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Free Course Offered to Admitted Students

Students who have been admitted to Wabash College and submit their enrollment deposit by May 1 are invited to participate in a free credit-bearing course that will be offered this summer. The course, “COVID-19 and the Liberal Arts,” will be offered May 5 through June 18.

“We are excited to offer this free course to our entering freshmen as a way of introducing them to Wabash College and the way a liberal arts education prepares graduates to tackle the world’s most vexing problems,” said Dean of the College Scott Feller.

The course will be taught through the College’s Canvas system using Zoom Videoconferencing. It will feature lectures by 1The class runs from May 5 to June 18.4 Wabash professors, followed by virtual classroom discussions of short essays and films led by the professors and Wabash student preceptors.

Students will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. for seven weeks to explore timely and timeless questions about health, politics, ethics, and compassion in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline to register for this course is May 1.

Admitted students who have not deposited must first accept their offer of admission and make their enrollment deposit by May 1.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our new students to get a jump start on their Wabash careers, earn a credit, meet professors, and start to form lifelong friendships with their classmates,” says Dean for Enrollment Management Chip Timmons. “Our freshman class is already shaping up to be amazing in every way; this class will make it even stronger.”

Students will learn to understand the value, relationship, and distinctions among liberal arts disciplines as explored in the context of the COVID-19 crisis; analyze and interpret a variety of texts that provide diverse disciplinary perspectives on the COVID-19 crisis; and cogently communicate ideas and insights on the COVID-19 crisis. The course outline is listed below:

Session 1: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Prof. Scott Himsel, Associate Professor of Political Science

Lecture Title: "The Better Angels of Our Nature": How Great Leaders Empower Us in a Crisis


Session 2: Thursday, May 7, 2020

Dr. Anne Bost, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Lecture Title: Vaccines: A Shot in the Arm for a Global COVID-19 Response


Class Session 3: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Dr. Eric Wetzel, Norman Treves Professor of Biology and Director, Wabash Global Health Initiative

Lecture Title: What's so Public about Public Health? Medicine vs. Public Health and Who Should Be Involved


Class Session 4: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Dr. Chad Westphal, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Lecture Title: Modeling Infectious Disease Transmission, A COVID-19 Case Study


Class Session 5: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dr. Preston Bost, Professor of Psychology

­­Lecture Title: Positive Psychology: Tools for Hard Times


Class Session 6: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dr. Richard Gunderman, ’83, Chancellor's Professor; Bicentennial Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Philanthropy and Medical Humanities and Health Studies; John A Campbell Professor of Radiology at Indiana University

Lecture Title: Ethical and Religious Questions in Plague Time: Albert Camus' The Plague


Class Session 7: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dr. Bronwen Wickkiser, Theodore Bedrick Associate Professor of Classics

Lecture Title: Patterns of Pandemics: What can we learn from plague in the ancient past?


Class Session 8: Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dr. Derek Nelson, Professor of Religion, Steven S. Bowen Professor of the Liberal Arts

Lecture Title: Lecture Title: Epidemics and the Spread of Religion: Measles, Small Pox, and Roman Christianity


Class Session 9: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dr. Shamira Gelbman, Associate Professor of Political Science

Lecture Title: The Buck Stops Where? Executive Power and Federalism in the US's COVID-19 Response


Class Session 10: Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dr. Cara Healey, Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies

Lecture Title: COVID-19, China, and the World


Class Session 11: Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dr. Frank Howland, Professor of Economics, John W. Bachmann/Edward Jones Chair in Economics and Leadership

Lecture Title: COVID-19: An Unprecedented Economic Catastrophe?


Class Session 12: Thursday, June 11, 2020

Dr. Lorraine McCrary, Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Political Science

Lecture Title: Disability, Dignity, and Pandemic


Class Session 13: Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Dr. Brian Tucker, Professor of German

Lecture Title: Thoreau on the Utility of Social Distancing; or, Rereading Walden in Lockdown


Class Session 14: Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dr. James Cherry, Associate Professor of Theater

Lecture Title: Theater in a Time of Crisis