EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue – Exploring Social/Cultural Differences and Commonalities

Looking for a unique course next semester? Dr. Ximena Zuniga is offering EDUC 202: Intergroup Dialogue – Exploring Social/Cultural Differences and Commonalities in Spring 2015. The course meets Thursdays, Jan 29-April 16 from 4-6:30 PM, plus a Saturday retreat Feb 15 from 9-5pm.

In this course, you will explore topics like diversity on campus, interracial dating, hook-up culture, stereotypes in the media, bullying, sexism on campus, transgender oppression, multiraciality, reverse discrimination, sexual assault, color blindness, racism on campus, police brutality, and creating change.

Placement forms are available at and you can direct questions to

Time to enroll in winter online courses!

Want to get ahead by taking an online course during winter session? Winter courses are up on SPIRE and enrollment opened October 15!
Here’s how to enroll for winter:
  1. Log into SPIRE.
  2. Click the Main Menu dropdown.
  3. Click Enrollment.
  4. Click Summer/Winter Enroll Appt.
  5. Scroll, scroll, scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  6. Click the green button that says [Request CPE Enrollment Appointment].

Now, when you go back to your enrollment page, you’ll see Winter 2015 and you can search for classes and enroll immediately!

Open Course in Environmental Monitoring Technologies

Looking for a course that will challenge and engage you, while developing new technologies that can help in better monitoring and understanding the environment? This course is for you! “NRC497M / PPA497MS. Applications in “Do-It-Together” Environmental Monitoring Technologies:A Flipped, Service Learning, “Makerspace” Course” is taught by Professor Charlie Schweik, and the syllabus can be found here. The course will contain a variety of service learning and group learning opportunities, including mentoring Amherst middle schoolers and developing brand new technology.  According to Professor Schweik, “Examples might be (1) trying to develop a GPS-collar and datalogger to track an animal; (2) the use of balloon or kites and cameras and GIS to search for invasive plants (do-it-yourself remote sensing); (3) the development of a device that logs the temperature or some other environmental parameter in a building; or anything you might like to implement!” Please contact with any questions. Happy first week of school!

New Summer On-line Law-Related Course for Legal Studies Majors

ENGLISH  132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature, and Culture     (Instructor: Amanda Waugh, CPE Summer Session 2)

In what ways can literature depict, challenge, modify, and nuance our conceptions of what is just and fair? What are the conditions by which we judge an outcome or situation to be fair? This course will explore these questions through a survey of contemporary literature that foreground issues of justice, fairness, and representations of “law.” The texts we’ll be reading together use, in various ways, a child narrator. Throughout the class, we’ll be exploring the effectiveness of this perspective for exploring issues of justice and fairness, rightness and wrongness. We will pay attention to various gender, racial, and cultural contexts that challenge justice and consider for whom and for what purpose is “justice” served. The scenes of justice under consideration will range from the American legal system to the town of Ayemenem in India, and to rural Zimbabwe.

Satisfies AL, G for Gen Eds and LRLA 100+ for Legal Studies major.

Questions can be sent to

Coming Soon to Spire – New Fall ’14 Pol Sci courses

We know that many of you will be off-line after finals, and so we wanted to catch you now to let you know that we will be posting three new political science classes for the fall semester very soon:

  • POLISCI 220 Public Administration: Focus on political control of public agencies, including how and why agencies are created, the ways in which they shape public policies, how elected officials and other actors control agency discretion, and the ways in which agencies might be reformed. Covers a wide range of policy issues including social welfare, public health, and the environment.
  • POLISCI 308 Public Opinion: Exploration of public opinion on a variety of political topics to develop an understanding about how the public thinks about issues and why they think the way they do. Examines how peoples’ opinions influence their behavior, and whether or not political leaders follow the “will of the public” or manipulate public opinion to achieve their own aims.
  • POLISCI 328 Research Methods for political and social scientists: This course is designed to familiarize undergraduate political and social science majors with the basics of undertaking research in the social sciences. It will cover aspects of research design, and an introduction to various methodological approaches to political science research.

Keep checking Spire over the next few weeks for specific times and days! Each will be taught by our new faculty members — we’ve hired three new, tenure-track political science faculty and one new director of legal studies! The Department just keeps growing!

New Fall Course for Criminology Certificate!

Now open on-line, no consent required!  This is a University Eligible/CPE course that does NOT require matriculated students to pay CPE tuition and fees in addition to their regular tuition.

Sociol 497CR(78692), Survey of Criminal Justice Fields w/ Robert Ryan,
Chief Probation officer of the Eastern Hampshire District

Wednesday, 5-7:30

Designed to provide students who have an interest in working in the
criminal justice system, with an overview of that system through the
lectures of professionals who hold significant judicial, legal, law
enforcement, and correctional positions. The speakers discuss their
personal journeys to their current positions, what their duties and
responsibilities are, and what type of background and experience their
agencies/offices are looking for in an applicant. Throughout the course,
there is a discussion of those Amendments to the Constitution (e.g. 4th,
5th, 6th) that are most significant in limiting the powers of those who
work in the criminal justice system.

Sociol 241, Criminology is a prerequisite but if you haven’t take
it, and you want to take this course, please contact:

Wendy Wilde at

New Summer In-Person 1 Credit Course: Public Policy in Pakistan and Iraq

If you will be in the Amherst area this summer and have an interest in Policy or International Relations, consider our newly announced, 1 credit, POLISCI 395J: Public Policy in Pakistan and Iraq course.

More information is available here. 

The course is truly unique in that you will be sitting along side students from Pakistan and Iraq and have an opportunity to dive in-depth into policy differences and similarities in each country.

The class meets each weekday July 1 through Aug 4 for 2 to 3 hours and features lectures, discussions, debates, and projects. You will discuss methods of comparing policy across cultures; history; current political situations; society; and specific policy areas.

Students who participate in these Civics Initiative Courses often cite them as highlights of their UMass experience, and the connections made in the classroom often open other opportunities for networking, professional development and even internships down the road.

If you have any questions about this course or if you would like to register, please contact the instructor, Michael Hannahan at

New Course: POLISCI 214 – Urban Gov w Mayor Morse

You asked and we listened! We have received such positive feedback about courses taught by our professors of practice — Armenian Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, State Representative Aaron Vega, and United Nations Policy Adviser Mukul Sanwal, to name a few — that we have added one more: Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse! Mayor Morse is going to teach POLISCI 214, Urban Government and Politics in Fall 2014.

Not only does this give students the opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of city government from a true “insider,” but it is a great chance to hear how Mayor Morse made his decision to enter public service and politics at such a young age.

The class will meet Fridays from 9- 11:30. Look for POLISCI 214, course # 79390 in Spire.

Want to enroll in an online class at UMass this summer? Here’s how!

Enrollment in summer classes has now begun!  UMass students can enroll in SPIRE after following the instructions below.
Before you can enroll in a summer online course, you must first request a CPE Enrollment appointment.  Setting up the appointment, however, can be confusing, so we have put together step-by-step instructions.
  1. Log into SPIRE
  2. From the Main Menu dropdown, click Enrollment.
  3. In the Enrollment dropdown, click on CPE Enrollment Appointment 
  4. Scroll, scroll, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the CPE Enrollment Appointment button. Click this button!
  5. Now when you go back to enrollment, you’ll see Summer 2014 listed as one of the terms you can view.
  6. Search for the classes you want to take and enroll as you would normally enroll in classes.


For more information on CPE summer online course costs and logistics, go to the CPE website at .

Advising FAQ: I need help choosing classes. When should I make my advising appointment?

Enrollment appointments for Fall 2014 start March 31 and we have advisors standing by to help you figure out the best strategies for satisfying your requirements.   PLEASE NOTE:  Your “enrollment appointment” in SPIRE is the date and time that SPIRE will allow you to enroll in classes, it is not an advising appointment.  You can find the date of your enrollment appointment in the lower right corner of your student center.  You will see only the date, so click “details” to find out the exact time of your enrollment appointment.

If you need help choosing classes, please see the chart below to determine the best time to make an appointment with an advisor.  Remember, these are just guidelines, so if you can’t get in on one of the dates listed, feel free to choose another date that works for you.  Just don’t wait too long after your enrollment date or classes may fill up!


March 31 or April 1, make an appointment for any time during the week of 3/24-3/28

April 3, make an appointment for April 2 or 3.

April 4, make an appointment for April 3 or 4.

April 7, make an appointment for April 4 or 7.

April 8, make an appointment for April 7 or 8.

April 10, make appointment for April 9 or 10.

April 11, make appointment for April 10 or 11.

 If you feel confident that you know which classes will work best for you, it is not necessary to come in for advising! Please just check in with us at least once or twice a year, so we can review your requirements and make sure you are on track to graduate on time.