Nick Hayes, Professor of History and SJU Chair in Critical Thinking, also spends his time teaching both Honors First Year Seminar and Ethics 390: War and Memory. First Year Seminar (FYS) provides the foundation for a Liberal Arts education by enhancing the essential ability to read and think critically, write and discuss effectively, and deliver formal oral presentations. Nick also serves as the faculty advisor for the FYS students in his section of FYS. This, plus the fact that FYS students and their faculty member, in this case Nick Hayes, typically stay together for the entire year, creates a strong sense of community within the group. The subject matter of his section of FYS is The Fourth Seal: Epidemics and Society from the Black Death to Aids.

Nick's Ethics 390 course examines the ethical issues of the conduct and representation of war from the Great War (WWI) to today's "war on terrorism." The theme follows the shift of strategy from targeting military casualties to the predominant emphasis on civilian casualties as evident in the case studies of the Vietnam War, WWI, the Holocaust, and the wars of genocide in our time--Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the "war on terrorism." What is more, the class places a priority on the ethical issues implied in our study of the war experience.

"Nick not only gave me new perspectives on doctors, illness, and the transmission of disease, but also helped me to decide that medicine as a career is the direction I wish to take. In addition, having Nick as my FYS professor introduced me to his vast breadth of knowledge, and also gave me the skills I needed to become a successful student. I learned how to hone my writing and critical thinking skills, which has helped me excel in college and will help in my career"  said honors student, Lukas Pitzl.