Sample Courses Offered

Human Development, Human Flourishing

CSC 33311 / Psychology 30691 — Fall 2022 and Spring 2023

This course draws from multiple perspectives to foster a deep appreciation of human development and flourishing. Human development is complex and fragile, yet many splendored. Assumptions about human nature and capacities have critical and moral implications for how we create institutions (family life, education) and systems (policy, government). The challenge is to develop an integrated and ecological understanding of development in the context of human flourishing. We will begin with research in positive psychology on human development, considering the growth of reasoning, identity, moral imagination, and behavior. We will broaden the frame to include understanding of human capabilities from the perspectives of faith (including the principles of Catholic social teaching), culture, and work. Students interested in social change will benefit from a deeper understanding of human development and related research, discussed in a seminar format. Students will draw from their own developmental journeys and current engagements while exploring means to foster human flourishing in future contexts.

Mind and Society: Cognitive Science and Justice

CSC 33310 / Psy 30696 — Fall 2022

This course explores the interaction of thinking and action for justice, of cognitive science and social change. In this contested moment, how might we examine the ideas with which we think as we envision social transformation and work toward solidarity and the common good? We will draw from psychology and neuroscience to understand how to overcome attribution errors, implicit bias, and motivated reasoning in work to promote justice. We will examine how assumptions about knowledge and our theories of mind impact our communication and work, and explore epistemic justice (who is invited to the table of knowledge). We will explore, in seminar format, means to promote intellectual humility, ethical imagination, practical wisdom, and commitment to action. Students will be encouraged to learn through experience and community engagement, and apply the lessons of the course in their own journeys.

Community Engagement and Public Scholarship in Higher Education: Integrating Learning and Justice in the Academy (Graduate)

CSC 63954 and GRED 63954   (Spring 2022)

This interdisciplinary seminar provides an opportunity for graduate students from all colleges to examine topics in the evolving field of community engagement and higher education. What is the public mission of colleges and universities? How may faculty incorporate new paradigms of teaching and research that address challenges of equity and social justice? What promising practices (within and beyond the classroom) integrate ethical responsibility and public scholarship? By what means might we assess the impact of such practices on learners, communities, and fields? How might knowledge of community engagement linked to disciplinary expertise be a faculty career catalyst? Such questions will be addressed through dialogue, experiential opportunities, and analyses in the context of each student’s professional trajectory. Resources will be drawn from higher education literature, learning theory, ethics, and discipline-specific writings. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on their sense of public mission and career potentials. Open to doctoral and master’s level students. Participation in the course fulfills the requirements for the Graduate Certificate for Community Engagement and Public Scholarship.

Moment to See / Competence to Act: Fostering Social Responsibility and Justice through Higher Education

GRED 68010 and CSC 68010 — Winter Session, January 2021

This course for graduate students (from all disciplines) responds to the current ethical moment in higher education with a focus on future potentials. What are the social responsibilities of universities? How might we address current challenges: COVID-19, racial injustice, and political divisions? How might universities contribute to forming a new-normal that fosters equity and justice? The course will engage such questions, drawing on existing and emergent research literatures in a creative format.

Moral Learning and Racial Justice in the Time of Coronavirus  

CSC 33941/Psy 33692 — Fall 2020

What are we learning from the coronavirus pandemic? What are the personal, social, and moral implications of the pandemic? How might renewed calls for racial justice interact with pandemic challenges? How can we support vulnerable populations, promote collective resilience, and foster justice for the future? The course will examine such questions and explore implications for social institutions: education, social services, citizenship, and public policy. The course is designed in response to the current moment, drawing on literature and emerging research in psychology, moral education and beyond. Students’ own experiences and authentic listening will be important starting points. While direct community engagement is limited, students will contribute through an applied research project (as appropriate within University safety guidelines) that may take the form of collecting interviews/narratives, assisting with contract tracing, digital research, or the like). Course requirements will include brief written reflections and robust class participation. Open to both undergraduates and graduate students.

Leadership for Social Change: McNeill Fellows    —     CSC 33001

Taught with Melissa Marley Bonnichsen, Felicia Johnson-O’Brien, and Michael Hebbeler

Offered this integrative two-semester course as key component of the McNeill Fellowship I co-founded at the Center for Social Concerns. The course fosters core competencies and skills to enhance leadership for social change.

Development and Moral Education in AdolescenceEdu 60455, Summers (Graduate)

I offered this graduate course for over two decades through the Institute for Educational Initiatives for ACE teachers entering their second year. We examined cognitive and moral theory and means to foster ethical development among youth. ACE students are creative and committed, and working with other faculty who offer additional sections of the course was catalytic.

Leadership, Ethics, and Social Responsibility Psy 43247

Offered for 15 years via the Center for Social Concerns and Department of Psychology to student leaders engaged in efforts to promote social responsibility and social action.

Youth, Risk, and Resilience Psy 23090 and CSC 23090

This experiential seminar grew out of a course I’ve offered on youth and poverty. Students engaged for one week is New York City during spring break for direct learning from youth advocates and non-profit leaders.

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. 

— Carl Rogers