May 12, 2010
Lees-McRae offers summer courses to explore Appalachia

Are you seeking a unique way to experience the wonders of Appalachia this summer? Take a look at Lees-McRae College where the Stephenson Center for Appalachia offers a series of four courses that explore ecology, photography and writing, Appalachian women, and documentary production.

Beginning May 24 and running through mid-August, you can study with Lees-McRae professors for college credit or for enrichment. Four courses offered sequentially will provide an in-depth look at the diverse wonders of the region.

Dr. Stewart Skeate, author of A Nature Guide to Northwest North Carolina, will offer a course on Appalachian Ecology from May 24 to June 4 for four hours credit. He will take students on hikes, some strenuous, into natural areas to experience and study the different habitats that make this area of Southern Appalachia one of the most biologically rich regions of the planet.

Combining education about various aspects of local culture with developing photography and writing skills, Dr. Michael Joslin will offer his Integrating Photography with Writing in Appalachian Features from June 7 to June 11 for three hours credit. Author of five books on Appalachia as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, Joslin will take students to natural heritage areas, historical sites, and craft studios to provide students opportunities to practice integrating feature writing and photography. The course will require some moderately strenuous hiking, reading before the course meets, and a final project to be completed after the course meets.

Kathy Olson will present her class on Appalachian Women from June 14 to July 2. The class meets from 9:30-12:00 Monday through Friday for three hours credit. Olson received her Master's degree in English from East Tennessee State University and has edited books on Appalachian authors as well as a number of essays on issues facing Appalachia. Women in Appalachia have drawn from traditional cultural values and generated innovative ideas in their roles within the home, the community and the world. Taking a multimedia approach, students will actively explore women's roles as artists, activists and purveyors of cultural traditions. Literature, music and film serve as the foundation for providing students with a range of interpretations of women's historical and socio-economic impact on the Appalachian region.

Jesse Knight will focus on documentary video production in his class from June 14-August 12. Students will meet with him each Monday and Wednesday from 12:00-2:50 p.m. for three-hours credit. Knight received his MFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has taught media arts at the Art Institute of Las Vegas and now teaches in the Communication Arts and Art and Design majors at Lees-McRae. He has been making fictional films and documentaries since 1995.

For information contact the Academic Affairs Office at Lees-McRae College at 898-8856. You can register up to the starting date for each course.

Photo caption: Students in Michael Joslin's Integrating Photography with Writing in Appalachian Features test their photography skills on top of Mount Mitchell.

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