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Self and Other Course Pairing

Roots: Food and Identity in Literature  (EN 101)

This core course in English examines how food and eating are represented in selected works of modern literature. Because food is necessary for physical sustenance, it affects our lives on a daily basis. But we don’t always take food seriously as an object of intellectual inquiry. In the U.S., in particular, many people take food almost entirely for granted: they assume that it will always be available—that the grocery stores will remain full—but don’t question where their food comes from or where it will go once they are finished with it. In this course, we will learn to think beyond the plate: to understand the complex social and political issues created by food and the ways that what we eat shapes our individual and cultural identities. Part of a Messina course pairing with Development, Environment, and Body in Psychology, the course provides students with a unique opportunity to study the foundational connections between literature and psychology. Like all core English courses, this one will cultivate reading, writing, thinking, and oral communication skills that will help you succeed in all fields of study across the university, in your professional endeavors, and in life.

Faculty biography

Professor Melissa Girard is a faculty member in the department of English, where she teaches courses and conducts research in modern American literature and gender studies. She is currently at work on a book about women's poetry in the 1920s. Originally from Pittsburgh, she has lived in Baltimore City since 2012 and loves everything about this wonderful city except for the Ravens.


Development, Environment, and Body in Psychology (PY 101)

This core social science course introduces students to the field of psychology, with a focus on the intersection and tensions between development, the built and natural environment, and our bodies. Using an ecological systems theory of development, we will examine how individuals—bodies and minds—interact with and are influenced by their individual environments, familial and school environments, extended families and local communities, and the larger systemic and global environments. Through a psychology lens, we will explore the relationship between humans and the external world. Students will come to understand the myriad of ways that the natural and human-built environments bidirectionally influence how people feel, think, and behave. Part of a Messina course pairing with Roots: Food and Identity in Literature, the course provides students with a unique opportunity to study the foundational connections between psychology and literature. Like all psychology courses, the course will foster written and oral communication skills, application of psychological research and theories, and an understanding of the complexity of individual and societal diversity.

Faculty biography

Professor Amy Wolfson studied psychology as an undergraduate at Harvard University. Following college, she pursued her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a focus on children and adolescents at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on children and adolescents' sleep-wake behaviors and emotional well-being. Prior to joining the psychology department at Loyola in 2014, she taught for 22 years at the College of the Holy Cross. Professor Wolfson enjoys mentoring and collaborating with students on research, such as her current work with youth residing in the juvenile justice system. She loves traveling, hiking, running, skiing, and being outdoors, particularly with her family, including her Black Russian Terrier!

Mentor biography

Heather Moore is a Loyola graduate, and the current Assistant Dean in the School of Education. This is my 11th year as a Messina Mentor. Over the years, I've enjoyed working with students in both the Stories we Tell and Self and Others themes.  I grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island but have lived in Baltimore for the past 20 years I am married and have two sons in high school and a dog. I enjoy participating in all the Baltimore has to and look forward to sharing my love of Baltimore with Messina students!

Virtual Advisor

For students considering a major in the Sellinger School of Business, Psychology will count as an elective since Sellinger School of Business students will take Microeconomics Principles and Macroeconomic Principles as their two, core social science courses. EN 101 satisfies the Literature core requirement for all students.