BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— From learning first-hand about the surging Chinese economy to connecting
physics and ecology through the study of sound, May Term students at Illinois Wesleyan
University spend an intensive month in courses on the Bloomington campus and in locations
around the world. May Term offers students the opportunity to cover a semester’s worth
of material in one intensive month-long course.
The following are three classes offered during May Term 2014:
Biochemistry of Food and Culture in Hawaii; Melinda Baur, assistant professor of chemistry
Baur’s class is one of the many travel courses offered during May Term. The class
spends 23 days on the Island of Hawaii, touring small farms and food manufacturing
facilities to learn about biochemistry in the areas of food production, preparation
Students have visited with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists at the
Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and the USDA germplasm facility, toured
papaya, vanilla orchid, mushroom and avocado farms and explored several museums.
“For many students, this is their first opportunity to travel as a professional,”
said Baur. “Travel to Hawaii will allow students to become immersed in Hawaiian culture
while exploring the roles of diverse economic and social groups to the culture and
cuisine found in Hawaii.”
Baur’s students will give several presentations on specific food topics, the relationship
between food and culture in Hawaii and reflections on personal encounters with the
Hawaiian population and culture.
“I hope that students take away the spirit of aloha from this course,” said Baur.
“The spirit of aloha is a community effort to help one another, to actively engage
and enjoy the environment around us without harming it and to relax and enjoy life.”
Film From Page to Screen; Amy Young, video production specialist, Office of Communications
An art class intended for beginning filmmakers, “Film from Page to Screen” teaches
students the complete filmmaking process, from the initial idea to the final product.
Students learn how filmmakers in the past have adapted written works into cinematic
works by reading screenplays, prose, plays and novels and comparing them to related
“Thinking about what camera angles you want to shoot at, what lenses you will use
or how you light a scene were all choices I never thought of as an audience member,”
said Kathy Tun ’16, English-writing major. “But as a director you have to think about
these technical aspects when presenting your narrative.”
Young’s class writes dialogues for films, edits sound files using movie-making software
and creates storyboards of pictures and drawings that represent what the film will
look like. For their final project, the students will complete their own 5-minute
“This class has taught me that if you have a clear idea of what story you want to
tell or what emotions you want the audience to feel, then you have all the information
you need to decide what to do next,” said Tun.
“Hidden” Communities; Teddy Amoloza, professor of sociology
Students in “‘Hidden’ Communities” gain insight into the lives of individuals living
in unique social settings including immigrants, refugees, Amish brethren, the homeless
and the elderly. The class explores how these lifestyles fit into the idea of mainstream
American living through discussions and interactions with different communities.
“Through interactions with members of the community, our class gained insight into
their struggles, accomplishments and reactions to life in the United States,” said
Jillian Bleck ’16, biology major.
Amoloza’s students have invited two groups of immigrants for panel discussions and
visited the Westminster Village and Blair House retirement communities.
“It is often hard to disregard stereotypes and judgments on a group of people, but
interacting with people firsthand opens your eyes, mind and heart to the truth behind
who these people are and what these people really do,” said sociology major Laura
The students have also served food at Safe Harbor, taken a trip to the Amish community
in Arthur, Ill. and will host an Evening of Indian Dances.
“The whole experience of visiting the Amish community was very grounding, and took
me back to a place and pace of simplicity for a while,” said Connor Hughes ’15, psychology
“I hope this course will help students to see themselves not simply as a member of
some local culture, region, group or nation, but also, and above all, as human beings
bound to all others in recognition of our common concern for our humanity,” said Amoloza.