ENLP 3100 Complex Leadership Challenges (which will show up on your schedule as COEN 3050 this Spring; same course, still satisfying upper-division H&SS)
This class has been honed over the past 10 years and now reflects a really rewarding--yet also very challenging!--model. The gist of the structure is that each individual student chooses a complex issue that they care about and spend the entire semester investigating that issue. Almost every single week students are exposed to a new "lens" and then research that topic from the perspective of that lens. For instance, one would research how their topic manifests at the level of the individual human being, in interpersonal interactions and in institutions. Then they would look at ethical dimensions of the issue, historical perspectives, systems, cross-cultural.... Every week each student does new research and generates a new analysis. Sometimes this is a short paper (~500 words), other times we practice different communication modes like visual modeling, oral presentations and creative narratives. Our approach is iterative so every assignment is refined at least several times. First drafts are generated quickly (within days of the new lens being introduced) and reviewed by peers; second drafts are reviewed by teaching assistants, and third drafts are graded by Ang. Students can do as many drafts as they wish before submitting a final draft at the end of the semester. The rhythm is very consistent and deadlines absolutely predictable, which helps students manage their time. That said, if a student does fall behind it is quite hard to catch up because at any given time one is usually not only working on a new assignment but revising previous ones. Given the grit required, students often choose topics that are especially motivating. Some choose topics that will benefit their academic or professional interests; others choose topics related to personal curiosities or passions. Some appreciate the opportunity to dive more deeply into something related to their major; others appreciate the opportunity to explore something totally different. I help ensure students frame their topics in ways that are especially conducive to the lenses. Honestly, many students say that this is one of the best classes they have ever taken and also say that it is one of the most challenging. Students who are self-disciplined, good at time-management, open to critical feedback, as well as students with a strong foundation in writing, find the class less daunting than others. The class is small and students often develop a fun sense of camaraderie. Ang and the CAs are deeply engaged. Some students in this class will be preparing for the optional Global Intensive to Uganda/Rwanda which is attached to this course.