first year sem


Welcome to life as a college student! Right from the first day, First Year Seminar helps you meet other students, connect with a faculty member, and become part of the Elms community.

In First Year Seminar (FYS), we help you start on the path to discovery about yourself, Elms College, and important topics. Your instructor becomes your guide and mentor. Together, along with other First Year students, you explore a topic and search for questions and resolutions. Your instructor encourages you to become an active member of the Elms College community as you develop your academic program and path.

First Year Seminar courses are connected by a theme taken from Catholic Social Teaching. This year’s theme is Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. All First Year Students are required to complete the Common Read book, The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore, during the summer. You will discuss and write about the book in your First Year Seminar class, highlighting how the themes are interwoven with Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. Books may be purchased in the Elms College bookstore. Please read through the descriptions of this year’s seminar sections to see how different instructors will explore the subject while preparing you for life as a college student. During Orientation, you will have an opportunity to select your top three choices for an FYS class.


Common Read

Want to know more about the Common Read? Information can be found here.

The Other by Wes Moore

FYS Common Events 2014 Calendar

Elms Essentials

Veritas Auditorium


9:30 a.m.

Work-Study Job Fair

Alumnae Library


12 p.m.

Catholic Social Teaching/Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Alumnae Library Theater



1:25 p.m.

Involvement Fair

Keating Quad


11:30 a.m.

World Affairs Council
Panel discussion-Refugee Experience

Alumnae Library Theater


7 p.m.

Common Read reflections: The Other West Moore

Alumnae Library Theater



1:25 p.m.

Real Talk Series
Mental Health

College Center



7 p.m.

Academic Convocation

Veritas Auditorium


4 p.m.

Prison Policy Institute
guest speaker

Alumnae Library Theater


4 p.m.

Real Talk Series
Relationship Abuse 

 College Center



7 p.m.

COMPASS seminar

MC 202


1:25 p.m.

Real Talk Series
What does it mean to be poor?

Alumnae Library Theater


7 p.m.

FYS Presentations
Summative Event

Veritas Auditorium


12:30 p.m

2014 First Year Seminar Courses

Can I? Can We? Can You?

Do we have what it takes to make the world a better place?
Instructor: Carol A. Allan, SSJ, M.A.T., Director of Campus Ministry

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Consumerism in modern-day America, exploitive advertising and misguided messages.
Instructor: Janice Fedor, Lecturer of Business Management

Big Problems: Innovative Solutions

Reducing poverty through science and technology strategies.
Instructor: Beryl Hoffman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Information Technology

For Richer or Poorer: An Environmental Look at the World We Live in

The great economic divide through the lens of ecosystems.
Instructor: Bill Tyler, Lecturer of Physical Education, Men’s and Women’s Swim Coach

An Age for Justice; Protecting the Elderly in America

Can your generation protect the aged?
Instructor: Caroline Murray, J.D., Associate Professor of Paralegal Studies

Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD)

Get ready to lead the charge.
Instructor: Megan Kielty, Director of Student Activities

The Struggle Continues

Exploring social justice and anti-poverty crusades of 1960s – so much to learn, so much still to do.
Instructor: Kent Alexander, Director of Diversity Support Services

Food for Thought; Hunger, Poverty and Our Ethical Obligation

Shattering the myths of hunger in the land of plenty.
Instructor: Teresa Winters Dunn, Dean of Students

Sport: Pathways to Equal Opportunity

Learning to hit a homerun in the game of life might just begin on the playground.
Instructor: Cheryl R. Condon, Lecturer of Physical Education, Women’s Softball Coach

Reeducating America: Who’s Being Left Behind?

Our public education system, free and equal for all?
Instructor: Patrick Carpenter, Director of Annual Giving