Freshman Seminars 2020 Winter


SOC Title





Think Fast


Stephen Barker

Tuesday @ 10 AM

CAC 1021



Myrona Lou Delaney

Thursday @ 5 PM

CAC 3100B

How a uni operates


Howard Gillman

Tuesday @ Noon

Aldrich Hall 509

Meditation & Dream


Anthony James Kubiak

Wednesdays at 11 AM

MAB 125

Freud and Dreams


Virginia Mann

Tuesday at 3 pm

SSL 105

(waiting for room confirmation)

From Page to Stage


Jane Page

Monday @ 5 PM

SCS 272

Beyond Numbers


Roberto Pelayo

Wednesday @ 1 PM

SSL 152



Sam Schriner

Tuesday @ 12 PM

DBH 1420

Latinx History


Rudolph David Torres


DBH 1422

Pro Presence Power


Joel Robert Veenstra

Tuesdays 12-12:50 pm

CAC 3100B


Think Fast!—Confronting Visual Art

Confronting visual art, particularly modern or contemporary art, is often intimidating, confusing, maddening. And this can even be true for traditional art. It’s like a power game: do you get it? What does it mean? Is it any good? We’ll explore the idea that if these questions are where you begin your confrontation with a visual artwork, you’re already too late!: the work has passed you by. Our aim: to enrich your experience of works of art from any age, particularly the last 150 years.

Stephen Barker, Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, has been Chair of Drama, Chair of Art, Faculty Assistant to the Chancellor, and Director of the UC-wide Education Abroad Program in France.


Be Divergent: The Practice and Process of Creativity

We are born creative. Yet our K-12 education systems ask for the ‘right’ answers. Research suggests that non-creative behavior is learned over time. Let’s start anew. This course will spark your creative potential, guide you to incorporate creative daily practices into your career-life. You will be encouraged and given the opportunity for divergent thinking, for opening your imagination, and for developing your creative process. Live your dreams and imagine your future.

Myrona Lou Delaney is Head of Music Theatre in the School of the Arts. Her doctoral research explored Creativity as a practice.


How Does a University Operate?

How does a university operate? Sure there is a chancellor and a provost, but have you ever wondered how an institution with a $3.2B operating budget, with more than 35,000 students and nearly 25,000 employees, a hospital and a police department operates on a daily basis? This seminar will explore the work of the Chancellor’s Cabinet which collectively runs UCI on a daily basis.

Chancellor Gillman is the sixth Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. He was appointed in 2014.


Meditation and Dream

An investigation of mind through the medium of meditation, dream, and discussion. The focus of this particular seminar will be on learning meditation and “dream tending” techniques in order to develop mental equilibrium, creativity, and clarity, and to use these to investigate and understand our various mental states throughout the day and night. The seminar will also address nightmares, recurring dreams, and how to deal with them.

Anthony Kubiak is Professor of Drama at the University of California, Irvine. After publishing and teaching the philosophies of performance, he has, for the past decade, worked with shamanic healers in Peru, Nepal, and the U.S., and continues to follow the teachings of his Tibetan teachers.


Sigmund Freud and The Interpretation of Dreams

A t the end of the 19th century, Freud published his seminal and favorite work The Interpretation of Dreams, rapidly followed by two other publications, one concerned with everyday mistakes and one featuring perversion, sexuality and its origins in the development of the mind. We will read each of these works, placing them in the context of fin-de-siecle Vienna, the Victorian era and the sciences and medical practices of the time.

Virginia Mann holds an S.B. and a Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor of Language Science. She has been at UCI since 1987 and researches written and spoken language perception and its development.  She has a deep interest in Freudian theory and she has taught Personality Theory for many years.


From “Page to Stage!”

This seminar will provide participants the chance to learn how plays go from a script through casting, design process, rehearsals, technical and dress rehearsals and performance. The students will interact with the Head of Directing, designers and actors. They will get a chance to have conversations, attend rehearsals and performances. Then try their hand at envisioning a play from “page to stage.”

Jane Page, Professor and the Head of Directing program at UCI’s Drama Department is a professional theatre director who is well-respected nationally and abroad.


Beyond Numbers: The Search for Structure in Mathematics

What does untying a knot have to do with mathematics? When is it better to describe complicated relationships via dots and lines? What does it mean for two shapes to be different? The answers to these questions will introduce us to novel mathematical structures (e.g., topological shapes and combinatorial graphs), which are often not discussed until well after Calculus. This seminar will provide an intuitive introduction to these structures and will highlight applications in the sciences.

Roberto Pelayo started in the UCI mathematics department in Fall 2019. Previously, he was an associate professor of Mathematics at UH Hilo, where I led several undergraduate research projects, developed a Data Science program, and won multiple teaching awards for my innovative pedagogical style.



Most people will use drugs at some point in their lives, or know someone who does. The goal of the class is to recognize commonly used drugs by name and have a basic understanding of their purpose, where they come from, and what adverse effects are associated with them. We will discuss drugs used for medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure, and also some drugs used recreationally, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cocaine, and heroin.

With a PhD in genetics, Sam Schriner been part of the Pharmaceutical Sciences department for 12 years, and have taught physiology for 6 years and molecular pharmacology for 4 years.


An African American and Latinx History of the USA

Much of the theorizing about racisms in the US has been heavily influenced by the idea that the only, or at least the most important racism is that which has people of African descent as its object. This is reflected in many of the current books on the subject of “race and ethnic relations” in the US. Thus, a unique feature of the course will be its comparative and relational approach to the study of radicalized groups in the US. Particular attention will be paid to Latinx and African Americans.

Rodolfo D. Torres is professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy. He is author of eight books on racism, urban inequality, and Latino politics.


Professional Presence Power

Top athletes, artists, and executives all command attention when they walk into a room. This is the essence of professional presence: a sense of purpose, power, and poise that sets apart strong leaders in how they approach the world. Some think charisma is only something certain people are born with; however, the truth is that everyone can power-up their professional presence skillset with the right training that we will explore in this class.

Joel Veenstra is a professional stage manager, a production manager, a producer, a filmmaker, and an improviser.