Engage staff members weigh in on the Over Coffee question:

If you could develop an undergraduate class, what topic would you focus on?

“Relevant Web development skills.” – Shawn Hansen, Senior Web Programmer

“I’d design a class called “The Pitch.” It’s a communications/entrepreneurial-emphasis course that challenges teams of students to work collaboratively using convention and multimedia tools to sell a product, service or concept. A panel of faculty members not connected to the teaching of the course would be the end-of-the-semester raters of the final presentations. The goal: Hone students’ writing, speaking, storytelling and team-building talents. These are the kinds of fundamental skills everybody has to use to thrive these days, no matter what their discipline or industry.” – Alex Hummel, Director of News Services and Public Relations

“I never thought I was remotely interested in history until I took my first history of science course at UW-Madison. Suddenly, when combined with one of my favorite topics, history was relevant and, to my surprise, fascinating. I loved learning about how people throughout the ages explained the physical world as well as medical phenomenon. I would suggest developing history classes that allow students to view history through whatever lens most captures their attention … journalism, sports, cooking, etc.” – Natalie Johnson, Alumni Communications Manager

“I would develop a class on information literacy. The ability to find, evaluate and synthesize information to solve a problem is crucial, not only for academics and the workplace, but really for modern life.  Now, this class actually meets every day in Polk Library, at any number of our service desks and instruction sessions, but I would like it to be structured, comprehensive…and required.”  –Joshua Ranger, University Archivist and Communications Librarian

“If I developed an undergraduate class, the class would be about designing for clients and practical design knowledge. It would focus on real-world experience and pair students up as designers and clients. The class would teach students about practical design knowledge–working as part of a project team, practical program knowledge, sending files to a printer, handling tough feedback and designing for someone other than yourself. It would help get students ready for an internship and first job.” – Donna Mleziva, Graphic Designer

“I would develop a math-type class for journalists who intend to be reporters. City and school district budgets, committee spreadsheets and nonprofit funding structures  as they relate to fundraising and allocations are not easy to navigate your way through as a trained writer and creative-type.  Relevant math classes (not just regular math classes) would have been very beneficial to me.” –Mandy Potts, Engage Content Editor

“Integrating rich media and 3D modeling in explanatory journalism with a practical and cognitive approach.” – Doug Sundin, Photographer/videographer

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