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Wofford students expand the walls of the traditional classroom during Interim

Students study subjects ranging from geocaching and medical botany to the New York Times crossword puzzle and the invasive species of Australia and New Zealand

Interim 2016 382

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – World-famous fashion stylist Jeff Kim, Wofford Class of 2009, travels the world with some of Hollywood’s best-dressed celebrities — Michael B. Jordan, Katy Perry, Zhang Ziyi, Zoë Kravitz, Matt Damon, Sasha Pieterse, Julianne Moore, Jamie Lyn Sigler… the list goes on and on. And it all started when he worked Fashion Week during a Wofford Interim internship experience. A business economics and Spanish major, Kim originally planned to become an attorney. Interim changed that.

This year Wofford students have the same opportunities to focus on a single topic designed to expand the walls of the traditional classroom, explore new and untried topics, take academic risks, observe issues in action, develop capabilities for independent learning and consider different peoples, places and professional opportunities.

Interim 2016 begins at Wofford College on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, and concludes on Thursday, Jan. 28. During that time, some of the on-campus courses include:

Exploring the Southeast through Geocaching — Students will explore the terrain (both geographic and social) of the Southeast through the emerging sport of Geocaching.

Medical Botany — Students will discover the role that plants have played in civilization and how they have shaped our state's history. Friday field trips include a visit with a practicing "root doctor," a naturopathic physician, a traditional Chinese healer, a Cherokee Indian healer and more.

Pulp Theatre — Students will spend the month planning, rehearsing, staging, advertising and ultimately performing a play.

Criminal Justice Internships — Students will spend part of the month with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to explore careers in criminal justice, law and government.

Thinking Inside the Box: The New York Times Crossword Puzzle — Students will acquire and develop the skills to work and solve the NYT crossword puzzle. Students will skype NYT crossword editors, constructors and bloggers before constructing their own original crossword puzzles for consideration in the Times.

The Elements of Art — Students explore glassblowing, welding, stone carving, blacksmithing, sand-painting, wind sculpture, suikinkutsu, bubble art, kites, etc. Students will work to develop a significant work of art based on the classic elements of art.

The Truth is in Here: Conspiracy Theories in History, Politics and Culture — Students will assess and debunk theories, both ancient and modern, and will create and disseminate their own, adding new and individual touches to the rich and strange tradition of conspiracy theories.

Tracks, Scat, Song and Sign — Students will learn to identify mammal tracks, scat and the other signs and sounds of nature, including birdcalls, and relate them to animal behaviors. The class includes daily field trips through the Carolina winter woods.

Exploring the Middle East — The Middle East is perhaps the most hotly debated focal point of international politics. Students will learn about the history of the region and its peoples, seeking to understand why a region with so great an importance is so little understood.

In addition, hundreds of Wofford students are completing professional internships and research projects, both locally and around the globe. For example, Wofford students are interning with physicians, dentists, pharmacists, business and nonprofit leaders, and attorneys throughout the Upstate.

During Wofford’s January Interim, travel/study projects also offer popular educational experiences. Highlights of this year’s faculty-led study abroad experiences include:

Caribbean Cuba: Past, Present and Future
Ireland Rising: The Birth of a Republic
The Study of the Art, Religious and Cultural History of Italy
Belize — An Ecotour
Invasive Species of Australia and New Zealand

For a full listing of the Interim courses (on-campus projects, travel/study projects and internships projects), visit

For more details on these and other independent projects, contact Laura Corbin at 597-4181 or

Spring Semester classes beginning on Monday, Feb. 1.