2020-21 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 and use the ideas they encounter to develop and refine 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 essays using language that is relatively free of sentence-level error. This course satisfies USM's Composition Core requirement. Fall semester. Cr 3.

RSP 101 Russell Scholars Creative Writing
Focusing on imaginative writing, this course helps students define and meet their writing goals. Through reading and writing assignments, along with lively class discussions, students increase their critical skills and writing fluency. The course emphasizes style, organization, and development, with some attention to mechanics. This course satisfies USM’s Creative Expression (CE) Core requirement.  Cr 3.

RSP 103 (EYE) Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment
With a few exceptions, all first-year Russell Scholars are required to take this course. This seminar explores the relationships between culture, community, and the environment from an educational, theoretical, and practical framework.  It focuses on development as a person, as a learner, and as a member of a community by examining contemporary global issues from more than one perspective. We consider the values and approaches of different cultures in order to better understand the current challenges facing any community - population growth, natural resource use, economic pressures, environmental impact, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance.  Students have the opportunity to engage in critical thought about how they might make an impact on the local level. Collaboration with peers is a valuable component of the course. This course satisfies USM’s Entry-Year Experience (EYE) Core requirement. 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 by integrating field trips to enhance the learning experience. This course satisfies USM’s first-semester Lab requirement. Cr 1-3.

RSP 111 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 111 is a continuation of RSP 110. Cr 1-3.

RSP 204 The Gulf of Maine: Archaeology, Ecology, and Environmental Change

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. This course satisfies USM's Science Exploration (SE) Core requirement. Cr. Lec 3, Lab 1.

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? This course meets USM's Cultural Interpretation (CI) Core requirement. Cr. 3.

RSP 210 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 210 is a continuation of RSP 111. Cr 1-3.

RSP 211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 211 is a continuation of RSP 210. Cr 1-3.

RSP 310 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 310 is a continuation of RSP 211. Cr 1-3.

RSP 311 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 311 is a continuation of RSP 310. 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? This course satisfies USM’s Ethical Inquiry (EI) Core requirement. Cr 3.

RSP 400 Russell Scholars Independent Study
Cr. Var.

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment
Graduation is getting closer.  Join us to explore the questions that shape this pivotal moment: How can you put the passions of your academic major to work?  What constitutes meaningful work? How can you become your best professional self as you make the transition from college to work?  Class will focus on skills of professional interaction and communication, written and oral, leading to a structured experience with a community partner specializing in the support of New Mainer youth.  Class time will also engage with readings and hands-on activities, featuring guests from the academic and professional world with emphasis on career readiness. Students will practice professionalism as they interact with the community, their instructors, and each other.  Co-taught by the Director and Associate Director, the course provides a significant mentoring experience for you in your last semesters at University. This course satisfies USM’s Engaged Learning (EL) requirement. Cr. 1-3.

RSP 410 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 410 is a continuation of RSP 311. Cr 1-3.

RSP 411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 411 is a continuation of RSP 410. Cr 1-3.