After 120 credits and 40-some classes, I feel that I’m in a position to reflect on some of the courses I’ve taken here at CSU. Some were hard, and some were easy. Some were engaging and some were nap-inducing. Some I never wanted to leave, and some I had to drag myself to.
Here are my five most memorable courses. While many were part of my journalism major, I did my best to include some favorite electives.
5. Communication and Pop Culture
While I registered because I was looking for an easy class during a difficult semester, this turned out to be incredibly interesting. The way culture and media cyclically influence each other is something I never realized because 19-year-olds have a limited point of reference.
4. Contemporary Race/ Ethnic Relations
Part of why this class is a favorite is because of the professor. Dr. Lori Peek may be the most enthusiastic and energetic teacher I have ever had in my 16+ years of education. I have never had a teacher individualize her teaching in a classroom of more than 150 students, but she managed to learn everyone’s name, and does so every semester.
Apart from how great Dr. Peek is, the bottom line is that the class makes you learn. Race and ethnic relations can be a touchy subject politically and socially, but this class has respectful discussion, tolerance and the objective presentation of facts. If I had it my way, this course would be added to the university core curriculum.
3. Communication Law
Comm. Law: where journalists can pretend to be lawyers for three hours per week. This class was memory intensive, but somehow kept my full attention. We covered free speech cases, libel, slander and advertising law, among others.
This was another class where the professor made all the difference. At the time I took it, the teacher was Lee Christian, a professional lawyer who taught this single class at CSU. He was knowledgeable, treated his students like colleagues, and cancelled class the first day of the ski season.
He also happened to represent the parents in Fort Collins’ infamous “balloon boy” incident while I took the class, which meant CNN waited for him by his car every day after class. That made things interesting. He is on the left in this picture, which was taken during the trial.
2. Public Relations Campaigns
This was a favorite because I am proud of what my group and I created. We spent the semester planning a year-long campaign for the United Way of Larimer County. We researched, surveyed, set goals, created ads and other public relations tactics, and then presented our plan to the organization.
The professor, Cindy Christen, was also another favorite teacher. If any student had a question, no matter how obscure or seemingly insignificant, she answered it in explicit detail for full understanding.
1. Public Relations Cases
This is the public relations capstone, and it’s somewhat infamous for how time intensive it is. It was basically my public relations campaigns class, except that instead of one campaign, we created five. On top of the campaign cases, a 10-hour per week internship was required.
The challenge of this class is what made it my favorite. Dr. Jonna Pearson knows her stuff and is willing to help, but she was not one to hold our hands through the process. She urged us to solve problems through collaboration within our groups, rather than simply being given the right direction.
I can finish any project thrown at me after that class.