Leadership and Character 2024 Fall Course Offerings

AAS 210 A: African American Intellectual Traditions

Instructor: Dr. Dan Henry 
When: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
This course offers a broad overview of important themes and movements in African American politics and philosophy. We will discuss traditions including Black feminism, liberalism, Marxism, political, cultural, and economic nationalisms, and conservatism. Our aim is both to get a broad sense of the traditions’ main currents, while devoting closer study to select influential voices of each.

AAS 310POL 269 D: Organic Leadership: Lessons from the Black Freedom Struggle

Instructor: Dr. Dan Henry 
When: Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
This course explores philosophies of citizenship and leadership in traditions of African American political thought. African American political thinkers have long interrogated America’s democratic self-image and its realities. In doing so, intellectuals, artists, and movements of diverse traditions have considered what it means to live a democratic life in democracy’s absence, as well as what democratic community could mean in the shadow of slavery and Jim Crow. Our class will read works articulating distinct, often contrasting visions of political life, its moral bases and foundational principles—freedom, equality, association, deliberation, leadership, and the public sphere. Our study of African American political thought will offer students a lens through which to reconsider their own political actions, commitments, and hopes as members of a political community.

FYS 100: Black Lives Matter and the Academy 

Instructor: Dr. Dan Henry 
Black Lives Matter, and the broader Movement for Black Lives, is in many respects an expression of (as well as a crucial contribution to) centuries-long African American political and intellectual traditions. Our course centers on these connections, with three complementary aims. First, to understand the roots of the Black Lives Matter movement in the contributions of Black political thinkers like Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, James Baldwin, and Audre Lorde; second, to explore the deep relationship between intellectual work and social movements in Black Studies; and third, to apply these lessons in students’ own research into the struggle for racial justice in Winston-Salem and the Triad. 

HMN 200 A: Introduction to Humanities: Themes in Literature, Culture, and Film

Instructor: Dr. Eunice Jianping Hu
When: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
This course is an introduction through literature and film to the history, principles, and concepts of the Humanities, using as its framework an examination of such topics as self and others, the influence of Classical principles on contemporary Western and Non-Western cultures, human rights and environmental issues in literature and film, and other topics central to the Humanities. Literary and film analysis will explore how cultural values and beliefs are expressed in media and writing, as well as how these beliefs are manifested in popular culture. The course will include creative narrative exercises that explore various literary tropes and humanistic themes.

HMN 211 A: Dialogues with Antiquity-The Good Life in Eastern and Western Perspectives

Instructor: Dr. Eunice Jianping Hu
When: Tuesday/Thursday 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
What does it mean for human beings to be “good”? How can we live a “good” life? This course considers some of the most influential answers to such questions, beginning with the thought of Confucius and Aristotle, towering figures in Eastern and Western traditions, respectively. In addition to studying the writings of these major figures in comparative perspective, our course will examine visual art, poetry, political practices, and other forms to trace the influence of Confucius and Aristotle in contemporary societies, to analyze our own presuppositions, and to reflect upon how we might live well in our current age.

HMN 272: Literature and Ethics

Instructor: Dr. Bryan Ellrod
When: Wednesday/Friday 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 
What do great authors have to teach us about being good people? The moral life is about more than the blunt application of rules. It is not enough that we do the right thing. We must learn to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reasons. In the care they take with their characters, great authors model virtues like attention, compassion, curiosity, and responsibility. In so doing, they offer us lessons not simply about doing the right thing, but help us to become characters disposed to do the right thing rightly. Under the tutelage of authors including Henry James, Toni Morrison, and Juan Rulfo, we will explore how reading great literature provides more than a pleasant diversion, and helps us to become virtuous people who are “finely aware and richly responsible.

HMN 370: Medicine and the Humanities 

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Permar
When: Wednesday/Friday 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
What is the connection between medicine, health, and the humanities? This course will introduce students to the medical humanities, with specific focus on storytelling and healing: we will examine the ways in which medicine interfaces with society and how the humanities can inform medical practice. We will explore foundational questions posed by interdisciplinary medical humanities research, such as what it means to be human and how to promote the practice of compassionate and just medicine. Through various forms of storytelling, we will discuss the historical development of ideas about health and medicine within specific cultural contexts as well as how popular culture shapes expectations of medical encounters and (un)healthy lives. This course covers a range of topics from history, different art forms, medical dramas, bioethical dilemmas in clinical practice and research to new technologies, such as CRISPR, AI, and robots in healthcare. 

ENT 303 A and B: Leadership and Character in Entrepreneurship   

Instructor: Dr. Fatima Hamdulay
When: Wednesday/Friday 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Leadership and character challenges go hand-in-hand with the entrepreneurial journey. At each stage of entrepreneurial progression, intentionally leading your venture with character requires (a) a deeper dive into how you see the world; (b) considering what you believe your role in it is; and (c) questioning how this shapes the leadership trajectories you embark on. Three sets of questions will guide us in this course: (1) What are the ways I see the world and how do they shape my views on character, opportunity and ethical value creation? (2) Who am I, what do I value and what do I want to bring to this world? (3) And, finally, how will I lead the way?

ENT 303 C: Social Impact in Entrepreneurship 

Instructor: Dr. Fatima Hamdulay
When: When: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Being an entrepreneur offers a unique opportunity to creatively conceive alternate, more collectively impactful ways of being successful. In this course, we consider and envision ways of making an impactful contribution to an increasingly broader range of stakeholders-from building great team culture to embodying exemplary altruism – crafting a vision of impact appropriate for your own entrepreneurial ideas and purpose.

CSC 191: Ethics of Emerging Technologies 

Instructor: Dr. William B. Cochran
When: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Generative AI can write blocks of text with a simple prompt, and deepfakes can create increasingly convincing fake videos. Brain-computer interfaces promise new possibilities of perception, and the metaverse could create entirely new realities. Such innovations prompt the question: what can we do to ensure that these technologies unfold in a direction that will benefit humanity? Students will develop an ethical toolkit to diagnose the moral and social ramifications of emerging technologies and seek ways to craft a more ethical future. Our goal will be to chart a path for several technologies that preserves their promise while avoiding their potential pitfalls.

CSC 391/691 A and B: Ethical Computer Science: Computing for Humanity

Instructor: Dr. William B. Cochran
When: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
How do we ensure that computing technologies align with human values? This course contends that ethical computing begins with each individual computer scientist. Through personal reflection, in-class discussion, critical analysis, and engagement with real-world case studies, this course aims to equip students with a toolkit for navigating the challenges of ethical computer science. By interweaving theory and practice, the course prompts students to develop greater awareness of the social impacts of their work, cultivate virtue, and become skillful communicators. As they progress, students will be encouraged to think deeply about their role, not just as competent technicians, but as moral stewards in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

EDU 101: Current Issues and Trends in Education: Leadership Through the Teacher’s Lens 

Instructor: Dr. Christina Richardson
When: Wednesday/Friday 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
What does it mean to be an exceptional leader? How do teachers lead in their respective spheres of influence? This section of EDU 101 explores the leadership strategies teachers employ daily. Students will explore characteristics of exemplary leaders, as well as reflect on their personal leadership qualities. This course introduces students to their own leadership strengths and traits essential to serving as a leader in their respective career and within the larger community.  Students from all majors are welcome.

Previous Courses Taught By L&C Faculty and Staff

  • Click here to see a list of the 2023 fall courses taught by Leadership and Character-affiliated faculty and staff.
  • Click here to see a list of the 2024 spring courses taught by Leadership and Character-affiliated faculty and staff.

Commencing Character: How Should We Live?

Wake Forest’s motto, Pro Humanitate (“for humanity”), calls us to cultivate the qualities of character needed to serve humanity. This course explores how we can fulfill this vision by considering fundamental questions of human existence: What is a good life? Which values and virtues are needed to flourish as individuals and communities, and which practices enable us to cultivate these values and virtues? How do we educate others and ourselves to live virtuously? To examine these questions, the course pairs Aristotle’s ancient ethics with contemporary commencement speeches and integrates pedagogical exercises designed to cultivate virtue. The course culminates with students delivering their own commencement addresses on their vision of a good life.

“Some days I feel like a fool for caring about something other than preparing myself for a safe career. But I am fully convinced that conversation and practical action on virtue, character and higher goods are some of the highest forms of human activity.”

Student in a Leadership and Character Discussion Group

Christianity, Character, and Public Life

How can Christians today promote the flourishing of public life? Although contemporary public institutions generally seek to avoid questions of character, Christianity has developed a rich tradition of theological reflection and social activism that has routinely identified a crucial connection between the two, suggesting that the flourishing of personal character and public life are intertwined. Focusing upon the writings of prominent theologians and the leaders of influential social movements, this course explores this connection. With particular attention to the public roles of government and church, as well as the realities of religious pluralism, we ask how Christian leaders and Christians more generally might help to foster the flourishing of both individuals and the public in which they live.

How to Keep a Republic

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, when asked whether the new government of the United States was a monarchy or a republic, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” What is a republic, and how do we keep it? How do we preserve liberty and justice for all against threats of domination? What role should checks and balances and the rule of law play in our political system? Which virtues are required for political leaders and citizens, and how can citizens hold their leaders accountable? Beginning with ancient Rome and concluding with contemporary America, students learn how to develop the virtues, practices and institutions needed to keep our republic.

Issues and Trends in Education: Hip-Hop Pedagogy, Poetics, and Remixes for Higher Education

This course is an exploration in hip-hop – its origins, its possibilities, and implications for higher and postsecondary education. In addition, this course provides students a space to understand Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogy, and its role in critiquing and radically reimagining institutions that reduce inequality (e.g. schools/colleges and universities, churches, criminal justice system, etc.). Together, we will use hip-hop, poetry, and storytelling as a vehicle for negotiating the politics of place and space, and how hip-hop culture influences teaching, learning, and near-peer mentorship. Using hip-hop as a lens to view our experiences at Wake Forest and beyond, invites us to be vulnerable and honest, while feeling supported in a collective process of meaning-making. We hope to develop a community of artists committed to – and consistently engaged in – the work of social justice education. In doing so, students will learn the ways in which hip-hop – it’s poetic and aesthetic traditions – resist traditional forms of teaching and learning, while strengthening competencies that promote collective academic success.

Leadership and Adversity

What are the skills, habits, and virtues of lawyers who lead others through adversity? This course in the School of Law answers this question by engaging seminal texts on leadership and conducting a series of interviews with lawyers who have led in varied professional contexts. These exemplars highlight numerous pathways into principled legal leadership.

Leadership and Character in the Professions

This course in the School of Law introduces students to classic and contemporary texts on ethical leadership in order to analyze the responsibilities of lawyers and other professionals and to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and virtues needed to lead with integrity.

Professional and Leadership Skills

How can a values-driven professional do good work within a morally flawed organization? This question matters because most organizations are thoroughly mixed bags with regard to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Even the best organizations have room for growth. This course enables young professionals to acquire the insights, skills, and virtues needed to lead teams and organizations toward more humane and sustainable outcomes.

Previous Courses Taught by L&C Postdoctoral Fellows

Character and the Good Life: Negotiating Questions of Race, Class and Gender

This course in the School of Divinity introduces students to basic philosophical and theological concepts of virtue and character; explores how various structures, including those related to race, class, and gender, shape moral formation; and provides pedagogical exercises for students to reflect on their own formation and develop virtues they need to lead in their vocational roles.

Character and Medicine

This course will address various topics in medical ethics including patient autonomy, physician-assisted suicide, care for the elderly, disability, and mental illness. The general objective is to encourage the student to evaluate ethical issues from the perspectives of various stakeholders in these cases. On a more spiritual level, my hope is that this course will encourage students to think critically about shared human vulnerability as well as their own morality.  The overall goal is to develop students’ character so that will eventually come to view themselves as autonomous agents in medical systems.

The Character of Entrepreneurship

This course explores how students can fulfill this mission within the context of entrepreneurship by intentionally developing virtues of character not to lead for self alone, but for humanity. It explores two central questions: what are virtuous character traits that align with the entrepreneurial mindset, and how can they be cultivated? Through readings, dialogue, and experiential learning, students learn to reflect on personal experiences of leadership and entrepreneurship, develop important habits of character, infuse virtues into the DNA of an organization, and identify virtuous exemplars who serve as entrepreneurial role models.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

This course is designed for students who want to develop leadership skills and virtues of character that differentiate great entrepreneurs.  Students will investigate leadership theories, examine leadership styles, discover the core qualities that cultivate an entrepreneurial leader’s role in driving innovation and growth, develop judgement for when to use hard versus soft skills, learn to build a culture of virtuous leadership across ventures, and create high performing teams with shared purpose/values/vision.

Ethical Leadership in Computer Science

The shape of our future depends on the character and leadership of the people who work in Computer Science. This course aims to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and virtues of character required to become ethical leaders in their field.

Grant-Supported Courses

With support from the Lilly Endowment, the Program has provided course development and redesign grants to faculty annually since 2020. During each three-day workshop and follow-up one-on-one sessions, participating faculty worked closely with Program staff to craft new courses or modules targeting leadership and character learning outcomes.

The following faculty participated in the Summer 2022 Course Development Workshop and received grants to design new courses that were taught in 2022 or are planned for a future semester:

“Writing Seminar: “Advice Please?: Using Rhetoric to Navigate Advice Genres,” Danielle Koupf, English

  • This course explores how learning about rhetorical concepts, such as credibility, authority, ethos, audience, and genre, can help students evaluate many forms of advice, including written and spoken advice, so that they can be thoughtful, critical, and responsible advice-givers and recipients.

“What Are Friends For?,” Marianne Erhardt, English

  • This course offers students a space to write their way through an inquiry of friendship by engaging with a variety of friendship ideas and ideals––from the personal to the political; the mythological to the philosophical––as a means for developing and practicing rhetorical awareness, respectful critical engagement, and creative meaningful collaboration and a space to befriend writing and one another.

“Black Religious Leadership & Voices of Protest,” Derek Hicks, School of Divinity

  • This course charts the theo-intellectual history of African American leaders from the antebellum period to the close of the Civil Rights era and explores what students can learn about leadership and character from an examination of this history. 

“20th Century European Philosophy,” Francisco Gallegos, Philosophy

  • This course examines the work of significant figures in 20th century European philosophy, including Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, and Michel Foucault, to explore issues such as the cultural decadence of technological modernity, the nature of power, and the challenges of multiculturalism. 

“How to be a Con-artist: Stories of Fraud, Entrepreneurship, and the Social Imagination,” Rebecca Gill, Communication and Entrepreneurship

  • This course unpacks stories of historical and contemporary con-artists to explore how con-artistry capitalizes on the American Dream myth, the “Silicon Valley story”, and other stories that capture and draw from our collective social imagination to equip students to recognize con-artists and avoid becoming them. 

“Virtue, Character, and Bioethics,” Nicholas Colgrove, Philosophy

  • This course examines (a) different accounts of particular virtues (e.g., honesty, humility) and (b) ways in which particular virtues might guide deliberation and action in bioethical contexts, clinical ethics, and clinical practice.

“Memorial Contentions,” Lisa Blee, History

  • The new First Year Seminar focuses on controversies over historical monuments and memorials. Students document and evaluate campus memorials, collectively develop guiding principles for just and inclusive memorialization practices, and propose a new campus memorial or critical campus history tour that reflects their collectively-established criteria. 

“MAPS1: Medicine and Patients in Society,” Roy Strowd, School of Medicine

  • Medicine and Patients in Society (MAPS) is a course for first- and second-year medical students that is completed during the first 18 months of medical school. MAPS focuses on three broad areas: (1) personal character development, (2) professional conduct in clinical practice, and (3) leader identity. MAPS is a broad and basic overview of clinical scenarios that pose ethical, social, and professional dilemmas for healthcare professionals. Students apply ethical principles to clinical practice and professional development and build the foundation for their personal and professional development as a future physician.

“Sustainable Corporations,” Alan Palmiter and Kyle Densinger, School of Law and ZSR Library

  • This course is a multidisciplinary search for the elusive “sustainable corporation” – thus, a journey into and through modernity, humanity, and ourselves. 

“Sacred Arts of African Muslims,” Kimberly Wortmann, Religions

  • This course considers how various arts and aesthetic practices, such as material objects, writing, recitation, architecture, poetry, music and the esoteric sciences of the unseen such as magic and occult practices, inform African Muslim spiritualities and practices.

“Leading in Serving Patients with Limited English Proficiency,” Chaowei Zhu, Interpreting and Translation Studies, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

  • This course aims to revisit the healthcare interpreting profession in the USA and explore how to expand staff healthcare interpreters’ roles from conventional interpreting (the interpreter role) to include two new leadership roles, namely 1) to assist patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) in navigating the US healthcare system (the navigator role) and 2) to empower LEP patients in their healthcare journey (the empowerer role).

The following faculty participated in the Summer 2022 Course Development Workshop and received grants to design new modules that were taught in 2022 or are planned for a future semester:

“Spanish for the Health Professions,” Carmen Pérez-Muñoz, Spanish

  • This interdisciplinary course covers scientific, cultural, and linguistic aspects within the topic of health care for Hispanics/Latinx in the U.S.

“Democratic Theory,” Michaelle Browers, Politics and International Affairs

  • This course examines the theoretical underpinnings of democracy and some of the critiques of those foundations, focusing on understanding some of the major theories of democracy and on how key democratic concepts are defined differently within these various traditions.

“Clinical Special Elective,” Tiffany Shin, School of Medicine

  • This course is a 4-week clinical experience completed during the fourth year of medical school that enables students in the MAESTRO Program to advance their knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes related to medical Spanish in clinical practice by working with Spanish-speaking patients in the local community. 

“Latinx Politics,” Betina Cutaia Wilkinson, Politics and International Affairs

  • This course examines the contemporary role of Latinxs as a minority group in the U.S. with emphasis on the history of Latinx immigration to the U.S. and to North Carolina, immigration and education policies, Latinx representation, political identity, political participation, and interracial coalition formations. 

“Philosophy of Love and Friendship,” Stavroula Glezakos, Philosophy

  • This course offers a philosophical investigation into the nature, requirements, perils, and rewards of love and friendship.

“Ethics of Restitution,” Andrew Gurstelle, Anthropology

  • This course examines methods of conducting anthropological research in museums and provides an overview of the historical development of anthropology in museums and their current relationships to anthropological theory, practice, and ethics.

“Intellectual Property Law Clinic I,” Zaneta Robinson, School of Law

  • This course provides students with opportunities to apply legal theory to real clients such as individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits with interests in clearance, protection, and management of copyright, trademark, and related intellectual property rights.

Previous courses integrating leadership and character include: 

  • “Ethical and Social Issues in Natural Language Processing,” Natalia Khuri, Computer Science
  • “Sudden Bursts of Feeling! The Power of Emotion in Sentimental Literature,” Adrian Greene, English
  • “Leading the Race: Lessons in Leadership from Black Men’s Novels of Escape,” Erica Still, English
  • “Memory, Monuments, and Reparations in Post-War Germany: What Can We Learn?,” Rebecca S. Thomas, German and Russian
  • “U.S. Environmental History,” Lisa Blee, History
  • “Homesick: Past and Future Homes in the Literary-Historical Imagination,” Rian Bowie, English, and Mir Yarfitz, History
  • “Philosophy as a Way of Life,” Emily Austin, Philosophy
  • “Humanitarian Action in a Political World,” Sarah Lischer, Politics and International Affairs
  • “Multimedia Translation,” Xijinyan Chen, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • “Religion and Environmental Justice in Latin America,” Elizabeth Gandolfo, School of Divinity
  • “The Wisdom Literature:Virtue, Integrity, and Equity,” Neal Walls, School of Divinity
  • “Divinity School Internship Orientation,” John Senior, School of Divinity
  • “Practical Wisdom and the Law: Cultivating Dispositions and Abilities to Do the Right Thing Well,” Harold Lloyd, School of Law
  • “Criminal Law,” Alyse Bertenthal, School of Law
  • “Women, Law, Leadership, and Character,” Abigail Perdue, School of Law
  • “Criminal Procedure,” “Innocence and Justice Clinic,” and “Contemplative Practices and the Law,” Mark Rabil, School of Law
  • “LAUNCH Certificate Program,” Marcia Wofford, School of Medicine 

New modules on leadership and character have been integrated into these existing courses: 

  • “Quantitative Asset Pricing,” Dr. Jane Ryngaert, Economics
  • “Fourth-year Chinese,” Dr. Lu Lu, East Asian Languages and Culture
  • “Statistical Learning,” Dr. Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Mathematics and Statistics
  • “Introduction to Bioethics,” Dr. Ana Iltis, Philosophy
  • “Introduction to Political Theory,” Dr. Andrius Galisanka, Politics and International Affairs
  • “Organizational Psychology,” Dr. Lara Kammrath, Psychology
  • “Who Am I? A Sociocultural Approach to Self and Identity Development,” Dr. Lisa Kiang, Psychology
  • “Managing People and Organizations,” Sherry Moss, School of Business
  • “Data Analysis and Business Modeling,” Christopher Smith, School of Business 
  • “Leadership and Ethics,” Dr. Sean Hannah, School of Business
  • “Innocence and Justice Clinic,” Mark Rabil, School of Law
  • “Essential Business Concepts,” Chris Meazell, School of Law
  • “Race, Social Science, and the Law,” Jonathan Cardi, School of Law