Russell Scholars Program

Russell Scholars Course List

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Program Requirements

To graduate as a Russell Scholar, a student must successfully complete two writing courses or equivalents, three RSP seminars, and six credits of Learning Community Labs, the final lab to be taken during the senior’s spring semester. Students who are not taking RSP Lab who wish to earn service-learning credit must register for RSP 400 Independent Study with the instructor’s permission. Students planning to graduate as Russell Scholars are required to take RSP 110, RSP 111, RSP 210 or 211, RSP 310 or 311, and RSP 411.

RSP 100C College Writing (3 credits)
RSP 101W Russell Scholars Creative Writing (3 credits)
RSP 102J Seminar: Community and Identity (3 credits)
RSP 103I Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment (3 credits)
RSP 104C Enriched College Writing (4 credits)
RSP 110 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)
RSP 111 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)
RSP 210 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 211 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 250H Seminar: Songs and Society (3 credits)
RSP 340 Global Campus Variable credit
RSP 310 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 311 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 400 RSP Independent Study (1-3 credits)
RSP 401 Community Service Internship Variable credit
RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
RSP 410 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 411 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)

Core Curriculum Requirements

Many Russell Scholars courses will satisfy the USM Core/General Education requirements. Students should consult with their mentor concerning the use of additional Russell Scholars courses to satisfy additional Core curriculum requirements.

Departmental Major

Russell Scholars courses are not intended to be counted toward the number of credits that departments require for graduation as a major. Students enrolled in the Russell Scholars Program should consult with their departmental advisors concerning the use of Russell Scholars courses to satisfy departmental major requirements.

Core Curriculum

Most Russell Scholars courses satisfy USM Core/general education requirements. Students should consult with their mentor concerning the use of additional Russell Scholars courses to satisfy additional Core curriculum requirements.

RSP students take only a fraction of their USM courses through the Russell Scholars Program. Russell Scholars courses are intended to be used to satisfy only USM Core or general education requirements or electives toward graduation. The RSP Core curriculum is made up of primarily humanities-based and social science-based courses. RSP students must take all other core requirements outside of RSP. Since all RSP courses are either core or elective courses, no RSP course is intended to satisfy any credit requirements toward any academic major.

Course Descriptions

RSP 100C College Writing
This course introduces students to the style and standard of writing expected of them in college. Students read expository writings grouped around a theme and use the ideas they encounter to develop and refine analytical essays in response. Emphasis is placed on building the skills of critical analysis and the writing process, specifically reading, drafting, rereading, revision, editing, and proofreading. Students are encouraged to integrate ideas from RSP Seminar into class discussions and individual essays, when appropriate. At the end of the semester, an RSP 100C student will be able to engage with complex readings and compose analytical essays that focus on a central theme using language that is relatively free of sentence-level error. Prerequisite: college readiness in writing. Fall semester. Cr 3.

RSP 101W Russell Scholars Creative Writing
This course is offered as a continuation of RSP 100C to help students define and meet their writing goals. Classes meet once a week, and include individual conferences. Creative Writing emphasizes style, organization, and development, with some emphasis on mechanics. Students must exercise the self-discipline necessary to work independently.Cr 3 .

RSP 102J Russell Scholars Seminar: Self and Communication
This seminar will explore the process of self-discovery, building a foundation of self-knowledge, maintaining self-esteem, and communicating this inner self and personal vision to others in everyday life. It will examine issues ranging from the classic view of knowing one’s self to practical concerns of effective interpersonal interactions. This seminar addresses several areas, including sociology, psychology, communication, and human growth and development. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this course, it will be important to draw upon several sources which are written from a variety of disciplinary vantage points. Cr 3.

RSP 103I Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment
All first-year Russell Scholars and transfer students are required to take this course. This course will utilize scientific and humanistic anthropological theories and understandings to explore contemporary issues and dilemmas concerning the environment. It will consider values and approaches of different cultures in order to better understand the current problems of environmental damage and pollution, population growth, lifestyle impacts on ecology, ethnic conflict, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance. The seminar will attempt to analyze contemporary problems locally and globally, and to explore possible resolutions to these problems. An example of cultural types will be examined, including forager, agriculturalists, and industrial nation-states, in terms of their relationship with and values about the environment. Cr 3.

RSP 104C Enriched College Writing
This college writing course provides additional support to students as they are being introduced to the style and standard of writing expected of them in college. Through additional classroom time, discussion, and small-group work, students further practice the skills of critical analysis; the writing process, specifically reading, drafting, rereading, revision, editing, and proofreading; and correct grammar and usage. The course is designed for students who have not met the University’s measure of college readiness in writing and for any student interested in extra structure and support for success in the writing of college essays. Students are encouraged to integrate ideas from RSP Seminar into class discussion and individual essays, when appropriate. At the end of the course, an RSP 104C student will be able to engage with complex readings and compose analytical essays that focus on a central thesis using language that is relatively free of sentence-level error. Fall semester. Cr 3.

RSP 110 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
This forum for all Russell Scholars will convene bi-weekly in an informal environment to address topics such as campus issues, current events, and student interests. Russell Scholars Lab also takes students out of the classroom atmosphere by integrating field trips to enhance the learning experience. Cr 1.

RSP 111 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 111 is a continuation of RSP 110. Cr 1.

RSP 175F Oral Interpretation
A course in the assimilation and analysis of literary material (poetry, prose, drama) with emphasis on the techniques used in reading written material aloud to an audience. Designed to stimulate an understanding and responsiveness to literature and to develop the ability to convey to others, through oral reading, an appreciation of that literature. Prerequisite: 24 or more credits earned. Cr 1.

RSP 210 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 210 is a continuation of RSP 111. Cr 1.

RSP 211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 211 is a continuation of RSP 210. Cr 1.

RSP 250H Russell Scholars Seminar: Songs and Society
This is an interdisciplinary, literature-based course focusing on the role of songs in world cultures. It is designed to introduce students to the influence that songs have upon societies, and likewise, the influence of societies upon the creation and use of songs. Like most art forms, songs are reflections of the prevailing values of a given society at any given time in history. The course examines songs as vehicles to motivate and mobilize people, to help them escape from drudgery, to worship, to express politicial sentiment, to approve or to protest, to celebrate, and to entertain. Students identify and analyze the range of song genres from martial songs and anthems to love songs, lullabies, and protest songs. The course traces the evolution of the traditional story-song from the epic ballads to its present incarnation as both high and pop culture. Students will also explore songwriting as both an art form and as a business driven by societies’ unquenchable appetite for songs, both old and new. Prerequisite: 24 credits or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

RSP 300H Russell Scholars Seminar: England and the Humanities
This course is designed to explore the interrelationships between the arts and humanities of the British Isles. The humanities comprise those areas of study that are literally the creation of human beings, as distinguished from science and its systematic revelation of the patterns of nature. Subsequently, this course will include, but will not be limited to, the roles played by literature, history, ethics, social science, religion, the fine arts, and folk arts in shaping British culture. Cr 3.

RSP 305J Britain: The Interactions of Politics and Culture
This course is specifically designed for Americans studying in England and introduces students to the economic, political, and psychological environment and cultural lifestyle of contemporary Britain. Common use of “English” language in both the United States and Britain often conceals essential differences that exist in culture and in attitudes. These differences will be identified and explored through the study of a variety of topics both in the classroom setting and outside. Students will be encouraged to focus their own observations in order to deepen and broaden their understanding of Britain, its inhabitants, its politics, and its culture, and to do so in a way that will enable them to reflect more fully upon their own country, politics, culture, and way of life. Cr 3.

RSP 310 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 310 is a continuation of RSP 211. Cr 1.

RSP 311 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 311 is a continuation of RSP 310. Cr 1.

RSP 340 Cultural Landscape of Greece
Students will be introduced to the multi-faceted nature of this intriguing country. Greece, the birthplace of our western civilization, is a modern, emerging European nation and is already a major tourist destination. Students will travel to the bustling capital of Athens for three days, but spend most of their time on the quieter island of Lesvos. Here they will live in the small city of Mytilene (now a Sister City with Portland, Maine); gather to share meals in a seaside or city café; take field trips to villages, ancient sites, museums, and beaches; learn about the physical and societal framework of the culture; and attend lectures on human geography, geology, cultural traditions, current forces of change, impact of tourism, environmental issues, and regional politics. Cr 3.

RSP 345/GEY 110K Russell Scholars Global Campus
This course takes place at any one of several international sites. It offers Russell Scholars students an opportunity to travel while experiencing the rich cultural differences of our diverse world. An example of a course is one held at Wroxton College in England during Winter Session. It examines British culture, government, economy, and literature. Students attend a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon, spend a weekend in London, and take several other side trips. Another example of this course takes students to Greece. Students will be introduced to the multifacted nature of this intriguing country. Although ancient Greece is the birthplace of our western civilization, Greece today is also a modern, emerging European nation. Students will travel to the bustling capital of Athens for a few days, but spend most of their time on the quieter island of Lesvos. Here they will live in the small city of Mytilene (now a sister city with Portland, Maine) where they will be near markets, shops, and cafes. Daily they will gather to share meals in their pensione, or in seaside or city cafés; and take field trips to villages, ancient sites, archeological and art museums, and beaches. Cr 6.

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment
This capstone seminar will bring together the framework, principles, and experiences of four years in the Russell Scholars Program to prepare graduating seniors to become lifelong learners with a commitment to the common good. Drawing upon the lessons of identity and community, and other themes of the program, this classroom and field-based seminar will explore such questions as: What is the common good? How can we be at home in the world? How can we live within and beyond the tribe? What is our responsibility in the world? What does citizenship in the 21st century mean? How do we develop critical habits of mind? This seminar will include a significant service-learning field experience in a community setting. Cr 3.

RSP 410 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 410 is a continuation of RSP 311. Cr 1.

RSP 411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 411 is a continuation of RSP 410. Cr 1.

Visit the Undergraduate Catalogs for up to date information on Core curriculum requirements and courses.