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Roadmap Short Courses

During Roadmap, students participate in a short course taught by a faculty member at the University of Richmond. This faculty member will also become a student's academic advisor until they declare a major (unless the student is a Richmond Scholar).

Students can expect an interesting course that is interactive, yet mimics a real course (over the three days of Roadmap) at the University. The purpose of the courses is to help ease anxiety and familiarize students with what to expect in their courses during the academic year. While there are no tests or exams during Roadmap, there is often group work and small projects that students will complete.

Register Now! Registration closes July 1, 2021.

June 28 Update: The following short courses are the only courses with space still remaining in them:

  • Adversarial Machine Learning
  • Rhythm and Blues

All other short courses have reached their capacity. 


Roadmap Short Courses
The Future of UR's Past

Taught by Amy Howard, Ph.D., Senior Administrative Officer for Equity and Community

As you start four years here, what is gained from understanding the history of the institution that is now your home?  How does understanding the University of Richmond’s history shape the present or even the future?  We will explore UR’s history, including the history of the land the campus now occupies, to explore major aspects of American history, including enslavement and segregation. We will also delve into what is being done to negotiate the tensions between painful aspects of the institution’s past and our goals for an inclusive future. The class will include site visits across campus and delving into new research on the institution’s history.

Senior Administrative Officer, Equity and Community
I Know Kung Fu

Taught by Geoff Goddu, Ph.D.

Some things you know; some things you can do; some things you know how to do. But how are these three aspects of understanding related? I Know Kung Fu explores this question via an in-depth study of several specific techniques from martial arts disciplines such as aikido, karate, jujitsu, tai chi, and tang soo do. Students will learn numerous martial arts techniques, explore the relationship between the techniques from different disciplines, and try to deduce why the techniques work (or don’t work). Absolutely no prior martial arts experience necessary or presupposed.

Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy in Science Fiction
Politics ... with Zombies!

Taught by Stephen Long, Ph.D.

Zombies! For decades, American society has been obsessed by the idea of the undead wandering the streets, attacking the living. From the George Romero-directed classics to today’s “The Walking Dead,” popular films and television series have explored the idea of a zombie apocalypse. These films have created a following of zombie fans and have inspired doomsday preppers around the country. In virtually every zombie film, however, government and the political authorities fail catastrophically. This short course explores some of the tropes of the zombie genre, particularly how zombie fiction portrays political and governmental responses to the zombie apocalypse. From this examination of the zombie genre, we will be able to draw parallels to broader societal concerns about disaster preparedness, epidemics, and political capacity.

Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Studies
Global Studies Concentration Advisor: Politics and Governance
International rivalry
Political causes of military effectiveness
Alliance politics
Nuclear proliferation
Rhythm & Blues

Taught by Mike Davison, Ph.D.

The course investigates the importance and history of the blues. Students will discuss aspects of the blues—including form, harmony, melody and rhythm.  Students will also write their own blues lyrics.  A detailed investigation of the blues will culminate with the students’ composition and performance of their own “Roadmap Blues.” Previous background in music helps, but is not required for this short course!

Professor of Music
Director of Jazz Ensemble
Trumpet performance
Jazz studies
The Small Things Matter

Taught by Joe Boehman, Ed.D.

You are about to begin the next big adventure of your life. Despite what you may think, college is not designed to prepare you for a job, but to prepare you to lead a life of purpose. This course will help you identify your passions, potentials, and talents so that you will be able to build the capacity to positively impact the world you inhabit. To do this, we will look at how to “do” college in a purposeful way, under the premise that a small investment in the right places can be transformational. 

Dean of Richmond College
Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Men and Masculinities
Issues Impacting College Men
Higher Education Administration
Organizational Effectiveness/Transformation
Work/Life Balance
Living a Life of Consequence

Taught by Dr. Craig Kocher, University Chaplain

What does it mean to live a life of consequence?  And, what do you want to do when you grow up anyway?  This course will help you better understand who you are and who you want to become as this incredible journey at the University of Richmond begins.  The class will offer opportunities for reflection on your personal values, hopes, and dreams in the context of a Richmond education, and help you make the most of the next four years and beyond.   

Adversarial Machine Learning

Taught by Dr. Douglas Szajda, Associate Professor, Computer Science

Machine learning has become ubiquitous in modern society.  Almost all of the apps on your phone rely on it, as do autonomous vehicles, and devices such as Amazon Alexa.  Business applications include fraud detection, airline scheduling, data analytics, and computer malware detection.  But even the best machine learning models are vulnerable to adversarial examples — hand crafted inputs meant to fool the systems into mistakes.  In this short course we will look into how some machine learning models work, as well as how and why these systems are vulnerable.

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Assistant Department Chair and Computer Science Program Coordinator
Computer and Systems Security
Computer Networks
The Stories We Carry
The Stories We Carry

Taught by Dr. Sylvia Gale, Director, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

What is a story? What stories do we carry about where we come from and who we are? And how do stories like these impact our ideas about race and racism? In this course, we will explore the roles that stories—and especially life narratives—have in contemporary movements for social change, with an emphasis on the current movement for racial justice. In the process, we will produce stories about our own lives, and consider the difference these stories might make.

Executive Director, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

Wrap-Up Session

Some of the short courses choose to prepare a presentation of what they learned or experienced during their short course - this presentation occurs during the wrap-up session for the entire Roadmap cohort on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Many of last year's participants said this was one of the highlights of the Roadmap program.