Kansas Studies class returning to campus

Ali Dade

A popular class will be returning to campus in the fall of 2016. “Kansas Studies” will be available for students to take as an upper-level general education course in social sciences or just as an elective. The class will be taught separately by 11 different faculty members from 11 different areas of interest.

There will be 11 different topics dealing with Kansas that will be discussed in the class: anthropology, archaeology, art, geology, geography, history, literature, Native Americans, natural resources, politics and religion. Varying professors on the topics will include Tom Averill, who will teach about Kansas literature and English; Rachel Goossen, who will teach overall Kansas history; Kelly Erby will discuss specifically John Brown and the state’s involvement in the history of the Civil War; Bob Beatty will be teaching about Kansas politics; Marguerite Perret, who will be covering the art of Kansas; and Tom Schmiedeler will be teaching about the geography of Kansas.

“If [students] like the idea of being taught by 11 distinguished faculty here at the university, to get all these different styles of teaching about different subjects in Kansas, then students will really enjoy this class,” Schmiedeler said.

“I think [this class] would be eye-opening, because not everybody knows all that much about all of those topics dealing with Kansas. They may know a lot about one specific topic, but definitely not all,” said sophomore biology major Brandon McPhail.

This class was first offered a few semesters ago, but due to the fact that the class was not registered to be a class until late into the semester before it was offered, many students had already enrolled and had a full load of classes. It is to be noted that this class is considered an Inter-Disciplinary class and could be helpful to transfer students, as well as just an elective for any student interested. This class can also count toward a minor in Kansas Studies.

Schmiedeler, said he feels that this class would be beneficial for students to take.

“This is a very diverse course that will teach students about every aspect there is to know about Kansas. If you’re going to reside in the state,” which most Washburn students do, he noted, “it’s important to know the background. Plus, it is a very integrative course, so you will see these different aspects of the state, but also how they are all inter-related together.”

Schmiedeler noted how important he feels it is for students to learn about as many different aspects of Kansas as possible in order to get a better view of the state.

The class, officially called “Kansas Studies” or IS 340, will be offered only once throughout the semester; every Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

For more information on, or any questions about the class, please contact Schmiedeler at [email protected], or at (785) 670-1559.