International Year seminar provides closer look at the U.K. By Ryan C. Meier

With DMACC being in the thick of registration, some students might consider signing up for International Year seminar.

This year’s course is coordinated by Professor Jim Loos.

“The course surveys various aspects of culture from the United Kingdom, such as: film, politics, music, British literature, art, history, photography, as well as others,” Loos said.

While Loos is present for every class, different DMACC professors and instructors lecture on the various areas of their expertise. Some of the staff already committed to lecturing are Bradley Dyke, Alan Hutchison, Kirsta Wolter, Curt Stahr, and Andy Neuendorf.

While no longer considered an honors seminar, it is only open to students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The course is limited to only 20 students, but Loos said that if there is interest beyond those initial 20, a second section could be opened.

The seminar is one part of the many activities that occur within DMACC’s International Year throughout all DMACC campuses, which Dr. Joe Danielson, a member of the International Year committee, sees as crucial.

“We want to create an environment to have students stick around, that’s what we are trying to do here,” Dr. Danielson said.

While most of the activities occur this spring, International Year kicked off with “Chalk It Up” back in September, which the Graphic Design department hosted. Students were challenged to create chalk art inspired by the United Kingdom, with prizes for “Best Color,” “Best Composition,” “Best Adherence to UK theme,” “People’s Choice,” “Best Creativity,” and “Best of Show” being awarded to student teams.

International Year was created back in 1985.

“At that time, President Borgen and his administrative team along with the faculty all agreed that it was important for our students to have the opportunity to study the culture of other countries,” Dean of Arts and Sciences , Jim Stick said via e-mail.

Japan was the first country selected and DMACC received a Fulbright Grant which allowed seven faculty members to be sent to and teach at Japanese University,Yamanashi Gakuin, and seven members of their faculty to do the same at DMACC.

Some of the countries celebrated since 1985 have been, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, with China three times and France twice. Japan has been selected three times as well. This is the United Kingdom’s second time.

Some students might question choosing the UK for a second time, especially considering the similarities between the U.S. and their culture.

“After careful study of their educational system, social support system, governmental structure and election system, geographical location and history, among many others areas, it can be very educational for students and faculty to study how we are both the same and quite different in how our cultures operate and how we see ourselves,” Dean Stick said.

Students will get a chance to examine similarities and differences as the International Year seminar culminates with a 15-minute presentation over a topic of their choice.

“I enjoy the high level of discussion and knowledge from the students. It attracts a wide range of students, so you never know what you’ll get. It’s a ball,” Professor Loos said.

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