by Shawna Graves, Office of Public Relations

Fall classes begin August 26 at Sul Ross State University and a variety of electives will keep things interesting, including three new courses, Traditional Darkroom Photography, River Recreation and Watercraft Safety, and Introduction to Masculinities. The classes are open to community members who may be eligible to enroll under non-degree seeking options.

In Traditional Darkroom Photography, students will develop photos the old fashioned way. “The class mainly focuses on silver processing with film and paper, but depending on the interest of students, other processes may be included,” explained Adjunct Professor Cindy Sims, who received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at Texas Tech.

Film-based 35 mm cameras will be available for use and some basic instruction offered on the non-digital format, with an emphasis on darkroom practice. “The process itself is fun. Things can happen that you don’t even imagine,” Sims shared.

If a student is interested in advanced techniques, such as printing on fabric or other nontraditional media, Sims welcomes it. “I want students to experiment,” she said.

The course is available to junior and senior students or as a non-grade seeking option, and will be held Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

River Recreation and Watercraft Safety is available as an elective or as part of a new degree plan focused on outdoor recreation and education offered through the Kinesiology and Human Performance department.

The curriculum was created with input from Big Bend National Park rangers and other outdoor professionals in the region, according to Department Chair and Assistant Professor Christopher Herrera, PhD. Coursework focuses on sustainable tourism, recreational administration, outdoors safety, among other things, and can be used towards a minor or major.

River Recreation and Watercraft Safety meets Fridays from noon to 2:50 p.m. at the campus swimming pool. Students will use stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and inflatable and sit-on-top kayaks. Field trips throughout the semester will offer live water practice.

A background using watercraft is not required and there are no pre-requisites, making this a great opportunity to get more comfortable in the outdoors around Big Bend or to get your feet wet before going into a field-based major, Herrera said.

Introduction to Masculinities is offered as part of the Gender and Women’s Studies minor or as part of a new Diversity Studies minor in the Languages and Literature Department, and is taught by

Rosemary Briseño, PhD. It meets Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m.

The class grew out of Women’s Studies, another course Briseño teaches. “Students were wanting more,” she said.

There are many versions of masculine expression and this course considers stereotypes, men’s issues, and theories of masculinity, she continued.

“Masculinity depends on time and place and culture, and there are restrictive and harmful stereotypes,” Briseño said. The class counts as a multicultural credit, one of the core curriculum requirements.

Find full course listings through the Quick Links tab at Information on non-degree seeking options are under “Forms for Students” under the Registrar tab.