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I loved Pub Aff 50! As a first-year pre-public affairs major, I was very happy to have the opportunity to take this class. The first half focuses on democratic theory (i.e. what makes a society democratic) and the second half focuses more on social inequality (i.e. racism, classism, sexism). There are two 5-7 page papers, one on each half of the course that account for about 33% of your grade each. The other 34% is participation in section. Your TA determines all of your grade. The lectures are AMAZING! So interesting and engaging. My favorite class I took this quarter and I would 110% take another with Dean Segura if given the chance.
Dean Segura is a great lecturer! There are no exams, just a midterm and final paper. Doing the readings and understanding the main ideas will help you get through the essays more easily. The readings are interesting and relevant, especially for the second half of the quarter. Section attendance and participation counts for a good portion of your grade so attending that and engaging in section will help you a lot. Its important to ask your TAs for what they're looking for in the midterm and final essays. I think the biggest discrepancy between sections was that there was no rubrics and TAs seemed to look for different things depending on the section. I had Ryan as my TA and he was helpful if you emailed him with any questions! By the time the final came around, the TAs had a rubric which made things more clear for us!
I really liked Dean Segura for his clear and engaging lectures as well as thought. What I disliked were the readings because they were all extremely long and unclear. Many of my classmates also agreed that the readings were hard to get through. Discussion sections were very engaging and fun to attend because we got to hash out lecture material. There is a group presentation that you get to pick during discussion and that was also a good experience. Overall this class was pretty good mostly due to Dean Segura's lectures and the discussion sections. However, some classmates came off as racist during discussions so to those people, shut up and listen. And to my people of color, call them out.
I really liked Dean Segura's lectures. He's funny, engaging, up-to-date, etc. I honestly didn't do most of the readings as they were all summarized by groups in discussion. I only really did the ones when it was my group's week to present. There are no tests just a midterm and a final paper so if you're a good writer you should be okay. The papers relate to what you learned but ask you to expand the ideas presented into different realms. I know some people were disappointed with grades but I did fine, maybe someone with a different opinion will review!
The class is extremely interesting and the professor is also very good at explaining and catching our attention - if you work hard on your midterm and fine you’ll be fine overall. There’s also one discussion where you have to lead the class along with two or more other people, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Overall, great class, interesting material, engaging lectures.
The class is super interesting and really helps you become more aware of current issues. He is really passionate about what he talks about, and often elaborates on his points. His slides were super thorough, and they read like he was literally typing out his thoughts on the page. The papers are pretty easy to do, but the prompts aren't too clear and can be a bit hard to tackle at first.
This class was awesome. I took this class during Spring 2020 when COVID-19 forced everyone home. Dean Segura and the TAs were extremely accommodating and kind. Dean Segura would post the lectures in advance and set time aside to answer questions during the class. The readings weren't really necessary as he covered everything in his lectures. The midterm and the final consisted of two papers that were pretty challenging but not too hard. Maria was also an awesome TA who was really understanding and helped break everything down.
Dean Segura is really knowledgeable, and he could answer basically any question that you asked him during lecture. During covid, all lectures were pre-recorded and there were two essays which made up 2/3 of your grade (other third is participation). The concepts aren't terribly difficult to master and you could probably get by without doing ALL of the reading, but it's all really interesting so it's not hard to do it all. I think you read 5 or so books by the end of the quarter, but the lectures and notes are super well crafted and the assignments are super fair. TA grading, one group presentation in your discussion section
The class was asynchronous, and there was only one mandatory live class we had after the election. Both midterm and final essays were graded by the TA's, which can make or break your grade if you have a tough grader, since those were essentially the only components of your grade. We were required to facilitate discussion once with a group, based on that week's readings. Live office hours were great, as we got to discuss a variety of current events going on at the time.
I love Professor Segura! He hosted office hours every week for us to come in and ask questions about the readings or anything (we had a special Election Day meeting where he answered questions about the election). The main portions of the class were discussion (which really only consisted of asking two questions on a discussion forum every week and a group project), and two essays--a final and a midterm. The essays were given with very short notice (we only got around 4-5 days to work on it), but the prompts were extremely interesting and relevant! The only complaint I had was that the readings are extremely long, sometimes 100-200 pages in a week. They are interesting although they are dense.