Here are some examples of Learning Communities we have had in the past:

Learning Communities 2017-18:


Assembling your Scholarly Toolbox: How to Succeed in College

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. Michael Wolyniak, Elliot Associate Professor of Biology
This community enrolls students in Dr. Wolyniak's Western Culture 101 course and Dr. Cristine Varholy's Rhetoric 101 course. Both required courses are great places to build the skills necessary to transition from high school to college courses. In these classes, students will consider the roots of Western civilization through examination of works and texts, using these to engage in discussion, writing, and research to develop the critical thinking and rhetorical skills essential for success in college-level scholarship. As a main project, students will develop questions about the time period under study and engage in a semester-long research project that will be presented publicly to the College community. This Community is suited to any student who is looking to gain experience in the research and communication skills that will get them up to speed for success at Hampden-Sydney!

Caesar and Alexander

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. James Arieti, Thompson Professor of Classics 
This community explores the careers of Alexander and Julius Caesar, the two most successful generals in antiquity, brilliant military strategists and phenomenally successful rousers of political loyalty. Find out how they managed these feats in a 1-credit course, "Alexander and Caesar" (FRSM 185). We'll examine their public and private lives-their triumphs and their failings. The course will meet one day a week over lunch. If you are fascinated by the unchanging nature of worldly success and its reverse and eager to discuss the ethical, psychological, and historical issues in creating and remembering such figures, this community is for you!

Developing Leaders   

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Col. Rucker Snead, Director of the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest  
This Community is ideal for the student who was a leader at his high school and who wishes to continue to develop his leadership skills while at College. Students in this community will be enrolled together in a seminar exploring leadership taught by Colonel Snead. In class, students will read case studies and biographies of successful leaders and will learn how to identify the qualities and practices of these individuals. Outside of class, students in this Community will become involved in campus organizations, will have opportunities to meet with campus and community leaders, and will have special opportunities to be involved with events hosted by the Wilson Center. If you see yourself as a future HSC leader-perhaps a student body president or Student Court Chair or ROTC Battalion Commander-then this Community is for you.

Everything's Better with Music

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. Helena von Rueden, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts  
If you are passionate about music - whether it is listening, playing, singing, or writing - but haven't taken much professional training, consider this Living and Learning Community. We will actively engage in the musical world through activities such as film screenings, workshops, performances, and special access to and training in the Electronic Music lab in the new Viar-Christ Center for the Fine Arts. As part of the community, you will enroll in a special section of Music Fundamentals (fulfilling a general education requirement) that explores the concepts of rhythm and melody, develops your ability to read music, and includes experiences in performance and composition. If you love music, this is a community for you.     

Gaming through Stories

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Ms. Maryska Connolly-Brown, Technical Services Librarian   
This community explores the concept of narrative gaming through discussing, exploring, and participating in story-driven games - ranging from PC and console games to board games to live-action games. Students who join this community will begin their college quest by challenging themselves to solve the Hampden-Sydney Escape Room and will enroll in one of the college's required courses, WCUL 101, with Dr. James Frusetta. We'll spend time out of class exploring gaming opportunities on the campus and in the surrounding community, including possible trips to gaming stores and gaming-related events, as well as participating in the campus' 24-hour gaming marathon for Extra Life and a murder mystery evening at the library. If you like playing games, this Community is for you!   

Guerilla Warfare

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. James Frusetta, Associate Professor of History                                    
Are you curious to learn about guerrilla warfare? Do you want to develop the dirty tricks and strategies you need to succeed in college? Do you like the idea of watching your professors navigate the paintball minefield that you've just set in the woods? Then this Community is for you! Students in this group will be enrolled together in a one-credit seminar discussing partisan warfare in the Second World War plus a weekly laboratory in the woods at Hampden-Sydney. This Community is for those interested in applying theory to practice when it comes to insurgency and counter-insurgency. Bring your ghillie suit!    Picture: The Communications office should have images taken in FRSM 185 in Fall 2016 - the Community was called "Partisan Warfare" that time.  

For the Love of the Game

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Mr. Jason Ferguson '96, Director of Admissions   
This Living and Learning Community is for baseball players and fans - for those who are coming to HSC to play or just those who enjoy hanging out and watching a game with friends. The Community is coordinated by Mr. Ferguson, who is a former Tiger ballplayer and a long-time youth Coach in the town of Farmville. Students in this Community will have the chance to work with the local youth league, attend local and regional games, and share their love of baseball. Students in this community will also be enrolled together in a section of Introduction to Psychology, which satisfies one of the College's core requirements 

Propaganda: Perception and Marketing

Coordinator: Prof. Viktoria Basham, Lecturer in Modern Languages Academic Advisor: Dr. Ed Lowry, Assistant Professor of Biology   
Do you know how to identify "Fake News"? Are you interested in the ideas and mechanisms behind one of the most powerful weapons of all times - propaganda? Do you want to know the history of propaganda's use and abuse, as well as its relationship to marketing, advertising, communications, and branding? Then this Community is for you! You'll enroll in a seminar course, "Propaganda: Perception and Marketing," where we'll explore propaganda's history, some of the most popular propaganda mechanisms, and its relationship to marketing. Outside of class we'll explore different dimensions of propaganda through field trips, conducting experiments and interacting with visiting experts in the field. Studying propaganda helps develop creativity and communication skills, crucial for educating independent and critical thinkers. If you are interested in jobs in journalism, communications, marketing, and advertising, this is the Community for you!

Seeing the World

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. Eric Dinmore, Associate Professor of History   
This is a Community for students interested in exploring the world - through classes at Hampden-Sydney, through future study-abroad programs, or simply an interest in new perspectives. You'll enroll in a Global Cultures course (part of the required core of the College), where you'll engage foreign histories, cultures, and experiences. But you'll also engage the world outside of the classroom through opportunities to view films, eat international cuisine and join campus activities.  If you're thinking of studying or working abroad, this Community will connect you to campus networks - and good advice, since Dr. Eric Dinmore, the community leader, has worked and lived in Japan. If you see yourself as someone interested in traveling, studying, or working in another country, this Community is for you.   

The Skills and Literature of Fly Fishing 

Coordinator and Academic Advisor: Dr. Lee King '94, Vice President for Institutional Advancement   
This Community is meant for students who have a strong interest in fly-fishing and a desire to explore further their interests through practice and reading. Students in this community will be enrolled together in a one-credit hour seminar where they will read relevant selections ranging from Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River" to Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It to modern fly-fishing journalism. Outside of class, students will have the chance to share knowledge, and take trips to fish in diverse habitats-from small mountain streams to large rivers. Students enrolling in this Community should be prepared to take occasional weekend trips, be willing to camp when needed, and be prepared to bring all necessary fishing-related equipment to Hampden-Sydney.