Ithaca College will introduce two new minors for the Fall 2016 semester in the School of Humanities and Sciences and one new minor in the Roy H. Park School of Communications.
The Park School will offer an animation minor, and H&S will offer linguistics and translation minors. The three minors will include classes that are new to the college and classes that already exist.
Jason Harrington, associate professor of media arts, sciences and studies, said he created the animation minor to give students more exposure to animation. As the college already offers a number of animation classes, Harrington said he wanted to make it an official area of study. Specifically, by including the Introduction to Animation class in this minor, Harrington has opened it up to more students than just a few majors.
“My hope is to give the sense of what it is to produce an animation, to make an animation, what the skills are involved in that career,” he said.
None of the classes in this minor are new at the college, and most of them come from the television-radio and cinema and photography departments, Harrington said.
Senior Josh Greenfield said he wishes he could have taken the animation minor. As a double major in history and cinema and photography, Greenfield said he believes a major is for what he’s trained to do and a minor is for his interests, which have always included animation. At the college, Greenfield said, he was excited to explore this interest but would have liked to be able to put an official title on the hobby.
“I grew up, as most of us did, with animated films, and when I added my film major, I saw that we had animation classes here, and that’s when it first kind of clicked for me,” he said.
James Pfrehm, assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in H&S, spearheaded the creation of the linguistics minor. He said he has been trying to institute a linguistics minor for four years but that the provost change, several curriculum changes and other priorities have hindered the process. Pfrehm said the minor has been highly requested by students at the college, so much so that they have transferred colleges to take more linguistics courses.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” he said. “It’s better than losing students.”
The linguistics minor will include three new courses, including Core Explorations of Language: System-Internal; Core Explorations of Language: System-External; and Selected Topics in Linguistics.
The internal course will explore the technical functions and systems of language, Sergio Pedro, assistant professor in the modern languages and literatures department, said. Pedro said he will be teaching the external course, which will focus on how language reveals different cultures.
“Most people would marvel at how much we take for granted about who we are and how much of that is revealed in language and how you speak it and the attitudes you have about it, the words you choose to use,” he said.
Pfrehm said the linguistics minor would benefit any student majoring in a subject that deals with language. Through the linguistics minor, he said, he hopes to show students how useful and interesting language can be.
The translation minor will be offered to any students with a basic reading knowledge of another language, said Marella Feltrin-Morris, associate professor in the modern languages and literatures department. Feltrin-Morris teaches an Italian translation course and will continue to do so with the implementation of the minor. Basic reading knowledge will be determined by the language placement test offered to incoming freshmen and individual meetings with prospective students held by the language faculty, she said.
Feltrin-Morris said she created the minor to present a potential career to foreign language majors. Translating requires the knowledge of a foreign language, but knowing a foreign language does not mean someone can accurately translate, she said.
“There’s a lot of responsibility that comes from translating a word one way or another way,” she said.
This minor will include three new classes: French Translation in Practice, German Translation in Practice and Senior Project in Translation.
Junior Kaitlyn Matrassi said she plans to minor in linguistics beginning next fall. As a double major in French and Francophone studies and Spanish, with a writing minor, she said she hopes to attend graduate school and become a professor of sociolinguistics or comparative literature. Matrassi said she particularly likes the diversity of the classes in this minor and the depth of which they explore linguistics, both scientifically and socially.
“What interests me with language, specifically, is kind of how it interacts with society, and that’s a branch that comes off of linguistics, so I think that it will prepare me for grad school,” she said.