trelawny learning community


The Trelawny Learning Community at James Madison University is a freshman learning community dedicated to supporting students who are embarking upon their academic program in Biology. In our community we stress the importance of real world applications of our knowledge, making connections and thinking from an integrative perspective. We strive to develop a personal ethic that includes respect for one another, for all living organisms, and for our natural resources. We work to improve our study skills, our analytical abilities, and our commincation abilities. We seek out the best in one another as we build and foster a sense of community. We explore what it means to be a biologist and what professional opportunities lie ahead. Lastly, we believe in having fun and in building a social community outside of class as well as within.

In Class

As a primary resource for our classroom activities, we are using Lester Brown's book Plan B, 2.0 from the Earthwatch Institute. It is an excellent source of information on the environmental issues that we are facing as a growing population confronted with finite resources. Not only does Brown illuminate the challenges that we face, but he also provides models that can help us deal with the challenges and work toward sustainable population size and economic viability. It should be clear to anyone who examines the scientific and economic data that business as usual is not environmentally sustainable in the long run. We need to be creatively exploring our options and taking action now. Brown provides a framework for doing just that.

Web Resources for class use.

Out of Class

Outside the classroom, Trelawny Learning Community engages in social activities that help build our sense of community. One of our first activities each year is to take a walking tour of Harrisonburg and locate some of our favorite places to eat, to dance, and score the best Halloween costumes in town.

In 2005-06, we visited the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and the National Air and Space Museum. We went camping at Hone Quarry and we hiked in the Shenandoah National Park. We also had movie nights and shared popcorn.

Our 2006-07 class got in the Halloween spirit and carved pumpkins. We also went through a corn maze and visited a pumpkin patch at a local working farm. Some were brave enough to try some dance lessons and attend local dances.

Class photographs: