Co-Facilitating a Workshop at the National Association of Multicultural Education’s Silver Anniversary Conference
I co-facilitated a workshop with Lane student Minette Roberts at NAME’s 25th anniversary conference in New Orleans Oct 1-4 2015.
The theme of the conference was “Past Achievements, Present Successes, Future Aspirations,” with a focus on examining how multicultural education has changed over time. Our workshop was titled “A Playground for Innovation in Multicultural Pedagogy: Fostering Innovation Through Play, Inquiry, and Critical Thinking,” a workshop focused on the importance of play, inquiry, and critical thinking in fostering innovation, a transformative component of critical multicultural pedagogies. Participants discussed how to foster more innovation in their classrooms through re-framing the marketplace educational model, and discussed how they might incorporate the ideas they brainstormed into their own curriculum.
Directed a Mini-Documentary Focused ePortfolios
In fall of 2014 I began work on a mini-documentary project aimed at helping students promote Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes to other Lane students. (See more information about that project on below.) As in all good documentary filming, my crew, students from Media Services at Lane headed by Nick Shipway, captured organic footage that really documented the conversations students were having with each other in a compelling and accurate way. The only “instructions” the students who volunteered to be in the film received was that the goal of the footage was to be able to create a mini-documentary for students at Lane that helped raise the visibility and understanding of the CLOs.
During the second shoot, Nick and I began to notice that not only were we getting a ton of amazing footage about the CLOs, but that the students also kept engaging their work with ePortfolios as they discussed grappling with their journeys through a liberal arts educational model. I said to Nick in jest after the second shoot, hey maybe we’ll end up with enough material on ePortfolios to do a mini-documentary on that too. While, in that moment, I was only kidding, when we’d finished shooting and I sat down with the raw footage for the first time to craft a rough cut of the CLO mini-doc, it quickly became clear to me that, indeed, hiding in this footage was also the material for an ePortfolio mini-doc.
So I spoke to Nick about whether he’d be willing to work on this second project with me, and he excitedly agreed. Below you can view the final product of our efforts.
Directed a Mini-Documentary Focused on Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes
I was asked in Fall of 2014 if I would consider proposing a project to help promote Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes (CLO’s) as part of Lane’s Roadmap Project. The Roadmap Project is inspired by AAC&U’s recommendations for how to develop a community college student Roadmap. Lane’s project is titled Lane Guide to Personal Success, or the Lane GPS, and is intended to provide a comprehensive guide to facilitate student learning, engagement, and successful navigation of Lane’s campus and Liberal Arts education offerings.
Lane’s CLOs are an important component to student learning and can provide students with a framework through which they can be active participants in crafting their liberal arts education rather than passive recipients of this liberal arts model. The more students can really grasp what it means to receive a liberal arts education and the more involved they can be in carefully selecting meaningful courses to include in their own liberal arts path, the more they can learn from both individual courses as well as their overall educational experience.
The project that I worked on as part of Phase One of Lane’s GPS entailed working with four of my former and current students to create a mini-documentary in which students shared how Lane’s CLOs impacted their own learning at Lane. The other goal of the film was to provide accessible ways in which other Lane students might embrace and utilize the CLOs to help them navigate their education at Lane. The primary audience of the mini-documentary is present and future Lane students.
I was very excited about this project and its potential to deepen student understanding of the role and importance of a liberal arts education. The students who starred in the mini-doc were also quite excited to be a part of this project. All of them had seen the impact that focusing on the CLOs can had on their educational trajectories at Lane, and they enjoyed the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with other Lane students. I also had a very talented camera team, headed by Nick Shipway, who was also my post-production editor.
Please take a few minutes to view the work of the students both in front of and behind the camera on this project.
Created an Honors Option for WR 121
As a next step in scaling Honors course offerings in the Writing Program, I developed an Honors option for one of my WR 121 courses, which I will begin offering annually, starting in Winter 2015. This will be the first Honors Option course offered in Composition and in the English Department.
In February of 2014, the Board of LCC directed our president to develop, implement, and monitor a Cultural Competency Policy at Lane. I feel it is vital for faculty, staff, and students alike to make consistent strides toward deepening their own cultural competency in order for Lane to live up to it’s Mission and Core Values, and to create a campus environment that is truly welcoming to all those in our community.
As such, I am using a WR121 framework that I developed and taught in 2014, which centers on challenging the notion of “The Single Story” and stereotypes, as a base for this course. All students in the course will choose a specific group that they either identify as a part of or have a close affiliation with. They will spend the term doing research and writing projects that allow them to more deeply understand the group they chose and challenge the stereotypes those outside the group have of this group. This will allow individual students to gain a more complex understanding of the group they’re focusing on, and give all students in the class an opportunity to learn more about the groups their classmates focus on through in-class discussions, research workshops, and reading and responding to each other’s drafts. This will help to foster genuine diversity in the class and allow students to help each other see beyond the stereotypes of various groups.
Students who choose the Honors option will be asked to do additional research and prepare and deliver a 15 minute presentation to the class during a mini-symposium that will be held during class time near the end of the term. Each Honors student will need to present a well-researched, well-developed, complex vision of their group in which they directly engage the Lane Diversity Core Value and the Engage CLO. The mini-symposium will give the Honors students a chance to enhance their critical thinking and practice effective communication, connecting the project to two more of Lane’s CLOs. The presentation will also benefit the entire class by offering peer-to-peer education in Cultural Competency.
To frame the course for students we will engage a variety of sources together, including the Washington Post article “Refugee” by Kevin Sullivan and Linda Davidson, stories of those who’ve served in the U.S. military from StoryCorps, as well as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story,” posted below.
It is my hope that this course will help open up a new pathway for students to gain or further develop their cultural competency so that they can be active participants in the important conversations that will be happening on campus as we develop a culturally competent institution at Lane.
Helped to Plan the 7th Annual Lane Peace Center Symposium
During the 2013-14 academic year, I served on the Lane Peace Center Committee. This work has been rich and rewarding for me and has helped me develop a much deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding the many conversations about diversity that are and have been happening on Lane’s campus.
I was especially happy to see how many Lane students stepped up and worked to help make the Symposium happen. Their commitment to their Peace Committee, and work, dedication, and engagement to the Symposium was truly inspiring and a clear demonstration of the power of community college education.
It was a joy and an honor to work alongside the other members of the committee to help plan this event. One of my contributions was to draft the Opening Statement that I delivered on behalf of the committee at the beginning of the Symposium. The text of this statement can be found on page nine of the Symposium Program.
More information about the Awakening the Dreamer —-> Move to Amend Symposium can be found on the symposium website.
I’m greatly looking forward to continuing my work on the Peace Center Committee next year and to helping bring the 8th annual symposium to life.
Created a Textbook-Free Course for My WR122 Class
In Winter 2014, I participated in Lane’s OER (Open Educational Resources) cohort, led by Jen Klaudinyi. In this cohort, I worked to find the resources I needed to teach a textbook-free WR122 course, beginning in Spring 2014. You can read about my journey on my OER blog. You can also see the course I created and the OER I used here. In Winter 2015 I also participated in a video project where faculty spoke about their experiences using and building courses with OERs. That video can be found here.
Prepared my ePortfolio for the ePortfolio Showcase in WR 122_H
I have always believed that I shouldn’t ask my students to do anything I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. It is in this pedagogical spirit that I frantically worked alongside my students in Fall 2013 to build, update, and maintain my own ePortfolio.
On December 10, my WR122_H students were supposed to participate in an ePortfolio showcase where they were to present their ePortfolios to their classmates, me, and a few invited guests. Each student would have presented for 5-6 minutes, sharing with the audience parts of their ePortofolios that they felt represented one specific “thread” that is strong in their ePortfolio.
Since I asked students to present their ePortfolios, I also planed to present mine. I had a nice little plan in place to focus on the “reflection” thread in my ePortfolio and to talk about how my ePortfolio gave me an opportunity to reflect on my professional goals and growth.
BUT, as is so so often true, even the best laid plans no not always come to fruition. Thanks to Mother Nature gifting us with more than 7″ of snow, much of Finals Week was cancelled this term, and unfortunately, we did not get to showcase our ePortfolios. But preparing for the Showcase did still help me better understand my own ePortfolio and its potential to document my professional growth. So even though we did not actually have the Showcase, I’m still moving this goal to “Reached Goals” to document part of my professional work/growth this term.
Planned the Fall 2013 Honors Event at Lane
Each term the Honors Program at Lane hosts at least one major event for our students. These events are aimed at building community and bringing students to events that will challenge them to think deeply about complex ideas or topics.
In Fall 2013, I had the honor of working with the talented and inspiring documentary film director, Ian Thomas Ash, to bring his latest film, A2-B-C to Lane’s campus. A2-B-C tells the stories of families who lived close to Fukushima but were not able to evacuate after the nuclear meltdown. It focuses on the health effects of the radiation on the children in these families, specifically the appearance of thyroid cysts and noduals. The award-winning film has screened around the world in many film festivals and is helping to break the silence surrounding the effects of the disaster in Fukushima.
After the screening of the film, Ian joined us from Japan via Skype for a director Q&A. Following the Q&A, many of the film-goers recorded messages for the mothers in the film, which Ian will share with the mothers.
It seems strange to me to say that an event focused around the stories of a disaster was a success, but I do feel like this event was a success, at least in the sense that Ian and I had hoped it would be successful–by getting the word out about these mothers and their families and the difficult issues they are grappling with.
Before the screening, I shared this short passage from an interview with Ian with the audience:
After watching the film, if you are left with more questions than answers, if you are shocked, upset, or confused, if you are disturbed by the lack of resolution and it moves you to want to do something, then the prayers of the mothers will have been answered. They are simply begging not to not be forgotten.
Asking the mothers, “What can we do for you?” is acknowledging their very existence, something the Japanese government has yet to do.
We may not always know what it is we can do, but simply wanting to do something is the first step.
As I told Ian, I feel like this event invited the Lane campus and surrounding communities to take a first step in reaching out to these mothers and their families. As I watched the gallery fill on the night of the event, I watched many accept this invitation, and take that first step.
After this initial step, many attendees were motivated to take additional steps after seeing the film. Some attendees chose to take a second step during the event by recording deeply moving messages for Ian to share with the mothers. Some lingered in the gallery after the event, engaging in passionate conversations about what was happening and how they could become involved. Some asked me for links to Ian’s blog and YouTube Channel so they could continue to follow the lives of these families through his ongoing work. One mother, who brought her 10 year old son to the filming, challenged him to propose ways he might be able to help the mothers and children in Fukishima.
In watching the attendees take steps toward these mothers, asking them in various ways “What can I do for you?” I see this event as successful. It provided the mothers with a space to break through the silence that has largely surrounded the everyday realities of life in the aftermath of this nuclear disaster, and invited people on the other side of the globe to walk beside these mothers as they face the uncertain journey that lies before them.
The video of messages to the mothers that includes clips from messages recorded at Lane