Students and faculty in training room

Summer Scholar Courses

Ready to be challenged? Whether you’re interested in leadership or pre-health, Summer Scholars offers you the opportunity to discover what it’s like to study at Furman.

Each session, our students have the ability to choose their favorite course. To pick your course, simply rank your top two choices in the application, and we’ll place you in a class. We assign our students to classes based on academic records and space availability. So be sure to apply early to land your desired course.

Our classes are held Monday through Friday for approximately five hours each day. Some courses require evening meetings and outside assignments. Our Summer Scholar counselors will accompany students to class to help them with assignments as needed.

Week One – July 7-13, 2019

Live Well

Healthful lifestyle habits can be used as a therapeutic intervention to prevent, slow, halt, or even reverse chronic disease.  Health care professionals around the world have realized the limitations associated with conventional treatments such as pharmacotherapy.  As a result, many are beginning to explore and implement what is now referred to as Lifestyle Medicine.   This evidence-based branch of medicine utilizes behaviors such as diet, exercise, stress management, sleep, and tobacco cessation to decrease the burden of chronic disease and illness.

During this weeklong Summer Scholars experience, explore fascinating concepts in nutrition and exercise science.  Learn how food and exercise can act as powerful medicines to support both physical and mental well-being.  Explore the dimensions of wellness and realize how each component is integral to living a balanced life. Develop an efficient and effective exercise program to help you meet your goals. Participate in group weight training, indoor cycling, and yoga classes. Become a food label whiz in a supermarket scavenger hunt. View the film “SuperSize Me” and discuss factors contributing to the current rise in obesity. Tour the Molnar Human Performance Laboratory, home to the Furman Institute for Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) that has been featured in Runner’s World magazine. Observe or participate in state-of-the-art VO2 max treadmill assessment of aerobic capacity or Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry assessment of body composition. Visit a local farm to pick fresh fruits and vegetables, and help prepare a healthy meal with your classmates.  Students often feel energized and inspired after this weeklong adventure.  Come join us and learn how to truly Live Well.

Kelly Frazier M.A., has been a Lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences for over fifteen years.  She has taught HSC 101 Wellness Concepts and HSC 315 Fundamentals of Nutrition in addition to developing and overseeing three internship experiences for Health Sciences majors.  FIT Rx is in internship experience based on concept that exercise is medicine.  Students are trained in the principles of exercise assessment and prescription and then assist Furman faculty, staff, and spouses with individualized exercise programming to improve health outcomes.  FUEL the Community is a community outreach internship experience.  Students are trained in the FUEL plate-based, healthy eating curriculum and then work directly with underserved populations in homeless shelters, addiction recovery centers, soup kitchens, and emergency food pantries to improve health outcomes.  The Body Project is a dissonance-based body-acceptance program designed for high school and college-age women.  Upperclassmen are trained in the curriculum and then work directly with other Furman females to improve body image and reduce the onset of eating disorders.

For more information about wellness at Furman, please visit the Live Well Furman Blog.

Pre-Health: What is it like to practice medicine in the 21st century?

This course will give students the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a health care provider. Topics will include how to start preparing now for a health career, what to expect in health professional school, and a comparison of health careers available. Students will hear from a variety of healthcare professionals about the real issues they face in their careers.

In order to learn about the close interaction of the healthcare professions in the real world, students will work through a case study of diagnosing and treating a patient from start to finish. Students will participate in hands-on activities as they learn about the different facets of healthcare. This course may also include tours of local hospitals and healthcare facilities. This course will be directed by Dr. John Banisaukas, the Chief Health Careers Advisor at Furman University, and Coreea Allen, Assistant Health Careers Advisor.

Week Two- July 14-20, 2019

Community Health – from Clinician to Public Health

Over the last century, life expectancy has improved remarkably and most of this improvement is attributable to medical and public health interventions. We still face significant health issues today. These problems are complex, often have controversial solutions, and the resources to solve them are limited. This course provides insights on being a medical provider and public health practitioner. Specific topics include critical decision-making for clinicians, social determinants of health, health policy, healthcare administration, and health communication. This interactive course will include case studies, multi-media components, cooperative learning activities, debates, and potential field trips.

This course will be team-taught by Dr. Shaniece Criss, Assistant Professor of Health Science at Furman University and an experienced researcher and evaluator.  Currently, she is partnering with Furman’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health (IACH) as an academic lead on projects with Greenville Health System (GHS) and LiveWell Greenville. As a public health practitioner, Dr. Criss served as producer and host for a national, television show for the Ministry of Health in Guyana, South America during her Peace Corps service. She also held positions at ICF International, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Cable News Network (CNN). Dr. Criss earned her Doctor of Science degree from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, her Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, her Master of Public Health from Emory University, and a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a focus in urban leadership from Oglethorpe University.

Susan Ybarra, Associate Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health at Furman University, will also serve as a teacher for this course.  She manages all aspects of daily operations of the Institute as well as assisting the Executive Director in the development and implementation of strategic programs and initiatives.  Ms. Ybarra facilitates the convening stake-holders and IACH partners around key health initiatives to work together in improving the overall health of the Greenville Community. She was the Pre-Health Internship Coordinator at Furman from 2008-2016 and has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare administration and practice management in Texas and South Carolina.  Ms. Ybarra holds a B.A. from Furman University.

Leadership Quest for Excellence

Leadership Quest for Excellence 2019 is an interactive experience for high school students who desire to be more effective and inspiring team and community leaders.
Through this action-packed program, you will:

  • Discover your leadership strengths and learn to communicate and apply them in personal, professional, academic, and leadership contexts.
  • Study group dynamics and team management skills.
  • Collaborate with peers as you learn the art of facilitation as a form of leadership.
  • Learn from influential Greenville community leaders, Furman leaders, and local high school student leaders.
  • Explore & create your vision for change in your community

Program Components Include:

  • Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment
  • Team Building Activities (on and off campus)
  • Community Service
  • Greenville Civic Leaders Panel
  • Peer Leadership Training
  • Vision Building, Goal Setting & Reflection
  • Team Facilitation and debriefing training

Kim Keefer, Director of the Shucker Center for Leadership Development at Furman, will lead this program. She holds a BA in Journalism, and a Masters in Education. She is a Gallup Certified Clifton Strengths Finder Coach. She has 28 years of experience as a leadership educator. Teaching Assistants are Shucker Fellows from the Shucker Leadership Institute.

Rhythms of Justice

What is Justice? This question is one of the most basic of human social life. There has been a wide range of different suggestions by philosophers throughout history about what justice is and how it can be achieved within our political structures. Implicated in such a theme are related concerns about gender, race, liberty, community, class, empowerment, recognition, and expression. Interestingly, one doesn’t have to turn just to academic books to consider such issues. Instead, poetry, music, dance, and theatre all have long histories of articulating particular notions of justice and even enacting social critique.

Drawing on these various sources, this class will be part political theory and part cultural studies. Using the tools of philosophical analysis, we will think carefully about different theories of justice offered by philosophers and consider how these theories can be seen in contemporary culture (music, film, art, etc.). The course will serve as an introduction to political philosophy in ways that will be fun, innovative, and interactive. In addition to class discussions and readings, we will write hip hop tracks together, watch movies, and even learn to play the drums as we think about the relationship between specific rhythms, the social structures in which they emerged, and the power relationships that they reflect.

This course will be taught by J. Aaron Simmons, an associate professor of philosophy at Furman University. Prior to coming to Furman, he held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University, The University of the South (Sewanee), and Hendrix College. He works primarily in philosophy of religion and political philosophy and has published numerous books and essays. Also a professional drummer and avid trout fisherman, Simmons and his wife Vanessa, are the parents of a 8 year old son, Atticus, who wants to be a geologist.