Fall 2015 Course Descriptions

MLAS 500.001 – The Human Condition: Notions of Race from Plessy v. Ferguson to Ferguson
Instructor: Holly Iglesias, Ph.D. (MLAS Core Faculty)
Wednesdays, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
206 Karpen Hall
CRN 60347

The gateway seminar for the Master of Liberal Arts Program, MLAS 500 is an introduction to interdisciplinary studies at the graduate level. With a large, overarching theme—the human condition—the course offers an opportunity to examine any number of topics that address our fundamental human nature from a multitude of perspectives.
The topic, “Notions of Race," reflects dreams and anxieties that began to crystalize  at the cusp of the 20th century and continue to vex us to this day. The course examines how the assertion of white supremacy evolved from overt slavery to social and legal constructs that thwarted advancement. It also considers the link between memory and healing, and between storytelling and meaning.

Instructor Holly Iglesias: Holly Iglesias earned a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Florida State University and a master's degree in History from the University of Miami. She is the author of two poetry collections—Souvenirs of a Shrunken World and Angles of Approach—and of Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry, a work of literary criticism. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Edward Albee Foundation. Her teaching interests include documentary film and photography, archival poetry, and the changing notions of citizenship and race in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century.

ENG 520.001 – Creative Prose Workshop: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: Tommy Hays, M.F.A. (MLAS Core Faculty)
Thursdays, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
033 Karpen Hall
CRN 60346

This class will provide structure, support and constructive criticism for students who are interested in writing fiction or creative nonfiction. Students may have a project in mind or one they’re already at work on, but that is not required. In fact, part of what students may accomplish is discovering and tapping into creative veins from which to write. In that regard, we will do some in-class writing exercises. Each student will submit short stories, novel excerpts or creative nonfiction during the semester, which I will respond to at length in writing, and which we as a class will discuss. Over time, as we learn what to look for and how to read like a writer, the class will become a community of supportive and insightful critics. I will also meet individually with students to discuss their writing. And finally, we will read and discuss works by accomplished writers to heighten our awareness of craft so that we might avail ourselves of the many possible approaches to our own work.

Instructor Tommy Hays: Tommy Hays’s first middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, now out in paperback, was chosen as a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), was selected for the 2014 SIBA Book Award Long List as well as for the American Booksellers 2014 ABC Best Books for Children Catalog. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award in 2006, and has been chosen for numerous community reads. His other novels are Sam’s Crossing, and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Core Faculty in the MLAS program at UNC Asheville. He teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Murray State University. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

MLAS 520: Documentary Photography: Historical Context, Ethics of Representation and Studio Work
Instructor: Kora Manheimer, M.F.A. (Visiting Faculty)
Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
033 Karpen Hall
CRN 61676
An in-depth look at Documentary Photography, including field work and completion of a portfolio project. Conceptual development, with an emphasis on context and the ethics of representation, will be investigated through the portfolio, a research paper and short historical investigations that students will present to the class. Class discussions will ask why people photograph the things they do and what they intend to convey to the viewer, and challenges inherent in condensing a complicated world into static single images. Guest speakers will include local photographers with an emphasis on Documentary. Students must provide their own camera of any type. Technical skills will be taught as needed, prior photography classes are not required.

Instructor Kora Manheimer: Kora Manheimer received her MFA in photography from UCLA and her BFA from Cooper Union.  Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently at PS 122 in New York. She has received numerous awards and grants, including an emerging artist residency fellowship at the Anderson Center.

MLAS 540.001 – Environmental Risk Management
Instructor: Ana Pinheiro Privette, Ph.D. (Visiting Faculty)
Mondays, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
033 Karpen Hall
CRN 60348

This course will introduce students to the field of environmental risk management. We will identify ways in which businesses and communities may assess and transfer climate risk given the current uncertainties associated with climate projections. We will explore different risk management models and examine the processes for assessing climate threats, identifying vulnerability to climate impacts, and ultimately estimating the level of risk for different assets. We will examine ways to control and transfer risk, including the use of mitigation and adaptation practices. Further, we will focus on the importance of a robust data management system underlying the risk management process. The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and tools to implement a basic risk management program. It is designed for the student with no previous knowledge of risk management.

Instructor Ana Pinheiro Privette: Ana is trained in the fields of science and engineering, earning her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the New University of Lisbon (UNL), Portugal (2003), and her M.Eng., Civil and Environmental Engineering, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (1998), and spent most of her career as a contractor for NASA and NOAA.  She has extensive experience in data collection, data production, data analysis, and data management.  In addition, Ana has worked with the decision-making community to understand their data needs and operational processes, and with the climate science community to ensure data-to-result traceabilty as part of the National Climate Asessment team.  Ana is interested in using data to better understand the natural environment and to design strategies that improve the resilience of systems to changing weather and climate.

CCS 560.001 – Decision Modeling & Statistics
Instructor: Steve Patch, Ph.D. (Professor of Mathematics)
**Changed to WEDNESDAYS, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
RRO 210
CRN 60344

In this class we will examine how data can be used to help understand climate change.  To be able to interpret the evidence in a statistical study of climate change it is important to consider methods of data collection and resulting data quality.  Perhaps the most powerful tool for investigating the amount and causes of global temperature change is multiple regression. We will apply regression to existing temperature data with several potential predictor variables, paying close attention to the assumptions required to make the analysis valid.  One of the most controversial aspects of climate change is how much the increase in global greenhouse gases impacts extreme events such as floods and droughts.  We will use the statistical theory of extreme values to investigate whether floods and droughts are increasing as a result of human activities.  While it is well-established that there is a human impact on climate there is a question about what humans should do about it. We will look at statistical approaches to evaluation of remedial actions and introduce statistical decision theory, which is a potential framework for evaluating rational decisions relative to potential climate change actions.  In addition to applying the various statistical techniques we will work on communicating the statistical results in a way that is technically correct but is understandable by a general audience.  The statistical background necessary to succeed in this class is at least one class in statistics at the introductory level.  However, if you do not have that background or you feel that your statistical abilities are rusty, there will be a two-day workshop (CCS 571) given the Saturday before classes start and the Saturday after classes start that will give you the necessary statistical background for the class.  To take this workshop, please register for CCS 571 (CRN 60345), for which you will receive one credit hour.

Instructor Steve Patch: Dr. Steve Patch is a Professor in the Mathematics Department at UNCA.  He received a BA in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Clemson University.  He has authored or co-authored over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals, mostly on environmental issues.

CCS 571.001 - Climate Change and Society Workshop
Instructor: Steve Patch, Ph.D. (Professor of Mathematics)
Saturday, August 15 and Saturday, August 22
1 graduate credit hour
RRO
CRN 60345

For students registered for CCS 560: Decision Modeling & Statistics who do not have the required background in Statistics.  The statistical background necessary to succeed in this CCS 560 is at least one class in statistics at the introductory level.  However, if you do not have that background or you feel that your statistical abilities are rusty, there will be a two-day workshop (CCS 571) given the Saturday before classes start and the Saturday after classes start that will give you the necessary statistical background for the class.  To take this workshop, please register for CCS 571 (CRN 60345), for which you will receive one credit hour.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Steve Patch.

Instructor Steve Patch: Dr. Steve Patch is a Professor in the Mathematics Department at UNCA.  He received a BA in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Clemson University.  He has authored or co-authored over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals, mostly on environmental issues.

MLAS 560.001 – The Development of Astronomy and Cosmology
Instructor: Randy Booker, Ph.D. (Professor of Physics, Graduate Council member)
Mondays, **7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
RRO
CRN 60349

The course looks at the way science progresses through the lens of astronomy and cosmology. It shows the grand sweep of the development of this field from ancient times to modern times. We start by looking at the astronomy practiced by ancient cultures and the ancient Greeks. We then look at astronomy as practiced during the Middle Ages. Astronomy truly became a science during the Scientific Revolution, where we see the work of Galileo, Brahe, Kepler, and Newton.  The Enlightenment’s influence on both science and the American and French Revolutions are explored, as are the connections between science and a democratic society. We next see the influence that the rise of other sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and geology, had on astronomy during the 1800’s. We investigate 20th century ideas of relativity, particle physics, and quantum mechanics and see their impact on astronomy. Lastly, we consider modern cosmological theories of how the universe began and how it might end, while discussing black holes, dark matter, and dark energy.

The course requires no pre-requisites of previous math or science courses. Math is rarely used in the course. There are two essay exams, a research paper, and a final oral presentation.

Instructor Randy Booker: Ph.D. Duke University, 1986; M.A. Duke University, 1983; B.A. Rice University, 1979. Randy Booker, Professor of Physics at UNC Asheville, served as Chair of the UNC Asheville Physics Department from 2000 to 2010. His doctoral work was in the measurement of the short-wavelength microwave spectra of molecules of importance to the interstellar medium of our galaxy and also those molecules serving as pollutants in the Earth’s atmosphere. He has taught both undergraduate astronomy courses at UNC Asheville and courses in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program since 1991. His research interests are in radio astronomy and the development of new environmentally-friendly energy sources. He received the UNC Asheville Distinguished Teacher Award in 1992 and the national Society of Physics Students Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award in 2015.

MLAS 680.001 – Project Seminar
Instructor: Holly Iglesias, Ph.D. (MLAS Core Faculty)
Tuesdays, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
206 Karpen Hall
CRN 60350
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 24 credit hours in the MLAS program, including MLAS 670.
*Note, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate. Because MLAS 670/680 are pass/fail, they do not contribute to the GPA.

The second part of the capstone process is a seminar dedicated to the completion of a creative or research-based project under the direction of a content adviser and the course instructor. Drafts are revised and brought to successful completion with a public presentation at the end of the semester. The very best projects should attain a level of achievement worthy of publication or exhibition. The final project is assessed by the instructor, the content advisor, and the MLAS Director. Grading is S or U.

Instructor Holly Iglesias: Holly Iglesias earned a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Florida State University and a master's degree History from the University of Miami. She is the author of two poetry collections—Souvenirs of a Shrunken World and Angles of Approach—and of Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry, a work of literary criticism. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Edward Albee Foundation. Her teaching interests include documentary film and photography, archival poetry, and the changing notions of citizenship and race in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century.

MLAS 680.002 – Project Seminar
Instructor: Gerard Voos, Ph.D. (MLAS Core Faculty)
Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
3 graduate credit hours
302A Owen Hall
CRN 60351
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 24 credit hours in the MLAS program, including MLAS 670.
*Note, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate. Because MLAS 670/680 are pass/fail, they do not contribute to the GPA.

The second part of the capstone process is a seminar dedicated to the completion of a creative or research-based project under the direction of a content adviser and the course instructor. Drafts are revised and brought to successful completion with a public presentation at the end of the semester. The very best projects should attain a level of achievement worthy of publication or exhibition. The final project is assessed by the instructor, the content advisor, and the MLAS Director. Grading is S or U.

Instructor Gerard Voos: Gerard Voos is the Director of the Office of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education, and Sponsored Programs at UNC Asheville. He received his doctorate in soil ecology from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Science degree in soil science from Colorado State University, and his B.S. in agronomy from the University of Kentucky. He also received a post-doctoral fellowship in biogeochemistry at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, SC. At UNC Asheville, he has taught Climate and Culture, A Sustainable Culture, Environmental Literature & Media, Consumerism and the Environment, Getting Grants: Basic Skills and Strategies, and World Agriculture in the MLAS program.