Fall 2022 First Year Seminar Topics

Below is the list of First Year Seminar topics that will be offered in Fall 2022. Students can still search for the times for the topics on the MyKU course search system.  

Course # Instructor Title Description Categories
3055 Muzeta Bueller? Teachers in the movies This course taps into the power of movies to explore the portrayal of teachers to better understand their place in the American society.  By examining teachers in pop culture films ranging from classics like To Sir with Love to School of Rock, students will discuss the messages in the films covered; assess the strengths and weaknesses of each film's message; and apply the lessons from these films to controversial questions that surround American education.




Hayduk ME! ME! It’s all about me The course will present manageable first steps for the student who is commencing their own personal health journey. This journey encompasses the holistic dimensions of health including the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual Students will be provided with the skills to weigh health information, evaluate claims, and make solid health related choices in a world full of misinformation and gimmicks. This will include guidelines and skills for making a healthy behavior change. Experiential stress management coping techniques will be embedded into the weekly curriculum.

Academic Enhancement

Personal Growth and Development





TBA Career Habits of Highly Effective Managers The Career Habits of Highly Effective Managers is a student success course designed with the end in mind: Succeeding in College, Career, and Life. Themes include securing, maintaining and enjoying your future management careers and becoming your best future self. Students will participate in career assessments, practice networking and ultimately develop a personal brand.
3011 Perkins Research is my Superpower. What's Yours? "With great power comes great responsibility." What can the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and other popular culture phenomenon teach us about what we value as a society? Through readings, discussion, collaborative activities, research and, of course, watching movies, students will explore the historical origins of some of today's most popular intellectual properties (IP) and examine why these stories continue to resonate through multiple generations. Students will use what they discover to contribute to current conversations around representation in media, the impact of large media corporations on copyright and intellectual property laws, and how the themes we find in popular culture might reflect current events.

Cultural Studies

Pop Culture



Rogers Exploring Differently Abled in Pop Culture This is not a course about exploring how individuals with disabilities are portrayed in mass media. It is a course about how those depictions shape our thinking about these individuals. Often, we may not personally know someone with a disability, so our perception s is shaped by encounters through mass media. Students will explore film, television, news media, modern an d graphic novels, art, and other forms of mass media to identify how these images influence societal and personal views of disability/ differently-abled .... good and bad. We consistently encounter differently-abled individuals in our daily lives and self-awareness is the first step to acceptance and inclusion in society.


Newlander College Culture, College Life: A Beginner’s Guide  Anthropologists study another culture by immersing themselves in that culture and then trying to understand that culture from the inside out, as the people in that culture do. This seminar will introduce freshman students to how anthropologists learn about another culture by using the students’ own experiences as freshmen who are learning about college culture, both in and outside of the classroom.



Bleach Horror in Contemporary American Culture Horror, full of blood and fright, has long been a popular genre in visual arts, fiction, and other media. Over the last 30 years, horror's popularity has intensified, especially in film, comics, and shows produced for TV and the Internet. The course examines the tropes and techniques of contemporary horror, in American film, comics, and novels. The course asks why we are compelled by and attracted to images and texts designed to scare and repel us.

Cultural Studies

Liberal Studies

Gender Studies


Visual and Performing Arts



Schnell The Power of Place Places are more than geographic coordinates; they are centers of meaning and experience that powerfully influence us.  How does place shape us, and how do we shape the places around us?  We will explore the ways that people interact with places and give them meaning, and the ways that places teach us about our cultures and ourselves, through various media including film, graphic novels, readings, fieldwork, art, interviews, and personal reflections.

Cultural Studies

Liberal Arts




Saidi African History Through Film This class will present the history of Africa through film. Students will watch and learn from three types of films: documentaries about Africa; western images of Africa in films like "Tarzan" to the "Gods Must Be Crazy" to the latest Disney cartoon that shows animals speaking African languages, but no Africans; and films that Africans watch from South African TV to Nollywood (Nigerian film industry). Cultural Studies
3044 Wong Mathematical Puzzles and Infinity When we think about infinity, we imagine a limitless, never-ending state. Nevertheless, this fascinating idea also brings many self-contradictions and counter-intuitive consequences. Investigating these strange phenomena help us acquire skills and concepts that expand our thinking. Using a variety of mathematical concepts in discovering the wonder of infinity, students will develop better problem-solving skills and an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics. STEM
2740 Moctezuma Shared Borders: US & Latin Pop Culture In this topic students will develop these skills by studying the interplay between Latin and U.S. pop cultures. The influence of each pop culture on the other will be embedded in a social, political, and historical context. Studying these cultures and their effect on each other will help students develop the various skills and meet the learning objectives for this course as they learn to cope successfully with the demands of the first year of college. 

Pop Culture

Cultural Studies



Tindall Doomsday: Would you Survive? Catastrophic events like meteorites, volcanic eruptions, and ice ages have repeatedly decimated life on Earth, causing mass extinctions. Scientific evidence implicates different culprits acting at different times throughout Earth's history.  We will explore the scientific techniques used to study the causes and results of mass extinctions. Students will incorporate scientific principles and creative thinking to project whether humans, as individuals and as a species, could survive these life-altering events if - and when - they occur. STEM



Portada Dictators and Despots Caesar. Napoleon. Stalin. Putin? Authoritarianism is on the rise. Many societies around the world face crumbling democratic institutions and emerging strong-arm leaders. What does a rise of 21st century despots portend for international relations? What lessons can be learned by examining the notorious dictators of the past? This course provides students with an introduction to central themes in political science through an exploration of the many patterns, consequences, and personalities associated with authoritarian rule.

Liberal Arts


2723 Richardson Envisioning the Future This course explores what future may look like, and what it will mean for our lives and values. It will address issues such as when it becomes possible for some humans (but not others) to possess enhancements to their mental and physical capabilities, what will the words "all men are created equal" mean? When government and corporations have the power to monitor our thoughts, movements, and emotions, what will the right to privacy mean?



LaBarre New Adulting New Adulting infuses themes in pop culture and social awareness to develop essential skills for enhancing the academic experience. Exploration of trends in social media, television, and literature are used as a platform for self-reflection, critical thinking, and problem solving. Social, political, economic, and technological trends will be explored and discussed. Participants will develop personal understanding of the tools and strategies necessary for successful academic planning in addition to personal and professional growth.
3031 Stoeffler F*** NEWS!: Fact, Opinion, or Fabrication? Trust worthy information is necessary to fuel positive change with and on behalf of those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. The "fake news" trend in our public discourse provides an opportunity to learn how to retrieve, interpret, and evaluate in formation. This course challenges students to be critical consumers of in format ion in pursuit of a more equitable society and to better engage in the life of the University as well as in their professional and civic communities.
3032 Svistova Global Social Problems and Social Change The world today is experiencing the most pressing social problems.  During this course, students will learn about different global social issues, human rights framework, and promising approaches and solutions. Through problem-solving activities and team work, participants will have opportunities to deepen their self-awareness and cultural competence, and explore their potential for becoming leaders and social change agents to serve on the frontline of the global social change. This course features international guest speakers. Cultural Studies



Speirs Body Adornment, Tatoo and other Modifications This course introduces the global significance of body adornment and modification, specifically how the body has been used as a means of expression over time and across cultures. Skin art and other forms of body modification including tattoo, piercing, and plastic surgery will be studied along with hairstyles, clothing and jewelry as examples of adornment. These forms and others will be explored through the lenses of history, health, gender, class, race, culture, identity, and art.


Pfeiler-Wunder Making and Creating Artist Books This course provides an overview of the artist book's role throughout time, place, and cultures. Students will learn the basic skills for making books as works of art using a range of materials. Through a workshop format, students will practice book art techniques, such as making decorative papers, sewing book structures, and creating personally meaningful books using found objects. Students will also discover and discuss the range of interdisciplinary connections formed through the creation of book arts.
2956 Massie Truth or Consequences: White Lies and Manipulation "Do I look fat in these pants?"; "I'd really like to just be friends."; "Tell me the truth. I can handle it!" We all engage in white lies and manipulations to make people feel better, make ourselves look good, or to conceal the truth from others. Telling the truth all the time is hard. This course will explore truthfulness, deceit, trust, justification, and excuses and their effects on relationships and the moral choices we make.



Alvani Finding Your Voice Our voice is the instrument that allows us to speak and sing, cheer and whisper, but how does our voice work? Just like other instruments, if we fine tune our vocal qualities, we improve the impact of our expression no matter how we use or voice. Additionally, understanding vocal mechanics helps prevent vocal problems. This seminar will explore the beauty and power of the natural voice for singing and speaking. No previous singing experience required. Personal Growth and Development



Irving What's Your Style? Want to maximize your success in college? Find out how learning comes easily and maximize your academic potential through self-discovery in this course. Explore the different learning styles through various self-assessments and activities and determine those that will most enhance your college experience. Content includes a thorough analysis of the visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic/tactile (VARK) learning styles. Academic Enhancement



Davis Exploring Your World and Others  Students are familiar with the "real world" that surrounds them. However, a multitude of different ways exist in how we can view this world. Some involve in-situ (in person) observations and some can involve remote sensed (distance) observations. More recently, technological advances have generated augmented reality games to learn more about an area, location, or place. This built upon more earlier investigation activities such as orienteering and geocaching. In this course, we will explore the world around us through maps, gaming, and other methods of discovery.
31393140 Khondaker The Prison Industrial Complex This class will take an in-depth and critical look into the corporate, financial, and political interests behind the US prison expansion while helping students to successfully transition to Kutztown University and adapt to the college environment. We will explore many resources that KU offers for students to be successful in their academic endeavor as well as to be responsible member of the society. Humanities Liberal Arts





Globalization and Challenges to Identity  Over the past decade, world leaders have consistently identified globalization as a common challenge and opportunity. Students in all fields of study need to learn how to think and engage globally. This FYS considers theoretical and practical ways that disparate cultural perspectives influence personal identity and understanding of world and local issues. Through inquiry-based learning, students will investigate what has contributed to their cultural perspective, and apply this knowledge by analyzing connections between local and global perspectives.

Cultural Studies

Pop Culture

3095 Chernekoff  Tell Me a Story What did you imagine your first day and first year in college would be like? What dreams, goals, issues do you bring with you to college? The answers to these questions have no doubt been influenced by the stories you tell about yourself and those that your family and friends tell about you and you all. Stories empower us and define us ... sometimes a bit narrowly. Understanding how personal, cultural and academic stories operate is useful for school, work and life. 

Academic Enhancement

Personal Growth and Development

3145 Fares No Major, No Problem This course is designed to support student learning and academic success with a focus on major and career exploration. The course will address academic skills, career, and academic planning as well as financial literacy. By engaging in these topics, students will learn specific strategies that contribute to their overall academic success. Emphasis is placed on the student's academic and personal development in the college environment. We will explore majors and minors offered at Kutztown University and students will have a better understanding when planning and making a decision for their academic future.