PACS 2 Courses Spring 2014
If you are interested in volunteering in one or more of the courses listed below and/or have any questions, please contact Marshea Pratt, Assistant Director, Pacific Alumni Association, at (209) 946-2899.
If selected to participate in a course(s), the professor(s) will contact alumni directly to discuss speaking schedules and expectations.
JUSTICE, EQUALITY & DIFFERENCE
PROFESSOR: DORCAS CHUNG
Description: This class will examine the concepts of justice, equality, and difference, uncover assumptions in our understanding of these concepts, and explore various social issues where real differences between people raise questions about what justice requires. We will primarily focus on race relations and class status; but will also explore tensions related to sexual orientation, religious differences, gender roles and obligations, and sensitivities to those with disabilities. This course also includes a community-service element.
Request: Alumni interested in this topic and are available to do a presentation to the class.
CRIME, PUNISHMENT & JUSTICE
PROFESSOR: SCOTT EVANS
Description: This course examines the ideal society in terms of several questions related to the causes of criminal activities and behaviors, the most effective ways to reduce the threat of crime in American society, and the philosophical underpinnings of Western notions of justice. These questions will be examined from the literary, the philosophical and the sociological perspectives. Using the ideas from Plato and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the class will define criminal behavior as it contrasts the "good" society.
Request: Anyone with experience in the criminal justice system or anyone knowledgeable about criminal psychology.
THE AMERICAN DREAM
PROFESSOR: PATTI MCCARTHY
Description: What is the American Dream? In this course, we will discuss this question and other questions as we also examine the many forms the American Dream has taken within our society: freedom and liberty, equality, wealth, power, love, family, community, education, justice, a meaningful life, and the pursuit of happiness. We will see how it informs our notion of what is a "good" and "bad" society and explore how this dream can turn into a nightmare.
Request: Alumni who can do any of the following: a presentation in class; serve as consultants for students as they write their research papers; or consultants or liaisons for the professor (i.e. to line up trips, locate course materials, etc.). The professor is also open to other suggestions.
CHOCOLATE, COFFEE, AND CORN
PROFESSOR: MARISELA RAMOS
Description: This course provides a unique way of exploring the history of U.S.-Mexico relations, beginning with a historical study of the production, uses and cultural meanings of chocolate, coffee, and corn in Mexico and ending with bi-national effects of NAFTA and fair trade organizations. We will engage in historical analysis as well as discuss the social, political, and economic impact of chocolate, coffee and corn on the U.S. and Mexico. Moreover, through a focus on these three food products we will delve into topics such as human rights, labor, immigration, and environmentalism.
Request: Alumni who are available to do a presentation in class. A great candidate would be someone who deals directly with any of these commodities (chocolate, coffee or corn), farmers or those involved with farming and agriculture, free and fair trade, or anyone who can talk about Mexican cuisine since that is the last topic covered in the class.
ANIMAL RIGHTS AND WRONGS
PROFESSOR: TY RATERMAN
Description: Drawing from academic disciplines ranging from evolutionary biology to philosophy and media types. Through short stories, videos, magazines, journal articles, religious texts, documentaries, and even in-person interaction with animals, this course aims to help us understand what animals are like - intellectually, emotionally, and socially - and develop insight into how best to treat and relate to them.
Request: I am open to a variety of forms of participation. Alumni who have meaningful knowledge about or experience with animals (beyond simply owning a pet). This might include: a veterinarian, farmer, rancher, fisher; a scientist who uses animals in lab experiments or studies them in the wild; a trainer; an experienced hunter; someone who leads or has received animal-assisted therapy; someone with a Seeing Eye dog; someone who fosters companion animals for a rescue organization; people who work for an animal-related non-profit or governmental agency, etc. Alumni who keep a vegan diet are also requested.
ARTS AND COMMUNITY
PROFESSOR: AMY SMITH
Description: The course will give students the opportunity to consider the role of different types of arts in education and in the community at large. They will examine whether arts matter, discuss how resources are allocated for arts education in school districts and whether the arts can be used for social good by non-profit organizations. Students will choose a local non-profit organization whose mission interests them and, as a member of a group, they will work on a service project that in some way involves drama, dance, visual arts, literature, or music.
Request: Alumni who can do a presentation in class or be on a panel (professor is open to other suggestions from alumni as well). Alumni who have experience working in community related work (i.e. local orchestra, fundraising for school arts programs, etc.) and/or poets, actors, musicians, painters, dancers, etc. The professor is open to other suggestions.
MEETING IN THE MELTING POT
PROFESSOR: ELKE SCHMELING
Students will be looking at the "hard facts" and examine relevant cross-cultural research. The focus will be on the concepts of Individualism and Collectivism. Those hard facts will be combined with contributions from fiction, autobiographical narratives, film and radio that shed further light on the questions of our cross-cultural differences or similarities. Students will also draw on their personal experiences as they develop their research projects individually and in groups. Required readings for this class will come from an immigrant anthology with fictional and autobiographical contributions, as well as scholarly articles.
Request: Alumni who are willing to share their stories of immigration to the states, with an emphasis on the process of adjusting to the new culture, and how being from somewhere else may shape their self-identity. It is important to hear from alumni that students can relate to in terms of their personal narratives.
DO WE HAVE A FUTURE?
PROFESSOR: GENE PEARSON
Using readings, guest presentations, and class discussions we will explore how issues relating to sustainability [climate change, food production, water, energy and mineral resource use] are currently being addressed by individuals, corporations, universities, and governmental agencies. This class will also explore alternative approaches that might address some of these challenges humans face and how governments might encourage their implementation. The course further develops environmental and citizenship themes introduced in Pacific Seminar 1.
Based on individual interests, students will research and write papers and make class presentations focused on some aspect of sustainability and also on the sustainability practices of a corporation, university or government entity and the types of government policy or policies that would more effectively encourage sustainable decision-making.
Request: Alumni speakers who can present in class: consultants for students as they write their research papers; or consultants or liaisons for the professor (to line up trips, locate course materials, etc.). The professor is open to other suggestions.
Description: This course aims at making students aware of how local processes and identities are shaped by processes of global diffusion ("globalization") and how these global processes are modified by local conditions (often referred to as "glocalization"). Students will read and discuss some recent and classical approaches to globalization, touching on issues such as global economic processes, immigration, technology, cultural diffusion, and environmental problems. For their research projects, students will focus on and investigate one of these issues as it plays out in the Stockton region.
PROFESSOR: ANDREAS AGOCS
Request: Alumni who can come to do a presentation in class; consultants for students as they write their research papers; or consultants or liaisons for the professor (to line up trips, locate course materials, etc.). The professor is open to other suggestions.
DIVIDED BY FAITH
PROFESSOR: LARRY THIEL
Description: This course connects most closely to the chapters in PACS 1 on the family and interpersonal relationships, civil society and the proper role of the state, as we will discuss the hotly contested role of religion in these three aspects of American life. This course will examine contributions from Native American traditions, religious thinkers and activists, constitutional framers and theorists, and the implications of significant court decisions. Historical and contemporary church/state dilemmas will be examined and critiqued as we seek to form a more civil society.
Request: Alumni to present in class; consultants for students as they write their research papers; or consultants or liaisons for the professor (to line up trips, locate course materials, etc.). The professor is open to other suggestions.
RAISING GOOD CITIZENS
PROFESSOR: JENNIFER HELGREN
Description: This course extends PACS 1's study of family, interpersonal relationships, and civil society by exploring various past and present forms of childhood and family. Discussion will focus on a rnage of topics such as education, work, play, violence, sexuality, parents and experts, and media and popular culture. Students will also examine diversity of child and family experiences based on such factors as gender, race, religion, class, and sexuality.
Request: Alumni who have worked with children as part of their commitment to a "good society." For example, alumni who have worked for children's and youth organizations, children's charities, in adoption services, for children's health, education and welfare are all welcome. In addition, alumni who are interested in law and policy and individuals who have worked in these areas are welcome. Alumni who are willing to be interviewed by students are welcome to collaborate with students and the professor as well.
HOW NOT TO BE STUPID, GLOBALLY
PROFESSOR: LEISA FAULKNER
Description: This course will engulf students in the political economy of "Development Sociology" by engaging in a critical analysis of world systems and global inequalities. Students will be exposed to the realities of living conditions within our current world system. Using a combination of course videos, readings, lectures and class discussions, students will examine in depth the three major systems of global stratification which operate in modern society: class, race and gender stratification. Students will explore these topics in both historical and contemporary contexts.
Request: Alumni who are interested in being writing mentors, especially those who are knowledgeable about issues around World Systems theory and misguided humanitarian work.