EXCO Past Courses Spring 2024


EXCO 301.01 - Pokemon

Teacher: Edward Caballero, ecaballero2@sfsu.edu

Learning about Pokémon involves exploring a vast world filled with unique creatures, each possessing distinct abilities and characteristics. Pokémon, short for "pocket monsters," is a popular franchise that includes video games, trading card games, an animated TV series, movies, and various merchandise. Trainers, called Pokémon trainers, embark on journeys to catch, train, and battle these creatures. Each Pokémon has its own type, strengths, weaknesses, and evolutionary stages. Understanding the various types, strategies, and lore of Pokémon is crucial for successful gameplay and enjoyment of the diverse Pokémon universe. Players often immerse themselves in learning about Pokémon by studying their attributes, moves, and the lore that surrounds these fantastical creatures, making the experience both entertaining and strategic.


EXCO 301.02 - Intro to Veterinary Medicine

Teacher: Catherine Gonzalez, cgonzalezreyes@sfsu.edu and
Naseebh Gill, ngill5@sfsu.edu

A course to help pre-vet students with resources, how to apply to vet schools, topics to learn such as vaccines, medications, experience. The goal is to help pre-vet students by providing information, opportunities, and resources for the field of veterinary medicine.


EXCO 301.04 - Genealogy: Journey of Family Exploration and Self-Discovery

Teacher: Cia Davis, mdavis30@sfsu.edu

Welcome to "Genealogy: Journey of Family Exploration and Self-Discovery" This course will be giving students the opportunity to exercise their free will and their freedom to choose. This Genealogy course will help guide students with the process of acquiring insight into one's own character and the understanding of oneself or one's own motives or character.


EXCO 301.05 - Dr. Taylor A. Swift: a Timeline

Teacher: Madison Claude, mclaude@sfsu.edu

This course, created for Swifties (& non swifties), by a fellow Swiftie; will look at how American singer-songwriter Dr. Taylor Alison Swift got to be one of the most influential figures of this century, starting with how she started/where she’s from; to going down the line of discogrophy in detail, starting at “Taylor Swift” and ending with “Midnights”, and ending with what could be next for her, music-wise.


EXCO 301.06 - Not Goth: “Post-Punk” and Society 1977-1984

Teacher: Eva Palma, epalma@sfsu.edu

Post Punk is usually stereotyped as being dark, brooding music made by skinny boys with guitars. However, it took on many influences: funk, 60s pop, electronic music, noise, jazz, dub reggae, Afrobeat and disco and so much more. This course examines the sociocultural impact of the post punk/ “new wave” movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. We will be listening to key tracks, annotating archival pieces from magazines of the time, reading excerpts from retrospective books and watching notable films. The final celebration will be an indoor dance party, with tracks picked by students based on the class. By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of this often overlooked musical movement.


EXCO 301.08 - Asian Student Union Internship

Teacher: Jazmine Finuliar, jfinuliar@sfsu.edu and Pallavi Sharma, psharma8@sfsu.edu

The Asian Student Union (ASU) Internship Program is a semester-long course that allows students to learn about social, historical, political, and cultural aspects in Asian American communities. This program gives students a chance to delve deeper into the meaning of the AAPI experience, a space to learn about and discuss issues within the AAPI community, and a way to connect their personal experiences to history and other cultures, allowing them to have the opportunity to advocate for and give back to their communities.


EXCO 301.10 - The Perennial Philosophy

Teacher: JP Misheff, Jmisheff@sfsu.edu

In this course, we will attempt to refill at least a small portion of the gaping hole that suddenly opened up when University administration slashed lecture staff and course offerings (along with entire departments), eliminating classes pertaining to religion almost entirely. In a time when religious conflict is exponentially on the rise, we would do well now more than ever to take a more concerted, sober and much broader look at world religions and how they interrelate. This course, entitled The Perennial Philosophy aims to do just that. In his book by the same title, Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, Doors of Perception) sees commonalities and shared spiritual insights among various world religions and mystical traditions. In his book "The Perennial Philosophy," Huxley argues that at the core of diverse religious and spiritual teachings, there exists a universal and timeless truth or wisdom. This perennial philosophy suggests that despite surface differences, many religious traditions share fundamental principles about the nature of reality, the human condition, and the ultimate purpose of life.

All around us, we see people compiling an endless list of all the ways we are different, but the perennial philosophy is a celebration of what we all *share*. Turns out there’s quite a lot, and it is cause for celebration. Religion, technically speaking, as a term (re-ligate, re-connect), is fundamentally opposed to the forces of division. It was always meant to unite, but humans intervened and made things unnecessarily complicated. This class aims to focus on our commonalities, all while never losing sight of, and even revering, what makes us individually unique!


EXCO 301.12 - Let’s Go! The Worlds of Superhero Tokusatsu - A Special Effects Fantasy

Teacher: Rehnzo Nocon, rnocon@mail.sfsu.edu

Rejoice! Tokusatsu is a prominent form of Japanese entertainment where film and television heavily rely on practical special effects, often basking in the genres of science fiction, war, fantasy, or horror. One of the earliest and most well- known examples are the Godzilla and Gamera films, effectively kickstarting the kaiju boom. Due to the undeniable grasp superheroes have had on pop culture for many years now, this course in particular will prominently cover the impact and significance of the big 3 Toku franchises in the superhero/mecha subgenre: Ultraman, Super Sentai, and most importantly Kamen Rider. We will analyze common writing tropes prominent in the big 3, the storytelling process, their production histories, and also take a deep dive into their fandoms. We will come to understand why they’ve come to be endured in the hearts of many and how they’ve become immortalized in the corners of pop culture worldwide. So let’s ride! And together we will pass through the worlds of heroes you may or may not know yet!


EXCO 301.13 - Exploring Formula One: A Journey into Motorsport, Culture and Leadership

Teacher: Samarth Pandya, spandya1@sfsu.edu

Dive into the thrilling world of Formula One motorsport in this comprehensive course that goes beyond the racetrack. Students will embark on a fascinating exploration of the high-speed realm of Formula One, examining the cutting-edge technology, engineering marvels, and strategic brilliance that define this global phenomenon. But this class is more than just about fast cars and adrenaline; it's about understanding the diverse tapestry of cultures that make up the Formula One community and the exemplary leadership skills demonstrated both on and off the track.


EXCO 301.14 - Introduction to Crochet

Teacher: Ibory Moore, imoore2@mail.sfsu.edu

Unlock your creativity and master the art of crochet in our “Introduction to Crochet” class. This beginner-friendly course is designed to take you from novice to skilled crocheter, offering a comprehensive foundation in this timeless craft. With expert guidance, you’ll learn the basic crochet stitches, techniques, and terminology, enabling you to create a wide range of projects from cozy blankets to fashionable accessories. Our hands-on approach, step-by-step instructions, and plenty of practice will have you crafting beautiful crochet pieces in no time. Join us and discover the joy of turning yarn into unique, handmade treasures.

Course Highlights:

  • Learn fundamental crochet stitches: chain, single crochet, double crochet, and more.
  • Understand crochet tools and materials.
  • Explore pattern reading and interpretation.
  • Practice and create various crochet projects.
  • Gain the skills to design your own crochet creations.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some experience, this class will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to embrace the world of crochet. Come and join us as we embark on a creative journey through the colorful and intricate world of crochet!


EXCO 301.15 - Lucid Dreaming

Teacher: Julia McEvily, jmcevily@sfsu.edu

Lucid Dreaming and talk about, and practice, a variety of effective induction techniques. We will be learning how to take note of our sleep cycles so that we can identify the most favorable times in the night to attempt lucid dreaming induction. We will be incorporating mindfulness and meditation to help our lucid dreaming training. Students will be able to identify the difference between lucid and non-lucid dreaming, understand how mindfulness helps both nighttime and daytime lucidity, and how to practice lucid dreaming safely, and without sacrificing their restorative sleep. At the end of the course, students will be able to create their own personalized lucid dreaming training program.


EXCO 301.16 - SF Crash Course

Teacher: Neal Wong, nwong20@sfsu.edu

This course is about all aspects of San Francisco, including its history, current events, the local government, what living here is like, ways to save money, and interesting places to visit.


EXCO 301.17 - Various topics of the metaverse

Teacher: Marcus Tappan, mtappan@sfsu.edu

A survey about different topics and technology in the metaverse. Students will gain knowledge about the metaverse and its potential in life and their careers. Topics will include augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality, NFTs, blockchain, web3, cryptocurrency, and more. We will also look at the mentioned topics through several lenses such as commerce, social justice, content creation, and media literacy. The goal of this course is to develop the student as a digital global citizen.


EXCO 301.18 - Diversibility

Teacher: Masha Aleskovski, maleskovski@mail.sfsu.edu

This class will be a place for students to experience what it is like to be disabled, through workshops such as blind, deaf and one-handed workshops. This class is a hands-on class, and we will be doing tasting, cooking, doing art, playing games, and more. These activities will be used with either vision, hearing or a hand not being used. We'll even maybe go on a field trip.


EXCO 301.19 - Kapital: Understanding the final works of Marx

Teacher: Noah Giddens, ngiddens@sfsu.edu

This course would cover the entirety of Das Kapital Vol. 1 along with snippets of other related writings. The intent of this class would be to introduce students to leftist economic critique, the general structure of capitalism within the social realm of discussion, and how to analysis classical writers.Das Kapital is the perfect introduction to this topic and has heavily influenced several fields within the social sciences such as sociology, anthology, economics, and political science. It was also one of the key works in establishing conflict theory within both sociology and anthropology.


EXCO 301.20 - Basics in Coffee

Teacher: Olivia Moran, omoran@sfsu.edu

This course will cover different methods of coffee making as well as the differences between roasts. Students will learn about the different kinds of coffee and the different ways they can be crafted. Students also will have the opportunity to go on field trips to various coffee shops or roasteries in San Francisco. This class is expected to be zero-cost and hybrid.


EXCO 301.21 - The history of comic books in America

Teacher: Dakota Washington, dwashington4@sfsu.edu

This class will focus on the rich history of comics from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. I will teach you where the major comic book publishers started and where a handful of indie publishers started. I will show videos, movies and comics that I have in class. I will talk about the major events from the start of comics to where we are now.


EXCO 301.22 - The Self & Brand Synergy: A Modern Exploration

Teacher: Christopher Russell, cjr@mail.sfsu.edu

In the contemporary landscape, personal branding has the capacity for transformation. EXCO 301: The Self & Brand Synergy invites you on a modern journey of self-exploration and brand cultivation. You'll delve into your authentic self and channel that genuineness to shape a compelling personal brand.

Course Highlights:

  • Self Realization: Delve into self-awareness, reflecting on your inner values, passions, and strengths to uncover your true self, the bedrock of effective branding.
  • Brand Crafting: Understand the art of personal branding, transforming your newfound self-awareness into a purposeful, meaningful, and resonant personal brand.
  • Digital Storytelling: Explore the modern narrative. Learn to employ social media platforms, creative writing, visual arts, and video content to eloquently express your personal brand identity.
  • Engage and Connect: Discover how to build a supportive community of like-minded individuals, sharing your vision and experiences, and receiving valuable feedback.
  • Inspired Expression: Utilize diverse creative mediums - from writing and visual arts to multimedia content - to authentically narrate your brand story.


EXCO 301.23 - An Introduction to Black Love

Teacher: Starr Washington, starrwash02@gmail.com

This EXCO course will delve into the concept of love within the context of Black culture, exploring its historical, social, and personal dimensions. Participants will engage in discussions, light readings, and activities that examine various forms of love, including self-love, romantic love, familial love, and love for the community. Through this exploration, students will gain a deeper understanding of how love has shaped and continues to shape the experiences of Black individuals and communities.


EXCO 301.24 - Psychedelics 101

Teacher: Angelina Leopardo, aleopardo@sfsu.edu

Psychedelics 101 will explore how psychedelics have impacted the human experience through ancient medicine, contemporary medicine, the arts, religious use, as well as the scientific basis of these substances and how they interact with our brains on a molecular level. This class would focus mainly on Psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca, peyote and some cannabis strains. Along with that, we would discuss the importance of safety while dealing with psychedelics (set and setting, navigating psychological risks) and their future as therapeutic drugs.


EXCO 301.25 - University Advantage: Where Leadership Meets Career and Job Preparation

Teacher: Alfred Ceballos, aceballos4@sfsu.edu

This course spans 16 weeks, each with a unique focus designed to empower SF State students in their leadership journey while fostering a supportive community. Topics cover: the importance of community-building, resume development, and academic study skills; online professional presence, career exploration, and campus resources; building mentor-mentee relationships and honing communication skills; social media, career development, and the significance of healthy habits; encouraging students to take on active roles in their development and enhance their communication and group discussion abilities; academic support, the first-generation experience, and community building; and opportunities for students to connect with campus leaders, reflect on growth, and explore academic and career development. In Weeks 15-16, students plan and execute a campus engagement event, engage in personal and group reflections, and celebrate their achievements and the friendships formed during the course.


EXCO 301.27 - Hacking Kitchen

Teacher: Christopher Roberts, croberts@sfsu.edu

Welcome to our unique cooking course, where you will learn the art of hacking in the most delicious way possible! This Course is designed to teach you essential hacking skills and techniques, while also giving you a hands-on experience in the kitchen.In this course, you will learn how to hack various types of systems and networks, such as web applications, wireless networks, and IoT devices. You will learn how to use various tools and techniques, including social engineering,password cracking, and network scanning.To make the learning experience more exciting, we have designed the course as a cooking class. You will get to work in a fully equipped kitchen, and as you learn to hack, you will also learn how to prepare delicious meals and snacks.During the course, you will be introduced to a range of recipes that are not only delicious but also have a uniqueconnection to hacking. For example, you will learn how to make a "Phishing Pasta" that is designed to look like a legitimate email, but contains a hidden payload. You will also learn how to make a "Trojan Toast" that is loaded with a malicious payload, just like a Trojan horse.In addition to the hands-on cooking and hacking activities, you will also attend lectures and discussions on various hacking topics, such as ethical hacking, penetration testing, and cybercrime. You will also have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers who are experts in the field of cybersecurity.At the end of the course, you will have gained a deep understanding of hacking techniques, and you will be able to apply your knowledge to secure your own systems and networks. You will also leave with some amazing cooking skills and a collection of unique and delicious recipes that you can impress your friends and family with.


EXCO 301.28 - Comprehensive Cannabis Cultivation and Business Management

Teacher: Christopher Roberts, croberts@sfsu.edu

Embark on a unique journey into the world of cannabis cultivation with our Comprehensive Cannabis Cultivation and Business Management course. From planting a seed to navigating the intricate details of the harvesting and manufacturing processes, this course provides a thorough exploration of the complete cannabis production cycle. This course will feature weekly world renowned special guests from Cannabis Growers, Master Chefs, Celebrity Cannabis Enthusiasts, Top Fortune Industry CEO's, Cutting Edge designers, Recognize Artists ,Famous Musicians, and Respective Political Activists.

**Course Highlights:**

  1. **Seed to Harvest:** Gain hands-on knowledge of every stage in the cannabis growth cycle, from germination to harvesting, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of plant biology and cultivation techniques.
  2. **Manufacturing Expertise:** Delve into the manufacturing intricacies involved in processing cannabis, covering extraction methods, refining techniques, and product development. Learn to produce a diverse range of cannabis- based products.
  3. **Distribution Strategies:** Explore distribution channels for cannabis products, both within the legal framework and the underground market. Understand the legal and ethical considerations of distribution, ensuring a well-rounded comprehension of the industry.
  4. **Business and Marketing:** Develop a solid foundation in cannabis business management, covering legal compliance, market analysis, and strategic planning. Understand marketing strategies tailored to the cannabis industry, encompassing branding, promotion, and consumer engagement.
  5. **Navigating Legal Landscape:** Grasp the evolving legal landscape surrounding cannabis production and distribution. Gain insights into compliance with regulations and industry standards, ensuring a responsible and informed approach to your business endeavors.

This course is designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skills required for successful and ethical participation in the cannabis industry. Whether you aspire to cultivate cannabis for personal use, start your own business, or contribute to the industry in a legal and regulated manner, this course provides a holistic and practical foundation.
Join us in this immersive learning experience where you'll not only grow cannabis from seed to harvest but also master the business and marketing aspects essential for success in the evolving cannabis industry.