Dr. Hill and students

Interim provides students a chance for new experiences

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Wofford January term involves non-traditional learning opportunities

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The 2010 January Interim, which begins on Thursday (Jan. 7), provides Wofford College students with a myriad of opportunities for non-traditional study, internships and travel.

Interim is Wofford’s month-long academic program designed to foster hands-on, non-traditional and experiential learning. To say that courses offered during Interim defy typical expectations is an understatement. Students on campus have the opportunity to learn everything from cooking and baking techniques to knitting to environmental photography; and producing and performing in a theatrical production. There’s even a course called the Ultimate Fantasy Baseball League in which students will assume the roles of players, managers and owners to create the United American Baseball League in which the greatest starters of the 1930s and early 1940s will “play the game the way it might have been … but wasn’t.”

In addition to the innovative on-campus projects, Wofford students can use Interim to travel across the globe with faculty members as guides, participate in an off-campus internship, or conduct an independent study project individually or in a small group.

This year’s offerings include:

“So you think you can cook?” – Led by psychology professor Dr. Kara Bopp, this course is an exploration of cooking techniques, dietary theories and “food politics” to help students discover the foods that are best for them and their health. With eight professional hands-on cooking classes, the culmination of the project will be a “Top Chef”-type competition judged by invited college and community guests. The course also will incorporate volunteer work and service learning opportunities to allow students to take an active role in addressing hunger and nutrition education in our society.Living with Dogs 09

“Who killed Ted Monroe?” – Students will explore the differences between popular views of PIs and the real life, day-to-day career of the licensed private investigators. They will read private detective fiction and watch TV shows and movies while receiving training from members of the South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators and investigators at Carolina Investigations Inc. – training to be a PI. The course is taught by the “victim,” mathematics professor Ted Monroe.

In a similar course – “Science of snagging scoundrels” – Biology professor Stephanie Baker will focus on how science is used to evaluate evidence used in civil and criminal cases.

“Living with dogs” – Students will study the behavior, cognition and evolution of dogs and will work 10 hours each week in the Spartanburg Humane Society volunteer program, allowing them to gain hands-on experience and application of their academic work. Dr. Richard Wallace, an economics professor, will lead the course.

“Fire!” – Taught by sociology professor Dr. Cynthia Fowler, this course is modeled on professional certification workshops for woodland firefighters. Students will learn the fundamentals of fire ecology, fire behavior, fire weather and fire effects. They will model governmental and private firefighting organizations and the international, national, regional and local networks they form.

Independent study projects include a variety of medical, dental and veterinary internships; students receiving their pilot’s and boat captain’s licenses; a study of the television sitcom; a student of the American public transportation system; and the history and art of cake decorating.

Among the study abroad Interim projects is “Israel Then and Now,” led by biology professor Dr. Bob Moss and religion professor Dr. Byron McCane. Students will become familiar with Israel “in all its complexity,” including its three religions and their respective relationships to the land, its history, culture and politics.

Other study abroad destinations include Greece, China, France, South Africa and Namibia.

Interim 2010 ends on Wednesday, Feb. 3, with Spring Semester classes beginning on Monday, Feb. 8.