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Mount St. Mary's recently held an outdoor symposium, featuring GIS-created maps, to help students learn about the College's new Geographic Information Systems minor.

New Fields of Study Arriving at the Mount

Oct. 30, 2012 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University has created a pair of new majors and a new minor. The Mount’s Global Politics major is available now, while Journalism & New Media debuts this coming spring. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) minor will also be available the spring semester.

Global Politics

Mount St. Mary’s already offers an International Relations minor, but Global Politics is a first on the major level. “Globalizing our perspective, globalizing the College is our focus,” says Lia Roberts, director of the Global Politics major. “We’re following the Mount’s long-held ideals of social justice and taking them to the world stage.”

Students who major in Global Politics will be required to participate internationally by completing a study-abroad program, a volunteer-abroad program, or a local internship that has a global perspective.

“I want to get students up and running so that when they apply for what they want to do next, they’ve already worked outside the country, they already have hands-on experience,” Roberts says. “They will have the chance to take what we learn in class and apply it to the real world.”

Upper-division Global Politics requirements include Humanitarian Intervention, Refugees & International Migration, and International Relations Theory. A Global Women’s Studies concentration is also available.

Journalism & New Media

“Media is no longer limited to the traditional forms of television, radio, and movies,” says Journalism & New Media director Marcos McPeek-Villatoro. “The internet and new technology have taken media to a whole new level. We give our students a foundation to become new voices in society, so they participate and have a profound, meaningful influence upon the world.”

In addition to traditional focus on writing, critical thinking and ethics, Journalism & New Media students will learn new media technology and ever-evolving mediums of communication. “And we have a tremendous faculty who all work, in one way or another, in the new media world,” says McPeek-Villatoro.

The program includes courses such as In-Depth Social Issue Reporting, ProTools Essentials, and eMedia.

Geographic Information Systems

A primary appeal of the College’s GIS minor is how well it complements other disciplines. “GIS can be a big draw for students who might not have a lot of background in technology,” says Mallory Graves, a web/technology assistant at the Mount. “Pair this with your major and that’s a big edge. Employers see the GIS minor and they know the student can use this very sophisticated technology.”

GIS technology allows users to illustrate data that wouldn’t be as easy to visualize or analyze otherwise. Mount faculty designed the College’s GIS program to apply to a variety of fields, including the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sciences. Last year, students in Nathan Chu’s Human Nutrition course evaluated public health needs through GIS mapping of parks, community centers, fitness centers and grocery stores in their communities.

“It’s not just staring at maps,” says Graves, “it’s working with them, creating something unique for your field of study. It’s an interactive tool that’s really useful and visual. And it’s a skill that really sets up students well to succeed.”

GIS courses available in 2013 include Intro to Spatial Thinking, Fundamentals of GIS and Spatial Analysis.

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