Course Syllabus

Course Info
Course Expectations

Course Info

Course Description

The Advanced Elective Seminar is a course designed to familiarize students with some of the purposes and methods of comparative analysis. Topics discussed include contrasting types of evidence, differentiating information sources, examining related content, and communicating learning experiences. In this particular Seminar, The Art of Collecting: Personal and Corporate Identity Reflected, students will consider the larger roles of corporate and private collectors with respect to community, especially as consumers, providers, and preservers, and procurators of the visual arts. Throughout history, large corporate entities have lead the way in the commissioning, procurement, and dissemination of works of art, which they display to select members of the public as part of their public relations effort. Wealthy private collectors sometimes have removed grgeat works entirely from public view. Money, power, spirituality and aesthetics have been important elements in the conservation of art in various cultures.

As community members, as workers, as enlightened consumers, we are continually faced with aesthetic images. While most of these images are foisted upon us by history and contemporary culture, and are preserved for us by social institutions like museums and the popular media, others are currently in the making. Nations can be defined by their aesthetic output. Historical eras are assessed through their visual imagery. Emerging societies project new ideas through pictures. Corporations use advertising and art sponsorship to bolster their public reputations. In today's world, visual images are disseminated through advertising, through photography, through the internet, and through television. However, these resources have as their purpose a commercial, not an aesthetic goal. Artists might create visual representations of ideas to discover and formulate questions of their own, but also ,ight provoke questions related to society. In either case, artists' goals are more focused on aesthetics than on corporate commercial development.

The focus of this course is this dilemma. Who creates visual images? Who preserves them? How does the public come to know of them and appreciate them? Where do the corporate patron and private collector fit in this puzzle? How has this question been handled in history? Must commerce and aesthetics be opposed? Do powerful organizations and individuals have a responsibility to develop and protect our visual heritage? Is there a middle ground where beauty, profit, and individual choice can coexist?

Course Learning Goals

Upon completion of this course, learners will have:

Learning Strategies

This course is heavily dependent on students’ ability to engage in meaningful discussion of the controversies generated by the arts, the collecting of art, and the roles played by museums, corporations, and other collectors in the protection and presentation of art. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and activities. Furthermore, students will produce a research project based on the principles of collecting outlined in the course. Films, selected readings, and field trips will constitute the balance of learning strategies.

Course Resources

Selections from the following texts, and others, will be available via D2L:

Perspectives on Collecting. Betta LoSardo and Susan McGury. Chicago, 2001. (Film)

Art at Work:  The Chase Manhattan Collection. Marshall Lee, ed.  EP Dutton:  New York

“Art Collecting and Patronage, An Introductory Essay.” Betta LoSardo and Susan McGury,

Collectors’ Comments (short films)  Betta LoSardo and Susan McGury, 2008.

Cultural Leadership in America: Art Matronage and Patronage. Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Boston, 1997. Volume XXVII, Fenway Court.

Ethics and the Visual Arts, eds. King and Levin.  Allworth Press:  New York, 2006.

Is Hockey Art?  Betta LoSardo, 2003.

Is Sport Art?  Susan McGury, 2008.

The Island of Lost Maps:  A True Story of Cartographic Crime.  Miles Harvey.  New York: Random House, 2000.

Nothing if Not Critical:  Selected Essays on Art and Artists.  Robert Hughes. Penguin Books:  New York, 1990.

On Collecting.  David Lord Eccles.  London:  Longmans, 1968.

Perspectives on Collecting. Betta LoSardo and Susan McGury. Chicago, 2001. (Film)

The Queen’s Pictures: Old Masters from the Royal Collection.  Christopher Lloyd.  Royal Collection Enterprises, Ltd.  Newton le Willows, Text Crown Copyright, 1994.

The Story of Art. E.H. Gombrich. Twelfth edition. Phaidon: London, 1972. Tate’s the Art Magazine.

What is Art For? Ellen Dissanayake, University of Washington Press, 1990.

Course Competences

Competences E-1 and E-2 are offered in this class. Below, we have listed the general descriptions of these competence statements. The Advanced Elective Seminar is designed to explore how various ideas and fields come together to make meaning. In this course, competences will deal with the contrasting purposes of art, particularly with respect to the aesthetics versus profit motives. That is, students will examine the varying roles of profit and aesthetics in the production, preservation, and appreciation of art. Furthermore, students will consider aspects of creative thinking from the commercial as well as the aesthetic point of view. Students are free to develop their own competence statements, or can follow the statements and guidelines listed below:

CompetenceCompetence Statement and Facets/Criteria
E1 Can explain and interpret the relationships among art, society, and business and can draw on at least two different approaches to these topics.
E2 Can describe the mission of an institution, and can design and explain an original collection of artworks and/or artifacts representing its philosophy and culture.

How Competences will be Demonstrated in this Course

Students taking this course for one competence only will be responsible for the E1 competence materials.  The discussions and other course assignments are related to the E1 competence.  The final project is related to E2. The E2 project cannot be completed without having completed the E1 exercises.

E1 Can explain and interpret the relationships among art, society, and business and can draw on at least two different approaches to these topics.

  1. Identifies at least 2 sources of knowledge, such as empirical, historical, traditional, etc.;
  2. Explains how these sources of knowledge lead to specific approaches to creating knowledge;
  3. Explains values, assumptions and cultural contexts underlying these ways of knowing;
  4. Articulates and differentiates how these ways of knowing influence our experience or understanding of the relationships among art, society, and business.

E2 Can describe the mission of an institution, and can design and explain an original collection of artworks and/or artifacts representing its philosophy and culture.

  1. Creates an institution and its the philosophy and culture;
  2. Identifies works of art and/or artifacts which represent 1;
  3. Explains how #2 fits the requirements of #1;
  4. Explains how aesthetic and commercial goals work within the institution.

Course Structure

This course consists of 10 modules. The time to complete each module is one week.

The following table outlines the course:

Week, Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: What is Art and Why do People Collect it?

Read Module Content

Read LoSardo, Betta and McGury, Susan. "Art Collecting and Patronage"

1.1 Introduction Discussion

1.2 Art Quiz

Week 2, Module 2: Collecting and Collectors

Watch Video: Issues in Western Art: Pre-historic to Baroque

Watch Video: Two Collectors

Gombrich, Ernst H. 1995. Introduction: On Art and Artists. Pp. 15-38 in The Story of Art. 16th ed. London: Phaidon Press.

2.1 Reading Presentations

2.2 Famous Collectors

2.3 Interview a Collector

Week 3, Module 3: Feeling vs. Thinking in Assessing Works of Art

Watch Video: Perspectives on Collecting: The Private Collector

Harvey, M. (2000). The Joy of discovery in The island of lost maps : a true story of cartographic crime. New York, NY: Random House.

Eccles, D. (1968). The Great variety of motives for collecting works of art. in On collecting.. London: Longmans.

Review the Auction Catalog and view instructions for using GoToMeeting.

3.1 Reading Presentations

3.2 Thinking vs. Feeling

3.3 The Brancusi Exercise

Week 4, Module 4: Museums

Berger, John. "Steps Toward a Small Theory of the Visual." The Art Magazine. Spring, 1977.

Dissenayake, Ellen. 1988. What is Art? Pp. 34-60 in What Is Art For? Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Watch Video: Perspectives on Collecting: Museums as Shapers of Taste

Watch Video on Issues in History of Western Art Part 2

4.1 Reading Presentations

4.2 Art Collecting Discussions

4.3 Museum Exercise

4.4 Team Formation

Week 5, Module 5: Live Art Auction

Watch Video: Perspectives on Collecting: The Art Dealer

Freudenheim, T.L. (2006). Museum collecting, clear title, and the ethics of power in E. King & G. Lewis (Eds.), Ethics and the Visual Arts. New York, NY: Allworth Press.

Higgonet, A. (1997). Private Museum, Public Leadership. Pp. 79-92 in Cultural Leadership in America: Art Matronage and Patronage. Boston: Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

5.1 Reading Presentations

5.2 Online Auction

Begin working on:

10.1 E2 Project

Week 6, Module 6: Art, Creativity, and Imagery

LoSardo, Betta. Is Hockey Art? (PDF, 46 KB)

McGury, Susan. Is Sport Art? (PDF, 53 KB)

6.1 What is Art? Discussion

6.2 The Cubicle Exercise

6.3 Auction Follow-up

Week 7, Module 7: Evaluation the Contributions of Collections

Watch Video: Perspectives on Collecting: Corporate Collecting

7.1 Field Trip Report

7.2 Works on Display Discussion

Week 8, Module 8: Defining Corporate Art

Miller, Dorothy C. 1984. Art for Workplaces. in Art at Work: The Chase Manhattan Collection. New York : E.P. Dutton in association with the International Archive of Art.

8.1 Reading Presentations

8.2 Corporate Collection Analysis

Week 9, Module 9: Art, Money, and Access

Prepare: For final presentation

Lloyd, Christopher. 1994. "Introduction". in The Queen's Pictures: Old Masters from the Royal Collection. Ed. Christopher Lloyd. London: Royal Collection Enterprises.

Hughes, Robert. 1990. "Art and Money." Pp. 387-404 in Nothing if Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists. New York: Penguin.

9.1 Reading Presentations

Week 10, Module 10: Considering Issues in the Art and Drawing Collections

10.1 Issues in the Arts

10.2 Final Analysis

10.3 Final Paper

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Assessment of Learning

Each student will be evaluated on timely and active participation in the following activities:

  1. Class discussions and excercises;
  2. Completion of assigned readings and participation in group presentations on readings;
  3. Participation in Group Art Auction exercise;
  4. Completion of field trip.

E2: Assignment, Create a Collection

Each student will create a fictitious institution, will define its mission statement, and will research and present an original art collection that reflects that mission statement.   These institutions and mission statements might be similar, but not identical, to those presented in the art auction. Students will explain how they made their aesthetic choices and how these choices relate to their created institutions.  E2 projects will be assessed on your explanation of the ways in which your choices fit your mission statement, and your ability to use the concepts from our course about assessing and interpreting art to construct your collection. 

Step One: Design a fictitious institution.  This could be a social service institution, an arts and community organization, a for-profit business, a multinational corporation,  a school, a government office, a private collection, or any other kind of institution.  It is up to you.  (If you have question about this or want to discuss your choice, please just us know.)  Write one paragraph describing your institution. What is its name?  Whom does it serve?  What is its purpose?  Size?  Location?

Step Two: Write a mission statement for your fictitious institution. A mission statement is a short declaration of your organization’s purpose.  In one or two complete sentences, provide the title of your organization, and include information about your values, audience, and activities.

Step Three: Introduce your collection.   What is the theme of your collection? What is the layout of your collection and how do you envision your collection in the space?  How many rooms will your collection need?   How do your answers to these questions fit your mission statement?

Step Four: Locate 10 works of visual art that fit the mission of your institution.  Paste them into a Word document and comment on the following questions for each of your 10 choices:

  1. Who is the artist? 
  2. When was the work completed?
  3. What are the materials the artist used?
  4. How (and be precise here) does the work fit the mission statement of your organization.  Tell how the color, composition, theme, etc. of the work meet the demands of your mission statement;
  5. How does the work fit in with your other 9 choices;
  6. Where will the work be placed in your collection space?  In the entry way?  In the middle?  Up high?  Eye level?  By itself?  Will it be grouped with other works? Why?

Step Five: Summarize your work.  Tell us what you did and give us some specifics about what statement is made by your entire collection. 

Step Six: Construct an annotated bibliography of ten sources citing all sources used, explaining the type of each source, its relevance to your topic, and the importance of the time in which the source was produced.  Your sources might include material about your chosen artists, critical analysis of their works, material about collectors and collecting from our course or from outside, materials about art curating or design theory.  You are free to use any materials from this course.

Step Seven: Submit your 10 page (exclusive of the bibliography) Word document to the appropriate DropBox in D2L.

All assignments submitted after posted deadlines will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis only. The highest grade late materials can achieve is a C.

Final grades will be posted in Campus Connect only.

Percentage Distribution of Assessments

Course Grading Scale
A = 95 to 100 A- = 91 to 94 B+ = 88 to 90
B = 85 to 87 B- = 81 to 84 C+ = 77 to 80
C = 73 to 76 C- = 69 to 72 D+ = 65 to 68
D = 61 to 64 F = 60 or below INC

Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Your Grading Policies and Practices

All students, no matter what competence they seek, are expected to:

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing, including posted messages, must be:

1.  Original work. All work must be in your own words.  If you have questions about whether you have paraphrased or cited correctly, click on the “Academic Integrity” button on the upper left-hand side of the D2L entry page and follow the links there, or ask for help from the DePaul University Writing Center, which provides online help for no charge.

2.  Professionally stated.   Even though we hope to be a friendly group online, casual or slangy wording is inappropriate in college classes.  If you imagine yourself at a business meeting (even if you are sitting at home in your pajamas), you are more likely to write in an appropriately formal style.

3.  Correctly spelled, punctuated, and phrased. Standard English is required as well in all written materials that you submit for assessment.

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

The material to be considered in this course may be considered by some to be controversial.  It is important to note that the study of myths is, like the interpretation of literature and art (of which myth has been considered a form), is a rigorous academic discipline that is entirely separate from belief.  Just as one can appreciate a landscape that is quite different from that which one loves and calls “home,” so one can read with appreciation the myths of other cultures without that challenging the basis of one’s own religious traditions.   There is no intention in this course to promote one religion’s worldview as superior to another, nor is there any intention to suggest that any religious worldview (ancient or modern) is problematic or deficient.

Online participation will be assessed according to the following expectations:

Grading Rubric for Online Posts



Grading Rubric for Online Posts

Excellent 5 assignment prompts addressed and enhanced;post indicates nuanced and in-depth level of comprehension;superior writing ability.
Good 4 assignment prompts carefully followed; post indicates above average content comprehension; clear, error free writing 
Satisfactory 3 assignment prompts generally followed; post indicates acceptable levels of content comprehension; writing free of major scribal errors  
Weak 2 assignment prompts loosely followed; unclear thinking and /or incoherent writing with multiple serious scribal errors
Poor 1 assignment prompts not followed; unclear thinking and /or incoherent writing with multiple serious scribal errors
Missing 0 missing work

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Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

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Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

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Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

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This course was designed and produced by staff and faculty at SCPS of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies of DePaul University.

© 2012 School for Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS during contractual interval with the author. Printed in the USA.

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