The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

University offers new academic minor

A new minor is available to students interested in the field of global studies.

The minor is a collaborative effort between multiple departments that incorporates international history, politics, economics, social and cultural issues and geography.

Junior Reed Lein said he thinks there is a need for a minor in global studies.

“(It) would help you broaden your views on what’s happening outside of America and North America,” he said.

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Ali Abootalebi, associate professor of political science, is one of the faculty who pushed for creating the new minor.

“Everything is global,” Abootalebi said.

Abootalebi teaches political science courses on global issues and he advocates students to get an international perspective.

He sent an e-mail out to students in different majors across campus to solicit interest in the new minor and to inform students about the requirements.

In the two days following the e-mail, Abootalebi said he received 15 responses from students who are interested in the minor, and expects even more interest in the future.

The program uses classes from different departments on campus in a way that gives students a broad base of education on different global studies, Abootalebi said.

“This is not something that radically departs from what we have,” Abootalebi said. “We are using the resources we already have.”

Details of the minor were refined last spring, but it has been in the making for a few years.

Business and political science were the first to show interest in the program. The minor has an “across the board approach,” Abootalebi said.

The broad reach of the new minor includes many classes that fit into the General Education requirements for graduation.

“The minor is unique in that all of the required core courses and most of the elective courses count toward fulfillment of general education requirements,” stated in the global studies minor brochure. “Students may begin pursuing the minor from their first semester on campus.”

Students not taking classes on social sciences should consider the new minor because it gives them an understanding of global issues and complements any major nicely, Abootalebi said.

To supplement the classes, Abootalebi is looking into having speakers on campus to talk on global issues.

He also wants speakers from the Wisconsin Institute on Peace and Conflict Studies, of which he is a member, to give presentations on current issues.

“Be aware that a lot of what you’ll be doing has an international connection,” Abootalebi said.

Another reason for taking the new minor is to expose students to many different departments on campus, he said.

“Since it’s global,” he said, “You don’t have to take a lot of courses from one department.”

There are no current plans to make a global studies major, Abootalebi said, but if the response is great enough and the administration notices the response, it could be a possibility.

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University offers new academic minor