Westminster Seminar in Mesa
Westminster Seminar (WSM 101 [WSM 102])
Parallel Lives—Leaders across the Ages, Places, and Cultures.
Defining, Comparing, Following, and Understanding Heroes, Heroines, and Leaders
During the Westminster Seminar, students work closely with a faculty member, upper-class student mentors, and a small group of new students. Organized around student interests, the seminars are integrated by common objectives and shared readings. The seminar is designed to help students read analytically, think critically, and communicate effectively. This new student experience often involves students in field trips, service projects, concerts and lectures at Westminster College, and on occasion meals with the faculty member who serves as the seminar leader.
In addition to teaching the course, each seminar leader serves as academic advisor for students in their seminar and remains in that capacity until the students declare majors.
Some of the activities of the Westminster Seminar at Mesa are also connected with the annual Westminster Symposium that takes place in late September. "Global Sport: A Common Language in a Diverse World?" is the topic of the 2013 Westminster Symposium.
All freshmen and transfer students take Westminster Seminar (WSM 101, 3 credit hours) in their first semester.
What will Mesa students learn in the Westminster Seminar in the 2013 fall semester?
Leadership is one of the core values of the Westminster College mission. In this seminar we will explore the nature of both leaders and heroes as they have been defined and understood throughout the ages. To accomplish our goals we will examine classic examples of heroes and leaders from the distant past and our contemporary times.
We will look at heroes and leaders as diverse as Achilles, Oedipus, Antigone, Pericles, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Bradley, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Serena and Venus Williams, Sarah Palin, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Batman, Mahatma Gandhi, Wonder Woman, Barack Obama, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Pele, Margaret Sanger, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Through readings (e.g., biographies, plays, short stories, short critical studies, etc.), discussions, and a variety of media including movies, videos, songs, etc., we will establish and refine a critical rubric for defining and evaluating the essential qualities and roles that our leaders and heroes play. In essence, we will concern ourselves with the distinguishing qualities of individual heroes and leaders and how the comparison of these figures across time and place can provide us a special way in which to explore the human condition.
And, in order to connect the Seminar to the Westminster Symposium and lay the groundwork for our study, we will start off the year by examining the nature of sports heroes and asking questions about how we define a hero and how we understand the connection between heroes and leaders.