Sophomore Year at Emory Living and Learning Experience: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Course/Internship in Addiction and Depression

Category 3: Demonstration Site Grant

"Goal: To make students aware of the complexities of addiction and depression in the world through a course that integrated academics, residence life and community engagement, and to measure subsequent changes in the students_ ways of thinking.

<P>Summary: Conducted in the 2006-2007 school year, this project instituted a Fall semester seminar on the biology of depression and addiction and the effects of these afflictions. It integrated this knowledge with a tightly connected Spring internship experience. The internship provided an opportunity for students to work with people and groups that help those facing the challenges of addiction and depression. The project used a research-based approach grounded in the interdisciplinary context of the history, science, and impacts of depression and addiction in society.

During the Fall seminar, students received a better understanding of depression and the background of the disease. The subject matter related to the college experience at Emory, and students stated that the relevance of the course material to college life was both helpful and frightening.

The leaders conducted three focus groups at the end of the course. Two of the groups included students enrolled in the seminar, and the third group consisted of students not enrolled in the course but who were similarly positioned at Emory. The focus groups found that students had become better able to appreciate the complexities of addiction and depression as manifested both in the world and in their own lives."