Course Development Workshop Recipients: 2020-21 Academic Year

The following faculty received grants to design new courses that were taught in the 2020/2021 School Year: 

“Multimedia Translation,” Xijinyan Chen, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (5 students in Fall 2020)

  • This language-neutral course examines concepts, characteristics, tools, and software of multimedia translation, a distinctive and booming sector in the arena of translation and localization. Students learn the skills required to be effective multimedia translators and the virtues necessary to craft a translator’s code of ethics.

“Criminal Law,” Alyse Bertenthal, School of Law (44 students in Fall 2020, 37 students Spring 2021)

  • This course examines how crime is defined by law, how legal power is authorized and abused, and how to balance collective public safety and the lives and liberties of individuals. Students engage with moral virtues and vices and other theoretical and practical assumptions that shape the ways society defines, prosecutes, defends, and punishes crimes.

“Memory, Monuments, and Reparations in Post-War Germany: What Can We Learn?,” Rebecca Thomas, German and Russian (16 students in Spring 2021)

  • This first-year seminar examines debates and decision-making about memorialization, monuments and reparations in post-war/post-Holocaust Germany and asks what lessons contemporary America can learn in reckoning with the legacy of slavery. Through this study, students develop empathy by respectfully listening to the viewpoints of others, practice patience and humility in expressing their views on controversial issues, and increase virtue literacy by reflecting upon their own growth in character.

“Homesick: Past and Future Homes in the Literary-Historical Imagination,” Rian Bowie, English, and Mir Yarfitz, History (9 students in Spring 2021)

  • This interdisciplinary seminar invites first-year students to make connections between their own emotional experiences of leaving home and grand themes in literary and historical narratives about home written by racial and ethnic groups who have experienced displacement and exile as a result of colonization, slavery, or cultural genocide. Through dialogues and self-reflection, students habituate empathy and justice to understand how forms of displacement and exile have been and continue to be experienced by marginalized groups.

“Religion and Environmental Justice in Latin America,” Elizabeth Gandolfo, School of Divinity (13 students in Spring 2021)

  • This course examines historical and contemporary relationships between religion, colonialism, and environmental justice in Latin America. By teaching students how to listen to marginalized voices and helping them to develop a complex sense of justice as it pertains to human relations and ecological well-being, the course seeks to cultivate virtues such as empathy, compassion, and justice.

“Divinity School Internship Orientation,” John Senior, School of Divinity (17 students in Fall 2020, 17 students in Spring 2021)

  • This module prepares first-time ministry interns to complete ministry internships, focusing in particular on basic professional ethics for ministry internship work and the skills of boundary-making and boundary-keeping that are vital for responsible professional conduct. These learning activities are designed to deepen students’ practical wisdom, self-awareness, and discernment.

The following faculty received grants to design new courses that will be taught in future semesters:

“Ethical and Social Issues in Natural Language Processing,” Natalia Khuri, Computer Science

  • Natural language processing (NLP) subsumes computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and information technologies. As NLP-powered technologies become mainstream, there is increasing concern about how the data and methods used in developing such technologies impact individuals and societies. Through intentional engagement with virtuous exemplars, students blend technical research of NLP with the philosophical study of moral virtues to develop solutions for emerging ethical concerns.

“Sudden Bursts of Feeling! The Power of Emotion in Sentimental Literature,” Adrian Greene, English

  • Analyzing how and why sentiment becomes mobilized by leaders in American life, this course sensitizes students to the ways that gender and commodification shape our individual and political lives. Students also engage with virtuous exemplars in literature, reflect upon those examples in ways that make norms salient, and develop friendships of support and accountability to shape their own sentiments and form their character.

“Leading the Race: Lessons in Leadership from Black Men’s Novels of Escape,” Erica Still, English

  • This seminar on novels about escapes from slavery by African American men examines major tropes of enslavement and freedom, race and gender, and history and literature with an eye toward uncovering models of leadership embedded within these narratives. Students learn not only how to interpret literary texts but to identify virtuous leadership and enact such leadership in their own contexts.

“Philosophy as a Way of Life,” Emily Austin, Philosophy

  • This course explores a set of philosophical traditions that consider philosophy as a “way of living” rather than merely an “area of study.” Students develop and explore the good life by reflecting on the role of virtuous character and leadership for individual and societal flourishing.

“Humanitarian Action in a Political World,” Sarah Lischer, Politics and International Affairs

  • Examining the challenges that complicate humanitarian action in a political world, this course leads students to reflect upon the leadership and character traits of decision-makers who must develop policies in response to humanitarian crises while cultivating an empathetic understanding of the challenges facing those living in crises caused by war, persecution, and disaster.

“The Wisdom Literature: Virtue, Integrity, and Equity,” Neal Walls, School of Divinity

  • Through a theological study of Proverbs, Job, and Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), this course illuminates and analyzes descriptions of virtue, character, and good life in the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible. Particular attention is given to the inner virtues of integrity and righteousness and the outward behaviors of justice and compassion as composing a moral center of character and leadership.

“Practical Wisdom and the Law: Cultivating Dispositions and Abilities to Do the Right Thing Well,” Harold Lloyd, School of Law 

  • The virtue of practical wisdom (phronesis) helps lawyers properly judge, frame, and apply legal concepts and rules to promote human flourishing in legal contexts. Through careful engagement with this virtue, students cultivate practical wisdom in their profession in ways that augment traditional legal education.

“Women, Law, Leadership, and Character,” Abigail Perdue, School of Law

  • Women in male-dominated fields or positions of authority have often been perceived as threats to well-established sex and gender norms. After studying the reasons for unconscious bias, sexual harassment in the workplace, and sex discrimination, students learn specific character traits and leadership attributes necessary to overcome the barriers women face when navigating hypermasculine spheres.

Other faculty received grants to develop new modules on leadership and character in the following courses:

“U.S. Environmental History,” Lisa Blee, History (17 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Blee integrated new modules that explore issues of environmental justice alongside ecological considerations. Students engage with moral, intellectual, and civic virtues to understand how environmental politics disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. By drafting their own policy solutions, students reflect on how leadership in local communities and the government can help rectify environmental injustices.

“Quantitative Asset Pricing,” Jane Ryngaert, Economics (14 Students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Ryngaert formulated a module featuring articles that focus on the occupational hazards of working on Wall Street as well as Francis Su’s Mathematics for Human Flourishing. Students discuss the relevance of these texts to quantitative models and what traits they might need to flourish in their chosen fields.

“Fourth-year Chinese,” Lu Lu, East Asian Languages and Culture (10 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Lu added a new module for her advanced Chinese course. Students develop leadership virtues and skills as they serve as language mentors to local high school students.

“Statistical Learning,” Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Mathematics and Statistics (24 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor McGowan integrated two new modules into her course focused on honesty and leadership. By studying cases of honest and dishonest statisticians, students learn the importance of honesty in summarizing, interpreting, and presenting data.

“Introduction to Bioethics,” Ana Iltis, Philosophy (30 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Iltis infused material on leadership and character throughout her introductory course by consistently highlighting a virtue ethics framework, adding a section on virtues in the health professions, creating an assignment on moral exemplars, and utilizing case studies to highlight the importance of leadership skills.

“Introduction to Political Theory,” Andrius Galisanka, Politics and International Affairs (29 Students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Galisanka integrated new modules that aim to help students understand the relationship between political institutions and the character of leaders and citizens. Selections from The Federalist Papers, James Madison’s speech before the Virginia ratifying convention, and George Washington’s farewell address illustrate the importance that the Founders ascribed to character and its importance to the U.S. Constitution.

“Organizational Psychology,” Lara Kammrath, Psychology (33 students in Spring 2021)

  • Professor Kammrath reorganized her course to focus upon how students can leverage knowledge of leadership and character to become more skilled and virtuous organizational citizens. She designed a new module in which students engage Peterson and Seligman’s 24 character strengths to develop a plan for their own character development.

“Who Am I? A Sociocultural Approach to Self and Identity Development,” Lisa Kiang, Psychology (16 students Fall 2020)

  • Professor Kiang developed new modules for her course on identity development. Over the course of the semester, students choose a virtue to habituate and reflect on the possibilities and challenges to character development.

“Managing People and Organizations,” Sherry Moss, School of Business (123 students in Fall 2020, 44 students in Spring 2021)

  • By learning knowledge, skills, and virtues pertaining to self, teamwork, and leadership, this course teaches students how to build meaningful, inclusive, and motivating work environments. Through the semester, students cultivate eleven virtues necessary for effective organizational business leaders.

“Data Analysis and Business Modeling,” Christopher Smith, School of Business (114 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Smith integrated a simulation module in which students are asked to model a dataset which reveals that, contrary to the public claims of their company’s president, a new technology their company plans to introduce presents an unacceptable risk of death. This simulation prompts a discussion of virtues in the midst of ethical conflict.

“Leadership and Ethics,” Sean Hannah, School of Business (97 Students in Fall 2020, 65 in Spring 2021)

  • Professor Hannah developed a number of modules to build knowledge of what constitutes highly effective and exemplary character-based leadership and helps students develop skills, competencies, and mindsets to employ such leadership in action. The modules include one in which students work in teams to apply the Ethical Decision-Action Model to a problematic case as a way of enacting character-based leadership.

“Essential Business Concepts,” Chris Meazell, School of Law (67 students in Fall 2020)

  • Professor Meazell designed a new leadership and ethical decision-making module where students examine case studies and write reflections on the relevant virtues and leadership traits necessary for ethical business practice.

“Race, Social Science, and the Law,” Jonathan Cardi, School of Law (16 students in Spring 2021)

  • Professor Cardi integrated a new module that exposes students to leadership and character strategies for addressing race-related issues in law school and professional settings. Students facilitate conversations about race and design a semester-long intervention with regard to a race-related issue they see at the law school.

“Innocence and Justice Clinic,” Mark Rabil, School of Law (22 students in Fall 2020)

  • In this interdisciplinary course, students examine the legal, scientific, cultural and psychological causes of wrongful convictions. While considering virtues of justice and compassion, they apply this knowledge to actual cases by reviewing and investigating claims of actual innocence by inmates and, where appropriate, pursuing legal avenues for exoneration and release from prison.

“Contemplative Practices in the Law,” Mark Rabil, School of Law (30 students in Fall 2020)

  • The course explores, from a meditative perspective, the ethical responsibilities of the lawyer, the stresses and challenges of the lawyer’s life, and the management of the complex emotions that affect the lawyer. This course introduces students to the practice of meditation and explore the ways that contemplative practices can help to develop skills and virtues that are directly relevant to the work of a lawyer, including the ability to transcend anger and the importance of showing with compassion.

“Criminal Procedure,” Mark Rabil, School of Law (60 students in Fall 2020)

  • This course exams examines the selection and grouping of charges, availability of defense counsel, pretrial release, discovery, speedy trial preparation, guilty pleas, jury trials, right to confrontation, jury deliberations and verdicts, sentencing, appeal, and collateral challenges to convictions. Professor Rabil integrated a new module focused on the ethical foundations and implications of seemingly routine lawyerly practices in criminal law.

“LAUNCH Certificate Program,” Marcia Wofford, School of Medicine (147 participants in Fall 2020)

  • The LAUNCH program provides a foundation for those entering the demanding medical curriculum by giving students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of themselves and each other, form bonds with their classmates, and explore principles of self-care and peer-care. Professor Wofford developed a three-part module entitled “Creatively Crafting My Journey towards being a Humanistic Physician” that invites students to reflect upon their strengths, identify three virtues they would like to develop, and formulate specific strategies to promote their character growth.

Total: 1,116 students