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"Creating Engaged Citizens in Their Communities, Their Nations, and the World".

Director: Dr. Tim Vincent, Department of English


Fall 2016

Dr. Matthew Hyland (History) HIST 151C Shaping of the Modern World

In Shaping of the Modern World students gain an historical knowledge of world history during the twentieth century. The course introduces ideologies, individuals, and events that exerted great influence on global events between 1900 and 2000. The course will focus on the evolution of the world scene from individual national states as the primary actors in world events to the creation of long-term associations like NATO and the Warsaw Pact to a truly global culture and society today. Students will also investigate forces, such as religious fundamentalism and ethnic/cultural nationalism that have confronted and countered these developments. This information is critically important because the events of the twentieth century have created the world we live in today, which, in turn, will fashion the world in which the students live their post-Duquesne lives.

Dr. Jennie Schulze (Political Science) POSC 115C Big Questions of Politics

This course is designed to introduce students to the major challenges facing liberal democracies in the international system today. The world has changed considerably since the end of the Cold War. Liberal democracy is in a decade long global recession, strong authoritarian regimes like China, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are directly challenging the liberal democratic world order, the rise of terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, are providing new security challenges, and the violence perpetrated by such groups has caused massive humanitarian crises. Throughout this course, students will gain an appreciation of the current challenges facing the United States and other liberal democracies, as well as how theories can help us to develop effective policy solutions. Topics for discussion will include the difficulties of promoting democracy and confronting the challenges of strong authoritarian states, developing meaningful strategies to combat terrorism and the radicalization of minority groups, and responding effectively to a variety of humanitarian crises including epidemics, natural disasters and human rights abuses.

Dr. Tim Vincent (English) UCOR 101C  Thinking and Writing across the Curriculum (2 sections) and UCOR 100C Research and Information Skills 

This course is designed to serve as an important bridge between the reasoning and writing that make a successful secondary experience and the reasoning and writing that are expected in college. For Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channel, editors of a popular college text, The Aims of Argument, the difference boils down to the following: "Like the high school research paper, college writing requires research. Unlike the high school paper, which typically requires that you obtain information, organize it, and restate it in your own words, most college assignments will require inquiry into sources"(168, emphasis in text). This emphasis on closely examining and evaluating sources is essential for writing that is informed by knowledge of four types of argument: 1) arguing to inquire, 2) arguing to convince/persuade, 3) arguing to establish causality, and 4) arguing to propose. Together we will explore timely and relevant examples of all four types of argument and develop greater skill in employing them in the critical reading and informed writing that we undertake in this course and beyond. In addition, we will address a variety of technical issues, using the course handbook as our guide. Overall success in this course depends upon a willingness to think critically, carefully consider the thoughts of others, and communicate effectively in conversation and writing.

This course is part of the CIVITAS Learning Community and is closely connected to the community engagement experiences that we will be involved in this term. The theme of CIVITAS is "Engaged Citizens in their Communities, their Nations, and the World." Many of our readings and writing choices will connect to this theme.


    Check out photos and testimonials from students about CIVITAS's community engagement, and view a PowerPoint slide presentation about what CIVITAS students have done in their learning community.


    CIVITAS resident students live in St. Martin Living-learning Center.

    St. Martin is in the lower right-hand corner of the campus map.