February 23, 2018, BY Beth Kaszuba

What Class? Building an Innovative Character

Who Teaches It? Professors Doug Allenmanagement, and Joe Meiserart & art history

"In this class, students practice five fundamental habits or virtues. The first is hyper observation and awareness, or what we call seeing with a child's eye. Students also learn to embrace ambiguity, fail forward, cultivate greater empathy and develop creative confidence. By the end of the semester, we want students to have practiced and cultivated these dimensions of an innovative or progressive character, making them better able to recognize challenges in their environments and giving them the inclination and confidence to produce creative solutions.

"This class consists of 12 one-week modules taught by interdisciplinary teams of faculty from across the University. While the course does touch on theories, concepts and skills, the main emphasis is on the acquisition of practical wisdom. Like athletic or musical prowess, character is best developed through practice. Therefore, students explore innovative habits in modules ranging from improvisation to acting and comedy. They'll even experience Balinese gamelan, a form of ensemble percussion music.

"Students can expect to encounter topics and activities that may stretch them beyond their comfort zones. Most importantly, they will come away with better self-understanding and enhanced potential to have a positive impact at Bucknell and beyond.

"The course was developed to bring together faculty from the Freeman College of Management and the College of Arts & Sciences, so management students gain the opportunity to learn from faculty drawn from across the liberal arts. One hallmark of a liberal arts education is the embrace of progress and the eschewal of dogma and closed-mindedness. While we often talk about the potential for a liberal arts education to create responsible citizens, it's frequently in the context of guiding people to become informed voters, or teaching them to formulate educated opinions on important topics of the day. This project goes beyond that to explore more fully how we can become citizens who are not only informed, but also actively engaged in the world and  enacting change."

See what else Bucknell offers in the Kenneth W. Freeman College of Management and the Department of Art & Art History.

Are we missing out on a cool class? Send suggestions to coolclasses@bucknell.edu.