a Plane” course studied the biological, cultural and social aspects
of snakes. The class also explored why some cultures worship
snakes while others revile them and whether the fear of snakes
stems from nature or nurture.
When they're not busy visiting volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs,
many students who spend CentreTerm in New Zealand use their
free time to go skydiving.
Students taking part in a CentreTerm course about the Beatles
donned their finest '60s gear for the final day of class.
Centre’s faculty members are always passionate about the subjects they teach, so the College’s three-week January term has them especially excited. It’s flexible. It’s creative. It’s intense. And the professors’ enthusiasm is contagious during CentreTerm, which offers students the opportunity to enroll in one captivating course, complete an internship, study abroad, or tackle an in-depth research project. Click here for CentreTerm flyer (PDF).
An Academic Adventure
Students who sign up for a CentreTerm course embark on a learning odyssey. The classes are carefully designed, based on the special interests and expertise of the professor. Professors also have wide latitude in structuring class activities. CentreTerm courses may include field trips, dinner discussions, labs, and other special activities to arouse student interest. All faculty members view CentreTerm courses as a journey to be shared with their students.
In “The World of Duke Ellington,” for instance, students learn that Ellington “loved classical music, visits to exotic places throughout the world, and trains,” says Vince DiMartino, Matton Professor of Music and internationally acclaimed trumpet player. DiMartino, who relishes “working intensively with a small group of students on a subject I love,” also is grateful for the flexibility of the one-course schedule. In the Ellington course, students watch videos, study CDs, write about music, and attend concerts—hopefully enabling students “to identify the unique elements of Duke’s music and its relationship to the times in which it was created,” DiMartino says.
One of the offerings of CentreTerm 2010 examines the psychology of Alfred Hitchcock films, a unique topic for any college course. The three-week class was taught by Dr. Mary Gulley, assistant professor of psychology and assistant dean for advising. Gulley’s inspiration for designing the course is her love of Hitchcock’s films. The course is designed to give students one more way to think about psychological concepts in practice. “This is a very interactive course, given the fact that we watch Hitchcock’s great films, learn about his talent and craft and tease out what his films show psychologically and how he was able to create such engrossing visual expressions of how humans think, feel and behave,” Gulley says.
Learn on Location
Students also have exciting opportunities to learn while traveling during CentreTerm. How about studying volcanoes in New Zealand or art and dance in Bali? Other students have studied the Spanish language in Costa Rica, sustainable architecture in Australia, and American colonialism in Hawaii, among other topics and places. Students who don’t study abroad during CentreTerm are still likely to have the opportunity to travel because courses are designed with field trips in mind.
Students taking a course on the Holocaust, for instance, visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Those studying the immigrant experience class on leadership take in Ellis Island in New York City. And students studying American Utopianism might have a day or two of classes in nearby Shakertown, a restored village where students can study the lives of 19th-century Shakers.
Focus on Freshmen
Another special aspect of the CentreTerm is the focus on freshmen, who can take fascinating freshman-only seminars such as “Popular Music in American History”; “Food in Film, Fiction, and the Fine Arts”; and “Rainmaking: The Study of a Preparation for Leadership,” to name only a few.
In a sociology course, open just to freshmen, “The Cafe and Public Life,” students visit cafes in Danville, Lexington, and Louisville to study the history of coffee and the important contributions cafes have made to public life. Another freshman offering, “Stem Cells, Cloning, and You,” encourages students to examine the scientific and ethical issues surrounding the use of adult or embryonic stem cells. The seminars give students a new vision of academic life and studies near the beginning of their academic career.
Since classes are capped at 15 students, freshmen develop close working relationships with their professors and classmates while experiencing education in the small, intimate settings usually reserved for upperclassmen.
Gain valuable job experience, earn academic credit, and—in some cases—earn money! Internships are another option available to students during CentreTerm. During internships, students can discover whether a job suits them, apply what they’ve learned in class to real-life situations, and make contacts for future job searches. Students can earn academic credit for internships and apply for our newest program, Internship Plus, which provides financial support for selected internships.
During CentreTerm, students also can complete approved, self-designed research projects or collaborate on research with Centre professors. And faculty members pursuing research projects regularly seek out students to assist them; students gain valuable experience and contacts that may lead to jobs or graduate school fellowships.
Distinctive Yearly Calendar
Our calendar is based on a 4-1-4 pattern. Students take four courses each during fall and spring semesters and one course during CentreTerm.
For further information about Centre, write, call, or e-mail
600 West Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422