Students and Their Majors

Success Stories

Rawley Butler ’13- Designed His Own Major, Environmental Studies

“Because of Simpson College I was able to create my own major and realize all of the opportunities that are available to me after I graduate.” More…

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These are the Independent Interdisciplinary Majors that our students have developed ... so far!

Descriptions of the Independent Interdisciplinary Majors and projects

Audrey Myers  IIM Major: Early Childhood Venture Development Minor: Accounting Grad. Date: May 2013 Description: This degree combines early childhood with business management coursework to develop the skills needed for owning and managing childcare centers. The most beneficial project for me, as a future entrepreneur, would be to “open” my own childcare center. This will start in my Small Business Management class with Professor Mueller. During this course, I will create a business plan, then after completion of the course I will continue working on the business plan as my senior project. Curriculum: Educ 114          Foundations of Education Educ 118          Student Development & Learning Educ 231          Intro to Early Childhood Educ 233          Foundations of Special Education Educ 236          Language & Communication Educ 315          Assessment & Diagnosis for Early Childhood & Reading Educ 321          Human Relations in Teaching Educ 323          Early Childhood Curricula & Methodology Educ 334          Early Childhood Classroom Environment, Relationships, Management Magt 234           Marketing Magt 323           Human Resource Management Soc 101            Intro to Sociology Soc 211            Sociology of the Family Senior Project: Developing a business plan for opening a child care center

Mark McCulloch IIM Major: Healthcare Administration Description: A healthcare administration major melds together courses from business administration, biological sciences and social sciences to form a course of study pertinent to individuals seeking a career or advanced degree in healthcare administration. The senior projects will be the development of a study of how pre-planning and prevention of medical emergencies in special populations, such as the high risk population of elderly in West Des Moines, can reduce the need for emergency medical care. Graduation Date: December 2012 Curriculum: Econ/Math 201 Elementary Statistics CIS 205 Decision Support Systems Magt 131 Management Concepts Phil 235 Health Care Ethics Magt 234 Marketing Acct 201 Introduction to Accounting Magt 231 Business Law and Ethics I Magt 323 Human Resource Management Magt 380 Independent Study: Research Methods Magt 300 Project Management IntSt 398 Independent Interdisciplinary Research Senior Project: Impact of pre-planning and prevention on the need for emergency medical care Project Supervisor: Rick Griner

Dana Lain
IIM Major: Environmental Journalism Description: This major includes work from journalism in news writing, reporting, copy editing, hands-on desktop publishing, videography, and photojournalism coupled with the biological sciences applied to marine animals and environments. The objective of this program is to prepare a student to present data in a way that people can make wise informed decisions on critical environmental issues, ranging from the impact of environmental crisis, such as marine oil spills, to marine wildlife conservation and marine wildlife rescue. The senior project will specifically focus on the two-year effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I will create a short documentary on the effects of the oil spill on marine life in the Gulf. Also, I will explore the ecology of marine wildlife through taxonomy, distribution, morphology, physiology, reproduction, diet and the effects the pollution has on these. Minor: English Graduation Date: May 2012 Curriculum: Bio 103 Environmental Science Bio 110 Principles of Biology Bio 135 Biology Statistics Bio 253 Principles of Ecology Bio 275 Behavioral Ecology Bio 319 Public Aquarist Internship Bio 358 Freshwater Ecology Bio 390 Marine Animals and Oil Spills Comm 101 Intro Communications and Media Studies Comm 301 Media Law and Ethics Comm 311 Editing and Design Comm 319 Videographer Internship PoSc 370 Public Policy Topics Senior Project: Impact of Pollution on Marine Wildlife: Aftermath of Oil Spills Project Advisors: Lisa Carponelli & Dr. Clint Meyer

Jennifer Draiss IIM Major: Primate Studies Description: This major will allow one to develop an awareness and depth of understanding for primate evolutionary history, behavior, and cognition, while gaining an awareness for how the field of primatology fits into larger disciplines and issues. Courses in psychology, biology, and philosophy, as well as hands-on research, care-giving, and conservation work will be significant preparation for a graduate program in primatology would be achieved. The senior project will be research working with the apes at Great Ape Trust. I will study at the bonobos’ system of non-vocal communication outside of lexigram usage. Minor: Biology Graduation Date: May 2012 Curriculum: Bio 110 Principles of Biology Bio 270 Basic Genetics Bio 350 Mammology Phil 350 Philosophy of Language Phil 385 Philosophy of the Mind Psyc 231 Animal Behavior Psyc 290 Special topics: Language, Culture, Tool Use Psyc 290 Special topics: Monkey Wars Psyc 290 Special topics: Primate of the World Psyc 290 Special topics: Primates course (not yet titled) Psyc 375 Advanced Research I (Capstone) Psyc 376 Advanced Research II (Capstone) Psyc 390 Special topics: Primate Social Behavior Senior Project:   Non-vocal communication by a group of language-competent bonobos Project Advisor:   Dr. Don Evans

Brandon Hebert IIM Major: Rhetoric and Performance Description: The major will develop the skills understand the social needs of audiences, providing a basis for the analysis of situations and a method for confronting those situations with confidence through leadership and language use.
The senior project will bring all the aspects of the IIM together into a final performance where I will exercise the theatrical aspects of the major and demand that I take charge of the space provided through an extemporaneous delivery through which I can build a relationship with the audience. Minor: Religion Graduation Date: May 2011 Curriculum: Comm 102 Public Speaking in Society Comm 201 Argumentation & Rhetoric Comm 204 Small Group Communications Comm 205 Interpersonal Communications Comm 222 Introduction to Integrated Marketing Comm Comm 355 Research in Communication & Media Eng 350 Philosophy on Language Rel 222 Theology of the Oppressed Rel 331 Theology and Social Theory Thtr 130 Acting One Thtr 216 Oral Interpretation Thtr 230 Acting Two Thtr 232 Direction One Senior Project: Final performance Project Advisor: Brian Steffen

Rachel Greenlee IIM Major: Women and Social Change Description: The IIM addresses themes of women’s issues, the changing role of women in society’s history, the social movements of society based on women and feminist movements, and an investigation of the organizational impact of gender and sexuality on the lives of individuals and social institutions. This interdisciplinary major will bring together a rounded perspective of the disciplines of sociology, history, and philosophy as applied to women. The senior project will be based on interviews done in Thailand with individuals and organizations working toward the goal of abolishing the sex trade as sex tourism in Thailand. The project will illustrate the efforts and goals of those abolitionists and the female victims for whom they wish to free. Graduation Date: December 2010 Second Major: Sociology with a concentration in Social Work Curriculum: CJ 333 Sexual Violence: Victims/Perps CJ 501 Victimology CJ 540 Social Justice and Human Rights Issues Comm 275 Gender/Race/Class Media Eng 234 Women’s Literature Eng236 Studies in American Minority Literatures and Cultures Hist 222 Women’s American History IntSt 398 Senior Project Phil 331 Feminist Philosophy Rel 225 Women and Religion in American Culture Rel 260 Feminist Interpretation of the Bible Soc 311 Women and the Struggle for Equality Soc 360 Social Movements

Maren Landers IIM Major: Art History Description: Art history is the study of how art has influenced and been influenced by the world. It requires a critical understanding of the world through the eyes of artists throughout time. We can look at works of art from different time periods and discover things about that time that one cannot just learn the study of history or art alone. Minor: Art Graduation Date: Spring 2010 Curriculum: Art 121 Basic Drawing Art 131 Foundations of Design I-2D Art 201 Art History: Independent Study Prehistoric to Renaissance Art 202 Art History: Independent Study Renaissance to 19th Century Art 203 Art History: Modern Art Art 204 Art History: Non-western Art Art 205 Art History: Art Since 1940 Art 206 Art History: History of Design Art 297 Art History May Term trip: Roman Britain Hist 305 Renaissance & Reformation Hist 390 Special Topics: Crusades Hist 390 Special Topics: History of India Senior Project: In-depth study of a specific topic in art history Sponsor:   Gabrielle Rose-Curti

Mary Richards IIM Major: Rural Studies: Iowa Country School Experience I Description:  The senior project addresses the significance of the Iowa country school experience in rural Iowa. The one-room country schools were the only opportunity for children to earn an education in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. What is the meaning of the Iowa country school experience? What did the children experience as they traveled to and from their one-room school? What did the children study under the aegis of one teacher during school hours? How did the one-room country school education help the child know ‘who am I’? What social events took place outside of the school day? Graduation Date: May 2010 Curriculum: Art 360 Art for Public School Educ 114 Introduction to Education Educ 300 Reading-Language Arts Education Educ 388 Student Teaching Hist 101 History of Western Civilization I Hist 102 History of Western Civilization II Hist 201 U.S. History to 1877 Hist 202 U.S. History since 1877 Mus 204 Elementary School Music Senior Colloquium 399 The Great Equalizer Speech 1 Speech Fundamentals Senior Project: Rural Studies: The Iowa Country School Experience Project Advisor: Dr. John Bolen