First-Year Seminars: Explore, Learn, Grow | St. Lawrence University

First-Year Seminars: Explore, Learn, Grow

First-Year Seminars allow students to explore subjects that aren’t often found in traditional curricula. These unique courses include the FYS that Neil Devendorf took last spring: The Science of Crime and Justice, taught by a chemistry professor

“I’ve always thought that the different ways science can be applied to look at things was very interesting,” says Neil. His First-Year Program (FYP) course, Sciences of the Occult, provided a steppingstone to his FYS. “I wanted to learn more about what insight science offers in occult and criminalistics environments,” he says.

Neil’s FYS gave him the opportunity to learn techniques used in actual forensic investigations in the kind of hands-on labs that his other courses didn’t offer. He explains, “My favorite project was footprint casting. It was really cool to see how bio foam and dental plaster can be used to make a very detailed plaster print of a sole from a piece of footwear.”

In addition to letting students explore new subjects that they’re passionate about, the FYS enhances the foundation of communication and study skills that is laid in the FYP.  “It gives students a lot of help with developing the writing and public speaking skills that will make their later years in college much easier,” Neil says.                                              --Jasmine Wallace