“I noticed that courses that have the word ‘Irish’ in their title tend to fill fast. Even after students have taken a course in Irish literature, they want to take more,” says Powell. “For the new course, students will explore how the concept of Irishness is constructed in literature. We’ll cover the period between 1800 and present day.”
Saint Joseph’s geographic location gives it an advantage in teaching Irish studies, Powell explains. With such a strong Irish-American presence in the greater Philadelphia area, students have ample opportunities to participate in community-based learning.
As Powell seeks to take advantage of Hawk Hill’s location, Nancy Fox, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and the final recipient of this year’s grants, aims to take advantage of the upcoming presidential election. She is developing two courses, a first-year seminar as well as an upper-level class for majors. Both will examine the economic policies of the major political parties and their candidates.
For Fox, developing similar courses geared towards different class years presented a welcome challenge.
“The idea for this course came from a course I taught last fall, a first-year seminar where we pulled headlines from the news each week and then examined their economic impact,” says Fox. “At the end of the course, I received wonderful suggestions that the next time I teach the course, we discuss economic issues that are important in the election.”
The two courses Fox developed over the summer will use different teaching methods, she says. The first-year students will learn a foundation of basic economic principles in the first weeks of the course, while students in the upper-level course will be able to begin analyzing concepts quickly.