2019-20 Catalogs

Course Descriptions

RSP 100 Russell Scholars College Writing
This course introduces students to the style and standard of writing expected 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, rereading, drafting, revision, editing, citation, and proofreading. Students are encouraged to integrate ideas from RSP 103 (EYE) into class discussions and individual essays, when appropriate. At the end of the semester, an RSP 100 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 101 Russell Scholars Creative Writing
This course is an introduction to the principles of writing fiction, poetry, and memoir. In addition to writing, students will be exposed to a variety of readings that will serve as models for their work. Emphasis is on the conventions of storytelling, precise and imaginative use of language, and developing critical skills through workshops. Each genre includes a developmental stage and deep revision. Fulfills the Creative Expression Core requirement. Cr 3.

RSP 103 (EYE) Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment
This seminar investigates the opportunities and challenges of globalism.  Topics include population growth, natural resource use, economic pressures, environmental impact, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance.  Students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers and share their findings in a supportive environment. An emphasis on how an individual can make an impact through compassion and creativity undergirds the course.  Projects include responding to readings and films, creating an action plan with a new technology tool, and reviewing a work of global fiction. Cr 3.

RSP 110 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
This forum for all Russell Scholars convenes 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 on local field trips to enhance the learning experience and acquaint students with resources in their community. Students may take this Lab class in any future semester, choosing the appropriately numbered section with the assistance of their advisor. Cr 1.

RSP 111 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
Cr 1.

RSP 204/ANT 204

The Gulf of Maine class describes the methods and theories used by archaeologists, geologists, marine scientists, environmental scientists, and policy makers to understand changes in human life ways and environmental conditions over time: excavation and interpretation of archaeological materials from maritime sites; understanding of species distribution and interaction over time; and policy making related to environmental change of the Anthropocene.  Issues in coastal erosion, declining cod stocks, predator-prey relations, environmental restoration, and cultural heritage will be covered. Six integral laboratories will focus on the Gulf of Maine. Some attention will be given to specific topics such as regional climatic change, the Casco Bay Estuary Project, and research institutes focused on marine environments in the Gulf of Maine. Cr. 3.

RSP 205 Exploring Culture, On Campus & Off

Exploring sites at USM and beyond, this course offers “open, accessible, inclusive, and welcoming” experiences of culture in the community.  Students will visit gallery spaces, attend local theater productions, and practice their own culture making and critique. We’ll examine relationships between words and images, inspiration and expression, theory and design.  As we engage with current examples in these venues, several questions arise: How does culture reflect and embody ideas and values? What is the role of the artist and the audience? How can we define cultural literacy? What are the ethics of looking? Cr. 3.

RSP 210 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
Cr 1-3.

RSP 211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
Cr 1-3.

RSP 310 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
Cr 1-3.

RSP 311 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
Cr 1-3.

RSP 325 Into the Wild: Environmental Thinking 1960-the present
Considers the relationship of humans to the more-than-human world. Topics include wilderness idea, species interactions, sense of place. How can constructions of nature offset environmental threats? What role do individuals play in the health of the environment? How can we sustain a "sense of wonder" in the twenty-first century? Cr 3.

RSP 400 Russell Scholars Independent Study
Cr. 1-3.

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment
Drawing on the Russell Scholars values of community, engaged learning, and meaningful work, we will explore some questions that shape the pivotal moment of transitioning from college to a career and life beyond: How can you put the passions of your academic major to work? What constitutes meaningful work? What is our responsibility to ourselves and to the world? What is the common good? What does citizenship mean? Students will design a Service Learning experience that directly supports their major and create a multimodal showcase for their research. Co-taught by the Director and Associate Director of the Russell Scholars learning community, the course is structured to provide a significant mentoring experience for you in your last semesters at USM. Cr 3.

RSP 410 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
Cr 1-3.

RSP 411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
Cr 1-3.