Lynn University announces debate-specific curriculum for the 2012 fall semester

Students can learn about a wide variety of issues related to the American political process
Lynn University announces debate-specific curriculum for the 2012 fall semester

Published Apr. 04, 2012

Lynn University announced a large number of courses for the 2012 fall semester that will expose students to a wide variety of issues related to American politics, including the role of debates such as the presidential debate the school is hosting on Oct. 22, 2012.

“Our faculty has worked hard to give our students the opportunity to take a deep dive into the American political system during the semester we host the final presidential debate for the 2012 elections,” Lynn President Kevin M. Ross said. “We wanted to ensure that we take full advantage of this event to create an extensive and rewarding teachable moment for our student body.”

The courses announced today were specifically developed to use the debate as a springboard for learning. All the classes fuse issues related to the presidential debates and American politics with Lynn’s innovative and nationally-praised Dialogues of Learning curriculum.

Topics examined include:

  • women, voting and gender politics
  • politics and the education system, including a look at Florida’s FCAT
  • examination of political discourse
  • religion and politics (including the presidency)
  • science and politics
  • the 2000 election fiasco
  • the interplay of elections and international relations
  • the art and poetry of protest
  • alternate fuels, sustainability and energy policy
  • America’s healthcare system
  • campaigns in the 21st century
  • public relations, advertising and campaigns

“We worked to marry deep examinations of our political system with our unique curriculum,” Gregg Cox, academic affairs vice president, said. “We think the resulting courses will ensure we leverage the hosting of the debate to make our students think hard about politics in America and how the process does affect them, their families and their community.”

The current list of debate-specific classes (below is list of highlights) will likely be updated throughout the year. In addition, already existing classes that will add political and campaign topics into their course work will be announced later this year. The media and public are invited to visit for the latest information regarding the courses offered.

Debate-specific courses:

The Politics of Religion, Mark Luttio

  • Description: Our country's founding documents guarantees the separation of church and state, or politics and religion, and yet nearly every political campaign for the presidency has included matters of faith or religion. From JFK's campaign as a Roman Catholic, to Joe Lieberman as a Jew, to Mitt Romney's campaign as a Mormon, our country has asked religious questions of our political candidates. What is the history of our American religious landscape vis-a-vis the political arena? What are the issues at stake in this relationship? Why do we care about our political leader's religious convictions? Why does it matter to us? What bearing does this have on their ability to govern, etc.? These and other questions will be examined along the way toward understanding how religion plays a role in the American political process.

Rude Democracy—Words, Sticks, and Stones, Michael Lewis

  • Description: This dialogue course will survey the rhetoric and debates that have shaped and formed democratic institutions throughout the history of the West. Represented in the Dialogues of Learning - level I, the course will analyze the lives and ideas of historical figures that have contributed to the democratic process, and as a result, have contributed to societal progress. By examining the choices of statesmen in relation to their belief systems, students will understand these major historical figures in the context of their cultural, religious and political outlook. Emphasis will be given on student evaluation and assessment of their own understanding of rhetoric, debate, democracy and history. We shall examine the ancient flourishing of the Athenian Empire, the Republic of Rome, The Development of Parliamentary systems in Europe and the Americas.

Why Women Should Vote, Karen Casey

  • Description: Why Women Should Vote will be a justice and civic life dialogue that focuses on political and policy issues that are important to women. The course will examine issues in the context of women’s political movements of the past and how involvement in the political process changed the lives of women. Topics to be explored include the suffrage movement, women’s liberation movement, equal pay, the abortion debate and violence against women.

Bush v. Gore: The 2000 Election Fiasco, Stephen Aiello 

  • Description: Can one state with its comedy of ballot errors affect the outcome of a presidential election? From undervotes to overvotes to hanging chads to dimpled chads to unwitting butterfly ballots, the state of Florida held the future of the presidency in the palm of its outstretched poll boxes. This course will examine the appeal process from the moment Gore retracted his concession speech on Nov. 7, 2000, to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore on Dec. 12, 2000.

Securing the President, Joe Hall

  • Description: Prior to the invention of the Secret Service by the Pinkertons during the Civil War, presidential security was much less formal than it is today. Of course, there was not an assassination prior to the Civil War either. This course will examine the development of the methods and techniques of presidential protection from the earliest beginnings to the current high tech procedures in use both on ground and on Air Force One.

Campaigns in the 21st Century, Stephanie Jackson

  • Description: This course analyzes the concept of campaigning in the 21st century as it pertains to the use of integrated technologies and social media. Students will examine concepts of freedom, justice, equality and power in the political campaign arena.

Is Your Health Care System Sick?, Daniel Ceccoli

  • Description: This course is designed to evaluate the essential principles of “Science” and its influence on “Democratic Society.”  We will concentrate on the Science of Public Health in the 21st Century and attempt to answer the question “Is our Public Health System Sick”? As such, the course introduces contemporary science themes related to public health, science education and science funding into our public dialogue with the hope of expanding our understanding of their importance in our daily life. The course is not designed to convince the student that one or another side in the social and political debate is correct but instead, give them the necessary background to understand the science behind the issue and make informed decisions of their own.

Please visit for a full list of Lynn’s planned, debate-specific classes for fall 2012 and check the site often for updates to the list of courses.