ECC Course Offerings 2020-2021

Below are the courses offered in the Early College Credit program at the University of Delaware for the academic year 2020-2021.


Fall 2020 Courses

COMM 245 - Media and Society

Course  Description

The relationship between media and culture; how media affect culture (i.e., socialization and role modeling); and exploration of new forms of mass communication.


About Dr. Timmins

Head shot of Lydia Timmins

Dr. Lydia Timmins brings a wealth of professional TV experience to the college classroom. After graduating from Penn State, she began a 22-year career in TV news. She spent the bulk of her career at NBC10 in Philadelphia, PA, and also worked in Binghamton, NY; New Castle, DE; Kansas City, MO. She worked in all aspects of TV, in front of and behind the camera. While working, she completed her master’s degree and PhD at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her teaching interests focus on media production, and the impact that media has on society. She is a strong proponent of media and news literacy, and wishes that everyone would just pause for 5 seconds before sharing or commenting.



What Dr. Timmins Would Like Students to Know:

  • Interacting with the material is how you learn. Thinking about how your worldview impacts and is impacted by the material—rather than rote memorization—is key.
  • Teaching and learning takes many forms. Throughout your education, you will be exposed to many kinds of teaching and learning. Each has benefits and drawbacks, but will offer you the chance to find out something previously unknown.
  • Learning can’t happen inside a closed box. Learning is the process of expanding on what you do know to encompass and that which you previously didn’t know. In this sense, it can be painful—painful to realize there’s another way to look at the world, and painful to realize your view was restricted. But working through that pain leads to growth.
  • No one has all the answers. Not even the teacher.


SOCI 201 - Introduction to Sociology

Course Description

An overview of the sociological perspective of the study of society, social organization and social institutions with special emphasis on the social causes and consequences of human behavior.


About Dr. Perez

Victor PerezDr. Victor Perez is an Associate Professor of Sociology with specializations in environmental justice, health & illness, and the sociology of risk. Currently, his research focuses on self-migration/relocation from climate change impacts and environmental burdens, planned/adaptive relocation of environmentally burdened communities, green/environmental gentrification, and intensive zoning. Dr. Perez is in his 15th year teaching at UD, with courses ranging in format from face-to-face to online. He is always striving to improve on course delivery and content in innovative ways that connect the classroom to the community and his research. Dr. Perez is a core faculty member at the Disaster Research Center (DRC), a faculty affiliate of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN), and serves as a Policy Fellow for the Center for Community Research and Service (CCRS). He takes pride in service, and commits a significant amount of time to numerous initiatives and offices around campus, as well as the American Sociological Association’s Taskforce on Contingent Faculty.

You can listen to Dr. Perez talk about cancer clusters as a rhetorical device or read more about his research on local environmental justice communities and relocation.


What Dr. Perez Would Like Students to Know:


  • Society is shaped through power. The differences we see in people’s health, wealth, and education aren’t “just the way it is”—they are outcomes of the way society is structured over time to benefit some and disadvantage others.
  • You will be analyzing things through a lens that makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar. Why do you use certain public bathrooms and not others, dress the way you do, or decide when to hold the door for someone or not? We pull back the veil on everyday life that most people take for granted to reveal its complexities.
  • Maps reveal the social world. Using maps to visualize social processes illustrates how social outcomes are shaped by where people live. Have you ever wondered why life expectancy for one community is drastically lower than for another community only a few miles away?
  • You will learn what steps it takes—and who is involved—in making your t-shirt. Your relationship to your t-shirt is one position in a larger global network based on wealth differences and consumption practices. (if you don’t know where your t-shirt was made, it’s ok – we’ll fix that)
  • Some social outcomes are considered medical. We examine how “badness became sickness” and how other aspects of human variation, like grief, are increasingly called pathology and what the consequences of this are for society.

Spring 2021 Courses

PHYS 144 - Concepts of the Universe

Course Description: 

Survey of astronomy emphasizing early and modern concepts. Stars, planets, galaxies, cosmic evolution and intelligent life are studied in the context of physical principles which describe the dynamics of the universe. Scientific process is used to interpret observations that shape our perceptions of the cosmos.

About Dr. Petit

Veronique Petit


Dr. Petit studies the mysteries of massive stars, which are tens of times more massive than our Sun and many of them become black holes. Her research requires her to use data form observatories around the world, in orbit, and even on the International Space Station. As an educator, she excels in using technology and creating interactive classrooms. Dr. Petit is an enthusiastic lecturer who can bring astrophysics to life in any classroom. She has been a professor since 2014, joining the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Delaware in 2017. She teaches course like The Physics of Stars, Concepts of the Universe, Observational Astronomy, and Introductory Physics with Calculus.



What Dr. Petit Would Like Students to Know:

  • Be excited to learn about the mysteries of the Universe. This course will focus on two main questions: how we know that there are other planets out there in the Universe, and what gravitational waves tell us about the most bizarre objects out there—black holes.
  • Organization is critical to succeeding in a college course. You will be in charge of your study schedule, and are responsible for keeping up with items in the syllabus and Canvas.
  • Everyone is capable of “doing math” and I am here to help you learn. Here’s an example—you want to go to Philadelphia, which is 30 miles away. You know the speed limit on I-95 is 60 mph. How long will it take to get there? You may have intuitively known—without realizing you were doing math—that it will take you about 30 minutes (30 miles / 60 mph = 0.5 h). This problem-solving technique is exactly the same if instead your car was a spaceship heading out for Pluto, and the speed limit was the speed of light.
ANFS 102 - Food For Thought

Course Description: 

This course focuses on scientific information while examining how and why our food system works as it does, in the context of feeding the world and the global food system. We will tackle contemporary issues facing today’s world where we attempt to feed the world in an economical fashion and maintain sustainability while doing so.

About Dr. Kniel

Kali Kniel

Dr. Kniel is incredibly passionate about integrating food safety across the curriculum and ensuring that classroom topics resonate with our daily lives. Dr. Kniel is an internationally recognized for her research on foodborne diseases, including those caused by viruses, protozoa, and bacteria. Dr. Kniel served as President of the International Association for Food Protection from 2019-2020. While she loves working with students in the laboratory and in produce production environments, Dr. Kniel is passionate about communicating science and education and has been teaching for over 15 years. Dr. Kniel travels around the US and the world teaching and talking about food safety and food production.

You can learn more about Dr. Kniel’s research with One Health and leaping listeria



What Dr. Kniel Would Like Students to Know:

  • Be excited to become more aware of our food systems. In a way we all become somewhat complacent about our food supply, after all most often we shop and buy food. But it is really an incredibly highly complex system based on scientific principles that touches us all.
  • Be open to critical thinking. So much of what happens within out food supply is not evident from a package of food or a bag of fresh fruit. We will discuss the roles of important issues like biotechnology and fair trade and look at these and other topics from multiple angles.
  • Each individual experiences food differently. An incredible aspect of food is the emotional connection that we each have. We will discuss the critical cultural aspects of food and consider ways in which we may all eat the same. For example, one ingredient may be used or consumed one way in the United States and in a completely different way on another continent.