Spring 2018 Semester Well-Being Courses

Students studying in Fenwick Library. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.


INTS 395-018 “Compassion in the Workplace” with Suzie Carmack. This is a 5-day course intensive (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily): January 16-20 (Tuesday–Saturday). Designed as a “pre-treat” before the busyness of the spring semester begins, this course takes a 360 degree view of compassion in “service-oriented” workplace contexts, including education (K-12 and university), healthcare, security and public sector settings. Students will explore how compassion can help and potentially hurt workers in these fields with regards to their personal well-being outcomes and will apply lessons learned by designing their own self-compassion and self-care plan. All EL credits for purposes of School of Integrative Studies students. (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.


GH 325-DL1 “Stress and Well-Being” with Ali Weinstein. This is an online, asynchronous course which explores the influences of stress on population-based health issues. The causes and pathways of the stress experience are explored from an ecological public health perspective. Theoretical aspects of stress and coping are considered, along with methods for relieving and preventing the stress response in both individuals and communities. REQUIRED COURSE FOR THE WELL-BEING MINOR. (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.

UNIV 370-002 or UNIV 370-004: “Mental Health First Aid” with Katie Clare or Patrice Levinson. UNIV 370-002 meets Tuesdays noon-1:15 p.m. for the first half of the semester. UNIV 370-004 meets Wednesdays 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m. for the second half of the semester. This one-credit partial term course is designed to provide participants with basic skills to help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. MHFA helps participants learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns. The course covers depression and mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders. Students completing the session will also receive a Mental Health First Aid certificate through the National Council for Behavioral Health that is valid for three years. (1 credit) Register at Patriot web.  

INTS 355-001 “Mindfulness, Meaning, and Well-Being” with Mark Thurston. Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. This is an introductory course to the study of consciousness and personal transformation. It is a required course for the undergraduate minor in consciousness and transformation, but it is open to any student. We will study the science of human consciousness, learn basic methods of meditation and dream interpretation, explore the factors that help us find happiness and meaning in life, and conduct a personal vision quest related to recognizing one’s own life-purpose. 1 EL embedded in this course for School of Integrative Studies students. REQUIRED COURSE FOR THE WELL-BEING MINOR (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.

INTS 395-019 “Movement, Mindfulness, and Compassion in the Classroom”  with Suzie Carmack. Thursdays, 7:20 p.m. to 10 p.m. This new experiential learning course examines ways that yoga, movement, mindfulness and compassion techniques can be brought into pre-K, K-12 and university classrooms.  Students will explore research illustrating the impact of these techniques on teacher well-being, classroom learning outcomes and student engagement; practice these techniques weekly in class; and work in teams to choose and share one of these techniques with a local school classroom as a “well-being mentor.” Students will then present findings from the field study in a final presentation, and contribute to a community-based participatory research project. All EL credits for School of Integrative Studies students. (3 credits). Register at Patriot web.

INTS 395-020 “Meditation, Mindfulness, and Stress Management” with Stacey Guenther. Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the first 10 weeks of the semester – January 26 to April 13. This experiential learning course explores the art and science of mindfulness through many different meditative traditions. You will be required to engage in regular meditation practice outside of class. The course will also cover the biology, effects, and interventions for stress, and it will explore how best to manage your own stress response. All EL credits for School of Integrative Studies students. (3 credits). Register at Patriot web.

INTS 455-001 “Consciousness and Transformation in Action” with Mark Thurston. Hybrid course: online learning plus four Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – January 27, February 24, March 31, and April 28. This course covers how principles and practices of consciousness and transformation can relate to the student’s major and career pathway. It includes theory and practices for deepening the student’s own experience with the mindfulness and contemplative approaches to inquiry, and it explores how we take the concepts and principles of consciousness studies and apply them in the world around us.  Course readings and assignments will focus on practical application, and each student will work on a personally-selected project. 1 EL possible for SIS students – dependent on nature of final project chosen. (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.

NCLC 475-004 “Well-Being and Leadership for Organizations” with Nance Lucas. Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m.–4:10 p.m. This highly interactive course provides an overview and connection between two interdisciplinary fields – positive organizational scholarship and leadership studies. Positive organizational scholarship focuses on positive outcomes, processes, and dynamics that enable human flourishing, resilience, virtuousness, and excellence. Students will explore the connections between positive organizational scholarship and contemporary leadership models and will learn about evidence-based applications that result in highly functioning teams, quality relationships, increased productivity, and greater levels of individual and organizational well-being. Through a focus on active learning, the classroom will become a laboratory for applying concepts and bridging formal learning with application. 1 EL embedded in this course for SIS students. (4 credits) Register at Patriot web.

MUSI 477-001  “Music and Consciousness”  with Glenn Smith. Thursdays, 7:20 p.m.–10 p.m. A study of the ways music has affected the mind and brain from throughout history to the present. By using principles of entrainment and resonance, the course demonstrates experientially the various methods by which music is used to alter consciousness. (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.

PSYC 417 “The Science of Well-Being”  with Todd Kashdan.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. What contributes to satisfying, engaging, and meaningful living? What conditions allow people to flourish? We address these questions by examining and interpreting the latest research in psychology and neuroscience on well-being, character strengths, social relationships, and societies. (3 credits) Register at Patriot web.