Dear Class of 2020,

Congrats and welcome to your first year at the best university in the world. Whether you know it yet or not, you are headed to a campus and city that appreciates good food, from game day tailgates to excellent dining halls to restaurants with James Beard award-winning chefs.

But, as you attend orientation, learn to call the Dawgs, and countdown to August 11, don’t forget about signing up for the right classes for you, including the right UGA First-Year Odyssey Seminar.


A Too-Nostalgic Junior

**end of sappy introduction**

Getting down to business, there are two schools of thought in choosing your 1-credit hour “FYOS” class: you either pick a subject which you already know and love, or you pick something out of left field to find out if you may be interested in it.

We would like to present a third option: choose a class that relates to food, because food.

In the spirit of that third enticing option, we have taken the time to pare down the daunting FYOS list to 19 classes worth taking a second helping look at, if you love and care about food.

No matter what you choose though, or even if you choose to take your seminar in the spring, you will enjoy this small, interesting class.

“What Are Those People Gonna Eat Next Week?”

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Hailey Nelson

Professor: Michael Azain, Animal & Dairy Science
Course Reference Number: 31619
Time: Wednesdays 4:40-5:30 pm

If you are passionate about issues of both global and local hunger, this is the course for you. With discussions that promise to link challenges of agricultural production and practices to hunger, this will be a fulfilling way to spend your FYOS time. Need an added bonus? This class also contains a service learning component with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank (which is around the corner from a Spoon-favorite bakery).

Alcohol in America

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Jackie Fu

Professor: Paul Roman, Sociology
CRN: 21414
Time: Wednesdays 1:25 to 2:15 pm

For better or for worse, alcohol and college towns are often synonymous. Take the time to learn about the role of alcohol in American history and society and the treatment of alcohol use disorders, which is a focus of the instructor’s research. Can’t fit this in your schedule? Knock out the sociology intro courses and then revisit this topic through SOCI 3860: Sociology of Alcohol and Drug Use.

Blue Genes, Purple Robes, and St. Anthony’s Fire: A Natural History of Tryptophan

Professor: Robert Stephen Phillips, Chemistry
CRN: 31382
Time: Wednesdays 4:40 to 5:30 pm

No, this class is not all about turkey and Thanksgiving, but don’t rule it out. If you are a STEM queen or king and love chemistry, this one could be a good fit for you. You will learn about tryptophan’s role as an essential amino acid obtained through foods we eat and come to better understand what it does for your body. If you want to show off at the dinner table come winter break, sign up for this FYOS.

Bodies, Body Image(s), and Capitalism

Professor: Hilary Hughes, Educational Theory and Practice
CRN: 31438
Time: Fridays 10:10 to 12:05 for 8 weeks.

Yes, I know this isn’t directly about food, but conversations about body image are intrinsically related to how we feel about what we eat. This FYOS is all about consumer capitalism and how it has created an “obsessive cultural focus on the individual’s right and/or responsibility to manufacture a ‘healthier’ body.” If you have ever cringed at Meghan Trainor lyrics, head over to Athena and sign up for this class.

Chicken Que: Science Behind the Grill

uga first-year odyssey

Photo courtesy of Ryan Bragg

Professors: Casey Ritz & Brian Kiepper, Poultry Science
CRN: 31722 & 31723
Time: Thursdays 2:00 to 4:45 pm for 8 weeks (there are two possible sessions in either the first or second half of the semester)

This is one of those FYOS classes that is the stuff of legend: you hear it talked about but wonder whether such a thing could actually exist. Well, the secret is out. The class is real and it’s in Poultry Science room 0301.

Get ready for gameday by learning the science behind grilling and how everything from marinades to grill design impact flavor.

Chocolate Science

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Christin Urso

Professor: Jose Reyes De Corcuera, Food Science and Technology
CRN: 31582
Time: Wednesdays 2:30 to 4:25 pm for 8 weeks

We are not sure this requires more of a description…nor are we sure there will still be seats available by the time you register if you weren’t in the first orientation session. But a student can dream (and salivate).

This class includes chocolate sampling, lessons on the chocolate business and hands-on activities. ‘Nuff said.

Climate Change and the Origins of Agriculture

Professor: Suzanne Birch, Anthropology
CRN: 11261
Time: Wednesdays 10:10 to 11 am

So, if you are like your 5,000+ classmates who did not get into the FYOS on chocolate, consider taking a more serious turn and learning about the history of agriculture and how it is studied by archaeologists.

Remember, without agriculture, there would be no Hershey’s.

Educational Gardens

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Mollie Simon

Professor: Ashley Steffens, Environment and Design
CRN: 31754
Time: Mondays 10:10 to 12:05 for 8 weeks

If you have never worked at or heard of an educational garden, drop this course reference number in your Athena worksheet and thank us later. This class promises field trips and the chance to learn how gardens can be used to teach about history, food and nature’s beauty and bounty in K-12 schools.

Foodborne Pathogens: Foods and Public Health

Professor: Ynes Rosa Ortega, Food Science and Technology
CRN: 21731
Time: Thursdays 11:00 to 12:15

Ewwwwww… we know.

While this may not have the most appetizing name, if you are a budding microbiologist with a love of food, this FYOS is going to be your jam (or shall we say, your bread and butter). You will learn about pathogen detection and control, particularly as it relates to food.

Healthy Eating: Exploring Truths and Myths

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Christin Urso

Professor: Jamie Cooper, Foods and Nutrition
CRN: 21732
Time: Tuesdays 12:30 to 1:45 pm

Eating healthy is confusing. Signing up for an FYOS is simple. In this class, you will break down fad diets and learn what actually composes a healthy diet and how to make a positive diet part of your college experience. Learn how metabolism and other health factors are measured in this highly practical course.

Learning Community Seminar: Sustainability — Infant Feeding

Professor: Alex Kojo Anderson, Foods and Nutrition
CRN: 30983
Time: Tuesdays 11:00 to 12:15 pm

If you have never heard of the Sustainable Development Goals, a series of benchmarks for the world set out by the United Nations, consider signing up for this class. The seminar is all about making sure infants and children get the food they need.

As part of a learning community, it is a two-semester commitment that also involves living alongside your fellow classmate in either Building 1516 or Creswell. Get all the details here.

Learning Community Seminar: Sustainable Food Systems — Feeding the World Without Harming the Environment

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Gabi Rosenthal

Professor: David Berle, Horticulture
CRN: 30985
Time: Tuesdays 9:30 to 10:45 am

As a previous intern at the UGArden, I am completely biased towards this FYOS. If you like getting your hands dirty (there will be gardening involved), care about the planet and making sure all of its inhabitants have food to eat, and want to think critically about agricultural sustainability, sign up for this learning community. That is all.

Medicinal Plants and Herbal Drugs

Photo by Adeena Zeldin

Professor: Shelley Hooks, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
CRN: 31741
Time: Tuesdays 2:00 to 2:50 pm

Yes, yes, we know this one isn’t completely food-related, but we are giving it a place on this list anyhow. This seminar aims to find the common ground between traditional herbal medicine and the modern pharmaceutical industry. With field trips on the agenda, this class is for your if you want to know more about how plants can relate to health.

Organic Gardening

Professor: David Knauft, Horticulture
CRN: 31320
Time: Thursdays 3:30 to 4:45 pm

Want to have something to show for your FYOS work? Take this class, another based at the UGArden, to learn the basics of growing your own food from soil management to harvesting and saving seeds. The word “fun” comes up three times in the instructor’s Rate My Professor page, along with such positive reviews as “eat vegetables every week.” Just sayin’.

Save the Bees! Beekeeping and Colony Collapse Disorder

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Stephanie Lee

Professor: Cory Momany, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
CRN: 31725
Time: Wednesdays 2:30 to 4:25 pm for 8 weeks

Honey, this is the class for you. Take this class and learn about colony collapse disorder, a world-wide challenge for beekeepers. Dissect the issues causing CCD, visit a bee yard and learn about beekeeping practices in this sweet FYOS experience (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Social Issues in Agricultural Finance: Racial and Gender Biases, Immigration Policies, and Microfinance

Professors: Cesar Escalante, Agricultural and Applied Economics
CRN: 31661
Time: Fridays 10:10 to 11:00 am

If ag policy can get you talking, consider this FYOS on economics in agriculture. The seminar is set to focus on everything from lending agency discrimination to immigration policy to microfinance and how these issues impact ag finance. Put your thinking cap on and sign up if you care about the nitty gritty of putting food on America’s plates.

The All-American Hotdog

uga first-year odyssey

Photo by Kevin Del Orbe

Professors: Dean Pringle, Animal and Dairy Science
CRN: 31656
Time: Wednesdays 10:10 to 11:00 am

What is a hot-dog anyways? Learn the history, ingredients, and processes behind the classic food and then make your own from scratch. This class will let you have your hotdog and eat it too. Vegetarians discouraged.

The Local Food Movement: Myths and Realities

Professors: Scott Brown, Physiology and Pharmacology
CRN: 32200
Time: Tuesdays 3:30 to 4:45 pm

Ever heard of a “locavore?” If you are new to the idea of consumers focusing on buying local or a seasoned locavore yourself, this seminar on the movement is for you. Learn the ideas behind the movement and critically evaluate what it means for food production.

Here’s the added bonus: the professor, Scott Brown, is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, an award handed out to fewer than five UGA professors a year. Needless to say, it is a big deal and a really good indicator of teaching quality to have a professor with this distinction.

The Modern Art of Brewing: How Humanity Benefits from Fermentation

Photo by Amelia Weller

Professors: William Nicholas Lanzilotta
CRN: 31694
Time: Wednesdays 9:05 to 10:15 am

No, this class is not all about beer. Or kimchi. Or wine. Or kombucha. But yes, it might be discussed. Dig beyond food and learn about the interesting ways fermentative processes are used to better society and people’s lives in this science-minded seminar. If you want to learn about biotechnology through a familiar lens, this one’s for you.