1. Professor Ioanide is the absolute best.

The best classes are the ones where the professors make an effort to get to know the students and make sure that the students get to know them. Professor Ioanide, or Dr. Paula as she says to call her, does exactly that. Even though the class has about 50 students she still learned everybody’s name within the first two weeks and made it clear that we could call her by her first name as well. She also gladly listens to whatever life experiences we have that could fit into the lecture of the day, and she is not hesitant to share about her life either. Her openness really makes you feel like you know her, and she is an extremely helpful, approachable, and fun professor to learn from.

2. You will have many epiphanies in this class.

Though issues concerning race, culture, and ethnicity can border a fine line of controversy, Dr. Paula does not hold back and she literally forces you to confront the uncomfortable topics that you may have been avoiding your whole life. She’ll make you realize things about the world that you never would have imagined, which is why this is probably one of the most useful classes offered at IC because it teaches you to think critically.

3. You will become a more open-minded individual.

That being said, discovering and learning from these epiphanies will force you to become more open-minded when it comes to considering important issues occurring in the present world. You may even change your opinion on certain topics just because of this class, and you really learn the importance of acceptance and open-mindedness.

4. It is the first requirement for all other CRE classes.

If you find that you love the study of culture, race, and ethnicity and that you may even want to delve deeper into a specific culture such as Native American or Latino studies, then you’re in luck. This class opens the door to all other CRE classes because it is the first requirement you need to advance, so not only are you learning a lot but you are also one step ahead of the game when it comes to registering for more CRE classes.

5. Best of all, you get to hear people’s stories.

This is partly where the open-mindedness and epiphany aspects stem from, because hearing people’s stories and experiences in the class show you how to view the world in a different perspective and learn more about the different cultures that are all around you. Dr. Paula encourages students to share their experiences and apply them to the lecture, and she is especially interested in learning about everyone’s unique backgrounds. Her class is genuinely an inviting, cultivating, and open space in which every student at IC should consider stepping into and learning the wisdom that Intro to CRE teaches.


Natalia Senanayake

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