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Freshman Seminars

The Office of First-Year Programs offers two types of transitional courses for new students – Freshman Seminars for our on-ground students and an Academic Success Strategies for our on-line students. All first-year students must take either an UNIV or UNIV 11000 during their first semester. Transfer students who successfully completed a Freshmen Seminar course at another college are exempt. 

Freshman who are entering as students in the Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship are strongly encouraged to take the MGMT 1602511 Business Environment & First Year Seminar.

UNIV 10101 – First-Year Seminar

Our Freshman Seminars allow for a student to find a topic and a professor that can help make their freshman experience a real success. There are 30 different options for students to select from.  This course is a one-hour subject-area seminar and orientation course required of all first-time freshmen. Students will be introduced to special topics of their choice based on personal interest, declared major or academic interest while also orientating to the university environment. This special topics seminar course will provoke critical thinking, problem solving, and interaction. Course is required of all first-time freshmen or transfer students without an equivalent course previously completed from another college or university. May not be retaken for a higher grade. Lab fee required.

The list below consists of all Fall 2019 Freshman Seminar courses; the courses for Fall 2020 will be listed in late Spring 2020.

Our Lives In Music and Pictures– FLC02 Learning Community (Paired with 2 other classes)

*Please note, this UNIV Seminar is only offered in conjunction with a Learning Community. Visit the Learning Community website to learn more information!* 

Have you ever heard the quotes a picture is worth a thousand words and without music life would be a mistake? What do the pictures of us and our music preferences (as individuals and as a society) tell us about who we are and where we come from? This seminar will dive into the world of personal and public pictures and music, and will dissect what we can learn about ourselves and the world around us by what pictures we chose to take and display and what music we choose to represent us.  We will spend time looking at personal photographs and music of students in the seminar, as well as other popular photographs and music in the media and contemporary art. We will also explore and determine what kind of story pictures and music tell about ourselves to future generations.

Sarah Tetley serves as Director, of First-Year Programs (FYP) at Lindenwood University.  Her responsibilities include New Student Orientation, LNO Seminar support, mentoring, meeting with first-year students, and helping students during the freshman journey to their sophomore year.  Her educational background includes, a Bachelors in Communications from Missouri State University (2001), a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University, and is finishing her Doctorate in Management and Leadership from Webster University.   She is also fond of her other job, which is raising four amazing kids.  In her free time, you can find her on the softball field keeping score, at Scottrade Center watching the Blues praying for a Stanley Cup, or spending time with her family and friends.

Time Offered: Tuesday 9:30am

Law & Order - No, Not the TV Series – FLC03 Learning Community (Paired with 2 other classes)

*Please note, this UNIV Seminar is only offered in conjunction with a Learning Community. Visit the Learning Community website to learn more information!* 

If you have ever watched an entire season of Making of a Murderer, Orange is the New Black, or any Crime Time TV shows, you likely have an appreciation for the misunderstood world of criminal behavior and are intrigued in the ways in which our system responds to those behaviors. This seminar will explore the American criminal justice system, separating fact from fiction, and what it looks like from the perspective of the police, courts, corrections, victim, and offender. We will spend time discussing key issues within the criminal justice system, the current efforts at criminal justice reform, and the impact on professionals within the field.

Darren Marhanka is a former police officer with nearly 18 years of experience. He served in a variety of roles throughout his police career, but he is most proud of his work with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. Marhanka started as a patrol officer and eventually found himself working in the detective unit. He investigated almost any type of crime out there. Marhanka interacted with thousands of people throughout his time on the police department as well, finding it to be a very fulfilling career.

Marhanka loves doing things on the water: jet skiing, boating, scuba diving, fishing, you name it. He loves spending time with his wife, parents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins, the "whole gang." He loves Jimmy Buffett music and goes to his concerts. Marhanka is a self-described "Parrothead Pirate." Life is about living, so go out and live it!

Time Offered: Wednesday 11:00 am

Advertising for Dummies – Section 20

Do you like commercials? Do you like certain brands? Have you ever watched a Super Bowl ad and laughed or cried but had no idea of what they were selling? What about looked at an ad and thought to yourself you could do better. What about YouTube, do you have your own channel and make videos? Do you like to create? Do you like to design? Do you like to come up with big ideas? Can you persuade others into what you want to do?

This course will look to answer these questions through analyzing numerous ads, brands and companies, short lectures, many classroom discussions and a few mini projects. Determine who the target market and demographics are. What we are –selling and how did it work?  Discuss the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny. If that was not enough, you will also be creating your own online portfolio that you can keep building every year!

Advertising for Dummies is a sample of what you would get with our Advertising and Strategic Communications degree program.


Patrick L Longo is an instructor for the Advertising and Strategic Communications degree program in the School of Arts, Media and Communications. He serves as a community relations committee member for the Francis Howell School District, a board of director's member for SafePacks and board of director's member for the St Charles County Youth Soccer Association (SCCYSA) serving as the u8 and under girl's commissioner. Longo was nominated for the Lindenwood Student Government Association (LSGA) Teacher-of-the-Year Award in 2016/2017 and was a top three nominee for the Excellence in Teaching award by the NCAA intercollegiate athletics program –The Roars in 2017. Prior to joining Lindenwood in 2016, Longo worked for nearly 15 years in the fields of experiential marketing, public relations, and advertising. He has a BA in marketing from Lindenwood University, an MA in marketing from Lindenwood University, and will be pursuing the EdD in education.

Time Offered: Tuesday 2:30pm

An Apple a Day could earn you an "A"! – Section 34

Life is all about balance in what we enjoy, what challenges us, and how to live a truly happy, healthy, and fulfilled life! This seminar will focus on six areas of wellness throughout the semester to help you develop and implement a personal wellness plan. We will explore physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellness by engaging in hands-on activities and group discussions, for example, learning the principles of fitness, knowing the habits for healthy eating on a college campus, and managing stress-specific events during the academic semester.  After completing this course, you will have the tools necessary to help you overcome the many obstacles faced during the transition to college.

Dr. Alameda earned a Doctor of Education from Lindenwood University, an M.S. in nutrition from Saint Louis University, and a B.S. in exercise science from Illinois State University. She currently teaches in the School of Health Sciences as an associate professor in the areas of health, nutrition, and wellness. In her free time, Alameda enjoys beach vacations with her husband and two young girls, Cardinal baseball games, and being part of the sport of gymnastics.

Time Offered: Thursday 1:00pm

Around the World in 15 Weeks: A Look Inside Comparative Education – Section 10

This freshman seminar on comparative education provides students with information and concepts for comparing different school systems, their contexts, and educational outcomes. At the completion of the course, you will be able to analyze what makes the United States' education system unique and which aspects of education systems throughout the world make them unique. This ability is important for future educators who want to learn about creating their education philosophy, but it's also important for those who are interested in improving the education system overall. Each class will cover a major topic in comparative education, which will involve reading, discussing, and exploring the educational world around us. Various writings over the text and our interpretation of the theory is essential, as well as venturing out onto our own campus to compare different types of perspectives (professors and students). This introductory course on comparative education is a crucial and exciting stepping-stone to your educational career.

Dr. Robyne Elder is an Assistant Professor in the Education Leadership Department. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Mizzou, and a Master's Degree in Teaching and an EdD in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University.

Elder was a high school English instructor for 13 years and ELA department chair for five years. She was honored to receive the following awards during her teaching career: Teacher of the Year, Educator of the Year for the Ft. Zumwalt School District, Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Sue Spellmann Award from Lindenwood. She enjoys watching and playing football, basketball, and baseball with her two boys and husband in Crestwood, Missouri, as well as taking her dog, Izzy, for walks.

Time Offered: Monday 2:00 pm


Arts and Crafts with a Sprinkling of Math – Section 35

Do you remember creating a craft project in elementary school?  You may recall cutting out geometric shapes with safety scissors, gluing these pieces to construction paper to form some particular pattern, and finishing off your project with loads of glitter.  Those days at school seemed like all fun and no work, but you learned quite a bit from that process.  You were secretly learning about math!  Just like with our elementary school crafts, crafts like origami, crochet, knit, and glasswork can help us understand math!  The goal of this class is to explore the close relationship between mathematics and various types of crafts.  An artist may need an understanding of mathematics to create and finish a product; meanwhile, a mathematician may create a piece of art to visualize a mathematics topic.  You will feel inspired to create a final art project and describe how the project uses mathematics or portrays a mathematics concept.  Note: Your future project does not need to be museum quality or use advanced mathematics!

Rebecca Heinen is an instructor in the Mathematics Department in the School of Sciences and serves as the faculty advisor for the Lindenwood University Mathematics Club.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from North Central College and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from University of Missouri-Columbia.  Her research interests lie in the fields of graph theory and complex analysis.  She is originally from Sparta, IL and enjoys working at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, located in Sparta, during the summer.  She likes to crochet and put together puzzles in her free time.

Time Offered: Thursday 2:30pm

Asia Its Now, Its Wow! – Section 32

Asia - a continent rapidly becoming one of the most significant locations on earth. For centuries, the Asians dominated world trade and diplomacy, then lost status and became largely disregarded. That is no longer the case, for three of the world's wealthiest economies lie in Asia, and these countries, China, India, and Japan, have diplomatic and political tentacles stretching across the world as once the Europeans had. This course is an examination of how this situation arose. In this seminar we will examine Asia's history, its cultural traditions, and its rise to world significance.

Dr. Brian Arendt is a professor in the International Relations Program at Lindenwood University. Although born and raised in the St. Louis region, he lived for several years in South Korea and Taiwan, and travelled throughout Southeast Asia. Outside of his academic pursuits, Arendt is also a board gamer, a "Trekkie," and a proud father of four Jack Russell Terriers. Arendt has a Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Georgetown University, an M.A. in European history from SUNY at Stony Brook, and a B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Time Offered: Thursday 9:30am

Biology: Separating Fact from Fiction – Section 5 & 6

Scientific literature tends to be dry and difficult to read. Popular media accounts of science –spice it up to make it more interesting to readers. Sometimes along the way the science gets misrepresented, often with disastrous consequences. We want our students to be scientifically informed and also to be able to critically evaluate popular news articles about biology. We will pair real biological research with popular articles from news outlets and social media, to help students learn to tell the good science from the junk. Everyone's lives are affected by biology in many ways, from decisions about their health to their interactions with the environment, so everyone should learn how to evaluate scientific claims they hear in the news.

Dr Woltz has a PhD in Ecology, and also in Entomology, the study of insects. She has conducted ecological research on endangered butterflies in North Carolina wetlands, alpine lakes in the Colorado Rockies, invasive plants in Massachusetts forests, predatory insects in Michigan crop fields, and crop pests in Oregon orchards. She loves spending time outdoors gardening, camping, hiking, and stopping to admire cool bugs. During the school year Dr Woltz spends most of her time improving her classes and meeting with students, but makes time to read on the couch with her Basset Hound Lucy. When she's not teaching she spends her time traveling, and has explored ecosystems in western Europe, southern Africa, and North America.

Time Offered: Monday 10:00am & Monday 11:00am

Chemistry in Pop Culture – Section 12 & 13

Have your ever watched CSI or Breaking Bad and wondered, "Can that really happen?" or "Is that scientifically true?"  Have you ever read something on social media and thought, "That makes me mad," to later find out that it is only part of the story?  This course will answer some of those questions.  We will introduce general chemical knowledge in order to explore the accuracy and inaccuracies of how science is used in pop culture. Units will include the environment, forensics, pharmaceuticals, and current events. Join us for an adventure into the real world of science as we sort out the good, bad, and ugly mainstream science.

Dr. Jennifer Firestine is the chair of the Division of Physical Sciences.  She has a background in instrumental and analytical chemistry, and teaches General Chemistry, Forensics, and Instrumental Analysis.  Firestine has her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University) and her Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry from Arizona State University where she specialized in MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.  Her current interests are in new instrumental methods and how they can best be applied to education. In her spare time, she enjoys reality TV, cheering on her son, who has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and spending time with her dogs.

Dr. Scott Hasty is an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department.  He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  His dissertation was on developing methodologies towards expeditious oligosaccharide synthesis.  Before coming to Lindenwood he was an adjunct instructor at McKendree and Southeast Missouri State Universities.  Hasty teaches organic chemistry and some of the general chemistry sequence, and conducts undergraduate research involving carbohydrates.  Hasty is married and has one son that LOVES NASCAR!  Competitive bass fishing is a passion of Hasty's, and he competes in about 10 tournaments per year.

Time Offered: Tuesday 8:00am & Tuesday 9:30am

Come Ride the Energy Bus! – Section 09

Who does not want a healthy dose of positive motivation to start off a new school year? This Freshman Seminar course introduces students to the Health Sciences in a fun and creative way. Jump on the Energy Bus and take a tour through Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Health & Wellness, Public Health, Recreation Sport Management, Sport Psychology, and Therapeutic Recreation. Students will experience team-building extraordinaire, exciting games and activities, and of course a lesson in cricket. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the startling diversity of career paths throughout the Health Sciences. Don't know what you want to study yet? No problem, we have you covered. Worried about establishing a new friends group in college? No worries, we have that covered too. Looking for an excuse to become the most positive student ever? Yep, we definitely thought of that one. Finally, you asked for a Freshman Experience class that would be fun, memorable, and make an impression? Welcome to –Come Ride the Energy Bus!

Dr. Paul Wright is a Full Professor of Health Sciences. At Lindenwood, Coach Paul teaches classes in Performance Psychology, Adventure Education, Therapeutic Recreation, and Special Event Management. Coach Wright is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, a Sport Psychologist, and Outdoor Recreation enthusiast, and an expert Scrabble player. In 2012, Coach Wright coached the Hong Kong-China Track team at the London Olympic Games and is an IAAF Certified Level 5 Endurance Coach. In Fall 2019 you will be missing one class because he will be competing at the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Time Offered: Monday, 1:00 p.m.

Comic Books: Mythology of the modern era – Section 15

The Greek Gods. The Norse Gods. The modern day Superhero. What do they have in common? They are all mythological stories of their time. Learn how the comic book started in America and became one of the truly original American mediums. Read how characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man became the mythological heroes of today. See how comics grew into a multi billion dollar industry for film makers. Comics will be given to students to evaluate so they can express their opinions in short critiques. All genres are explored in this course, so titles such as Maus, Sin City, and Zap Comics will also be discussed.

Professor Quiggins has been collecting comic books for 50 years. He is known as one of the few comic historians in the St. Louis region. He owned the store Bug's Comics & Games from 1990 to 2005, which was one of the prominent comic stores in the region of that time. He has appeared on panels at Wizard World St. Louis and Chicago as an expert on the 90's era of comics. He has taught Comic Book related courses here at Lindenwood for the past 15 years. He is a member of the Theatre Department at Lindenwood and teaches a variety of theatre courses and developed the Group Dynamics course at Lindenwood.

Time Offered: Tuesday 11:00am

Dance, Dance, Revolution … or Documentaries! – Section 36

Did you take dance classes as a child? Are you still interested in dance? In this seminar we will view and discuss several of the most entertaining and revealing dance documentaries. Through discussion of the misconceptions dancers face, the demands on performers, and the struggles that directors encounter, students will engage in dialogue about the art that may have been a large part of their formative years.

Tricia Zweier is an educator, choreographer, and performer with a cross-disciplinary interest in dance and kinesiology. After earning a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she relocated to Missouri and is in her eighth year as an Associate Professor of Dance teaching mostly contemporary and jazz techniques, dance history, dance & technology, and dance science courses. Tricia performed with the Atlantic City Ballet (formerly Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre) and Flatlands Dance Theatre, as well as international tours in the cruise line industry as a lead dancer and dance captain. Most recently, Tricia’s choreography has been showcased in national festivals including The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and The Detroit Dance City Festival.

Time Offered: Thursday 2:30pm

Directing Life: Applying Theatre Practices in Our Day-to-Day – Section 33

Life is not a dress rehearsal.  The curtain is up and you are on so go out there and give it your best shot.  Dig in.  Take risks. Fail. Risk again.  Explore, discover, challenge yourself and others, love deeply, embrace differences, and truly find what you are passionate about.  Allow theatre to lead you there. Theatre is the universal language -- a reflection of life. Theatre can help us reflect, learn to improve, educate ourselves, develop discipline, and open our eyes to the world around us. We can learn about self and others and most importantly, our responsibility to others as well as self. This course will engage students as artists, and inspire them to see theatre as a discipline with a process, principles, and essential skills that, when applied, can lead them to the performance of their dreams-- LIFE.

Emily Jones is a theatre director and instructor by day and Supermom by night.    She believes in the power of theatre and its ability to transform lives and illuminate minds.  She is an artist who strives to live an inclusive and adventurous life.  She enjoys hiking, playing hide and seek with her husband and daughter, lazy days on the beach, Nirvana, yoga, boxing, watching football, playing board games, hibiscus tea, and puppies. Emily has taught at Lindenwood for nine years and has directed over fifty productions.  Her Teaching Motto: There is only one way to look at things until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes. - Pablo Picasso

Time Offered: Thursday 11:00am

Facing Reality Through Science Fiction – Section 26

We all have one: an inner nerd. Why not use college as an opportunity to embrace this aspect that makes you unique?  From Star Wars to Stranger Things, science fiction has something to offer everyone, whether it's action, adventure, romance, or drama; a great soundtrack; artwork, costumes, and make-up; or special effects.

Beyond entertainment, science fiction provides an avenue for creative thought and a platform to debate current events. By understanding this genre and experiencing its works, students can gain a deeper understanding of the society in which they live through critical analysis and reflection on the various themes found in works of science fiction.  With this new understanding, students can develop informed, creative perspectives on current issues regarding politics, faith, human rights, and technology, as well as learn the importance of approaching differences with an open mind, all while enjoying thought-provoking, entertaining readings, TV shows, and movies of the science fiction genre.

Are you ready for a tour of galaxies both near and far away? Then pack your communicator, suit up, and get ready to beam into the fascinating world of science fiction!

Tracy Flicek enjoys reading and watching science fiction because the genre incorporates aspects of her passions in creative, meaningful ways. She learned to embrace her inner nerd as a student at Lindenwood University, where she forged lifelong friendships with international students, acted in the Star Wars-inspired capstone project for a film student, and danced as a member of the Lionettes. Based on a lifelong interest in language and culture, she obtained a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies in 2010, an M.A. in International Studies in 2011, and an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2012. Her hope for all college students is that they find and be their authentic selves with confidence and enthusiasm.

Time Offered: Wednesday 10:00am

Flipping the Pyramid: Servant as Leader – Section 08

Leadership is a topic of universal interest and application. This seminar course is designed to prepare the student for effective leadership in their profession and/or collegiate career by introducing key aspects of servant leadership from research literature and Scripture. Students will be challenged not only to understand the key ideas associated with servant leadership, but also to apply those ideas to their own life by drawing connections between servant leadership, civic engagement, and what it means to be an engaged citizen.

Dr. Julie Turner earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, her MA in Adult and Continuing Education at Michigan State University, and her BA in Sociology and Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Dr. Turner has nearly twenty years of experience in education and nonprofit leadership, having served as a K-12 teacher and administrator, fund development/grant writing expert, and serving in a variety of leadership capacities through organizations such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Greater St. Louis, Children's Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis, Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Turner is a Professor of Nonprofit Administration at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She serves on the United Way of Greater St. Louis Tri-County Board of Directors and on the Youth Development Allocation Panel. Dr. Turner was recognized as Professor of the Year by the Lindenwood Student Government Association; received the "Emerson Award for Teaching Excellence" in 2015 and the "Lindenwood Service Award" in 2018. As well, she was recognized as one of '40 under 40' by the St. Louis Business Journal and by the St. Charles Business Magazine's Honor Program in Nonprofit Management and the Dove Award for Women in Leadership.

Dr. Turner and her husband live in west St. Charles County with three daughters - two of whom are in college - and two dogs and a beloved cat. Dr. T is very involved in her community and church and plays golf and was recently certified as a Master Gardener by UM Extension.

Time Offered: Monday 1:00pm

Imaginary Worlds: Living in Them and Creating Them – Section 30

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to time-travel in the world of Interstellar? Or what the metallic smell of robots might be in Portal 2? How about the sound of spears whipping through the air in Homer's Iliad? This is the course for people who not only want to keep living in imaginary worlds long after the movie's over they want to create those worlds. In this course, you will learn some principles of creating imaginary worlds for any art form, whether your medium of choice is poetry, painting, fiction, video games or the web. We will study how imaginary worlds are made. We will explore a selection of the best world-building ever attempted, some contemporary examples, some old as art itself. And we will try our hand at making a few things too. Hope to see you in class!

Dr. Daniel Plate earned his B.A. in English and philosophy from Taylor University in Indiana. He followed this with an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Plate is the faculty advisor for the Creative Writing Club at Lindenwood. He thrives on exploring the ways many different disciplines, especially philosophy, formal logic, computer science, web design, and gaming can be used for creative world-building projects. When he has free time, he enjoys playing games, watching movies, watching basketball, and coding.

Time Offered: Wednesday 1:00 pm

Just Say Yes to GIS! – Section 18

Maps and map apps are everywhere today" on our phones, in our cars, on television, and in social media.  But guess what?  All these maps are lying to you in some way!  This class will equip students with the skills to analyze the maps around them, giving them the ability to discern valuable maps from "Cartojunk."  These skills transfer to all majors and disciplines and will introduce first-year students to the career field of GIS (Geographic Information Systems). This is a growing field with a workforce shortage!

Tara Vansell has been teaching Geographic Information Systems classes at Lindenwood since 2011.  She holds a B.A. in geography with a GIS emphasis from the University of Missouri - Columbia and an M.A. in urban planning and real estate development from Saint Louis University.  Before teaching at Lindenwood, she spent several years working for Surdex, a mapping and aerial photography company in the St. Louis region.  Off campus, she enjoys traveling with her family.  Favorite vacations have included hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, biking the Katy Trail, sailing in Maine, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, soaking up the sun along the California coast, getting in touch with her Viking roots in Scandinavia, and DISNEY WORLD!

Time Offered: Tuesday 1:00pm


Living that Leadership Life – Section 29

Aspire for greatness! Join us in this fun and interactive course to examine yourself as a leader. Through a little bit of discussion and a whole lot of group activities, we will explore topics including communication skills, conflict resolution, finding your voice in the face of injustice, followership, time management, motivating others, and more. Students will leave this class knowing themselves a little better and confident in their ability to lead their peers, teams, organizations, and communities with integrity. So come join us for a fun and exciting journey into leadership development!


I'm Angie Royal, and I've had the pleasure of serving as Director of Student Involvement at Lindenwood since 2012. I'm a proud two-degree alum of SIU Carbondale (go Salukis) and am currently pursuing my doctorate at Lindenwood in higher education. Leadership development is a passion of mine and in addition to serving as staff fellow for Leadership & Supervision, I have been blessed to work with student leaders for over 15 years. When I'm not working hard at getting students involved at Lindenwood, I enjoy cooking and traveling with my daughter. I'm extremely excited about helping the Class of 2023 enhance their leadership skills, and cannot wait for us to take this journey together!

Time Offered: Wednesday 1:00pm

Mathematics in Pop Culture – Section 16

Pop culture offers several awesome mental pictures in explaining mathematical concepts and their applications in our daily lives and in industry. We can see these examples in movies, TV shows, video games, etc. In this class, we will discuss how pop culture helps better understand these concepts around us and we will also discuss when they get the math wrong.

Topics include:

  • How polygons have made video games better.
  • The pure math of Futurama.
  • The short in Monsters Inc. as a demonstration of the Green's function.
  • Mario in a dark tunnel as a demonstration of the Kalman filter.


Dr. Nick Wintz is an Associate Professor in Mathematics. He has BS and MA in Mathematics from Marshall University and a PhD in Mathematics from Missouri University of Science and Technology. His research interests include control theory, game theory, differential equations, difference equations, dynamic equations on time scales, special functions, among others. He is originally from Morgantown, WV and is a pop culture aficionado.

Time Offered: Tuesday 11:00am

Music in Ritual: How Music is used in Rituals around the World – Section 28

Music is a fundamental aspect of every culture, and we can experience different cultures through their music. Music is utilized in religion and ritual, media, and in everyday life, and is used to express the emotional foundations of a culture. Using basic anthropological concepts such as cultural relativism and enculturation, this course will explore cultural diversity and ritual through music. By examining different cultures around the world, we will investigate how music is used in different types of rituals and how cultural knowledge is transmitted through music. We will talk about traditional Native American rituals and the power of the drum, technoshamanism and rave subculture, music used in Haitian vodou rituals, and more! At the end of the semester, students will choose a specific ritual to analyze and will present their findings to the class.

Starting out in musical theater and vocal performance, Taryn Pelch discovered anthropology early on in college, and has loved the field ever since! She is an adjunct professor of anthropology at Lindenwood University, where she has been teaching for seven years. Taryn earned a master's degree in anthropology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, and has participated in archaeological and ethnographic research in the U.S., Mexico, and Belize. Taryn's current projects include curation work and ethnobotany research with the Missouri Botanical Garden's historic corn collection, and pursuing a second master's in public history and museum studies.

Time Offered: Wednesday 11:00am

Retraining the Brain: Recognizing Hidden Biases – Section 11

Have you ever wondered what makes us categorize and label social groups so quickly? When does is start and how does it persist? This class will examine the psychological background of social categorization. We will ask questions such as: How do race, gender, and class differences form? How are they maintained? Are there true differences? How do we eliminate biases and inequalities? These topics are critical to first-year students as they may transition into a more diverse college climate as well as understand the way in which we made decisions and inferences about the social world. As we examine our own identities, we will also explore our possible biases towards others. Our ultimate goal is to retrain our brain, or the way that we think about social groups, to acknowledge and replace our potential hidden biases.

Welcome first-year students! Dr. Stephanie Afful is an associate professor of psychology at Lindenwood. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology from Saint Louis University, as well as bachelor degrees in psychology and sociology from Drury University. Her research focuses on modern measurement of racism, racial identity, and interracial relationships. Afful loves teaching psychology. She believes students will find there is much more to psychology, as well as our understanding of prejudice and privilege, than first meets the eye. In her free time, Afful enjoys reading, traveling, and hanging out with family.

Time Offered: Monday 2:00pm

Seeing the world through film – Section 17

Do you ever wish you could experience the bustling streets of London, see the bright colors of the markets in India or feel the sun in Sydney? Movies allow us to see the world from the comfort of our own chair. In this course, you'll have the chance to watch movies from around globe, recreate a scene from a movie and pick out future trips you would like to go on. We will get a taste of places near and far without having to pay for a single flight.

Elizabeth Snell oversees the study abroad program at Lindenwood. She has a master's degree in feature film screenwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London and had the opportunity to live and work in London for 5 years. She loves writing, traveling, movies and watching sports.

Time Offered: Tuesday 1:00pm

Speak of the Devil: Hell and Damnation in Popular Imagination – Section 24

We'll talk about hell in the Western world—what's its history, purpose, function, and why are we quite so obsessed with it? We'll look at all kinds of texts, including poetry, visual art, film, historical scholarship, and prose literature to see if we can get a sense of how our ideas of hell came to be, and how they've been used in popular discourse. We'll do original research of the shoddiest but most interesting type. We'll make lots of puns and have a good time. Additionally, this course will provide a basic introduction to navigating Lindenwood systems.

Dr. Erin Mann is associate provost and a professor of English who studies sexuality and religion in medieval literature. She likes traveling (most recently Iceland, Japan, and California), pie, calligraphy, and stories/photos of people's pets behaving as badly as her cats Gertrude and Louise do. Her idea of hell is being slowly crushed to death under a mountain of wet paper towels while smooth jazz plays on bad speakers.

Time Offered: Wednesday 10:00am

Thor and Friends – Section 02

Long, luscious blonde hair? Big muscles? A magic hammer of power? What's not to like? And that's just Thor! Then you have the beautiful Freya, whom all the frost giants want to…marry. Or Loki—he comes in handy, sometimes, but you can never quite trust him. He is a frost giant, after all. And, of course, there are his terrifying children: Hel, the goddess of the ignoble dead; the Midgard serpent, who encircles the world with its coils; and Fenrir, the terrifying giant wolf of destruction. Oh! We can't forget Beowulf, the warrior king and hero of heroes. You can always count on Beowulf to get the job done, even if it means killing both a monster and its mother.

We will explore awesome stories that people have told for over a thousand years, and we'll talk about how people used these stories to give meaning to their lives. We'll also talk about how those stories can be meaningful for us today, especially since people are still making movies and graphic novels based on these stories—which we will also explore. Movie night!

McKraken: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Dr. W. Travis McMaken is not your ordinary professor. No run-of-the-mill professor would rock Twitter and Snapchat with student-bestowed nicknames like The McKraken and McMaken the Great. He is a professor of religion, but not the boring old pastor from your grandma's church. If you're lucky enough to have “Story Time with Dr. M” then you're in for a real treat because you will never stop laughing—and you may actually learn something. Outside of Lindenwood, Dr. M is a Thor in real life, barreling through the great outdoors with his two sons and their Cub Scout pack as they wrestle with the forest to survive camping weekends. (Written by a Lindenwood senior.)

Time Offered: Monday 9:00am

Toto, We're Not in High School Anymore – Section 23

Imagining college to be an easy breezy skip down the bricks of Main Street? Spoiler alert: you're not in high school anymore. You might just find that college life poses more challenges than expected. Come learn how to start adulting and develop the skills you need to be successful! This class will cover everything from how to communicate with your professors to starting your first resume. Bomb your first round of tests? We will go over ways to learn from those mistakes and improve test-taking strategies. Or, not sure what you want to major in? The course will give you a solid foundation of knowledge that is transferable to any potential academic field of study. By helping students develop personally and professionally, this seminar will help pave the way for not only a smoother freshman year but entire college experience.

Rachel Mohr is an Academic Coordinator for NCAA athletics in the Student-Athlete Center on campus. She enjoys working one-on-one with students and helping them with time management, study skills, and making positive academic change. Rachel also has a background in education, having previously been a 4th grade teacher and received a B.A. in elementary education from Saint Louis University, where she also was a member of the field hockey team. In her free time you will find her doing hot yoga, scrap booking, or spending time with friends and family.

Time Offered: Wednesday 9:00am

Truth and B.S. – Section 19

What exactly is the nature of truth and how important is it for a well-rounded education?  This course is intended to help you, the first year Lindenwood student, discover your own answers to these questions by exploring the goals of the various Schools and Departments at Lindenwood University alongside the current philosophical theories of truth and bullshit.  Special emphasis will be placed on how to evaluate these goals and theories within the context of every-day life.

Dr. Joseph Steineger has been an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lindenwood University since January 2014.  He received his degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Chicago, and works in the fields of Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, and Philosophy of Religion within the context of Medieval Philosophy.  A first generation college graduate, Dr. Steineger is an enthusiastic teacher of college undergraduates with a deep commitment to the view that the examined way of life is the best way of life in any walk of life.

Time Offered: Tuesday 2:30pm

Unleashing Your Hidden Desires, Passions, and Treasures: Writing in Style for Any Market! – Section 07

Do you worry about what employers are looking for when they ask you to submit a paragraph "describing yourself"?  Or, do you know what goes into the marketing of you?  How about what instructors want in writing?  If so, you have come to the right class!  This course will focus on developing your writing skills for success in the classroom and in the boardroom in a fun and fantastic environment.  Come along for the ride!

Paula Nunning is an adjunct instructor of English who teaches at Lindenwood University.  She has spent her career teaching composition, business writing, and journalism in the university arena and training, developing, interviewing, hiring, supervising, and writing in the corporate arena.  She is passionate about developing people and helping them realize their potential.

Time Offered: Monday 11:00am

What the Health! – Section 04

This is an exciting course because all the material is related to you! We will build an awareness of health- related issues in America and how it impacts your personal health. Topics include food advertising, “fad” diets, mental health and social support.  This course is designed to be very interactive and hands-on. The information learned in this course will be directly applicable to your life both now and for decades to come. Students bring a variety of learning styles to class, so we will use various methods, such as podcasts, articles and videos to explore the culture of health and illness in America!

Dr. Catherine Shoff received her doctorate in Public Health and Master of Public Health from Saint Louis University. Her research explores the relationships between food insecurity and obesity among youth in America. Dr. Shoff’s perspective on health is impacted by her upbringing in a small, coastal town where people value an active lifestyle. She believes in the importance of exercise, healthy eating and building a strong community. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, gardening and hiking with her family.

Time Offered: Monday 9:00am

Wheels and Prosthetic Legs, in Sports and Recreation, ALL ARE ABLE - Section 25

Have you ever heard of goalball or sit volleyball or played wheelchair basketball? What are those sports? Who plays them? This is a course open to all students who want to embrace the "can" in people, not the "can't." This class will challenge you to think differently and expect more out of people that might have a different ability (disability). We will engage in all kinds of activities and sports that you may have never tried before! This class is exposure to diversity in our culture. This course will also introduce you to exciting and fulfilling career paths and hopefully encourage new thought about people with disabilities. We will look at what they CAN accomplish! We will challenge the stigma that society tends to put on people with disabilities as we learn about the Paralympics, adapted sport, and therapeutic recreation.  Students will gain experience in a major course of study (therapeutic recreation) as well as a minor in adapted sports and recreation that is appropriate for many different majors across campus. Students will learn about careers in the School of Health Services as well as other majors who are involved in human service. We are going to play and experience sports such as wheelchair basketball and sit volleyball, as well as many more! More than anything, the hope is that upon leaving this class, students will think about people with different abilities and believe in the "I CAN."

Heather Pennington has worked for 18 years in the field of adapted sports and recreation. She worked at an Olympic and Paralympic training site, where she wore many hats and loved it! Hats included fitness coordinator, strength conditioning coach, wheelchair basketball coach, adapted ski instructor, and more. She was blessed to serve with the U.S. Paralympic Military program and help wounded warriors find their strength! Pennington is also passionate about serving families that live with disability everyday through Lift Disability Network, a nonprofit she and her husband run in the area. Lift provides monthly programming and an AWESOME summer camp! She has a master's degree in exercise physiology and certifications related to the field. She loves teaching and showing students their career potential!

Time Offered: Wednesday 10:00am

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301