Month-Long Summer Immersion

Experience the college classroom and campus life, and earn college credit while you're at it. You'll spend a month on campus, living in residence halls where you'll get a taste of college life.

Applications Are Being Accepted Now

2019 Summer Academy Course Descriptions

Statistics and Food – 10:50AM-1:00PM

Do you like food? Are you interested in issues concerning topics such as food industry, personal dietary choices, food marketing, and food shortages? In this course, you will learn how statistical methods are used to provide arguments for such issues and explanations for patterns that arise in the US today. And of course, food will be involved. You will read and reflect on articles involving food, use and create data sets concerning food, and even do a little bit of cooking!

An Edge to Science – 8:30-10:40AM

The age of information has left us with few tools, and even less time, to follow-up, gather, and learn. In fact, much of this information is incomplete, primarily because the people who produce information are under the same tool and time problem as ourselves. This is particularly true in the astronomical sciences, where wonder, imagination, and awe are already easily fueled. In this age of hyper-information, how do we determine what is scientific truth and what is falsehood? Does science have an edge, and is an edge easily defined? What is meant by the concepts of evidence, law, and proof within the realm of science? At what point does science become pseudoscience, or even science fiction? We will examine a few concepts in astronomy (exoplanets, cosmology, and black holes), first introducing the established observations and science, while also inquiring about an edge to our current understanding. We will analyze data and observations in light of the concepts of extrapolation and interpolation, and we will recognize the influence of society on the process and presentation of science.

Chaos & Kingship – 8:30-10:40AM

An investigation into the evolution of thought and culture of the high Medieval form of kingship exemplified by the Capetian Dynasty (the kings initially of Ile de France, and later of France writ large) as seen through its major artifacts and historical strategies, including literary works, technologies, philosophies and sacred edifices.  We will examine how the Capetian kings (c. 987—the end of the Hundred-Years War) developed authority and confidence in a time of chaos. We will use lectures, readings, scriptorium experiences, a field trip and simulation games as ways of visualizing many of these strategies. We will attempt to articulate and reconstruct a Capetian worldview, evaluate that worldview and contrast it against the context of (earlier) Merovingian/Carolingian worldviews and (contemporary/competing) Plantagenet dynasties. Finally, we will ask ourselves, What is unique about the Capetian dynasty’s world(view)? How is this worldview similar or dissimilar from a 21st century democratic worldview?

Nonviolence & Social Justice – 1:30-3:40PM

This course asks the question “How can nonviolence promote social justice?” We will study important people in the history of nonviolent social activism, from the 19th century to the present, to see how they addressed injustice, how their ideas about nonviolence evolved, and how different cultural contexts have influenced nonviolent activism. We will examine the work of individuals, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King Jr., to discover not only that which is positive about their accomplishments, but also to consider how they were and have been criticized. We’ll ask our own questions about applying such methods today in the U.S. and globally. Our class will be a kind of microcosm of community, drawing upon your experiences and depending upon each other for the quality of our class discussion.

American Horror Films – 1:30-3:40PM

Why is horror such a durable genre at the box office? What is it that makes it so appealing? Critics have long recognized that there is a great deal hiding beneath the surface in horror, as it speaks to our anxieties, societal conventions, and much more. In this explication of genre, students will be introduced to the major films that have shaped the history of American horror cinema—from the silent era to today—and see how the genre has evolved and now consists of numerous subgenres. The work of horror film auteurs (e.g., George Romero, Wes Craven, and John Carpenter) and how they shaped the genre in the popular imagination today will also be discussed. In this course, special attention will be devoted to the role of gender in many horror films.

Modern Russia – 10:50AM-1:00PM

Nearly every day, stories about Russia appear on newsfeeds throughout the U.S.  Since it is such an important topic, how would you like to learn more about that nation and its history?  For example, what happened during the Russian Revolution?  What is the difference between Russia and the Soviet Union?  Who is Lenin, and what role did he play in the rise of the Soviet Union?  How did Stalin come to power?  How did the relationship between Reagan and Gorbachev change Europe and the world?  What is life in Russia like under Putin?  This course is a survey of the cultural, social, political, and economic influences that have shaped modern Russia. Emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, the Soviet period, and post-Soviet developments.

Elementary Spanish II – 8:30-10:40AM
Would you like to strengthen your conversational Spanish skills?  Are you interested in learning more about how to write effectively in Spanish?  Would you like to build a greater cultural awareness so that you can discuss and understand everyday life in Spanish?  Here is a way to build those skills.  This course is a study of the essentials of Spanish grammar and basic vocabulary to promote speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Emphasis on developing the conversational skills and cultural awareness to handle topics of everyday life in Spanish.  Enrollment requires passing an introductory Spanish placement test.