First-Year Seminars

As first-year students at PMC, you will have a unique set of opportunities for involvement and learning both inside and outside of the classroom. One such opportunity is your choice of a First Year Seminar.

Your Seminar will be an exciting course that introduces you to certain areas in our curriculum and to certain topics about which members of the faculty are passionate. The First Year Seminar instructor will be your academic advisor and you and your classmates will comprise and advising group; both will be instrumental to your successful transition to the College.

We will also incorporate work that features the College Mission of inclusive leadership and social responsibility (ilsr); a form of collaborative problem solving that encourages respect for and recognizes the value of many different points of view in reaching creative solutions.

Lastly, we will encourage a climate of community and respect for diversity in the classroom that we hope will extend to all of your interactions and relationships within the PMC community. We are proud that Pine Manor College is one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. We look forward to tapping into the many different perspectives you bring that will expand and enrich all of us.

The PMC First Year Seminar Program has five course options, including two “Learning Communities”.

Students who select this course will be part of a residential learning community. In addition to taking this First year seminar, students will be living together in the same residence hall with a set of “Big Sister” mentors. They will also automatically be enrolled in CC 110-07: Whooping and Singing for Survival (See the College Composition page).

FYS 101-01 Pioneering women in science and medicine
Colleen Krieser Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45 & W 6-8:45
There are many women, both famous and unknown, who have made strong contributions to fields of science and medicine. Many of these women faced challenges and barriers that threatened to interfere with these contributions. This seminar will examine the lives and works of women scientists and physicians and the obstacles they faced in the times that they lived. Some of the women we will study this semester include Marie Curie, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosalind Franklin, and Lori Alvord. In addition, students will research other female pioneers in science and medicine and interview present day women in these fields.

Students who select either FYS section 02 or 03 will be part of an integrated cluster of courses. The first semester experience will include a college writing course (either CC110-05, The Search for Meaning: Self, Spirit and Society or ESW151-01, ), plus a community service learning course (EXP-115, HerVoices: From the Margins to the Mainstream) with the community organization HERvoices. This learning cluster of courses generally allows you to take one selection from the general curriculum. See the College Composition page

FYS 101-02 Make and Believe: We Are The Stories We Tell
Stephen G. Thompson Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45
In this seminar we will explore the narrative dimension of human life. From myths to movies and beyond, much of our sense of ourselves, our society and our world is shaped by the stories we learn, create, and tell. We will examine this story-making and story- telling capacity, considering what it tells about us.

FYS 101-03 Self Authorship
Charles Tweedly Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45
This course will explore the processes of personal transformation that enable individuals to escape the patterns of mind that get in the way of living life to the fullest. Students will explore stories of personal transformation in readings and in personal interviews with select subjects who have experienced this transition in order to define potential pathways to transformation. In addition, students will practice skills of “mindsight,” a uniquely human ability, which allows individuals to examine more closely, in detail and in depth, the processes by which they think, feel, and behave.

EXL 125 Her Voices: From the Margins to the Mainstream.
Emma Rhinehart Tues/Thurs afternoon. Time depends on section.
In this course, students will engage deeply with an underrepresented community of women in the Boston area through traditional research of the community – transcribing interviews, collecting and integrating interview support materials, and creating a multimedia presentation for the PMC community and beyond.

FYS 101-05 Sport Ethics
Ron Blizzard Tues/Thurs 10-11:15
In this course, students will learn how to respond to moral issues and dilemmas by using philosophic theories proven effective in moral development. The course employs case studies to allow students to apply the ethical decision process in a sport related context; including youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, Olympic, and professional sports. Through thought provoking questions, readings, lecture, and discussions students will develop the necessary tools for ethical decision-making. This course balances theory with pragmatic application and presents several ethical models that students can use as a platform to make ethical decisions.

FYS 101-06 Behind the Mask: Identifying Identity
Emma Dassori MW 1-2:15
Who are we really? Is the face we put forward to the world only a part of who we truly are? How might the mask someone wears both conceal and reveal her identity? In this course we will explore the various definitions and manifestations of masks throughout history and the world. We will consider their significance to theatre, their traditional use in war, in numerous cultural events, and their impact today in the age of social media. In addition, students will create their own theatrical masks and visit a collection of masks displayed as artifacts.