Russell Scholars Program

Complete 6 of Your 8 Required Core Courses

Please see the Catalog for complete course information.

 

Achieving 15 RSP credits makes students eligible to graduate as Russell Scholars

 

RSP 100 College Writing

RSP 100 is the first course in a three-course writing sequence.Throughout the course students learn several fundamental ideas about writing: that writing is a process; that writing always involves reading; that writing is situational and involves specific rhetorical elements (purpose, audience, text, genre, style, mode); that writing is recursive and, therefore, always in process; and that writing requires metacognitive thinking. RSP 100 students engage in a series of essay assignments that reflect points of view, engage with readings, and focus on a central thesis or project. Through these writing practices students develop a metalanguage to articulate their writing and rhetorical choices and to demonstrate an understanding of sentence structure and syntax as central to meaning. By the end of the course, students should be able to assess a writing situation and successfully write for that situation. Fulfills the WRI1 Core requirement. Fall semester. Cr 3.

 

 

 RSP 101 Russell Scholars Creative Writing

 

Feed your imagination! This course focuses on writing short fiction, poetry, and memoir. Class meets twice a week, and the course includes individual conferences. Creative Writing emphasizes style, organization, and development, with some attention to mechanics. Students must exercise the self-discipline necessary to work independently. Fulfills the Creative Expression (CE) Core requirement. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing and Academic Writing. Spr semester. Cr 3.

 

 

RSP 102 Russell Scholars Academic Writing

Building on the fundamentals learned in RSP 100 (the writing process, revision, and critical reading), RSP 102 focuses on argumentative and researched-based writing. Students learn that academic work is a process of inquiry by engaging in academic modes of reading and writing (analysis, synthesis, critique, and argument) to address questions about critical issues. Students engage in independent research, learning how to make connections between sources and how to add to those connections by articulating their own perspectives and positions. Students develop a comprehensive information literacy that they can apply throughout their college career.  This course fulfills the WRI2 Core requirement. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing. Spr semester. Cr 3.

 

 

RSP 103 (EYE) Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment

All first-year Russell Scholars are encouraged 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 your 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 be engaged in critical thought about how they might make an impact on the local level. Collaboration with peers is a valuable component of the course. Fulfills the Engaged Learning (EL) Core requirement. Fall semester. Cr 3.  

 

 

 RSP 110 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory

This forum for first-semester Russell Scholars convenes in an informal environment. Students learn about the educational goals of our learning community, resources available on campus, and each other. RSP Peer Mentors—upper-class students in the Russell Scholars Program—play a role in leading discussion and activities in at least one class meeting. Lab also invites students out of the classroom to enhance the learning experience on campus and in the local community. An important part of the course includes attending fun campus events with your friends: Students choose from events listed on the USM Events Calendar.  This course satisfies the first-semester Lab requirement. Fall semester. Cr 1-3. 

RSP 111 is a continuation of RSP 110. Spr semester. Cr 1-3.

 

 

RSP 199 Russell Scholars Topics

A selection of courses varying in content from term to term. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Students should consult the Course Schedule for details on Topics courses. For more information, see Russell Scholars Director. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing. Fall or Spr semester. Cr Var.  

RSP 199 Picturing Place 

This course acknowledges the importance that special places have in our lives.  In all their complexity, contradiction, and beauty, places play a role in shaping who we are and who we may become.  Often, we experience personal revelation in meaningful places; responding with imagination can sustain and grow our connection.  Students will map their own connections to place in creative ways.  Photography will be emphasized as an accessible way to capture and articulate aspects of place.  Using words, students will also work with description and free-writing.  Assignments will blend word and image and encourage collaboration.  Projects may include designing postcards, implementing a technological mapping tool like StoryMap, claiming a campus location to study further, and building a virtual site to augment a physical site.  Class visits include the Osher Map Library as well as significant outdoor areas of campus.  No special equipment or previous experience necessary.  Open to students who have completed College Writing.  3 cr.  

 

 

 

RSP 204/ANT 204 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. Attention is given to reconstruction of changes in sea level 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. Fulfills the Science Exploration (SE) Core requirement. Open to all USM students. Spr semester. 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? Fulfills the Cultural Interpretation (CI) Core requirement. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing. Fall semester. Cr 3.  This course meets USM's Cultural Interpretation (CI) Core requirement. Cr. 3.

 

RSP 210/211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory

RSP’s 200-level Community Laboratory is an introduction to Service Learning in the Gorham community. Each student will experience a mentoring relationship with a young person in the Gorham School System. For more information, see Russell Scholars Associate Director. Fall semester. Cr 1-3.

RSP 211 is a continuation of RSP 210. Spr semester. Cr 1-3.

 

RSP 299 Topics

A selection of courses varying in content from term to term. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Students should consult the Course Schedule for details on Topics courses. For more information, see Russell Scholars Director. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing. Fall or Spr semester. Cr Var.  

RSP 299  The Sea Around Us: Visions of Shipwrecks, Sailors, and Sea Change

Considers the impact of the sea on the lives of those who live near, with, and on coasts.  From voyage to discovery, inspiration to disaster, the sea ferries ships and ideas and new questions.  How might we gain perspective if we think of our landlocked lives as connected by water, or as John Gillis says in The Human Shore, if we remember how to live with oceans?  Topics will include how the sea is represented in story and art as well as current challenges to the coastal environment and its inhabitants.  Fulfills the Cultural Interpretation Core requirement. Open to all USM students.  3 cr.

 

 

RSP 299 / ART 299  Gathering in the Garden: Poetry and Studio Art


SUMMER 2021

Course Meeting dates/times: June 14-June 20 2021

SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE with outdoor field trips

Poetry and the visual arts have long been inspired by Eden; this course takes inspiration from the natural forms, colors, inhabitants, and visitors to imagined and real gardens. Working independently and together, students will develop a control of structural elements within and between the two disciplines sufficient to write, illustrate, design, and collaborate on a final project. It is an introduction to two creative processes--the visual and the literary--in an intensive, week-long exploration with two experienced guides. Co-instruction is meant to encourage students to attend to art works with fresh vision and language.  Class meetings include workshops, discussions, lectures, demonstrations, and critiques. Field trips to public gardens and farms may be undertaken with the group or individually, as safety and geography permit.

 

 

RSP 310/311  Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory

RSP’s 300-level Community Laboratory involves Peer Mentoring in the Russell Scholars community. For more information, see Russell Scholars Director. Fall semester. Cr 1-3 

RSP 311 is a continuation of RSP 310. Spr semester. Cr. 1-3.

  

 

RSP 325 Into the Wild: Environmental Thinking

            

Considers the evolving human relationship to the natural world. Topics include the wilderness idea, animal encounters, a sense of place, landscape change, and how to access the sublime in our everyday lives. How can we treat the new diagnosis of nature-deficit disorder? What role do individuals play in the health of the environment? Includes precursors like Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold. Fulfills the Ethical Inquiry (EI) Core requirement. Open to all USM students who have completed College Writing. Spr semester. Cr 3. 

 

 

RSP 400 Independent Study

Independent Study can offer advanced students the chance to pursue a special topic of interest if they are not able to do so through an established course offered in another department.  Requires a detailed student proposal on the focus and scope of study as well a proposed syllabus with readings and projects.  Weekly meetings with the instructor allow for check-ins, guidance, and mentorship, though the student will complete work independently according to the syllabus timeline.  For more information, consult with RSP Director.  Cr. 1-3 Var.

 

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment

 

Graduation is getting closer! Join us to explore some questions that shape this pivotal moment: 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? Course will include readings, hands-on activities, and visits to USM’s Career Hub to develop employment search skills. The course is structured to provide a significant mentoring experience for you in your last semesters at University. Usually taken senior year; may be taken junior year with permission from the instructor. Fulfills the Engaged Learning (EL) Core requirement. Spr semester. Cr 3.

 

 

RSP 410/411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory

RSP’s 400-level Community Laboratory involves Service Learning with the immigrant and refugee communities in Greater Portland. Opportunities include mentoring or tutoring a young person. For more information, see Russell Scholars Director. Fall semester. Cr 1-3.

RSP 411 is a continuation of RSP 410. Spr semester. Cr 1-3.