Loyola University Maryland

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The Good Life Course Pairing

Microbes and Man: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (BL103)

Microorganisms shape our world in countless ways. This course provides a framework for understanding microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and protozoans while focusing on their influence on day-to-day life. Topics range from the beneficial uses of microorganisms to diseases caused by them, as well as our efforts to control them.

Fulfills the natural science core requirement for nonscience majors.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Andrew Schoeffield has been teaching at Loyola since 1988 and received the university’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2006.  As a microbiologist, he is interested in the roles that microorganisms play in our world, specifically within microscopic communities called biofilms.  It is this passion for the microbial world, and how microorganisms affect your everyday life that is woven into Microbes and Man.

Human, Animal, Machine: Environmental Philosophy (PL236)

In this course we look beyond our human selves to that larger natural world of which we are a part. Is nature a kindly mother? Wild and dangerous? A resource for our use? Are animals mindless machines, or do they possess modes of intelligence that we have barely begun to appreciate? And how has the pervasive presence of technology changed things? Do our smartphones, TVs, and computers expand and enrich our lives? Or do we live in a technological bubble, cut off from nature and each other? What would it mean to recover a sense of "place" and "community"?

Using articles, books, film, outside wanders, and our own life experience, we will reflect on such issues. The goal will be to think more deeply about "the good life" for humans, animals, and our imperiled planet.

Faculty Biography

Drew Leder has a medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He has taught at Loyola for many years, with a special interest in Asian philosophy and environmental philosophy. He has published six books which range in focus across issues of world spirituality, the philosophy of medicine, and the plight of inmates in maximum-security settings where he has long volunteered. His work has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the country, ranging from the Washington Post to Family Circle. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, two daughters, and his dog, Maggie.

Mentor Biography

Brian Loeffler is the 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 26 years, and has mentored hundreds of student athletes through the years. 

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