Director of General Education appointed
Newly appointed director of General Education and ethnography professor Rodney Frey plans to work with students and faculty to provide a four-year requirement for general education courses.“I continue to teach two courses, but as the director of General Education I want to work with faculty so they become part of general education,” Frey said. “The bottom line is we want to provide our baccalaureate students (with) solid skills and perspectives to complement their majors.”
He said it doesn’t remove the importance of their majors, it’s just an opportunity to explore larger concepts and different cultures.
“For old core it was only for the first year. Now it’s one semester,” Frey said. “There’s ISEM 101, sophomore year the course reiterates, the third year is ISEM 301 and senior year students explore the same issues in an upper level course.”
Last year Frey said he did an exploration with his colleagues as a humanities fellow.
“We took a fascinating theme and gave it to students because we wanted to hear a response,” he said. “There were a ton of presentations from the arts, social sciences, different genres of music, science, art, photography and humanities. I was really impressed about how all of these well-rounded students took such integrated approaches.”
Frey has done a lot of social work with Native American tribes in the northwest, which influenced his curriculum.
“I’ve worked with indigenous people for 38 years and it defines me,” Frey said.
Frey offers a Plateau Indians course.
“I think the content of the course is so unique and distinct to the American experience,” he said.
Frey has been teaching at UI since 1998 in the Anthropology and Sociology departments.
“I collaborate on projects with living cultures and my graduate students do the same,” Frey said. “Their cultures are viable. Looking at what is distinct makes me look at seeing commonalities and advocating diversity. The question is how can we serve others through the gifts that we have received.”
Aaron Wolfe can be reached at email@example.com