Elon University / Today at Elon / Five new miners begin interdisciplinary study


Elon College’s Engineering Design, Food Studies, Islamic Studies, Museum Studies and Public History and Sustainable Business programs, the College of Arts and Sciences, welcome students from all backgrounds. majors and disciplines.

Covering food, culture, politics, design and sustainability, a series of new minors made available to students this fall will build skills and encourage thinking across disciplines.

The five miners — Technical design, Food studies, Islamic studies, Museology and public history and Sustainable businesses – enable undergraduate students to hone their skills related to their specialization or career goals and broaden their knowledge of emerging and topical issues. They are hosted or involve partnerships with faculty at Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences.

Technical design

As Assistant Professor of Engineering Will Pluer looks on, students Litza Mauck set off and Apple Ngamwong works on their remotely operated underwater vehicle on Thursday, December 9, 2021, during the final exam for EGR 121 at Belk Pool.

The engineering design minor is for students in any major who want to learn and apply fundamental engineering skills in their own disciplines. Students will acquire the fundamentals of mathematics, computer science and engineering for problem solving in non-technical fields. The program includes a capstone experience in the EGR 2210 Engineering Design for Service course, which applies engineering skills to solving a real-world problem in the community.

The minor is intended to bridge the arts and sciences, business, communication and education and be accessible to all Elon students, said Assistant Professor of Engineering Rich Blackmon, the minor’s coordinator.

Students who complete the program will be able to produce solutions that meet specified needs taking into account public health, safety and welfare as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors. They will also have experience communicating and working effectively with a range of partners while solving problems.

Food studies

Student pouring cream into measuring cup on digital scale.
A student measures cream to make butter in CHM 1710 Culinary Transformations: The Science Behind Cooking.

What do we eat and how much? Where does it come from? How and why is food a vital aspect of culture?

The Minor in Food Studies provides students with a unique opportunity to investigate and synthesize concepts around food from multiple perspectives – the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, education, communications and business – in an integrated curriculum.

The minor includes courses on nutrition, food and its components; sustainable food systems and production; and food, culture and representation. This interdisciplinary framework will lead to in-depth understanding and analysis of issues related to food production, distribution and consumption.

“The Minor in Food Studies is innovative and draws on multiple disciplines to provide the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of food-related issues. This minor will broaden students’ skills, provide them with opportunities to work in food-related fields, and contribute to much-needed changes in food systems,” said Associate Professor of Exercise Science Svetlana Nepocatych, coordinator of the minor.

Islamic studies

The Minor in Islamic Studies promotes the study of Islam from a contemporary, historical, and global perspective, encouraging examination of the complexity of Muslim identities. Encompassing religious studies, history, political science, comparative literature, communications – and embracing approaches from race and ethnic studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies – students will understand the many ways in which Muslims have influenced the world.

“The minor in Islamic Studies is a great complement to absolutely any major and will provide the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in any career,” said Associate Professor of Religious Studies Ariela Marcus-Sells, coordinator of the minor. “In our initial survey, students majoring in fields as diverse as communications, biology, political science, drama and religious studies and more expressed interest in the program. This program supports Elon’s mission to produce global citizens by engaging the study of Islam as a truly global religious tradition and including coursework in many different departments and programs.

Museology and public history

Students examine works of art in a display case.
Students and faculty examine an exhibit of African art at Lindner Hall. The exhibition was organized by the students of ARH 3410 Issues of African Art in the spring of 2022.

The Minor in Museum Studies and Public History promotes knowledge and experience of how the public encounters stories of the past and present through exhibitions, art, media, memorials, and sites. Students will analyze issues related to preservation, collection, exhibition, ethics, and communication in preparation for careers related to museum work and public history. A capstone experience includes a major internship or project in the student’s area of ​​interest.

“We want students to come away with an understanding of how museums have worked and can function as repositories of culture,” said Associate Professor of Art History Evan Gatti, program coordinator. “These are places where values ​​are proclaimed and memories are preserved in all the positive ways and all the problematic ways. Students will leave our program thinking critically about the decisions made and the values ​​presented in how museums and public sites are created, organized, and presented, and with connections and experiences with community partners.

Sustainable businesses

Students pick berries from a vine.
Freshmen in the Class of 2025 of the Engage program, a freshman summer experience, work at Loy Farm.

Sustainable enterprises are for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that meet the needs of present and future generations with products, services, and activities that protect and preserve environmental integrity while achieving financial performance.

The Sustainable Enterprises minor will build leadership in the ethical, economic, political and environmental dimensions of sustainability in the context of destabilizing environmental systems and climate change. Students completing the minor will have a foundation in environmental science and business to understand and resolve the conflicting issues that often arise at the intersection of business and the environment.

“A key goal of the Boldly Elon strategic plan is to help our students build a sustainable future. And for good reason! The need for such leadership is increasingly evident,” said Assistant Professor of Management Scott Hayward. “Currently, we are seeing an increased focus on corporate sustainability across all sectors. Companies are building departments and creating leadership positions to make, measure and achieve green commitments.

“Fortunately, we have relevant expertise across the University. This minor is a joint initiative between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Love School of Business to connect this expertise. The ultimate goal is to bring CAS and LSB students together to share ideas and create solutions that bring us closer to that more sustainable future.


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