Instructor Spotlight: Gillian Rooney

Gillian Rooney is a senior currently teaching the class "How To Not Get Scammed."
Gillian Rooney

Gillian Rooney is a senior currently teaching the class How To Not Get Scammed.

The class examines the most popular scams in circulation, gives students the tools to analyze the similarities and differences between scams, and provides considerations to prevent future victimization. They focus on multi-level marketing schemes, such as LuLaRoe leggings and Amway, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, and various forms of grifting and fraud. Students are encouraged to come up with their own definitions and develop their own ideas on why people continue to be victims of scams, despite public knowledge of them.

What inspired you to teach this topic at the ExCollege?

I am a huge true crime fan, and I think of this topic as a subset of that. I was very inspired by an ExCollege class I took as a student called Gender, Justice, and True Crime. Shoutout to Fran and Elisa!

How did the class go? What is one thing you think students took away from your class?

I (hope) that everyone agrees the class was a success. I feel as though I learned just as much, if not more, from my students as they did from our course materials. I think that my students will be able to avoid any scams that may come up in the future.

Was there a moment or classroom interaction that was particularly memorable or emblematic of your teaching experience?

We had an amazing discussion about Bernie Madoff, in which everyone was assigned a character. Everyone got really into playing their roles, and I found it extremely generative. Our course was almost totally discussion-based, so this was a nice twist on our typical class structure.

If you could've taken another ExCollege class this semester, which would it be?

I'd take another Peer Taught course, Scooby Doo and Contemporary American Mythology.

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