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Class prepares students for a changing world

President Devorah Lieberman assists Professors Terrence Deal and Jack Meek teach the honors interdisciplinary seminar. The course engages students in discussion rather than the traditional lecture based course. On Sept. 10 the students steered away from the usual tables and chairs setup to form a circle to share their daydreams and their La Verne stories. / photo by Kelley Magguilli

Danielle Hunt
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne’s new honors course “Leadership in a Changing World” is designed to encourage students to be better citizens.

The class is team-taught by University President Devorah Lieberman, Professor of Public Administration Jack Meek and Adjunct Professor Terrence Deal.

“This class really struck me as something I wanted to get involved in,” Lieberman said. “I love the idea of team teaching with these phenomenal professors and being able to see the leadership qualities grow in the future leaders of not only La Verne but also for our country.”

The class focuses on the La Verne community and its diversity, highlighting interdisciplinary thinking and using values to make decisions.

The class does not simply rely on lecture and class notes but it also has students interacting with each other and analyzing aspects of their lives. They analyze their moral code and see if it is in place with their daily decisions while also using creative thinking to get their point across to their peers.

“The class is much like a hippie class where we talk all about our feelings and how the world affects us and what we can learn from our experiences, which is something I did not expect coming into the class,” junior biology major Vaness Crook said.

“Each honors class is a new experience and I honestly believe that this class in particular I will learn the most from, with such great teachers and the array of knowledge they have it will definitely be a class to remember,” junior psychology major Cristobal Gutierrez said.

The class is designed to teach students to broaden their notions of leadership in today’s climate.

“The set up of the class is very unique in the way that we do a lot of self-reflecting because according to the professors we cannot be a leader until we can understand ourselves and our strengths,” junior speech communication major Natalie Holland said.

The class is designed to draw upon the different professors and have them work together as a team to allow the students to see teamwork leadership first hand and how working in a group enables you to become a better leader.

“President Lieberman makes the class much more interesting based on the fact that she is a leader on our campus and thus everything she says we should take seriously since she is the president of our University, “ Crook said.

The course teaches that leaders are different in different professions and situations, and it shows students how to adapt to various leadership scenarios.

“I honestly believe that by having professors who are so well-versed and have traveled the world and seen many things, that they can pass on their knowledge in a way that will help us students become strong leaders and even stronger individuals, “ Holland said.

“Being able to listen to the students and seeing them discover and connect with their inner leader makes my day. The discussions we have are fueled with so much information that it literally keeps me up at night thinking and it’s a wonderful thing, “ Lieberman said.

The honors class meets every Monday night for three hours.

Danielle Hunt can be reached at danielle.hunt@laverne.edu.

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