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J-Term offers a world of possibilities

January 30, 2014

Monday, Jan. 6 marked the beginning of Drake University’s second January Term (J-Term). For three weeks, Drake students and faculty engaged in intensive focused learning opportunities, with no distractions from other classes.

More than 60 courses were offered this year—some on campus while others took place across the country and abroad. From synthetic biology, to social media strategies, to stage make-up, the classes spanned a number of schools and topics.

Kristin Doherty, a junior studying magazine journalism, participated in an on-campus course titled “Adolescence in American Fiction and Film,” with Beth Younger, associate professor of English. The course explored the depiction of adolescence in contemporary American fiction and film.

“I think the best part of J-Term is that it gives me the opportunity to take a class that I wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Doherty. “A lot of my friends have taken English and film classes with Professor Younger and had only great things to say. I hadn’t been able to get into one of her classes during a normal semester, so I jumped at the opportunity.”

Every course provides an opportunity for students to become completely immersed in subject matter that would normally span a semester.

Amidst the number of on-campus courses, J-Term also offers a number of travel seminars. The travel seminars take students across the globe to experience new environments and cultures.

Bengu Erguner-Tekinalp, associate professor of education, traveled with students to Brazil for a course titled, “Counseling Diverse Populations.” The focus of the course was on understanding the relationship between social power, privilege and mental health.

Kaylyn Maher, a junior studying public relations, traveled with David Remund, assistant professor of public relations, for a course in Chile. The course was designed to help students understand public relations in a thriving overseas market. The group blogged throughout their trip and used #ChileDogs14 on social media.

“I had the opportunity to study public relations amidst the booming economy of Santiago, Chile,” says Maher. “Our group met with PR professionals who have led successful careers in Santiago, and I learned what it takes to succeed in PR in a culture different from my own.”

Other travel seminars visited the Galapagos Islands, Belize, Ghana, Brazil, the Bahamas, Egypt, England, Wales, India, Hawaii, New York City, and Mexico.

Visit www.drake.edu/dc/j-termexperience/j-term2014on-campuscourses/ to see a complete description of the on-campus courses.

Visit www.drake.edu/dc/j-termexperience/j-term2014travelseminars/ to see a complete description of the travel seminars.