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Cool for School

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

In recent years, courses covering everything from zombies in popular culture to the history of maple syrup have cropped up on college campuses around the nation. Here, we rounded up a list of some of this fall’s coolest classes across Pepperdine that, beyond capturing the attention of students itching for more than just another lecture, allow professors to express their own passions and spirit for the subjects.

A Flood of Noahs

Seaver College

Instructor: Chris Heard

From brightly colored children’s nursery furnishings to Darren Aronofsky’s post- apocalyptic film, the story of Noah’s ark pervades Western culture. Students enrolled in this seminar will discover what the story of Noah has meant to readers from antiquity to the present, and how the story of Noah influences popular culture. Heard, an expert in literary features of biblical narrative and theology, will specifically emphasize Jewish and cinematic interpretations of the Old Testament tale.

Foundations in Digital Arts

Seaver College

Instructor: Dana Zurzolo (MA ‘02)

Demystifying the digital painting and drawing process was the motivation behind the art department’s new digital arts track that launched this fall. The series of five hands-on courses emphasizes using digital technology (particularly Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver) alongside more traditional technologies (acrylic paint, printing presses, cameras). The Foundations course, specifically, is designed to encourage students with little or no digital drawing experience, and those who feel they lack creativity or traditional drawing skills, to attempt and welcome the spirit of self-expression.

The Nature of Presidential Leadership

School of Public Policy

Instructor: Steven Hayward

Want to know what it takes to be the leader of the free world? This seminar, taught by Steven Hayward, the School of Public Policy’s Ronald Reagan Professor of Policy 2014–2016, will examine the qualities necessary for presidential success, fundamental issues in executive political leadership, and how the modern presidency measures up.

Video Game Law

School of Law

Instructor: Matthew Blakely

This course, taught by an entertainment attorney and established Hollywood dealmaker, encompasses both fundamental and controversial legal aspects of the rapidly expanding video game industry. Between discussions of asset acquisition, intellectual property issues, and governmental regulation of games with respect to sex, nudity, and violence, the course will focus on issues arising from the sale and distribution of modern computer games.

Wine Law

School of Law

Instructor: Brian Simas

From grape to glass and beyond, this course gets to the bottom of everything future viticulturists or everyday wine enthusiasts need to know about the business of making and selling wine. Wine Law examines the regulations, diverse fields of law, and transactions encountered in a modern wine law practice while giving students the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers and participate in off-site, hands-on instruction at local facilities to learn about the mechanics of vineyard operations. As the chair of his firm’s Wine Industry and Agribusiness Practice Groups, Simas represents wine and agribusiness enterprises and industry stakeholders throughout the state of California.