetoric of the Hip-Hop Generation
  • COM 386 – Public Advocacy for Social Justice
  • COM 440 – Political Communication
  • ENG 335 – Literature & Human Rights
  • PHL 270 – Ethics
  • PHL 290 – Environmental Ethics
  • POL 316 – Environmental Politics: Pollution, Sustainability and Climate Change
  • POL 325 – Civil Rights: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • PSY 350 – Social Responsibility
  • PSY 385 – Psychology of Prejudice and Power
  • REL 315 – Paul and the Epistles
  • REL 340 – Christian Social Ethics

Cluster 5 - Flash of the Spirit: Diaspora Aesthetics & the Sounds of Blackness

The Black Church was the crucible of the African diaspora experience in the Americas and the incubator of the Gospel music phenomenon.  Literature and music are cultural expressions of the African diaspora, both are the functioning and transformative arms of the Black Church. Visual, material, and cultural expressions of the peoples of the diaspora center on the traditional West African assumptions of the permeability of borders between the physical and metaphysical, with aesthetic and aesthetic expressions as specific manifestations of ashe – the power-to-make-things-happen – for good or for ill in the physical world.  Courses in this cluster introduce these questions of the aesthetic, the relationship between the physical and metaphysical realms as they touch upon the spiritual/religious, rhetorical and narrative traditions of the African Diaspora.

  • AFR 226 – The History and Evolution of Gospel Music
  • AFR 326 – Black Diaspora Culture
  • ENG 310 – Africana Literatures
  • REL 235 – The Black Church

Cluster 6 - Food Ways

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.”  Food plays a vital role in creating, maintaining, and sustaining healthy people, societies, and cultures.  How does socio-economic class influence menus? How are food choices guided by beliefs about, personal feelings associated with certain foods? How do the factors that determine food access, production, and nutritive value shape our cultures and rituals around food, our tastes?  Are we, indeed, what we eat?

  • AFR 326 – Black Diaspora Culture
  • *HED 250 – Nutrition
  • NUR 420 – Community Health Nursing
  • SOC 220 – The Many Faces of Poverty

Cluster 7 – Gender in International Context

This cluster will engage in comparative studies of gender and gender roles in international contexts, considering assumptions and norms that shape the performance and reception of gender in diverse social, political, economic and religious realms.

  • ECN 330 – Economics of Gender
  • ENG 345 – Gender Issues in Literature and Culture
  • GEN 330 – International Perspectives on Gender
  • HST 260 – Women in East Asia
  • POL 325 – Civil Rights: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • REL 370 – Gender and Religion

Cluster 8 – Influences on Design Outcomes: Society, Gender, Art and Functionality

Who made that?  And why? Courses in this cluster are organized around questions of how sociological factors, product development teams, and artistic design influence outcomes in any given project.  Class are application oriented, exploring the complex interrelationships between causality and final outcomes.  How does gender influence design? What approaches to design differ between social groups? How do minorities work in product design teams? What is the effect of organizational culture on design outcomes?  What is the role both aesthetically and organizationally of hierarchy on design?  What is the role of art and aesthetics in the functionality of a design?  These questions delve into the relationships between the disciplines of Sociology, Engineering, and Art and promote a deeper, personal understanding of what it means to design. 

  • ART 215 – Design II
  • ART 220 – Sculpture I
  • *EGE 310 – Product Design and Development
  • SOC 320 – The World of Males and Females
  • SOC 325 – Organizational Analysis
  • SOC 330 – Minority Group Relations

Cluster 9 – Origins

Where did we come from?  Why are we here?  The modern study of Earth is grounded in humans’ desire to understand our origins.  While the scientific method relies on experiments and processes which are repeatable, courses in this cluster address the study of events and phenomena related to origins which are not reproducible in the laboratory.  Issues ranging from the measuring ages to that of physical phenomena and the analysis and interpretation of evidence will be addressed across a range of perspectives in the natural sciences and the humanities.

  • GEO 220 – The History of Life
  • PHL 340 – Philosophy of Science
  • PHY 201 – Einstein’s Universe – The Big Bang, Black Holes and Beyond 

Cluster 10 – Courses from this cluster have all been moved to cluster 4


Cluster 11 - Resource Systems

Courses in this cluster explore the topic of resource systems -- from natural systems like the water cycle to engineered systems like those used in energy production -- across a range of disciplines and disciplinary perspectives. How do resource systems function? Why are resources valued as they are? What are the environmental/economic/societal costs and benefits involved in resource use? How can resources be managed in a sustainable way?

  • BIO 230 – Conservation Biology
  • CHE 210 – Environmental Chemistry
  • CHE 212 – Introduction to Green Chemistry
  • CHE 220 – Analytical Chemistry I
  • *ECE 360 – Water Resources Engineering
  • GEO/ENV 210 – Hydrology and Water Resources
  • GEO 301 – Earth Materials
  • PHL 290 – Environmental Ethics
  • PHY 200 – Planets and Moons
  • POL 316 – Environmental Politics: Pollution, Sustainability and Climate Change
  • WRT 399 – Science Writing 

Cluster 12 - War and Peace

War, what is it good for?  Why does conflict occur? Are human beings simply hard-wired for war and conflict?  Or is war a function of the nation state?  A product of “civilization”?  A function of greed?  Is peace possible?  Courses in this cluster examine the nature of way and the possibility of peace across a range disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

  • ENG 320 – Irish Literature and Culture
  • GEN 320 – From Antietam to Tora Bora: American Men at War
  • HST 207 – Progressive Movement in American History, 1880 to 1945
  • HST 208 – United States Since 1945
  • HST 345 – Contemporary Europe
  • HST 349/POL 349 - The Middle East
  • HST 350 – Ancient Greece and Rome
  • HST 355 – Medieval Europe
  • POL 225 – International Relations
  • REL 300 – Old Testament Interpretation
  • REL 360 – Religious Conflict and Peacebuilding

Cluster 13 – The World on Film

From Facebook to our favorite TV shows, modern life is largely lived on screen.  The courses in this cluster focus on the “silver screen,” exploring cultures around the world through film and examining the many ways in which cinema shapes our perceptions of ourselves as well as of others.  What can movies teach us about the societies that produce and consume them?  How have filmmakers transformed the way we see everything from sacred texts and literary classics to schizophrenia, and, why?  Courses in “The World on Film” look for insight through a variety of disciplinary lens.

  • ENG 330 – Literature to Film
  • *FRN 203 – French Cinema
  • *JPN 204 – Japanese through Film
  • REL 330 – Buddhism in Films 

Cluster 14 - Culture and Global Society

The courses in this cluster address the question of how differences in culture (social groups, treatment of minorities, educational systems etc. . .) are reflected in and constructed by societal and political structures globally?  Further, they ask, how culture affects the development of societal, political, and economic structures. 

  • AFR 306 – Pan-Africanism
  • *EDU 215 – Multicultural Education
  • *FRN 201 – The Francophone World
  • *GRN 201 – Issues in Contemporary German Society
  • HST 344/POL 344 History of Africa/Africa’s Promise
  • HST 348/POL 348 Problems of Developing Nations
  • HST 349/POL 349 The Middle East
  • *JPN 302 – Cultural Study of Japan
  • POL 245 – Comparative Political Systems
  • POL 340 – Global Competition: The Dynamics of International Political Economy
  • POL 345 – Europe's Future: Politics, Soc, Econ
  • POL 346 – The Rise of Asia: Politics, Society and Economy
  • POL 347 – Post-Soviet Politics: From Soviet Collapse to Resurgence
  • PSJ 490 – Travel Seminar
  • REL 490 – Travel Seminar
  • SOC 245 – The World of Education: A Sociological Perspective

Cluster 15 - Globalization: Competition vs. Cooperation

The world has become a “global village” with globalization the concept of the day.  What are the ramifications of “globalization” for regions, nations, communities? Does globalization lead to increased international competition or increased international cooperation? How and why? Does globalization ‘level the playing field’ for competition and/or cooperation between and among countries?  Increase pressure on countries to ‘sharpen their competitive edge’?  These questions are at the heart of what the global community means across a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences.

  • ECN 327 – International Trade
  • ECN 365 – Global Macroeconomics
  • ECN 380 – Comparative Economic Systems
  • ECN 390 – Economics of the Asian Pacific Rim
  • HST 208 – United States Since 1945
  • HST 344/POL 344 History of Africa/Africa’s Promise
  • HST 360 – Modern China
  • HST 370 – Modern Japan
  • HST 385 - Modern Russia
  • POL 340 – Global Competition: The Dynamics of International Political Economy

Cluster 16 - Lighting the Page on Fire: Creating Inspiration for the Classroom and Beyond

“All the world’s a stage,/And all men and women merely players;/They have their exits and their entrances,/And one man in his time play many parts. . .”so says the Bard and nowhere is this more true than in the classroom.  Teaching is performance.  So that our teachers in training can fully engage their students in classrooms that are expressive and vibrant, we propose to breathe life into several different genres of literature and oral traditions by equipping students to create living stories brought to life through the power of live Theatre.

  • *EDU 355 – Content Area Literacy
  • ENG 210 – Children’s Literature
  • ENG 215 – Literature for Adolescents
  • ENG 310 – Africana Literature
  • ENG 315 – Native American Literature
  • *MCH 345 – Content Area Reading and Writing in Middle School
  • THE 225 – Creative Dramatics

Cluster 17 - What is Modernism?

This cluster addresses the challenging question of modernism – a movement that cuts across many disciplines from painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, architecture and philosophy – as influenced by politics, scientific and technological innovation and the Industrial Revolution.  Courses in this cluster address the question of Modernism as more than a style or a period, as an attitude and perspective including a determination to break with the past and to free the artist from the stifling rules of convention and etiquette.  Students will engage with various modes of experimentation and avant-gardism as well as the sense of despair which often accompanied the changing worldview filtered through much of British, European and American societies as well as the emerging of new political and cultural identities in the wake of colonialism.

  • ART 351 – Modern Art History
  • ENG 305 – Global Anglophone Literature
  • ENG 340 – Modernism and Postmodernism
  • FRN 304 – Modern French Poetry
  • HST 207 - Progressive Movement in American History
  • PHL 230 – Modern Philosophy

Cluster 18 - This cluster has been dissolved

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