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Current Seminars

Sharpe courses are designed by university faculty to equip our students with community-based participatory research skills, while immersing students in real-world considerations of both practical and philosophical dimensions of social justice and community engagement.  In addition to supporting opportunities for community-based learning, our courses aim to hone students' knowledge for working ethically to address pressing concerns through scholarship, action, and participation with and by the communities most impacted by those issues.  

* All Sharpe COLL150 or COLL100 Courses are restricted to Sharpe Scholars. 

Fall 2022 Courses

*All Sharpe Seminars fulfill either the COLL 150 or COLL100 requirement.*

Table contains a list of available courses.
INTR 150 Living with the Environment (Dr. Dennis Taylor)


This seminar builds a broader conceptualization of community interests . Students learn important principles and concepts to help solve the problem of human impacts on natural systems.

We explore the ethical and moral underpinnings of the human place in nature. Students learn the practical knowledge and scientific understanding needed for policy-making. They begin to build solutions for strong environmentally grounded communities. The goal is to envision a space where humans can enjoy the natural capital of their surroundings.

Student projects are specific and issue driven. They provide direct practical benefits for community partners. The projects give students opportunities for expanded scope and diversification.

KINE 150 Community Health & Research (Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo)

This course will advance students' understanding of community and public health issues facing area residents; introduce students to health provision fo the medically underserved; develop student skills in questioning health equity issues and writing on health equity issues; develop student skills in reviewing data at the community level; develop students' capacity to interpret and communicate health data and understand the impact of social disparities.

SOCL 100 Economic Insecurity:  The Virginia Eviction Crisis (Dr. Caroline Hanley)

This COLL 100 course will involveve students in research on the Virginia eviction crisis, drawing on the existting literature, a publicly-available quantitative dataset, and interviews with the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) staff who are workng on housing justice in Richmond, VA.  Students will explore the "Big Question" of Economic (Housing) Justice in Virginia through community-based research, while developing skills for communicating issues to multiple audiences.

SOCL 150 Spatial Inequalities (Dr. Salvatore Saporito)

Students enrolled in “spatial inequalities” will understand and explain a newly developed measure of segregation to identify legislative districts that may have been manipulated for partisan advantage. Students will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to create maps of segregated legislative districts that were invalidated as Unconstitutional by the Federal Courts. Students will also use GIS and statistical software to determine if and how much measures of geographic compactness are correlated with measures of segregation. Results of these analyses will serve as the basis for writing a semester-long research paper.

MUSC/AMST 150 American Soundscapes: Music, Migration, and Resettlement (Dr. Anne Rasmussen)

American Soundscapes is a course about the diversity and multicultural reality of music in the United States. It is also a course about “songcatchers,” the ethnomusicologists, folklorists, anthropologists, and amateurs who have created and documented America’s musical diversity over the past 150 years. Through case studies of music in America’s immigrant, ethnic, and refugee communities, and by considering the institutions and contexts for music performance, recording, education, and archiving the class will address the intersection of music, identity, and nation during important political and social moments in American history up to the present time. In Fall 2022 the course is taught as part of the Sharpe Community Scholars program and students will engage with recently resettled refugee youth and families in the Tidewater area.