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An Epic Journey

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TWO ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE FACULTY MEMBERS MAKE HISTORY AS TEXAS’ FIRST ALUMNI OF THE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP FOR INTERNATIONALIZING CURRICULUM FELLOWS PROGRAM AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY

SAN ANTONIO ––-About 400 St. Philip’s College students and dozens of colleagues of SPC social and behavioral science faculty members Andrew Hill and Irene Young made history together in the multidisciplinary field of global and international studies this year.

Young and Hill have been giving back since August of last year as uniquely focused members of the Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) Fellows Program for the 2018-19 academic year at Stanford University. 

SPC’s Young and Hill were both included when the selective, competitive 10-Fellow program with a global focus expanded beyond California for the first time in 2018. Now they are alumni of Stanford’s premiere program for bringing together and supporting faculty members committed to developing global and international studies.

And the benefit of globalism awareness is being shared more effectively with hundreds of students and dozens of colleagues in Texas. St. Philip’s College and San Jose City College were each represented with two Fellows in the 2018 cohort at Stanford. Mission College, De Anza College, College of Marin, Mission College, Grossmont College and Pasadena City College were each represented with one Fellow in the unique 2018 cohort. 

Hill and Young each have years of separate outstanding track records for inspiring colleagues while teaching philosophy and psychology in ways that inspire global thought to about 400 of the 13,000 students enrolled each year at 121-year-old St. Philip’s College. They began their fellowship year by processing their respective fellowship offers. The duo formally ended their timeline of weekly real-time phone meetings with Fellows at Stanford after giving separate presentations during the university’s 2019 EPIC Symposium held in May at Stanford. In between time and going forward as EPIC alumni, Hill and Young have been strategically enriching the abilities of both students and colleagues beyond the college through two diverse, synergistic focuses on globalization.

In a dual-purpose approach, Young and Hill studied and completed projects focused on what it means to internationalize and promote global competencies among both students and faculty at St. Philip’s College. They studied organizational behavior. They read strategically on international and cross-cultural education and how they can use both to help online and physical students. As they continued to network with members of the 2018 cohort of Fellows, Hill and Young were infusing their students in the classroom—and their faculty colleagues in professional development events in Texas—with sustainable new approaches to thinking globally.

In California, both of the efforts of the first Fellows in Texas were best-practice topics on the challenges and opportunities of developing the global studies culture with research-based innovative plans and strategies during the 2019 EPIC Symposium. Young and Hill were also members of two separate EPIC Fellow Project Panels held concurrently at the start of that symposium.

“Mr. Hill and I previously worked together worked on a St. Philip’s College and Alamo Colleges District study abroad program for Northern Ireland, and also in bringing Fulbright Scholars from that region to our college,” Hill said. “I have worked as a family life specialist for the Air Force… in Turkey, Belgium, Israel… it was an eye and mind opening experience. I wanted our students to have that same opportunity—but in a different way—and EPIC has become one of the ways,” Young explained.

Young’s previous academic experience also includes teaching students in the European and Mediterranean divisions of four-year colleges. In her current capacity within a department that annually builds the knowledge of 3,500 social sciences students, Young’s annual regular course load at the HBCU is anywhere from 170-200 students. She felt that sharing one of her impactful personal globalization experience stories with the Fellow selection team was one factor in her co-making history along with Hill.

“I met a family being forced off their land while I was serving in Turkey. One of the women in the family… she literally tried to give me a nine-month-old child of the family. From there, I knew she saw the world in a different way than I did,” said Young.

“Working within the Global Studies Division at Stanford… we were looking at how we can better incorporate global studies curriculums at community colleges that teach the majority of college students in this nation. In my recent social psychology course at my community college, my students were looking at how issues could be addressed from a global perspective. To make our world a better world. To think beyond the state level to the issues that are worldwide issues,” said Young. “I’ve also done study abroad as a faculty member, and I’m sharing that there are proposals available from EPIC to encourage community college students from Texas to study in Europe in extension with Stanford. The aspiration is for our students at St. Philip’s College to apply to visit the Stanford campus in Florence,” said Young.

“On our EPIC journey this year, we wanted to inspire our students to want to be in the room when a Fulbright Scholar arrives at St. Philip’s College, to visit that Stanford campus in Florence, to enroll in our classes… We’re helping our students to appreciate the perspectives and worldview of others, arousing their curiosity to make a difference when many of them have not had opportunities to travel and learn about other places,” said Young, adding, “World peace begins with learning about and understanding one another.”

To join the conversation on education through globalization at St. Philip’s College, contact Hill at ahill76@alamo.edu and Young at iyoung@alamo.edu. (Archival Images: Courtesy SPC and Courtesy Stanford-Michael Breger)

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Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show

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Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show to encourage African Americans in our community to get counted in the 2020 Census

The Dream Big Scholarship Fund, in collaboration with the San Antonio/Bexar County Complete Count Committee, will host the Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show this Sunday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the AT&T Center parking lot. The goal of the comedy show will be to encourage African American residents of San Antonio and Bexar County to respond to the 2020 Census before next week’s deadline on Sept. 30.   

“It’s imperative that the African American community understand the impact that they can make by letting their voices be heard and getting counted in the 2020 census is one way to be heard,” stated Michele Thomas founder of the Dream Big Scholarship Fund. 

The show’s program will be hosted by 25-year United States Army Combat veteran and aspiring gospel singer Thomas B. Bryant. The program  will feature “Funniest Person in South Texas” finalist, Comedian Clifton Simmons. Headlining the comedy show will be Comedian Marcus D. Wiley from the Yolanda Adams Morning Show. While providing entertainment, these trusted voices will share information about why completing the 2020 Census is important to our communities.   

Multiple organizations such as The 100 Black Men of San Antonio, Psi Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. have pledged their support and resources to the event to ensure a complete count of the community.

The open-air event will be held in Parking Lot 3 at the AT&T Center. To ensure physical distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all activities will allow participants to stay in their vehicles. Attendees can enjoy the comedy show from the comfort and safety of their cars, as well as fill out the census form on their own mobile device or on tablets which volunteers will bring to each vehicle.  

The event will be live-streamed on Dream Big Scholarship Fund’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/dreambigscholarshipfund) and participants can complete the questionnaire at home and register to win gift card prizes. The census can be completed online at my2020census.gov or by calling 1.844.330.2020. Time is running out, be heard and get counted now!

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Sickle Cell Awareness Month

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September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, designated by Congress to help focus attention on the need for research and treatment of sickle cell disease.

SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.

In the United States

The exact number of people living with SCD in the U.S. is unknown. Working with partners, the CDC supports projects to learn about the number of people living with SCD to better understand how the disease impacts their health.

It is estimated that:

  • SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
  • About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT)

SCDAA’s theme for this year is Sickle Cell Matters. Sickle Cell Awareness Month Flyers, Myths & Facts Sheet, Calendar of Events as well as other vital information can be found by visiting https://www.sicklecelldisease.org/ People can share in awareness efforts or join SCDAA at one of the many great events to support sickle cell awareness!

Everyone is encouraged to be a part of this national effort to increase awareness about sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait during the month of September. Individuals and organizations can join the efforts to bring attention to sickle cell disease by engaging elected officials for proclamations, hosting awareness events, distributing educational information to dispel the myths about sickle cell disease, and lighting public spaces, buildings and landmarks red (burgundy)!

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Another Blow Dealt: Charges Not Directly Linked To Victim Breonna Taylor

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Residents of Louisville, Kentucky along with spectators across the world have waited for more than six months with anticipation for the verdict in the Breonna Taylor case. Anticipation has been boiling so much so that city and state officials began preparing days ago for uncertainty in the event that protests and riots could potentially break out once the verdict was read. The Kentucky National Guard and state police were called in and a 72-hour countywide curfew has been enacted. Once again there is further division, unrest, and lack of trust in another American city as clashes have already began to erupt in the streets of Louisville.

The verdict is in and the long-awaited grand jury charges are as follows. Only one former police officer, Brett Hankinson, was indicted on three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. In a nutshell, the other two officers will face no charges and the charges Hankinson faces are not directly related to the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor, but rather his reckless action of “wantonly shooting a gun” into an apartment (not Breonna’s). First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felonies, the maximum sentence is five years; the minimum is one year.

Last week an announcement was made by the city of Louisville that a $12 million settlement had been reached with the family of Breonna Taylor. Continued prayers for the family of Breonna Taylor and the city of Louisville.

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