Written by Camille White // Photo by Balazs Balassa
Harding introduced several new courses to campus this semester, aiming to help students expand their skills and knowledge.
The Department of History and Political Science is offering GEOG 3800: Intro: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), taught by Melanie Gallagher, associate professor of political science.
Gallagher said that in GIS, students learn about the software required to use, store and manipulate spatial data. Additionally, they will learn to make maps in the class from data.
“One of the ways though that Harding’s GIS class is different from a regular GIS class is we are also using drones,” Gallagher said.
Students will receive their Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) unmanned pilots license to operate the drones.
“It is applicable for our majors, but also a whole host of other majors,” Gallagher said. “Anybody interested in photography, or business, or communications or anything that might use drone software in the future could benefit from the license that you get, but also the background in the GIS knowledge.”
The Department of English is offering two new classes including ENG 2400: Readings in J. R. R. Tolkien and ENG 4110: Nature Writing and American Tradition.
Professor of English Larry Hunt is teaching the class based on the readings of J. R. R. Tolkien. The class this semester holds 17 students, and the plan is to offer this class every spring semester in upcoming years.
“I want it to be fun and informative,” Hunt said. “I am gonna try to give them all they want to know about Tolkien in the class.”
Hunt said the students will be doing weekly readings on “The Silmarillion,” “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Hunt said he has always admired and enjoyed the work of Tolkien.
“I can’t believe I am actually teaching a class on him,” Hunt said.
Associate professor of English Amy Qualls teaches the Nature Writing and American Tradition class, specifically created for students within the Honors College and only offered this spring. This class covers Transcendentalist authors. Qualls said some of her favorite writings come from the Transcendentalists, including Ralph Emerson and Henry Thoreau.
“I always wanted to teach a class where I can really highlight them,” Qualls said.“What I am hoping to do is think about the sacredness of the natural world and then trace that back to the writers who really emphasized that.”
Qualls said the class will emphasize the connection between humans and the natural world and how that connection has changed throughout history.
“Thinking about being at a university where we look at things through a Christian worldview fits right in,” Qualls said. “The sacredness of creation is something we should all subscribe to, so it’s interesting to think about how we see that manifest throughout the literature.”