This fall COM is offering two new courses, "The Undead in Literature" and "Argumentation and Debate."

“COM is on the cutting edge of something a little quirky, a little cool,” said English professor Bernie Smiley, who this fall is teaching the new course The Undead in Literature.

Featuring zombies, “the real Dracula” and Zora Neal Hurston’s short stories, the class will explore horror literature through the ages. Peppering classes with discussions with film clips, Smiley will show students how the undead genre has changed through the years, from the Thomas Edison’s silent film, “Frankenstein” to the 1980s zombie film, “The Return of the Living Dead.”

Not only will students discuss fun and stomach-turning topics but they will also explore the deeper idea of what it means to have a soul. Through the lens of film and literature they will see the trends of society and how horror films—and literature—reflect society’s greatest fears. With tales of blood–sucking Dracula to brain-eating zombies, explore the undead in a new way with this course.

With Argumentation and Debate, those who love to win arguments but hate to research can learn impromptu debate. Taught by champion debater Nakia Welch, this class will show students how to think on their feet. Debating current issues or whether Batman or Spiderman is better, students learn argumentation skills and practice them in this hands-on class.
This class is for “anyone who is willing to jump in feet first,” said Welch. “It can change your life. It did mine.” After trying a speech course in college by chance, Welch enjoyed it so much he took a debate class where he discovered his love for debate. Adjusting his focus, he chose to stay an extra year in college to debate and add a communication major as a double business major.

Joining COM’s faculty last year, he formed the Debate Club and coached seven students in their first debate tournament, where they were recognized as the top community college team. “They loved it so much I decided to take it the next step and offer it as a course,” he said. To become comfortable speaking, learn critical thinking skills or just have fun, try this new course for those who love to talk—and win.

Open registration for classes begins July 17 at