Effective Writing (WR 100)
WR 100 will introduce you to the discipline of writing in the university through analytical and productive work with the contemporary essay and its various genres. You will learn how to conceive and pursue a line of inquiry about a subject, how to develop an original argument, and how to support an argument with various sources of evidence, including scholarly research. You will develop and practice a full writing process, including planning, drafting, considering critical feedback, revising, reflecting, and editing. And you will hone your critical reading skills to evaluate and engage with other people's arguments. To help you achieve these goals, we will critically examine and respond to texts, in a range of genres, written by authors in the real world for real audiences. We will also do a lot of writing -- consciously and reflectively employing the concepts and strategies we learn about inside and outside of class. All of the work we do in this class is grounded in rhetoric: the effective use of language, always sensitive to context, especially one's audience. The various skills you learn and practice in this course will enable you to become a more thoughtful, reflective, critical thinker who can participate in intellectual and world-shaping conversations inside and outside the academy. From the point of view of the Good Life, this course will share a text: Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein. Through this book,the class will examine the evidence that most human beings don't make decisions in the way often characterized by the academic world. The book also offers a wealth of opportunities to make students aware of how to make better choices, both for themselves and for society.
Dr. Dominic Micer is a Lecturer in the Writing Department, where he has taught writing since 2012. Dr. Micer is very interested in exploring the role writing plays in the use of positive emotion (empathy, awe, etc.) in constraining and enabling pro-social cognitive behavior.
Self, Other, and Interfaith Dialogue: Introduction to Theology (TH 201)
Religion continues to serve as a powerful source of identity and belonging in the modern world. It also continues to provoke deep disagreement and hostility. How should adherents of religion understand their relationship to members of other faiths? This course approaches the Messina theme of "Self and Other" through an interfaith lens, examining the intertwining paths, differences, and commonalities between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Exploring key sacred texts, thinkers, and practices, it provides students with resources for promoting greater interfaith understanding and cooperation.
Dr. John Kiess is Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Office of Peace and Justice. As a George Mitchell Scholar he earned his MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen's University Belfast and MPhil in Theology from Cambridge University. He received his Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke University in 2011, writing his dissertation on the ethics of war through the lens of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His research interests lie at the intersection of religion, ethics, and politics. He is the author of Hannah Arendt and Theology as well as numerous articles and book chapters.
Brian Loeffler is Head Coach for the Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving team. He earned a Loyola undergraduate degree in Information Systems in 1991, and a MBA in 1994. Brian has coached Paralympic swimmers in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympic Games. He has worked at Loyola for 29 years, and has mentored hundreds of students through the years.
Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students.