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Staff Picks: What Penn State Classes Would We Create?

It’s scheduling SZN, folks.

While some students have already scheduled for next semester, most are still in the process of planning out their class slate. That got us thinking –If we had the ability to create any class, what would it be?

Our staff made their picks for what classes they’d like to see Penn State add to the course catalog.

Dana Nunemacher: Meet Farm Animals 101

I wish there was a gen ed through which I could just hang out with Penn State’s farm animals three times a week. I love the farm animals at Penn State, and they are all just out in their pastures waiting for me to hang with them. Not only could this be a good class for students to learn more about agriculture and where their food comes from, but it would also be great stress relief. Would you be sad after playing with a baby cow or a lamb? I don’t think so.

Gabe Angieri: Intro To Sports Gambling

I think this needs to be a class at Penn State. With sports gambling becoming legal in more and more states, its popularity has surged. With that, you need to understand that there’s money on the line whenever you place a bet. Having a class at Penn State that shows you the ins and outs of sports betting, as well as how to bet responsibly, would be crucial for all the gamblers out there.

As someone who’s not 21, I do not bet. However, in preparation for my 21st birthday, this class would do wonders for me and my future bank account. In the famous words of Stu Feiner, I’d be ready to roll.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Colleen Nersten: Science Communication

I know this class sounds lame, but I think it would be really beneficial for STEM students. I’m currently enrolled in BIOL 403: Science Writing and Communication for Research, and it teaches you all about writing manuscripts, research posters, etc., but what I’m envisioning is a little bit different.

Over the course of the pandemic, I realized that scientists do a poor job communicating scientific ideas to the general public, which can create breeding grounds for misinformation. No one gives a shit if you can explain the Krebs cycle in detail if you can’t effectively communicate how climate change and vaccines work. So, a class that teaches Eberly students how to communicate these concepts is a simple way to expand public understanding of science.

English 416: Science Writing is said to “prepare scientists and writers to gather, interpret, and present scientific information to the layman with clarity and accuracy” which is essentially the same idea. But, I imagine way more science students would take it if they received credits to fulfill their major requirements.

Frankie Marzano: Sports Analytics

I think it’s safe to say most people have to take some level of a data analytics class throughout their time at Penn State, but I think it would be cool to have a class that goes a step further and teaches students how to apply that to sports. A lot of people see the output of analytics in sports in graphs and charts on ESPN and social media, but it would be cool to learn how make something like that for each sport.

It’s hard to decipher which statistics are relevant and which aren’t, and it’s not easy to even gather data. So, a class that could teach you how to do all of that for fun would be pretty cool. As a bonus, it could help you do well in the sports books, too!

Larkin Richards: Marvel 101

This might seem super obvious, but we all need to recognize it. Marvel has endless pieces of work that can be analyzed. There are so many characters that need their own week of just unpacking their powers, reasons why they are the way they are, and understanding their specific storyline. There are tons of ways to deep dive into the theories of Marvel and what was creatively originated.

There are so many timelines to Marvel that a newbie could feel too out of touch to start understanding. With this class, a newbie or a well-rounded Marvel fan could easily break down each and every theory known to each fan. I took a graphic novel class this past fall, and it reminded me of how much we are missing out from not breaking down the insanity Marvel created.

Imagine completing homework that is dedicated to a movie or show watched through the Marvel phases. It doesn’t get better than this.

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Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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