Senior-Led Seminars

For Students, By Students

Made possible by a generous gift of the Donald W. White Sr. ’50 Family, Babson offers seminars each spring semester taught entirely by students in their senior year. The classes are on topics that hold special meaning with their instructors, and this semester topics range from navigating responsible adulthood to appreciating and understanding memes and popular culture. By sharing their passion with their peers, the seniors are able to teach topics that aren’t currently offered in the standard undergraduate curriculum. These classes are very popular among fellow students whose desire for knowledge extends beyond the typical course load.

I wanted to create a class that I would have wanted to take … It’s a conversation; I will tell you what I know, and I’ll ask questions, and you’ll tell me what you know.
Lydia Stetson ’19
Instructor [2019], Restaurant Operations and Innovation 101

Senior-led seminars are free, non-credit, and meet the first five weeks of the spring semester. The sixth class is a Showcase, where senior instructors and students enrolled in their courses share highlights from the experience. Upon successful completion of a seminar, students enrolled in a seminar receive a passing grade, and the course appears on their transcript. To register for a seminar, go to the course listing registration page, sort by Course No. and scroll to the courses starting with “SEN.” For more information about the program or the seminars, please email Rob Major.

Senior Seminars Spring 2021

Title: The Greatest American Scandals
Course No.: SEN1332-01
Instructor: Elizabeth D’Agostino
Day/Time: Tuesday, 6:30–9 p.m.
Start Date: January 26, 2021

Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, and O.J. Simpson all have one thing in common: they were the subjects of journalistic scrutiny. In this course, we will focus on groundbreaking U.S. scandals of the past century to examine the role of journalism and its complex relationship with democracy. Students will explore politics, history, business, crime, and ethics, and questions about truth through interactive lectures, guest speakers, and media analysis. We will discuss how journalism informs facets of American culture, including gender roles, race relations, political battles, and institutions of power. After learning about historical events like Watergate, Clinton’s impeachment, and the O.J. Simpson trial, students will be able to contextualize current events and ultimately answer the key question of this course: Why does journalism matter? Course materials include podcasts, films, and TV shows such as “Slow Burn,” “Catch and Kill,” and “O.J.: Made in America.”

Title: Beyond Babson! Navigating Responsible Adulthood
Course No.: SEN1333-01
Instructors: Amalya Khashimova and Kemper Watson
Day/Time: Wednesday, 6:30–9 p.m.
Start Date: January 27, 2021

Nothing feels better than being efficient and in control. Acquiring the skills to feel that way, however, can take time, and students are all busy (beavers!). In this interactive course, students will learn strategies to save time and money, and to ensure they look and feel their absolute best as they transition into adult life. Students will learn the basics of dress, cooking, mixology, budgeting, and establishing routines to keep their selves and their spaces crisp. Fellow student experts and real-deal adults will help students gain the confidence to make it on their own!

Title: Applying the Creative Cloud
Course No.: SEN1334-01
Instructor: Benjamin Stegeman
Day/Time: Wednesday, 6:30–9 p.m.
Start Date: January 27, 2021

Any method of augmenting ideas to allow them to become more digestible can set entrepreneurs and other communicators apart from the masses. In this course, students will learn the basics of four Adobe Creative Cloud products—PhotoShop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and After Effects—along with how to apply them to different business settings. Students will learn the fundamentals: product mock-up design using flat art, product commercials, product photo editing, basic animations, and general visual presentation techniques. Although this course covers the fundamentals, all skill levels are welcome. Class sessions will consist of learning and practicing the functions of the software, and students will get hands-on experience by working on a small project.

Title: Memes, Virality, and Popular Culture
Course No.: SEN1335-01
Instructor: Kaitlyn Sleyster
Day/Time: Wednesday, 4–6:30 p.m.
Start Date: January 27, 2021

Students in this course will explore the internet and its relationship to contemporary pop culture, emphasizing the role of humor. How has the internet influenced our understanding of what is “funny?” What makes something “go viral?” In what ways does the internet replace in-person connection? To answer these and related questions, students will analyze memes, TikToks, Netflix originals, and more. As a conclusion to “Memes, Virality, and Popular Culture,” students will reflect on the internet’s impact on their own lives in a creative format.