UNIV 103: Seminar Descriptions

UNIV 103: Seminars

UNIV 103 students may select their top three choices of the various seminars offered (some are listed below) as part of their learning experience.  The seminars cover a variety of topics that are of interest to students and faculty alike.  Seminars are coupled with a prerequisite course of either Communications 100 or English 110.    In this way, students get to know one another and build a community.

Seminar Title

Description of Seminar


A Different View: How Can We Change the World?


Students will participate in a United Nations Simulation with teams from other universities throughout the world, each representing a different country.  Students, working in teams, will investigate some of the major problems facing the United Nations, such as world health, the global environment, terrorism, conflict resolution, refugee problems, and world trade. Students will then enter the negotiation and decision-making phase through interactions with teams from other universities via messaging, conferences, writing, and considering proposals.


Culture, Science and Mathematics in the Pre-Columbian Americas


An introduction to the study of the Pre-Columbian Americas, part of the broad interdisciplinary field of Native American Studies. The emphasis will be on the role that science and mathematics played in the culture of these indigenous groups (including the Aztec, Incan, Mayan, and other Native American groups). The course will explore the Pre-Columbian world through the eyes of our ancestors, as well as through our classmates. Special attention is given to the science of archaeo-astronomy and mathematics and the ways in which all of the great cultures of antiquity have left a mark.


Force for Social Change

What is the role of service in American society?  Explore how to make profound social changes as demonstrated by the disability rights and emerging civil rights movements. The activities of this course develop skills for teachers, social workers, business people, engineers, and others that see their vocation as vehicles for change. The reflections of this course develop personal power conducive to being a member of a democratic society.


Homes and Homelessness


What is a “home?”  What elements—both physical and psychological – make up the experience of home?  How does one come to feel “at home” in a new place?  In contrast…what are the social/emotional, economic, and psychological consequences of being without a home?  Who are the homeless?  Why are people homeless?  We will attempt to answer these and other questions by studying the concepts and realities of “home” and “homelessness.”  The course also will offer a service-learning opportunity as students investigate the problem of homelessness in Lancaster County.


Inside Out:  Detective Fiction, Jazz, and Philosophy


Philosophers, jazz, and detectives?  How could these things have anything in common?  This class will use all three to investigate the relationship between the "insiders" and "outsiders" of contemporary culture.  There is nothing simple about this relationship.  So you can expect as many twists and turns in this class as you might find in a detective story.

Intro to Human Rights

This interdisciplinary course explores the history, meaning, and foundation of human rights debates as a standard for governance.  It examines the universality of human rights within the contexts of religious and political pluralism, social, and economic realities of our contemporary era.  Students will engage with basic human rights documents that govern the practice of human rights beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHRs), International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and Convention Related to the Status of Refugees.

Learning by Doing

We are all familiar with this well-known Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”  This course engages students in exploring the value of learning by doing.  Learners will investigate ways that experiential learning is applied at all levels (Pre-K through adult), with particular emphasis on design, technology, and engineering experiences that make connections across content areas (e.g., math, science, literacy, art, social studies) at the elementary level. Students are challenged to evaluate how children learn through active engagement and to reflect on how personal and authentic experiences play a role in their own learning as college students.

Leadership Through Sports

Leadership through sports will discuss aspects of leadership through the eyes of famous sports coaches and players, such as Pat Summit, John Wooden, Tony Dungy, and Cal Ripken.  Through reading books by these and other authors participants in this class will learn more about their leadership potential and how they can be students of  influence at Millersville University.   Each student will complete the class with a leadership plan that maps out how they will use the leadership skills to make Millersville University a better community.  Current or previous sports team membership is not required to participate in this class.

The Search for an Identity: The Puerto Rican Experience

What major should I select?  What person do I want to be?  Latinos not only ask themselves these questions but they also ask: Who am I? What's my identity?  Some people are continually searching their identities because society in general places them in this position.  This course will not only enable you to answer, or to begin to answer, these questions about yourself and about Latinos, but also will help you make comparisons between the Latino-Puerto Rican identity and your own identity.   By learning about the identity of others, you may learn about your own identity. 


Convergence Culture


The Convergence Culture looks at today’s media environment from a variety of perspectives that cut across and compare media for it’s social, cultural, and technological impact.  The course provides a bridge between the technological and humanistic sides of communication by examining the social and cultural impact of the changing media landscape. 


Who Am I? Identity in Literary and Cultural Studies

Do you ever ask yourself what defines “the real you?”  Do you ever wonder how much your identity has been influenced by your environment: your family, your school, your culture, your religion?  This course will help students answer these questions through an in-depth study of works in literature and film that focus on the theme of identity. The readings for the course will encompass modern and contemporary fiction from the U.S. and abroad, as well as theoretical articles in literary and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy.  Students will investigate the relationships between identity and ethnicity, nationality, history, religion, social class, sexuality, and gender.  Throughout the semester students will have opportunities to apply these concepts to their own experience in order to better understand themselves.