The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

OPINION: The top five most influential courses of my St. Edward’s experience

At graduation, seniors walk out of the red doors to signify their time at St. Edward’s coming to a close and entering the world with their new education. While reflecting on all of the courses I’ve taken over the years, these are the ones that influenced me the most.

I began attending St. Edward’s University in fall 2020, and I will be graduating next week with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Education Studies. During my time at St. Edward’s, I have explored a niche range of academic areas, including psychology, elementary education, women and gender studies and workplace studies. This range of academic interests coupled with the experience of my first two semesters online provides me with a unique perspective on the academic experience at St. Edward’s. Here are the top five most influential courses of my St. Edwards experience. 

5) PSYC 2316: Theories of Personality, Jeanetta Williams, Ph.D

This was the first psychology class I took after General Psychology, and it was the perfect progression of topics. I chose to study psychology because I was fascinated with individuals and the unconscious mind. This class perfectly nurtured that interest. We explored personality dimensions, psychodynamic theory, personality disorders and much more. The class stands out because the professor was exceptional. She engaged my attention in every class meeting and truly understood how to lead a virtual classroom. The content I learned in this class has stuck with me ever since, bleeding into my other psychology studies and shaping my overall understanding of the human mind. 

4) EDUC 2331: Learning Processes and Evaluation, Kris Sloan, Ph.D

This course is a requirement in the Education Studies minor, and it has been essential to my professional and academic development. It combined psychology and education, explaining  how people think and learn and how to engineer the classroom to facilitate that learning. We covered key psychological schools of thought, sociocultural and political elements of education and the art of creating effective lessons and assessments. Ever since, I have not been the same as a student or a teacher. I now have a keen eye for not-so-well written assessment questions, and I have a nuanced perspective on the current state of education in the U.S. Even though I have decided to pursue non-teaching job opportunities, this class was incredibly influential and important.

3) FSEM 1305: Freshman Seminar: How Gender Affects our Experiences of Public Spaces, Renne Pinchero 

This course challenged me to think critically about how the world has been systemically engineered by and for a patriarchal society. We discussed roadways, digital spaces, gender roles and more. We learned about the ever evolving feminist movement and were exposed to landmark feminist theorists like Kimberle Crenshaw and bell hooks. This course was my first encounter with feminist theory, specifically intersectionality, and I was enthralled. As a result of this course, I chose to declare a minor in women and gender studies which I pursued for three semesters. The fierce, young feminist in me was born in my adolescence, but the radical and critical feminist in me was forged in this class.

2) WRIT 1301: Writing and Rhetoric I, Mary Rist, Ph.D

I began as a naive and stubborn writer that declared their writing as artistic expression and nothing more. My Writing and Rhetoric I professor challenged these beliefs, pushing me to interrogate writing and see it as a social and rhetorical activity. While I interacted with brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and honest feedback, my inclination towards creative expression transformed. I emerged with a newfound maturity, able to proudly recognize that audience, purpose, occasion, discourse communities, genre and argument are essential pieces of the writing equation.

1) WRIT 2302: Writing and Rhetoric II, Jennifer Dickinson

Writing and Rhetoric II took the newfound perspective from the first chapter and magnified it. This is a course that focuses on discipline-specific writing and research, which is essential to psychology. This class pushed me more than any other had before. The readings were challenging, the homework was tedious, but I walked away from the class as a skilled rhetorical analyst equipped to read, write and understand complex non-fiction texts. Some of the most interesting and prolific academic texts I read in college were in this very class. 

There are many classes I took over the past four years that made me who I am, some of which I did not mention in the list. My time at St. Edward’s has been a long and fulfilling journey that has made me a powerful, multi-talented individual. I learned from many incredible teachers, met truly inspirational students and investigated complex topics that I am most passionate about. I am proud to say that because of these opportunities, I am leaving this university with an educated heart and mind.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Chloe Almendarez
Chloe Almendarez, Managing Editor
Chloe Almendarez is a senior Psychology major with a minor in Education Studies. This is their second year working with "Hilltop Views" as Managing Editor. They are passionate about exploring education and equity. For all advertisement and business inquiries, you may contact them at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Hilltop Views has a zero tolerance policy for hate speech of any kind. Comments that express prejudice against a particular group — especially on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation — will not be tolerated. Do not resort to violent or personal attacks, especially those that include foul language. You can disagree with a story, but libel and defamation will not be tolerated. Spam comments will not be published and may result in an immediate ban from making future comments on our site. Maintain privacy. Do not comment yours or anyone’s personal information. If a comment is determined to have violated the guidelines listed above, it will not be published. We encourage you to follow our guidelines and engage in productive conversations revolving around our stories. Please refer to our Media & Ethics Policy on our website for more information.
All Hilltop Views Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *