Senior Bridge Courses

1-Credit Courses for Seniors

Skills. Reflection. Transition.

The Bridge Courses were launched in Spring 2017 as a series of 1-credit, pass/fail seminars to help seniors gain personal and professional skills, reflect on their undergraduate experiences, and prepare for leading a meaningful and fulfilling life after graduation. We designed the Bridge Courses for seniors who are seeking opportunities to prepare for the transition from college to the world beyond the front gates in a way that makes the most of their Georgetown education.

**Registration does not open until 3 PM on Monday November 14**

Spring '23 At a Glance (Descriptions below)

Spring 2023 Bridge Courses (UNXD 350-412 in MyAccess)

UNXD 350 (W 12:30-2:30)

Negotiation affects all of our lives. We constantly strive in so many daily situations to secure agreements or cooperation or coordinated conduct with others that benefit our own interests. This course introduces students to the structural theories and the practical applications of negotiation, and, with a series of realistic simulations, explores the behavior of individuals and organizations in competing situations. Through a series of negotiation exercises, lectures, videos and class discussions, students will come to understand negotiation theory, and will practice negotiation skills that will be useful for a lifetime. Simulation exercises employ hypothetical situations in which students agree on the various terms of a new job, negotiate the terms of an apartment lease, and buy/sell a house, among others. Simulations give students an opportunity to develop and try their negotiating skills in a safe environment with continuing feedback from the professor and their classmates.

Instructor: Andrew Caffey, GU Law

UNXD 351 (TH 2-4 pm)

By the time they graduate from college, most students still have not achieved the kind of self-authorship that would allow them to think independently, make choices, and pursue their dreams.” – Marcia B. Baxter Magolda

This course will offer space and structure for seniors to develop, integrate, and express written and spoken narratives that help them move forward into the world. This course is only open to seniors; there are no course prerequisites. This course is conducted as a weekly seminar with readings, written assignments, and group discussions. The classroom community requires preparation, presence, participation, respect, and confidentiality.

Instructor: Julio Orozco, Cawley Career Center

UNXD 357 (M 1 – 3)

“You can run, but you can’t hide.” What boxer Joe Louis is reported to have said about his ring opponents could also be said about you and ethical challenges. You can run from them, but you can’t hide from them. They will confront you in your personal life and in your professional life. Indeed, in all likelihood, they already have. Leadership or ethics? Leadership and ethics? Some people think you have to choose between the two. The premise of this course is that leadership and ethics are two sides of the same coin. The ideal is ethical leadership. It’s not only ideal, but it’s possible (though not always easy) to practice both. That is what this course is all about. This course will help prepare you to deal more successfully with some of the kinds of ethical challenges you might face in your career. It will do so by using case studies of people, leaders at various levels, some real and some fictional, in different kinds of settings, who have been confronted with ethical challenges, and by introducing you to various concepts and frameworks for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making. Applying the concepts and frameworks to the case studies should help you build your own tool kit for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making — helping you become an ethical leader. We will be analyzing various actors in the case studies, but in the end, this course is not about them, it’s about you. This is a course in applied ethics or practical ethics, one that does not fall into one of the traditional academic disciplines, but rather should appeal to students with various academic majors. It will help prepare you to deal more successfully with some of the kinds of ethical challenges you might face in your career. It will do so by using case studies of real people who have been confronted with ethical challenges, and by introducing you to various concepts and frameworks for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making.

Instructor: Al Pierce, SFS

UNXD 362 (TH 12:30-2:30)

How can students apply creativity gained before and at Georgetown to their lives beyond the Hilltop? This course will offer seniors organizational plans for maintenance, growth, for using creative gift(s) for creative expression and creative problem solving. The fulfillment of a creative need will be investigated for personal growth, and innovative thinking through a variety of creative means, and professional branding for the future of the student. Maintenance, nourishment, and currency to fulfilling a creative need will be investigated as well. This course is not lecture-based, rather it is highly experiential; students will engage in creative exercises each week that draw on the readings and their personal experiences. No previous knowledge or coursework of art, drawing or art history is required.

Instructor: Tom Xenakis, ART

UNXD 364 (W 10 – 11:50)

Environmental degradation. Gender inequality. Toxic political division. The list of challenges facing society can often seem endless, overwhelming and without solutions. What can one person do to make an impact on the world? Dr. Jane Goodall, the international environmental icon who is literally the woman who redefined our notion of man through her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees, thinks deeply about these questions. She responds with a simple, yet provocative philosophy that has become the signature of her work: the need to have reasons for hope and then to act upon them. Dr. Goodall has five reasons: the determination of young people, the resilience of nature, the human brain, the indomitable human spirit and the power of social media (her latest). As she reminds us, “the greatest danger to our planet is that we lose hope. Because, if we have no hope, we give up and stop trying to do our bit to make a difference.” Using her book, Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey, as a guide, students will explore Dr. Goodall’s framework and be challenged to interact with tangible examples in their everyday lives that illuminate each reason. They will then reflect deeply on their own values to create their personal reasons for hope, along with a plan for how to activate them as they proceed to the next stage of their life’s journey. Along the way, students will also meet change makers leading with a hope mindset while they apply lessons from Dr. Goodall’s remarkable life story, the instructor’s personal experience working for her, and even the famous chimpanzees themselves.

Instructor: John Trybus, GU Center for Social Impact Communication

UNXD 365-01 (GU MAIN) (TH 10 – 11AM)

and 365-70 (GU-Q) (TH 6-7PM)

This course focuses on how Georgetown students develop a sense of well-being, belonging and purpose within the various communities they live.  This course takes a social and developmental psychology perspective, encouraging students to reflect, explore, and discuss how key aspects of their identity have evolved during their time at Georgetown (and beyond).  The learning environment will be enhanced through a cross-cultural component where students from the main campus and GU-Qatar campus will interact in real time.  The course will create opportunities for exploring and expressing one’s authentic self through in-class interactions with peers and various out of class experiences (online and volunteering).  Students will attend to the relationship between their individual well-being and sense of purpose and that of the multiple communities they live and represent (Georgetown, Qatar/DC, groups that reflect various identities).  In doing so, students will address the following existential question: to what degree should I expect to nurture myself or my communities and vice versa.  Topics that influence the interaction between personal development and community affiliations – power dynamics, identity statuses, core values and belief systems, and social-navigational strategies – will be investigated.  In doing so, students will strive to understand their optimal balance between personal fulfillment and responsibility to the communities within they exist.  

Instructor: John Wright, Director of Student Life, GUQ

UNXD 366 (M 9 – 11)

This course will expose students to the biopsychosocial theory and application of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and its relationship to young adult physical health and social/emotional well-being. MBSR (sometimes termed ‘meditation’) is a mind-body practice. Although there are many types of MBSR, most can be traced back to ancient religious and spiritual traditions. MBSR practitioners tout the benefits of becoming conscious of their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations and observe these states in a nonjudgmental way. Modern medicine has rediscovered the power of MBSR to heal both the body and mind. This has raised interesting questions about the mechanisms of action of MBSR (how and why it works), and wonderment about its utility (where it can be applied)? The course explores what is known about the neurobiological effects of MBSR on the brain, especially areas related to attention and memory, sensory processing, and stress and emotions, and downstream effects on physical functions. Importantly, this course exposes students to fundamental insights from mind-body medicine that can be used in everyday life. Lifespan experts have noted that transitioning from college to young adulthood requires students to become more self-reliant, self-confident, and remain “present” to help them focus on their futures. MBSR is widely available and commonly used for stress management: it is a teachable life skill for unlearning old habits and forming new and healthier ones. The course posits that MBSR is an essential tool that college students can appreciate the rich history of, acquire, and then apply across multiple school-home-life situations to help them remain grounded in the present while they prepare to leave The Hilltop.

Instructor: Claire Conley, GU Lombardi Cancer Center/ Oncology

UNXD 370 (M 6:30 – 8:30)

This course is shared under the Just Communities program and therefore will be open to all students, not only seniors. 

STAR (Start Talking About Race) is a credit-bearing course that was born out of an initiative started by Whitney Maddox at Georgetown University in 2019 after noticing that the conversation around race was an intellectual exercise that lacked personal accountability. STAR combines reflection, storytelling and vulnerability in order to center a topic that we often try to avoid – race. This course provides students a space to question how your race impacts who you are, what you believe and how you engage with others. We will also go beyond the individual level of looking at race to thinking about the group and systems levels in order to see how race is intertwined into every fabric of our society. We will also have the treat of engaging in a conversation about race with staff from National Public Radio (NPR).

Instructor: Whitney Maddox, NPR

UNXD 404 (T 1 – :30)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky famously wrote that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Yet today it is almost impossible for members of free society to go inside of prison walls, much less to interact with incarcerated people as human beings. This 1-credit UNXD course will prepare a select group of Georgetown seniors for life after graduation by exposing them to this forgotten and ignored element of our humanity. It is an extraordinary experience that they will cherish and that will inspire them for the rest of their lives. The course will include 12 contact hours, which will be divided between class meetings at Georgetown and class meetings in a prison/jail. (Likely the DC Jail). The readings—which will consist of several prison-related memoirs, including Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, Wilbert Rideau’s In the Place of Justice, and Shon Hopwood’s Law Man—will prepare students to understand the background surrounding poverty, crime, race, and incarceration, as well as the dynamics of prison life. During the sessions in a carceral facility, the students will work to identify possible avenues of reform—covering before, during, and after prison. Final projects will consist of a reflection paper addressing what students have experienced and learned, and how the course has changed their perspectives, as well as (if possible) a joint small project (TBD) to be carried out in conjunction with an incarcerated student.

Instructor: Marc Howard, GOVT, Prisons & Justice Initiative

UNXD 406

Section 01 (M 11-12:50)

Section 02 (12:30 – 2:30)

To what degree do we have agency in our lives? Is it possible to direct our lives to thrive in our post graduate lives? Within the last ten years researchers have discovered game changing information about how the body and mind function. With this knowledge, we can steer ourselves to flourishing. This Bridge course aims to provide students with up to date research on human flourishing that they might effectively thrive in their postgraduate lives. Students will learn they have agency in directing the trajectory of their lives through self-care, discernment, and relationships.

Instructor: Sarah Stiles, SOCI

UNXD 410 (W 5:30 – 7:20)

 This seminar will provide students the opportunity to explore the core beliefs that guide their daily lives, and how their backgrounds and life experiences influenced and shaped the beliefs they hold today. Utilizing Jesuit values as our foundation, this course will examine students’ formation process throughout their Georgetown career within the context of their daily lives. Students will be challenged to contemplate “Where They Are From,” connecting this journey to the larger construct of power and privilege. The course will conclude with students (re)developing “This I Believe,” in order to articulate to themselves and other persons the core of who they and who they aspire to be.

Instructors: Christopher Barth, Joan Riley, Fr. Jerry Hayes SJ

UNXD 412 (T 4:30 – 6:30)

This course will consist of 7 sessions on questions that will most probably arise as Georgetown Seniors transition from their student life to a working life and beyond. We will reflect on your education at Georgetown and chart a possible courses to apply it for the rest of your life. The problems we discuss have no permanent solutions; people have been wrestling with them from time immemorial. Life challenges you to create answers to new situations, mostly new to you, until it ends. We will explore the idea of a life of learning, based on your Georgetown education, as a path to your most successful and rewarding life.

Instructor: Keith Hrebenak, SFS

For more 1-credit courses, check the Fall 2022 Just Communities schedule!

Archive of Courses

Past Bridge courses explored skillsets and mindsets not normally found in the traditional curriculum, in low-pressure and relaxed settings. The courses are offered under the Just Communities course categories (Ways Of...) and Purposeful Careers. The Just Communities courses bring added attention to the relationship between one's own individual well-being and purpose and that of the multiple communities in which one lives and serves. The Purposeful Careers courses support you in developing the senses of discernment and purpose as you embark on career paths of meaning and service.

WAYS OF BEING

John Trybus, Center for Social Impact Communication

Environmental degradation. Gender inequality. Toxic political division. The list of challenges facing society can often seem endless, overwhelming and without solutions. What can one person do to make an impact on the world? 

Learn more here.

John Wright, CAPS, CMEA

How do our identities impact how we relate to others? How do variables such as race, class, religion, and gender affect our interpersonal relationships not only at Georgetown?  How might a better understanding of these identities allow for intra- and interpersonal growth in this time of transition from college to beyond. 

Learn more here

Frank Ambrosio, Philosophy

What does it mean to be responsible for oneself and to others in 2020 and beyond? How should we understand the dynamics of accelerated change at work in the world and a heightened level of stress, anxiety and conflict they produce?

Learn more here. 

Sarah Stiles, Sociology

To what degree do we have agency in our lives? Is it possible to direct our lives to thrive in our post graduate lives? Within the last ten years researchers have discovered game changing information about how the body and mind function. With this knowledge we can steer ourselves to flourishing.

This bridge course aims to provide students with up to date research on human flourishing that they might effectively manage their own lives so as to thrive in their postgraduate lives. Students learn they have agency in directing the trajectory of their lives through self care, discernment, and relationships.

Learn more here. 

WAYS OF DOING

Andrew Caffey, GU Law

Through a series of negotiation exercises, lectures, videos and class discussions, students will come to understand negotiation theory and practice negotiation skills that will be useful for a lifetime. Simulation exercises employ hypothetical situations in which students agree on the various terms of a new job, negotiate the terms of an apartment lease, and buy/sell a house, among others. Simulations give students an opportunity to develop and try their negotiating skills in a safe environment with continuing feedback from the professor and their classmates.

Learn more here.

Al Pierce, SFS

This is a course in applied ethics or practical ethics, one that does not fall into one of the traditional academic disciplines, but rather should appeal to students with various academic majors.  It will help prepare you to deal more successfully with some of the kinds of ethical challenges you might face in your career.  It will do so by using case studies of real people who have been confronted with ethical challenges, and by introducing you to various concepts and frameworks for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making.

 

Learn more here.

Thomas Xenakis, Art & Art History

How can we think and innovate creatively in professional spaces? How can creativity be an asset in our personal and professional lives beyond college?  This course will offer seniors organizational plans for maintenance, for growth, for using creative gift(s) for creative expression and for creative problem solving.

Learn more here.

WAYS OF KNOWING

Fr. Matt Carnes SJ, Government, Center for Latin American Studies

This course examines our increasingly interconnected – yet stubbornly fragmented and unequal – world, and asks how we, as global citizens, might conscientiously choose to live and act in it. Drawing on the fields of comparative political and economic development, we will explore the cross-national patterns of behavior by states and private actors that are shaping outcomes in education, growth, social inclusion, and political participation. Learn more here.

Joan Riley, NHS, Fr. Jerry Hayes SJ, Mission and Ministry, Christopher Barth, Jesuit Community

Utilizing Jesuit values as our foundation, this course will examine students’ identity formation process throughout their Georgetown career within the context of their daily lives. This seminar will provide students the opportunity to explore the core beliefs that guide their daily lives, and how their backgrounds and life experiences influenced and shaped the beliefs they hold today. Learn more here.

James Olsen, CNDLS, Philosophy

Headlines are dominated not simply with bad news, but potentially catastrophic news. It is not mere hyperbole to note that you will spend your adult lives confronting global challenges and tragedies whose scale goes well beyond that of former ages—from environmental degradation to inequality and poverty to mass migration to technological revolutions and labor disruptions. This creates a uniquely poignant existential burden. The key question this course will examine is: Given this context, how do we utilize our reason and other capacities to pursue both the good and the good life? How do we live well in a dark time? Learn more here.

Keith Hrebenak, SFS

This course will consist of 7 sessions on questions that will most probably arise as Georgetown Seniors transition from their student life to a working life and beyond. We will reflect on your education at Georgetown and chart a possible courses to apply it for the rest of your life. The problems we discuss have no permanent solutions; people have been wrestling with them from time immemorial. Life challenges you to create answers to new situations, mostly new to you, until it ends. We will explore the idea of a life of learning, based on your Georgetown education, as a path to your most successful and rewarding life. Learn more here.

PURPOSEFUL CAREERS

Orozco

Through a critical examination of constructs such as Chaos Theory of Careers (Pryor & Bright) and Self-Authorship (Baxter Magolda), students will explore frameworks to guide their reflection process.  Readings, written assignments, group discussion among students, and conversations with participating alumni will facilitate the development of stories related to beliefs about life and work, values, strengths, and relationships with others.  Students will create and present a living project that can be refined in the years to come.

Learn more here

Previous Semesters

UNXD 353: Vocation and Purpose
UNXD 367: Spirituality and Leadership
UNXD 406: Flourishing in the Future
UNXD 409: The Problem of No God

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