VUSM 200:06: Living in a Diverse
World (PDF Version)
MWF 1:25 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Grant T. Smith, Ph.D.
Office: MC 533; Phone: 3485;
Office Hours: MWF 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. T Th 10 a.m. – 12 noon
This seminar course is designed to
increase students’ awareness, understanding, and appreciation of diversity,
broadly defined (e.g., diversity in race and ethnicity, social class, gender,
age, sexual orientation, disability, and religion). Through completion of this
course, students will build knowledge and skills involved in being advocates
for cultural competency and responsible citizens in our diverse and changing
- Click here for the university definitions of an excused and
unexcused absence (page 15).
- Click here for the university policy on sexual harassment (page
- Click here for the university policy on plagiarism (page 10).
- Click here for the English department’s statement
- If you are a person with a disability and require any
auxiliary aids, services or other accommodations for this class, please
see Jane Eddy in Murphy Center Academic Resource Center 332 (796-3194)
within ten days to discuss your accommodation needs. If there other
accommodations that need to be made for you to succeed in the class,
please indicate those needs to the instructor. Click here for a link
to the Academic Resource Center.
- In the event of an infectious disease outbreak,
university officials will monitor progress and work with local, state, and
national authorities to determine the best course of action regarding
institutional operations. Information related to any widespread infectious
diseases outbreak will be available on Viterbo’s website and Viterbo Health Services website. In addition, the Center for Disease
website has extensive information on health threats. If you have
specific questions about your personal health, please contact your medical
provider or Health Services.
Maintaining a standard of academic
honesty is a responsibility shared by the students, faculty and administration
at Viterbo University. The faculty has the responsibility to create an
atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere
includes sufficient safeguards to control dishonesty including an orderly
testing room, restrictions on text messages, etc. Students have the responsibility
to understand academic misconduct and to refrain from it.
Late Work Policy
Students are expected to submit
their work on the designated due date.
Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the professor.
Electronic Submissions Policy
All written assignments should be
submitted as Word Documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
engage in the critical and creative thinking
- Ethical Decision Making—Students respond to ethical issues
communicate effectively orally and in writing
- Aesthetic Sensitivity—Students
engage in artistic experiences and reflect critically upon them
- Cultural Sensitivity—Students
demonstrate a respect for the diversity of the human experience
- Community Involvement—Students
demonstrate responsible citizenship
Student Learning Outcomes for VUSM
You will comprehend poetry, fiction,
and essays on a literal level.
You will develop and support in
written language a convincing thematic interpretation of poetry, fiction, and
essays. This goal will be measured by your papers and revisions.
You will compose original and valid
written arguments, support them with sufficient evidence, organize them to
convince a specific audience, and use stylistically and grammatically
appropriate language to convey those ideas. These skills will be measured
by your papers and revisions.
Outcomes for VUSM 200:
1. Students will examine the background,
structures and effects of oppression, bias, prejudice, bigotry, or
2. Students will demonstrate their awareness of
cultural diversity and its value.
3. Students will reflect on their development of servant-leader
The Fault in Our
by John Green
True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
One Crazy Summer by Rita
Marcelo in the
by Francisco Stork
True Believer by Virginia
The New Kids:
Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke
Trouble by Gary D.
Texts and/or Reserve Materials
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers,
- Attendance: Students who have three or fewer
absences during the semester will receive 100 points. Students who have
four to six absences will receive 60 points. Any student who has
more than six absences will be asked to withdraw from the course.
- Respond to three reading assignments with a 2-3 page
reflection paper (300 points).
- Final Writing Assignment (200 points)
Credit Hour Equivalents
Regardless of format, all courses
are required to meet the required credit hour standards by a combination of
seat time and outside work. Outside work could include additional outside
reading, group work, service projects, field work, clinical rotations, among
other learning activities. Viterbo
defines one credit hour as 750 minutes over 15 weeks. In addition, each credit
of a course requires that students spend two hours of work outside of class per
Weeks One and Two: August 27, September 4 (Labor Day, September
Introduction to Understanding
Diversity through Young Adult Literature
PowerPoint Presentation: “Learning about Diversity with Benetton”
PowerPoint Presentation: “Who Am I?”
Reading Assignment: The New
Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser
Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson
“Conceptual Frameworks” by Adams
Weeks Three and Four:
September 10, 17
Making Assumptions about Race
Read: One Crazy
Summer by Rita
One Crazy Summer
Power Point Presentation: “Structuralism”
Discussion questions for One Crazy Summer
Presentation One Crazy Summer
First Reflective Essay: Once Crazy Summer, Dickinson, or The New Kids
Weeks Five and Six: September 24, October 1
Stewart and Xong Xiong at the FAC Main Theatre, September 26, 7 p.m.
Reading Assignment: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
PowerPoint Presentation: “Sherman Alexie”
questions for Part-time
Weeks Seven and Eight:
October 8, 15
What Do I Know about My Neighbors?
Reading Assignment: Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
Second Reflective Essay: True Diary or Trouble
Weeks Nine and Ten:
October 22, 29
What Do I Know about Being Gay?
Reading Assignment: True Believer by
Virginia Euwer Wolff
Selected Poems by Walt Whitman
Presentation: “Walt Whitman”
Weeks Eleven and Twelve: November 5, 12
What Is the Real World?
Reading Assignment: Marcelo in
the Real World by
Reading Assignment: Read Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/allegory.html
Questions: Marcelo in
the Real World
Weeks Thirteen and
Fourteen: November 19, 26
What Do I Know about Illness?
Read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Discussion Questions: The Fault in Our Stars
Third Reflective Essay:
True Believer, Whitman, or Marcelo
Week Fifteen: December 3
Week Sixteen: December 10
Final Exam: Thursday, December 13, 9:50–11:50 a.m.
Final Essay: The Fault
in Our Stars