22 Days of Winter Term

For three weeks in January, DePauw students break from the traditional semester schedule to focus on a single interest—on campus or around the world.

This is Winter Term.

Japanese Culture, Technology and Design

Monozukuri is one of the key concepts that inspire product manufacturing in contemporary Japanese industry. Mono literally means 'tangible things,' while zukuri means 'making.' Combined, the compound word implies the spirit or determination to produce excellent products and the ability to constantly improve them.

The spirit of craftsmanship has been the driving force behind traditional art and craft-making throughout the history of Japan. In contemporary society, it is one of the foundations for the production of modern products, from cars to robots to video games. As such, the spirit of monozukuri can also be seen in small items commonly found in a regular household.

During their travels in Japan, the class visits the many places monozukuri can be found. In Itakura, students stay with host families while learning about traditional pottery and judo, and partake in a tea ceremony and traditional Japanese taiko music with the townspeople. In Tokyo and Nagoya, the class visits the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and the Department of Advanced Robotics at the Chiba Institute of Technology, and learns about industrial development at Toyota. Finally, in Kyoto, students study traditional craftsmanship and travel to nearby Himeji Castle, an iconic example of Japanese architecture.

Background: Will Fryrear '19 learns calligraphy while visiting an elementary school in Itakura.

Sundance and Slamdance

Every year in January, thousands of filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, agents and producers make a winter pilgrimage to Park City, Utah, for two of America's most important and prestigious film festivals: The Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. For more than a decade, Professors Lili Wright and Peter Graham have been making the trip with students for a Winter Term class.

The class begins with a week-long course in the history of independent film, learn techniques of film and brush up on background of the Hollywood Studio System before jetting off to Park City.

Second row seats for a panel featuring Kumail Nanjiani and John Cho.

A wide variety of films are shown at these festivals—from feature films, dramas and documentaries, to foreign films, animation, and shorts. Students channel their inner Ebert, watching films and reviewing them on the class blog. The group will also attend and report on two film workshops, technology seminars and lectures by film professionals such as programmers, film critics, directors and film composers.

Bridge to Informatics

Designed to build upon the strengths of a liberal arts education, the Bridge to Informatics program is a collaboration between DePauw University and Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC). During the three-week course, students from different academic majors are dropped into an intensive development cycle, tasked with designing intelligent devices that solve real-world problems.

This year's project is an embedded chair sensor that keeps track of the amount of time a person is seated throughout the day. The device alerts users who have been sitting for too long, reminding them to stretch and walk around a bit as a way to help them adjust to healthier behaviors.

Students share a closer look at one of their embedded sensors.

The course is structured to give students a sense of what career options and graduate programs in informatics look like. In addition to counting for DePauw credit, credit from this course can be transferred toward future studies at SoIC, where several recent DePauw alumni are currently pursuing advanced degrees.

Background image by SoIC.

Sustainable (Un)Building

Situated next to DePauw's Campus Farm, an old house has been attacked by the elements on all sides. Above, its ceilings and walls are infested with mold. Below, its foundation is crumbling. Most homes in this condition would be demolished and hauled away to landfills or incinerators. But students in this Winter Term are working toward a different outcome: to repurpose or recycle as much of the house as possible.

Students take stock of materials in the basement of the house.

The first project of its kind at DePauw, the course is a unique collaboration among students, faculty, staff and community members, bridging the arts and humanities with engineering and community enterprise—"a laboratory of liberal arts learning in practice."

CoCoDa Winter Term in Service, Nicaragua

18 students traveled to Nicaragua to participate in a three-week Winter Term in Service (WTIS) course, continuing a long-term partnership between DePauw University and CoCoDA (Companion Community Development Alternatives), which supports community development in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Students stand atop a completed tire-supported retaining wall.

While staying in the rural community of Zacataloza, students gain an understanding of the Nicaraguan people, particularly their situation within the context of recent history and their country's complex relationship with the United States. Doug Harms, professor of computer science and WTIS veteran, says students have been warmly welcomed into their homestay families in Zacataloza, while assisting in the construction of a school and retaining wall built from recycled truck tires.

“This experience has helped students better understand and appreciate some of the challenges and benefits of life in rural Nicaragua, including the educational and health care systems, family life and structure, agriculture and food.” Additionally, the group is experiencing first-hand the role that local and international NGOs play in the community.

Sweet and Savory Science

The explosion of interest in food preparation and the science behind it are the focus of this Winter Term course, Sweet and Savory Science, taught by Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Jeff Hansen.

Each week teams prepare dishes that fit within this year's three themes–holidays, fusion and Chopped, a theme based on the Food Network show with the same name. Working in teams with names like The IncrEDIBLES, students compete against each other, testing their culinary skills in Hoover Hall's kitchen by preparing dishes and presenting them to a panel of judges, including faculty and staff members and food service representatives.

Waiting for a judge's fork.

Dishes are awarded points for taste, adventurousness, theme, presentation and menu. After the judges have eaten, they offer their critique–what they liked and what could have been done a little better. Then each judge shares which team they thought won.

The final course requirement? Catering a luncheon for President D. Mark McCoy and his administrative staff.

Natural Laboratories for Evolution

In one of DePauw's longest-running Winter Terms, students travel to the Galápagos Islands, where a young Charles Darwin made observations that would revolutionize our understanding of biology.

500 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the islands are home to birds, tortoises and insects found nowhere else on the planet. But, as Darwin later realized, the islands also contain unique variations of many of these species, specially adapted to life on different parts of the archipelago.

During their trip, students hop from island to island on a boat that doubles as their hotel, keeping a journal of their observations—just as Darwin did nearly 200 years ago.

"Even when students know what to expect," Professor of Biology Kevin Kinney says, "it’s always a shock to them how much the islands live up to their reputation."

Philosophy for Children

This course examines philosophy through the eyes of a child reading a favorite book. Students travel to a local elementary school to read and talk about stories that lined many of our bedroom shelves: The Giving Tree, Horton Hears a Who! and The Story of Ferdinand, to name a few. Together, they dive into topics such as the nature of right and wrong, what it is to be brave, how we can know about things we don't see and what it is that makes each person unique.

"Some of our favorite children's books bring out important philosophical topics, and children are natural-born philosophers."

"The elementary students have quite deep discussions about these issues while honing their critical thinking and reasoning skills," says Jeffery Dunn, assistant professor of philosophy. "What's more, the DePauw students who lead the discussions learn about important philosophical topics, how to teach and the Putnam County community outside of DePauw."

Student-teachers line up for a group photo at Bainbridge Elementary.

The DePauw-Kelley Program

Open to DePauw students from any academic background, the DePauw-Kelley Program provides a holistic understanding of how an organization operates through hands-on experience, case studies and technical practice.

Working alongside some of the top professors at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, students complete a consulting project for an Indiana business or nonprofit, then explore future opportunities at the Kelley School Career Fair. Additionally, DePauw-Kelley students are guaranteed up to $3000 to support unfunded internships in the area of non-profits, government and start-ups in the state of Indiana.

The 2017 DePauw-Kelley Class

More than 50 students have participated in this elite course since its creation in 2015, securing internships in multiple industries as a direct result of the class.

Science and Research Development in India and Sri Lanka

Namaste! from India and Sri Lanka. Through this Winter Term trip, students are immersed in an array of educational opportunities over the course of a 20-day journey. Starting in New Delhi and ending in Colombo, the course explores science and technology in two countries that are best known as destinations for outsourcing, but are quickly becoming drivers of innovation.

During their travels, students visit universities, government agencies and local communities to engage in discussions and hands-on lessons. Course highlights include stops at the legendary India Institute of Technology, India's Department of Science and Technology, the Sri Lanka's Ministry of Technology and Research, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Science and Technology.

"Our students have created incredible and genuine relationships that will extend beyond their time at DePauw." - J.C. Lopez, course co-leader

Life After Mandela

When news of Nelson Mandela's death traveled across the world, media outlets broadcast a South Africa that was harmonious. In these images, people—black and white—lived together, suggesting that South Africans enjoyed a life of interracial harmony.

Members of the 2017 trip visit Soweto.

On the contrary, wide racial gaps in unemployment, income, health and education remain. It's one thing to read about these differences, but for students who make this trip, these racial realities become painfully clear—the feeling of being in a supermarket and white customers cutting in front of you, or watching the way your classmates are treated based on their race.

Students in this course visit important landmarks of South Africa's past and present, including the Hector Pieterson Memorial, the Apartheid Museum, the home of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, a shanty town in Soweto, Constitutional Hall and Robben Island.

Start the Heart Foundation

The American Heart Association estimates that in 2016, more than 350,000 Americans suffered from an event of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Trained under the guidance of William and Sally Dillon, both 1987 graduates of DePauw, six student CPR instructors are taking matters into their own hands this Winter Term.

The Dillons founded the Start the Heart Foundation in 2014 with a mission to save the lives of cardiac arrest victims through education and training of hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Start the Heart has had a total of 18 Winter Term interns who have gone on to teach more than 6,000 people hands-only CPR, which does not use mouth-to-mouth breaths.

“DePauw students have been critical to the phenomenal success of our organization,” William says. “Our internship is a fantastic experience for the DePauw students and the students that they are teaching. The classes are very empowering for what to do in the event of a cardiac emergency.”

Science, Design and Construction of the Electric Guitar

This Winter Term course is part of the National Science Foundation’s STEM Guitar Project. In building an electric guitar from the ground up, students are learning and applying science, technology, engineering and math principles. They’re also gaining experience in woodworking, machining and soldering.

The electric guitar continues to be a key element of rock and jazz music. Guitar designs range from very simple single pickup models to more complex, double-neck varieties employing several pickups and variety of electronics. In this course, students will have the opportunity to design and fabricate an electric guitar beginning with wood that will be cut and finished to form the body, an unfinished neck, loose hardware and electronic components.

Last summer, Chemistry and Biochemistry Professors Dan Gurnon and Rich Martoglio attended a training workshop funded by the NSF in order to teach the course.

They have a diverse group of students–some with guitar playing experience and others with none. Hannah Swarm ’20 says, “I chose the class because it’s something totally different for me. I’ve never played an instrument, done any woodworking or electrical work. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Work hums along in the guitar shop.

Outside: A Course in Environmental Awareness

Outside is a chance for students to better understand themselves—not just as DePauw students, but also as citizens of Greencastle and the natural world.

Removing students from their comfort zones in both the physical and cultural sense, Professor Joe Heithaus leads his class on hikes outside the classroom and beyond campus. Local experts are often employed as guides for these outings; Professor Scott Wilkerson met the group at the DePauw Nature Park for a geology lesson and quarry walk, and Putnam County Historian Larry Tippin gave students a tour of the courthouse square.

In addition to outdoor exploration, course members read texts about the environment around them—its geologic history, flora, fauna and people—and journal their daily experiences through writing, photography and video, interviews, archival research and GIS mapping. The result: a heightened awareness of the world just outside the classrooms of DePauw.

Videogame Criticism

What's in a game? A lot.

Like books and film, videogames are filled with meaning and shape our perception of the world. Today, hundreds of millions of people play videogames, but how many are truly critical and aware of the messages these games convey?

"If you've played videogames for 15 years, you're likely to want to find new, deeper angles through which to engage with the medium."

Incisive videogame criticism asks questions that are difficult to answer like, 'Why do we like jumping in games?' or 'Why do games so often frame failure as death?' In this course, students walk through the process of how to "read" games and critique the experience of playing them.

Students grapple with life as a cannibalistic snake in Slither.io.

"Videogames are increasingly pervasive and culturally influential, and there are more kinds of games than ever before," Assistant Professor of Art and Art History Dan Solberg says. "In this environment, it's important to be critical of the media around us. This course offers a starter kit to thinking about games beyond the evaluative standard of 'fun.'"

Public Health, Community and Culture in Cuba

This Winter Term in Service takes students on a 13-day trip through Cuba, exploring urban life in Havana and traveling the countryside to the coastal city of Cienfuegos.

Cuba's healthcare system is one of the country's proudest achievements. Students learn about its evolution during visits to neighborhood clinics, elder and maternity care centers, the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) and one of Cuba's world-renowned biopharmaceutical companies.

“Cuba can be considered a country of contradictions because their economic development does not appear to match their healthcare development," Associate Professor of Anthropology Angela N. Castañeda says. "Cuba produces astounding outcomes to rival much wealthier nations, including their low infant mortality rate–4.63 percent to the United States’ 5.87 percent and Indiana’s 7.7 percent.”

The 2016 trip visits an elder day center.

One of the unique aspects of the program is its homestay opportunity. Students live with Cuban families during their trip and engage in the lived experiences of the local community.

Honour or Treat? Introductory Ancient Greek or Latin

Packed into three weeks of intensive study, Honour or Treat is equivalent to a full semester of Introductory Greek or Introductory Latin. “It enables students to jump right into Spring Term's second semester Latin or Greek," Keith Nightenhelser, part-time instructor of classical studies, says, "with all the wealth of history, philosophy, religious thought and literature that these languages open up for them.”

In a memoir of his early life, Winston Churchill, speaking of education, said “I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat.”

This Winter Term is ideal for students interested in basic knowledge underlying the Indo-European language group, Romance Languages and English. It’s also for students who wish to pursue the study of Ancient Greek or Latin as a means to understand ancient Mediterranean, medieval and early modern European culture, history and literature.

Radio Management and Programming

In this course, students are participating in the daily operation of DePauw's WGRE-FM—nation's oldest 10-watt college station. They'll learn how a broadcast station is organized and how to operate its facilities for a variety of programs.

Two of WGRE’s current directors, Nate ’18 and Sarah ’19 (pictured), are helping with portions of the class. “I loved taking this class last year, and getting to be on the other side of things is fun,” Sarah says. “It teaches leadership and how to organize the station, as well as how to participate.”

Students in the course are required to work in two of four departments: sports, news, production and promotion. And, starting today, they'll each have their own DJ shifts, so be sure to...

Geology of New Zealand

New Zealand is home to one of the broadest collections of geological features on the planet, densely packed in an area the size of Colorado. For budding geologists who want to see their field in action—without having to drive across an entire continent—this Winter Term course is the place to be.

"You can't learn science without a laboratory. Chemists have a chemistry lab; we have the planet."

Beneath New Zealand’s North Island, the Indo-Australian tectonic plate is forcing the Pacific plate beneath it, releasing molten rock that forms a chain of volcanoes on the surface above. On the South Island, the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates collide head-on, pushing the Southern Alps nearly four kilometers high at a geologic pace of 1.1 centimeters per year.

Hard hats and respirators required.

"It's a small country, but in some ways it's also a huge country," geosciences professor Tim Cope says. "There is so much topography there that if you were to flatten New Zealand out, it would be a whole lot bigger than it looks on a map."

Architecture of Sport: Soccer in Italy

This course examines the ancient history of sport and its venues in Italy—from the Roman period through the Medieval and Renaissance—through visits to Rome, Perugia and Florence.

Ancient sport peaked during the Roman Empire. Arenas for chariot racing and mortal combat sat alongside baths and gymnasia, where exercise, training and ball-play became the ancestors of modern soccer, rugby and football. Romans monumentalized sporting architecture, building venues for hundreds of thousands of people–sport as mass spectacle, social diversion and political manipulation.

Students are participating in soccer training led by Italian coaches, playing matches against local teams in each city, and attending professional matches. Led by Classical Studies Professor Pedar Foss, students are also examining statues, paintings, and mosaics of ancient athletes, and studying the archaeological evidence for their performance, play and presentation.

The 2017 class in Rome.

This is junior Matt Emerick’s first experience abroad. “If you had to describe the culture of Italy in one word, it would be 'passion,'” he says. “Italians believe in doing things the right way–no shortcuts. It’s no wonder that some of the finest clothing, cars, soccer players and food originate in Italy.”

DePauw Chamber Symphony Winter Term Tour to England

Since 1975, members of the DePauw Chamber Symphony have devoted their time during Winter Term to prepare and perform major concert tours in celebrated venues in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Spain as well as in New York City and Washington D.C.

This year, the 30-member DePauw Chamber Symphony travels to England for a nine-day tour with performances in London, Oxford and Bath. Musical selections for the concerts feature several pieces by prominent American composers, including the Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein.

The 2016-17 DePauw Chamber Symphony

Foreign tours give the chamber symphony a taste of life as explorers and performers. They experience a different culture and have a chance to see iconic sights while learning about the country’s history. Moreover, the DePauw student musicians gain valuable touring experience. Music Director of the DePauw University Orchestra Orcenith Smith hopes that ensemble members will develop a stronger sense of musicianship–both in personal commitment and collaborative spirit.

Timmy Global Health Winter Term in Service, Ecuador

This Winter Term in Service (WTIS) begins in Tena, Ecuador, where students are working alongside medical professionals and members of the Indianapolis-based nonprofit Timmy Global Health.

During their stay in Tena, DePauw students will gain hands-on experience in global health issues while working in rural clinics in the Amazon basin. When they return to campus, they'll debrief with trip leaders and discuss issues related to global health, nonprofit organizations and the ramifications of international medical service.

Working with students, volunteers, and international partners, Timmy Global Health’s mission is to expand healthcare access and education to underserved populations around the world. Established in 2016, DePauw's Global Health Program traces its origins to student interest generated by these Timmy service trips.

About Winter Term

Since the University's first Winter Term in 1971, the annual intersession period has become a highlight of the DePauw student experience. Nearly 80 percent of DePauw students will travel abroad during their time in college—among the highest rates in the country—and Winter Term is one of the biggest reasons why. In addition to international study opportunities, Winter Term presents a chance to take on-campus courses with unique interdisciplinary twists, from the Science of Taste to Sustainable Deconstruction.

Whether through travel or in a traditional classroom setting, January at DePauw is a time to explore, learn and recharge.

Created By
DePauw University

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.