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A student’s guide to picking classes

A woman without regrets

imagesGeorgetown takes pride in many facets of campus life. We have stellar athletics, a close- knit community and a myriad of campus organizations. However, arguably the most cherished aspect of life at Georgetown is found in the classroom with our dedicated faculty. Tigers are surrounded by passionate faculty members who invest in the lives of their students both inside and outside of the classroom. It’s not difficult for students to find professors in every department whom they can connect with. In fact, there are several classes and professors that many GC students and alumni believe Tigers must take before graduating. This writer asked past and present students to share the courses and professors they believe all GC Tigers should take.

Relationships, a psychology class taught by Dr. Karyn McKenzie, is a favorite course among GC Tigers. The class fills up so quickly that typically only seniors are lucky enough to snag a spot during registration. The class has been so popular in recent years that Dr. McKenzie offered two sections of the course this semester. Adam Standiford, a 2010 Georgetown graduate, claims that this class was easily one of the most important courses that he took during his college experience. “Dr. McKenzie is phenomenal, the content is enlightening and relevant to each student who takes it. Its importance in my education could never be overestimated and I am grateful to have taken it my senior year.”

Junior Lynsey Jordan, an art history major, encourages all students to take Dr. Juilee Decker and Dr. Barbara Burch. Heads of the art and English departments respectively, both professors are not only passionate about their own fields of study, they teach the content in a fashion that challenges students and requires them to think analytically. Although their classes are challenging, students emerge from these courses with a sense of accomplishment and a vast measure of knowledge about the material that they did not possess before.  According to Lynsey, “Both Dr. Burch and Dr. Decker have an interesting way of teaching that is really unique which makes learning from each of these individuals worth your while.” Students who are interested in making the most of their liberal arts education while at GC should strongly consider taking these two renowned professors.

Daniela Fuentes, a 2011 graduate of Georgetown College who majored in communications, encourages GC students to check out Organizational Communications with Dr. Chris Nix and Dr. Susan Dummer. Senior Ashlie Davis, a fellow communications major, agrees. “Regardless of your major, if you’re interested in working in the professional world in any respect, Organizational Communications can help you understand who you are as a leader. Gender Comm. is also interesting because it is a study about culture that helps you understand universal truths about yourself. The class is fun because you’re in a mixed gender class and you get to take part in interesting discussions that you’ve never been exposed to previously.”

Attracting students from various fields of study is Dr. Yoli Carter’s Teaching in a Diverse Society course. This education class focuses on preparing teachers to open their minds to cultures and beliefs that they may have no experience with. However, this is a class all students could benefit from according to Evan Harrell, a music education major. “This class makes you see cultural issues from a different perspective. It’s a really eye-opening course for anyone, even if you consider yourself an open-minded person already.”

The religion department is another popular department among many students. Dr. Jack Birdwhistell, a GC graduate, is a well-liked professor in the religion department. Many students take Dr. Birdwhistell’s Christian Heritage course to satisfy one of their religion general education requirements. Jonathan Tate, a Georgetown graduate of 2012, believes Dr. Birdwhistell, or “Doc” as many students fondly call him, should be a professor all students are required to take before they graduate. Senior Abby Shelton encourages all GC students to take a class with Dr. Sheila Klopfer before graduating. “Theses courses stretch your mind and heart. Dr. Klopfer is incredible. I recommend Basic Christian Theology, it’s a good introductory course.”

Seminar on Vocation is a popular course for students across various disciplines. Taught by Dr. Roger Ward, the philosophy course focuses on discerning one’s calling in the career world. Abby Shelton took the course this past fall and says it changed her life. “I learned from my classmates and from Dr. Ward how to have an open outlook on life and the people that surround me each day. This seminar was by far my favorite class at Georgetown.”

At Georgetown, students have the unique opportunity to take classes with our esteemed academic provost, Dr. Rosemary Allen. Although Dr. Allen has served the college in an administrative role for several years, she has kept her passion for teaching alive by offering one course a semester to GC Tigers. Although classes on Shakespeare, Milton and Neoclassical Literature attract large amounts of English students, other students opt to take Dr. Allen because of her reputation as an excellent educator. Senior Mason Head explained his experience as a pupil of Dr. Allen’s. “Milton was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever had but it was also one of the most spiritually enriching experiences I’ve ever had.”
Likewise, Dr. Allen’s class on William Shakespeare is another favorite among many Georgetown students. While the course is a requirement for both English and theatre majors, this class is a popular elective for many other students as well. Mason says, “Shakespeare would be good for all students to take, because he is the most influential writer of all time. Dr. Allen is intelligent and creates a fun environment in the classroom because her passion for the content is evident.”

Georgetown’s faculty and classroom culture is something that sets our institution apart from rivaling liberal arts colleges. Without excellent professors who go to great measures to ensure the academic success of their students, Georgetown wouldn’t have such a rich academic environment. GC Tigers need to take advantage of Georgetown’s rich academic environment during their four years here in order to truly cash in on all that GC has to offer.

And if you don’t know, now you know, Tigas.