Below are a list of all the XIDS courses offered in the Fall 2024 semester. Click on the course title to find out more information!

As UWG students transition into the world of adulthood, they must learn the most basic “need-to-knows” of being an adult. With present-day technologies, students can easily navigate the world and learn how to do almost anything. Yet, are they receiving the correct information? Are they distracted? Do they know what questions to ask?  #adulting will help students navigate the world by practicing and mastering life skills essential to everyone. Some of the hashtag topics of the course include #techguru, #socialresponsibility, #beprofessional, #realjob, #budgetingbasics, #ineedcredit, and #lifehacks. This course will teach these skills while integrating the most current technologies, apps, and other digital tools designed for each specific purpose. As a cumulative project, students will reflect upon their areas of #adulting expertise and will digitally create a blog, website, or videos to be published online to the public.
This class gives students a creative voice and asks them to take their inner thoughts, emotions and creativity to the page. They'll read and engage with Stephen King's craft book ON WRITING (a student favorite), and across the semester students will write in response to creative prompts in several genres (such as poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, music lyrics, even screenwriting). Students will read their efforts to the group. Towards the end of the semester, students will workshop short creative pieces. We’ll begin connecting how editing, and even publishing intersect with the art of writing, and in what ways and at what stages they influence, transform and even determine (and whether or not they should) literature and the artist.
To focus on integrating and exploring self care and positivity throughout different parts of the college experience and academics. Students would learn about researching methods, methods across different countries, and how self-care and positivity can be integrated into every aspect of college and more importantly, life.
This course introduces you to the concept of leadership. We will study leadership from the ways in which you, as a leader, can develop a team from the group assigned to you. There will be an experiential component in this course. Each XIDS student is required to practice and observe leadership. Each student will maintain a journal devoted to thoughts and experiences of the semester as they relate to leadership and has the option of writing a final paper tying together these experiences and the theories presented in class and the text. The other option is a project.
This course supports students throughout the first semester as they transition into college and academic mindset. Utilizing a variety of learning experiences and methods, students will learn about Growth Mindset and Career Readiness while also connecting to their peers and community.
The pursuit of happiness is what ultimately drives us all, yet there is no single answer as to how we can both achieve and sustain it. Over the course of this semester, we will explore texts associated with our collective pursuit of happiness, exploring issues such as how we define happiness (and why) to whether we can, in fact, create our own happiness.
Have you ever watched a film and found that it speaks to you? Filmmakers often create movies that allow viewers to learn more about who they are through the experiences of others. In this seminar, we will examine what it means to construct identity & how we craft our identities—initially through readings that incorporate different disciplines & approaches. Then, through a broad range of films (such as The Godfather, Boyz n the Hood, and Lady Bird), we’ll consider how who we are can be found in American cinema and why that matters.
The course will provide with hands on experiential learning opportunity in the world of digital media production. Students will work in positions of producer, director, camera, replay, and audio operation. 
In any profession or life venture, the attitude and overall culture of a team is a direct reflection of its leadership. In the environment of sport there are many different approaches that have been proven effective. The primary goal of this course is to help current and aspiring leaders gain a better understanding of effective leadership, to provide tools in developing effective leaders, and to provide networking opportunities with individuals across various disciplines. The course is designed to provide the student an opportunity to learn and to apply leadership principles in a variety of settings.
This course guides first-year UWG students through a transformative journey, akin to leveling up in a video game, as they navigate the complexities of college life. Through interactive discussions and activities, students explore various pathways including academics, career choices, financial management, and personal development. They acquire essential skills such as effective communication and time management, progressing through levels of self-discovery and growth. Through interactive activities and assignments, students foster meaningful dialogue, empowering them to emerge with newfound clarity and strategies for "leveling up" in the game of life.
From the advent of iron, glass, and cement to the development of polymers and semiconductors, the introduction of new materials has repeatedly altered human civilization. These technologies have brought great benefits to humanity while also carrying many associated ills—conflicts to secure rare resources, pollution of the environment, and exploitation of workers to name a few. Using current articles, videos, and in-class discussions, students will explore the historical impact of materials on human technology and how materials shape the modern world. The lifecycle of modern materials from acquisition through production to waste management will be analyzed. Current challenges related to the politics, ethics, sustainability, and environmental impacts of modern materials will be discussed. Students will apply this knowledge to develop an original project (video, poster, podcast, etc.) analyzing the materials in a consumer product of their choosing.
This course introduces students to living primates such as lemurs, macaques, gorillas and chimpanzees and their biology and behavior. This will include aspects of anatomy, social organization, feeding and ranging, communication, community ecology, taxonomy, cognition, and conservation in captivity and in the wild. The course will be taught at the BAFAL (Biological and Forensic Anthropology Lab) and will follow a hands-on experiential learning approach using available lab collections and lab activities. Throughout the course, students will also learn to develop topic presentations and keep proper lab protocols.
Music as a liberatory practice refers to music associated with emotional, social, economic, political, racial, cultural, and environmental movements. Throughout history, musical traditions have been firmly embedded in societies in ways that carried cultural practices for generations. Music is integral to how people communicate and can often replace written communication, particularly those used to discuss life, death, spiritual philosophies, and emotions. This course examines the global phenomenon of music. It explores how different genres of music, including Hip-Hop, Rap, Jazz, Country, Gospel, Reggae, and Calypso, are used as a liberatory tool and accompaniment to addressing socio-political movements for emancipation, civil rights, and self-determination. Students in this course will examine, explore, and critique how different genres of music are used as an activist medium to promote emotional, social, economic, political, racial, cultural, and environmental changes during past and current events.
Think you have out grown Dr. Seuss? Think again!  In this course, we revisit many of these childhood favorites by conducting literary analyses of several books by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss).  In our analyses, we identify themes relevant to the life of a developing adult.  Books are read during class (also accessible in CourseDen) since they are all relatively short and they will provide the prompt for analysis to determine the focus for each week’s lesson. Topics for study include mental health, advocacy, risk-taking, decision-making, responsibility, sustainability, and more. Assignments used include class discussion, reflective journaling, literary analysis paper, favorite book presentation, and writing, illustrating, and presenting their own children’s book.  Additionally, the topics that are covered provide opportunities to highlight several campus resources such as the library, Counseling Center, Heath Services, and Center for Academic Success.
How life originated on earth has long intrigued people.  The first scholarly attempt at answering this question was published in a monograph by the Russian biochemist, A. I. Oparin, during the 1930s.  In 1952, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago simulated conditions on the early Earth and tested the hypothesis of a chemical origin of life.  Within a vessel containing water, ammonia, methane and hydrogen, applying heat and continuous electrical discharges they produced over 20 different amino acids.  During the 1960s, meteorites were found containing a vast array of amino acids and nucleotides.  Until his death in 1996, the astronomer Carl Sagan was a leading proponent for searching out life in the universe.  This course taught by a professor of chemistry (with background in biochemistry and astronomy) will examine planetary conditions, chemistry, and biology thought necessary to foster the abiotic origin of life in the universe.  
This course is rooted in the concept that the very food we eat to survive connects us to our region, culture, and identity. Through focused, inquiry-driven activities and materials, students will learn to examine cultural artifacts to reveal historical and personal connections and identify ways in which representations of Southern cuisine may shape the ethos of the region for better or worse. Course materials will include passages from Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding, Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, and Marcie Cohn Ferris’s The Edible South. We will also examine films such as Fried Green Tomatoes, photography from the Southbound gallery catalog, print and video advertisements, and poetry from the Southern Foodways Alliance collection, Vinegar and Char. Students will engage in the high impact practices of intensive writing, undergraduate research, and cultural perspectives in several planned activities such as personal reflection journals, response papers, and a class-composed, research-based cookbook that will allow students to take part in the cultural conversation surrounding Southern food.
This course would include the following topics and activities: 1) Workshop on study habits and tips for transitioning into college life including a budget overview and Zero-based Budget project, 2) Introduction to entrepreneurship through viewing Shark Tank episodes and participating in group discussions on each episode. 3) Student electronic portfolios with Resume’, cover letter, sample project work, presentations, etc. 4) Participation in mock job interviews with members of UWG Career Services serving as interviewers who would evaluate each student on their interview and provide constructive feedback. 5) Personal Elevator Pitch Presentation 6) Guest speakers (Todd Anduze, etc.) 7) Career coaching 8) Monopoly Project Accounting Cycle Overview 9) Business Plan Challenge 10) Tour of the Burson Center and Tinker's Box 11) How to Prepare for an Internship

Climate change, as evidenced by floods, hurricanes and wildfires, poses a global existential threat that impacts habitats and food production.  Essential human activities (production of energy and transportation) contribute significantly to climate change.  This course will utilize reliable current media (New York Times, PBS and NPR) to discuss sources of energy that include fossil fuels, solar energy, wind energy and nuclear power.  Topics include: Sources of energy (locally, in the U.S., and world-wide); Geo-political considerations for fossil fuels; Impact on the environment including climate change; Environmental activism (for example, by Greta Thunberg); and public policy in the United States.  

The course (taught by a chemist) will also feature a professor of Economics and an entrepreneur active in Carrollton.  In large part, students will utilize available resources to give short presentations and discuss various aspects of energy and climate change, from the personal level to a global level.  

Throughout the course, students will explore various aspects of talent acquisition and recruitment,
including understanding the hiring process, creating effective resumes and cover letters, and
developing strong interview skills. They will also learn about the role of social media and online
platforms in job searching and personal branding.
This course explores fictional aspects of horror and its sub-genres in art, film, and literature. As scholars and audience members, we will examine the metaphorical aspects inherent in horror–and why we flock to such unsettling material. Specific units include critical studies on psychological, supernatural, analog, and body horror framed by an evolving understanding of the monstrous and grotesque. Course expectations include active reading and journaling, participation in discussion and activities, and the completion of a final project and presentation.
This class will be geared towards self-awareness in college. Students will be introduced to how understanding themselves plays a key role in their success in college. They will be learning about conformity, perspectives and shifting, persuasion, the idea of power in numbers or weakness in numbers, curiosity, and what it is to be humanly human.
My course titled, "What do you know about: Academic success" will be based on sharing academic success strategies, reflection on past academic experiences in high school as it relates to the collegiate experience, and an overall institutional connectedness. Over the course of the semester, I will instruct students on different academic success strategies and students will have an opportunity to hear from other students at UWG about what they have learned about their own academic success. 
Students will be placed into a fictional open-world zombie campaign game set on a wasted University of West Georgia campus. These students will face natural and unnatural problems that will help them understand communication and critical thinking to survive. The early days of a zombie apocalypse have exacted its toll, but humanity remains set to rebuild. May they rebuild a settlement upon the grounds of UWG. How you do it, what you experience, and when death approaches is all up to them. 
Governments have a significant impact on citizens, sometimes positive and sometimes negative. After the events of Summer 2020 and January 2021, many may be asking if there is a better form of government. This course will critically explore various forms of government of government around the world. It will build on the Council on Foreign Relations World 101 Forms of Government model and challenge students to identify what factors make life better for their citizens and why.
This course uses a biocultural approach to discuss an age-old question: Why must we die? Students will learn in a seminar style discussion and debate setting with guided readings for preparation. The class begins with a strictly scientific approach to injury, aging, senescence, and the physiology of death, but expands our perspectives by considering other much longer-lived lifeforms, explaining why some animals like jelly fish, hydra, and lobsters live long enough to be considered “biologically immortal”. The second half of the class explores the cultural side of death, including cross-cultural perspectives on death and dying, with ethical, social, and philosophical considerations paid to the concept of life extension. Finally, the students will move past biological death itself to examine a possible future where humanity is interwoven with artificial intelligence and virtual worlds. Is it possible it’s only a handful of generations until death itself is defeated?

For Business Students

This course focuses on various topics about cross-cultural communication and implications for a variety of disciplines. This is an activity-based course that helps students understand where their behaviors come from, to encourage them to reflect on their lives and the sources of their deeply held assumptions. This course explores how the way we communicate, perceive the world, behave, and what we believe in is shaped by culture. In-class activities simulate cross-cultural experiences, and short readings and mini cases discussed in class encourage academic exploration of cross-cultural issues such as communication, international negotiations, and conflict resolution. In-class activities encourage students to see the differences among us as a source of synergy rather than a hindrance and introduce the concept of cultural values in a fun and engaging way to help students discover how culture affects our decisions. 
This seminar will explore the unique industries of Georgia.  We will examine how clusters of businesses create an ecosystem.  Through both activities and discussions, students will have opportunities to explore concepts such as scale, location, and supporting infrastructure for business ecosystems.  The state of Georgia is home to a variety of vibrant industries comprised of small and large companies.  Just to name a few, we have agriculture (poultry, pecans/peanuts, Vidalia onions), carpets (clustered around Dalton), food and beverage (Coca-Cola, Waffle House), transportation/shipping (world’s busiest airport, UPS), automobiles (Kia, Porsche, Mercedes), bioscience and healthcare (CDC), entertainment (movies, music), tourism/convention, and more.  In a class project, students will individually collect data about businesses in various industries and we will compile those findings into a class dataset to analyze together as a class.  Students will gain practice with spreadsheets and with basic statistics and analytical methods for research. 
Drawing on resources both conventional and otherwise, this course will help the business major begin to develop the skills needed to succeed in a business environment.  We will focus on time management and self-organization skills useful in college and afterward.  From Buzzword Bingo to actual meaningful terminology, the student will learn to “right-size” his or her business vocabulary. We expect to devote substantial time to developing financial responsibility, touching on topics such as personal debt management and the “time value of money,” all of which will lead to a focus on some aspects of business-appropriate math and an introduction to Excel.  Finally, we will spend some group time working on the interpersonal skills necessary to thrive in a world occasionally populated by Accounting Trolls and Pointy-Haired Bosses.

For Honors Students

Antarctica has held the fascination of explorers and scientists since its discovery. It is an ancient landscape, where we can learn about Earth's past, Earth's present, and forecast Earth's future. This course will introduce the geography and geology of Antarctica, the history of humans in Antarctica, and survey some of the ongoing science in Antarctica.
In 1888, the citizens of London were terrorized by an unknown killer in their midst. This class will examine the murders themselves, the murder victims, the response of the press, the response of the police, and potential suspects. Further, this class will look at the socio-economic conditions in London at the turn of the 19th century, which in many ways are central to the killings themselves. Students will be conducting research using contemporary sources; including articles, eyewitness testimony, autopsy details, and police reports.
Often, families are complex and dynamic not only in terms of personalities and beliefs but also in terms of who makes up the family unit. Everyone has a different idea of what family is. Families can be made up of a mother and father figure, same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents (or other family members) who step in to help raise children, chosen families, and even couples without children. Apart from families being formed naturally, alternative methods such as egg or sperm donation, adoption, fostering, and IVF (In vitro fertilization) may be used to create families. No matter what your family structure is or what group you belong to, you are loved. A family is defined by love, regardless of how it forms.