Democratic Engagement and Public Leadership (3 credits)

IDS 2338 (General Education, Social Science)

Being a citizen implies a certain set of individual responsibilities that are essential to keep a democracy healthy and functioning. Fulfilling one’s role as a citizen requires engaged and informed participation. This course provides the tools and skills needed to be an effective citizen and offers opportunities for engagement and experiential learning. From the founding documents to the role of the press in politics, this course provides an understanding of how the past informs current political debate.

Viral Rhetoric (2 credits)

JOU 4930-1H41
M-W Period 7 (1:55-2:45)

Monday Lecture: Leigh Hall Room 0142
Wednesday Lab: Weimer Hall (College of JOU) Room 3219

Aristotle defined rhetoric as the power to tap the best available means of persuasion; an essential skill since “things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites.” But how do we tap the power of truth and justice in these distracted times of memes, Facebook rants and Twitter-bots? Three of today’s best available means are op-eds, social-media storytelling and TED Talks. Viral Rhetoric, a special joint course of the College of Journalism and Communications and Bob Graham Center for Public Service, introduces students to these three skills. Guest lecturers include award-winning speechwriters; op-ed editors; social-media mavens; and TED coaches. The primary assignment is development of a short TED talk, which students will work on throughout the semester and give as their final exam.

Environmental and Sustainability Leadership (3 credits)

POS 4931- 14577​
Mondays periods 8-10 (3-6 p.m.)

Turlington Hall Room 2349

The opening years of the 21st century, in which human activities have ever-more-serious consequences for climate and natural disasters, oceans and freshwaters, wildlife and wildlands, food systems and public health, have also been marked by gridlock in state, federal and international politics. But the best environmental leaders don’t always rise from political or even public life. Throughout conservation history and today, some of nature’s most effective champions emerge from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, agriculture, journalism and many other fields. They may as likely work behind the scenes as in front of cameras, be quiet persuaders or loud ralliers. Every person has the potential to lead.

This course exposes students to the dynamics of environmental leadership through people who’ve led society to a more sustainable future. Students will discover and analyze some of the rhetorical, ethical and social qualities that inspire environmental change. They’ll study the British scientists and physicians who helped bring an end to cholera epidemics and urban smog. They’ll meet the taxidermist who saved the last American bison a century ago and the poet who helped Australians rally behind their Great Barrier Reef a generation ago. They’ll read editors like Robert Underwood Johnson, who made The Century Magazine a platform for creation of Yosemite National Park, and writers like Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose prose helped shift the American image of the Everglades from fetid swamp to River of Grass worth saving. And they will compare – and in some cases, meet – some of the most dynamic environmental leaders of our own time, from climate leaders in hip-hop, pulpits and public agencies to corporate leaders at Patagonia Co. fighting for public lands.

While environmental leaders surface from a broad range of perspectives and personalities, the most effective among them share key traits. They’re excellent communicators. They inspire trust. They seek solutions and common ground. Perhaps most importantly, they maintain hope and perseverance in a warming world. This course is for students of any major who have an interest and passion for environmental change, and in developing their own, unique leadership skills.​