Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Students find value in virtual May Term courses

Deena Kirrish '21 conducts an experiment at home with the help of a how-to video from Professor Linda Silveira.

May Term is just one distinctive aspect of a University of Redlands education. Complementing courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, the monthlong May Term gives students the opportunity to feed their curiosity, while broadening their horizons across disciplines.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, May Term courses were moved online and supplemented by distanced fieldwork and unique projects. Here, professors share comments from their students about their experiences in a variety of courses. 

Professional Development for Science Students, taught by Professor Ben Aronson, Virginia Hunsaker Chair in Distinguished Teaching

“I am so happy I got to be a part of this class. It was really enjoyable, and I have started recommending others to take it next May Term.”

“I can't put into words how thankful I am for this class. As a first-gen student I was kind of [at a] loss on how to do things and this has definitely helped put me on the right track. I will 100% be staying in touch! … Besides learning from alumni, my favorite thing were the one-on-ones because it’s nice to have someone listen and give you advice.” 

Reading Comics and Graphic Narratives, taught by Professor Heather King

“I've learned so much and really enjoyed my time in class. It felt more like a fun, directed conversation than an actual working class… I also feel like it transitioned online really well and that I didn't "lose" a huge part of the learning experience. I had such a great time talking with everyone and hearing all of [everyone’s] thoughts on comics!”

“I found this May Term to be an incredibly supportive, productive, and thought-provoking experience. I didn’t realize this until after I left high school but having a genuine sense of camaraderie and community in a classroom setting isn’t the norm, it’s the exception. It’s especially hard in college, when you might see your peers and professors as little as once a week, depending on the course.”

Ethan Irey ’21, Greta Jursch ‘21, Nick Poveda ‘22, Aya Serkovia ‘22, and Garrett Falkenstine ‘22, students in Professor Heather King’s Reading Comics and Graphic Narratives May Term course, created the comic, Ms. Mercury and The Trouble at Citrus High.

Mother Earth Chemistry, taught by Professor Candy Glendening

“This class was way better than I expected. I didn't feel like I was losing anything by taking the class at home. In some ways it seems fitting to be doing kitchen chemistry in my own kitchen. [Professor Glendening] did a wonderful job adapting quickly!”

“I liked that this course pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I'm not ever really in the kitchen, so it was interesting to be there making yogurt, cheese, and what not. I had fun with it considering how fast it seemed to fly by! I really appreciated how [Professor Glendening] always answered our messages quickly when we posted on teams. I never was worried because I knew [she] were there on the other side of the phone!”

Global Health Ethics, taught by Professor James Krueger

“The online May Term was so beneficial to my learning. Our class was set up in a regimen of reading sources that covered many global health issues, topics, and history. The next day, we would then have a live video chat discussion of the readings… I really enjoyed this experience, and I am thankful for Professor Krueger being so understanding by creating a lesson plan that allowed us to communicate with each other in a time when social distancing is the new normal.”

“This course was a replacement for a May Term trip abroad, since I was supposed to travel with Professor Krueger to South Africa and Eswatini, so an online class pales in comparison to what I would have learned about global health in these countries. But I think my professor handled the transition as well as can be expected, and it was a great class.”

Issues and Techniques in Genetic Engineering, taught by Professor Linda Silveira

“I really appreciate all of the effort trying to make the class feel as normal as possible with group discussions, outside videos and articles, at home labs, and daily meetings. I expected to have a more difficult time at this course, but I think that it was executed very well. I saw it as an advantage to be able to easily go online and be in class quickly and just as easily be done with class and move on with my day.”

“I really like how interactive [the class] was instead of us just getting lectured the entire time. I really enjoyed getting to figure out the content of the class while still getting to know other students.”

Learn more about May Term and studying at the University of Redlands.