This Capstone Seminar in the fall is part of a 2-course sequence. The overarching theme for both courses is “Culmination and Integration— A Year in Living the Mission of LMU.” The Capstone Seminar in Fall 2015, drawing on the Bio-Psycho-Socio/Cultural model and the gifts of discernment and Ignatian Spirituality lay the theoretical foundation for a more practical aspect of the year-long objectives in Spring 2016. The seminar in the fall (Part I) is designed to enliven the first 2 pillars of the LMU Mission, the Encouragement of Learning (in all its forms) and the Education of the Whole Person. The Capstone seminar in the spring (Part II) directly embodies the third pillar, the Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice. In Part II of the Capstone, students will conceive and effect 30-35 hours of an organized service project (“community based service-learning”) and engage in guided reflection and critical analysis. The primary goal of the spring seminar is to inspire students to integrate academic learning and community based experiences that are intentionally and deeply interrelated. Using the central concept of “personality” and the Bio-Psycho-Social/Cultural paradigm as organizing principles, the Capstone is intended to invite and perhaps inspire you, students, to begin to answer several basic and existential questions. ψ Why am I? ψ How do I find meaning in me? In my life? ψ What is my place in this world? ψ How am I connected to others? ψ How do I lead a good life? ψ Who am I, really? These basic questions, inspired by the life and teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, also frame this Capstone course for you, 4th year and soon to graduate psychology majors. As seniors, you are now taking the final set of courses for the psychology major. Thus far, you have been required to take a variety of courses covering topics such as— The scientific method and research methodology, neuroscience, statistical methods. And breadth courses in Lifespan Development, Social Psychology and Cognition. And a variety of specialty courses such as, Abnormal Psychology, Personality, Psychology of Marriage, Sports Psychology, Forensic Psychology etc. Additionally, you have also taken courses in the core curriculum, including philosophy, theology, literature, arts and science.
As members of the University community, you have lived and experienced the “ethos” of LMU which is embodied in these themes: The Encouragement of Learning The Education of the Whole Person The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice Our University mission intentionally shapes your curricular and extracurricular experiences. Taking the above curricula and experiences into consideration, the overarching objective of these Capstone courses is to create a truly culminating experience in which graduating psychology students are given an opportunity to integrate issues in the discipline of psychology with other critical aspects of their University-wide experience. Inspired, in part, by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage, the Capstone course has a theme of travel— within one’s self on a journey of discovery from birth to earthly death— a metaphor for the psychology of personality, and life in general. A related sub-theme is “personal alchemy” and transformation. The integrative foundations of this 2-course sequence— contemplation, integration, transformation, transcendence, and community-based learning— are firmly rooted in Parker J. Palmer & Arthur Zajonc’s The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal (2010). “Personality” Defined: The concept of “personality” is defined as--- “The set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical and social environments” (Larsen & Buss, 2010, p. 4). The challenge of this course will be to engage in an integrative analysis of the many aspects of this definition, in the context of the Bio-Psycho-Social/Cultural paradigm.