How One Grad’s Tale Begins: from REL to Myanmar to REL to India and then on to Indiana University…

wooden table with a pocket sized world map with coffee mug

Photo by Keyur Hardas on Unsplash

Shelbie Francescon graduated from UA in the Fall of 2018 with a minor in REL and will begin working on her Master’s of Public Affairs at Indiana University in Fall 2019.

I went to Bloomington, Indiana last weekend. If you asked me last August if I knew where I would be this February, the only answer I could give would be “India.” As a graduating senior at UA in the Fall of 2018, I was stressed. I had applied for a Fulbright. I had thought about maybe being a fellow with VIA (Volunteers in Asia) or an English teacher with the Crane House back in my hometown. I had considered applying to law school or graduate school. I had no real clue where I would end up come August of 2019. Continue reading

REL’s New Undergraduate Director

Prof. Ted Trost will be taking over as the Department’s Undergraduate Director, (so students, be sure to schedule your next advising session with him!). In case you were wondering what the role of Undergraduate Director entails, Dr. Trost has taken the time to answer a few questions about his position.

What exactly does an “Undergraduate Director” do?

The undergraduate director works with the chair and the faculty to determine what courses will be offered each semester.  My primary responsibility is to assist each student in determining the course of her or his study—mainly in the Religious Studies but also with an eye toward meeting all University requirements in order to graduate in a timely and convenient fashion.  Toward that I end, I meet with each Religious Studies major every semester to plot out an itinerary through the wilderness of academic options and to clear students for registration.  I also keep apprised of developments in the Registrar’s office and initiatives throughout the University that affect course offerings and advising protocols.

What sorts of questions or problems can you help students with?

I advise students about the courses we offer from semester to semester and help them decide what shape to give their Religious Studies major.  I am familiar with the specialties of all the faculty members and, therefore, can recommend particular courses to take and independent study options to pursue.

What’s the best way for students to contact you?

Students should reach me by email:  ttrost@ua.edu.

“Nobody’s Gonna Go Out With Me…”

onthecouchThis blog was started in our Department back in May 2012, anticipating the 2012-13 academic year’s lecture series that had four different guests all focus on the relevance of the Humanities — a national debate here in the US for decades but one that was obviously heightened in the face of the 2008 economic collapse both here and abroad. The Department, under then Chair Ted Trost, decided to tackle this head on. And so I started posting periodically on why I think the Humanities (or, more broadly, the Liberal Arts) remain relevant. Continue reading