By Glenn R. Stutzky
Glenn Stutzky is a clinical instructor of social work at Michigan State University. He recently made headlines for his unusual course syllabus, which, you guessed it, included Zombies! We asked Glenn to share his story and are looking forward to hearing his students feedback at the end of the semester.
As a college instructor, it is always a challenge to capture the students’ attention even when you’re teaching a course they are required to take and pass. An even bigger challenge, and the one I was facing, was how to get students to take a look at my new elective class (meaning not required) on Catastrophes and Human Behavior. I asked my grandson, almost college-aged himself, for his advice. It was short and to the point. “Just don’t be boring, Gramps.” OK, don’t be boring. But how to go about making something like catastrophes interesting?
The answer came from the most unlikely of places – the federal government – CDC to be specific. While I wasn’t surprised to see CDC had excellent information and resources regarding disaster preparedness, I was shocked to find Zombies helping to deliver the message. Here the federal government had gotten cool and I had missed the memo! Following CDC’s lead, I adopted and built upon the agency’s Zombie-themed approach. My twists include having the country’s first embedded librarian in a college course (I call her the Head Zombrarian) and a Catastrophic Event Simulation. It worked! Thank you, CDC. There are 245 eager students now enrolled in the class.
If you would like more information about this course, please contact Glenn Stutzky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this free site where you can create a scary, funny or crazy Zombie Avatar: http://zombietar.framiq.com/
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Have you incorporated Zombies into the classroom? Or maybe you’ve been in a class that talked about the undead. Let us know. We want to hear about your “degree in zombies.”