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WPWS The Future of Food Offered During Winter Break

Decorative: NC State Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions

The third iteration of Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions (WPWS) focusing on The Future of Food launched during the summer of 2022. Nearly 1,000 incoming first-year and transfer students successfully earned two free credit hours while learning to use Moodle, NC State’s course management system.

This course will be offered again over winter break — from Dec. 12 through Jan. 8 — for incoming first-year, transfer and Spring Connect students. Students experience a multidisciplinary perspective to finding solutions for complex global issues. Originally created as a reaction to the 2020 pandemic, this course continues to serve as a vehicle to welcome students, to set the tone for their college career and to foster connection. 

The Future of Food instruction will be led again by Associate Teaching Professors Melissa Ramirez and Jason Flores. From production to processing challenges and inequality to sustainability, food presents plenty of complex and interwoven problems that contribute to a worldwide issue.

By the end of this online course, students will gain a better understanding of the complexity of these food-related wicked problems — specifically, those relating to food distribution, supply chain issues, genetically modified food and more. 

In addition, participants will be able to acknowledge that intersectional issues cannot be solved by one person, discipline, group or government. This class sets the tone for an interest-driven mindset to each student’s educational journey.

“This conversation impacted my perspective on what I can do with my education and my degree. I feel that I am more comfortable in exploring different areas of study while at NC State than I was before. I’m more willing to take the time to delve into different interests of mine outside of my major without feeling like that is setting me back. I also feel that it has impacted my view of my major. I’m realizing that there is definitely much more that I can do with an animal science major than treat animals in the standard healthcare area. And while I want to help animals return to full health, I’ve learned there are many other ways I could be doing that. And I’m excited to explore and find out about other careers in which I can do that, other than sitting in a veterinary hospital.” 

– Anonymous Summer 2022 Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions Student

Even though this is the third year that NC State has offered WPWS, the instructors and development team at DELTA strive to improve the course’s accessibility and inclusivity for students.

“We continue to refine our approach to course design, facilitation, production and communications, making incremental improvements each year,” DELTA Director of Project Management Merranie Zellweger said. “While the topic changes each year, the course goals — to introduce students to multidisciplinary studies, the NC State community and academic technologies — do not.”

Eligible students are automatically enrolled in the course, and it will be available for access in their WolfWare accounts under the “Current” tab on Dec. 12, 2022. While we encourage students to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, the course is not required, and there are no penalties if it is not completed successfully. 

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