Owen Marciano, associate director of recruitment and admissions in CEHD Student Services, has been awarded the University’s 2017 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award. The award recognizes University faculty, staff, and students who are creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments. He will be honored at the University of Minnesota’s Equity and Diversity Breakfast on Nov. 16.
Owen has spent more than 15 years serving, supporting, and advocating for underrepresented students in higher education. He leads CEHD’s undergraduate recruitment, communications, and admissions, and brings social justice to the forefront in all of this work. For example, Owen identified and changed policies that serve as admission barriers to marginalized and oppressed individuals and groups. Colleagues noted his unwavering commitment to social justice has a far-reaching, positive impact on them personally, and impacts their work across CEHD and the University. Owen also delivers anti-oppression training on campus and in the community, is a member of the Campus Climate Engagement Team, and a community activist.
Rose Simon, a 2017 family social science graduate, was a keynote speaker at this year’s New Student Convocation, the U o f M’s welcome event for the incoming first-year class. Simon was encouraged to apply for the opportunity by her undergraduate student services adviser, Carole Anne Broad. A transcript of her speech is below, and view the event on YouTube. Simon’s speech begins around the 1 hour mark.
Welcome Class of 2021 and may I be one of many to congratulate you on this huge accomplishment. You are now officially a college student and you have certainly overcome numerous barriers to be here today and you should be very proud of yourselves. I am sure you are thrilled and eager to start classes and most importantly, for the “all you can eat” ice cream in the dining halls. However, before we get too far into your college days, I’m here to share a few of my own experiences and tips to help you along the way: and my first one to you is, don’t eat too much ice cream.
When I look back at my past four years of college, I can’t help but smile. I have done some pretty amazing things, but I was still surprised when I was asked to speak to you today. Surely, there was someone more qualified than I with a more picturesque college experience. What you heard in my bio is fairly impressive and I certainly worked hard these past four years but what you don’t hear about are the many challenges I faced throughout college. You don’t hear about the mental health issues I faced, or the time I was affected by a terrorist attack when I studied abroad, or the classes that I almost failed. These challenges became part of my journey and I realized that I DID have a perfect experience, just in a different manner that can’t be compared to any other college experience. It was perfect because I was challenged academically, mentally, emotionally and physically, and eventually I realized that I walked away with greater insight about myself and my potential.
So, I’m not here to tell you my life story, but I am here to share a few tips from my own journey through college. I have four tips for you that I hope will guide you in overcoming and succeeding when faced with your diverse challenges; whether your challenges are small or mighty.
Tip #1 Find your passion – whatever that is, and follow it, and do NOT let doubt overtake your confidence.
I love French, but boy did I struggle. When I was failing a French course my freshman year, it was difficult to remember how much I loved languages and connecting with other cultures when society was telling me that I should do something more practical, something that makes money. But my heart was telling me otherwise. When I made the wise choice to follow my passion by declaring my French major, I was able to live abroad in France for an entire year learning and challenging myself in a new space and culture. So find your passion, and stick with it, because some things are just meant to be.
# 2; Ask for help. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and you need to know that the entire U of M community has your back. Asking for help, whether it’s going to your professor’s office hours and asking for homework help, asking your mentor, friend, advisor or coach for advice, or seeing a Boynton therapist – it will be the best way for you to find support when you face tough challenges. I personally have asked for help from all of those resources and I can attest to how much it helped me. So when faced with challenges, small or mighty, ask for help.
#3: Connect with your community on campus, and you will find your home and your second family where you will only receive love, support, and connection. Find your sport team if that’s what you’re into, join a fraternity or sorority, surround yourself with those that share pride in your culture by joining a cultural group, find support through programs like the Multicultural Center of Academic Excellence, TRIO or the President’s Emerging Scholars Program. I found my niche with the University of Minnesota women’s rugby team and my President’s Emerging Scholars family, and those two groups showed me nothing but love and support and as a result, I always felt like coming to campus was coming home.
And my final tip for you…
#4; Seek challenges and step out of your comfort zone. No doubt, this will happen without choice, but there are many ways that you can deliberately step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with new experiences. Show up at a club meeting even if you don’t know anyone, study abroad in a different country, volunteer with a community you have never worked with, learn about a new culture. From studying abroad I learned that taking a step beyond what I was used to or comfortable with was an amazing way for me to learn beyond the classroom, and I don’t regret any of the challenges that I placed upon myself.
I know this is not the first time you have faced a challenge, and for many, you have faced bigger challenges then most can even imagine. When your faced with these new challenges, remember you’ve earned your place at the U of M and in four years you will be holding a diploma instead of a tassel and looking back at your challenges and honoring your successes, for teaching you so many life lessons.
I hope that when you look back on your college career four years from now, that you will have found your passion and followed it, found a community and embraced it, asked for guidance and given it, and challenged yourself, but most importantly, I hope you can look back and can’t help but smile. Best of luck on your journey and congratulations!
CEHD Student Services senior academic adviser Faustina Cuevas presented at the 2017 NASPA conference for higher education student affairs professionals, held in San Antonio.
Cuevas and Gilbert Valencia, residence director with U of M Housing & Residential Life, presented “Starting a Faculty & Staff Affinity Group: Importance, Challenges & Sustainability.” Their session focused on the tools and resources needed to start a faculty and staff affinity group on campus. They shared strategies and challenges they faced in starting the Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association at the U of M, hopefully inspiring others to see the need and importance of affinity groups to build community and retain diverse staff and faculty.
CEHD Student Services senior academic advisers Faustina Cuevas and Tracey Hammell recently presented “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” to the U of M Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Their presentation examined microaggressions’ role in society and their effect on people. Cuevas and Hammell discussed what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others.
CEHD senior academic advisers Faustina Cuevas and Jessica Thompson presented “Becoming an Accomplice: Are You Ready for the New Wave of Allyship?” at the annual John Tate Academic Advising Conference.
Their presentation addressed how the term ally has become a buzzword, especially in the context of recent events, and must be re-envisioned in order to better serve students and dismantle systems of oppression. They presented on how advisers shift beyond allyship towards becoming accomplices in social justice work. They highlighted the importance of this concept of accomplice and its connection to advising and student advocacy.
Faustina Cuevas, senior academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, was awarded the EMERGE Villages Catalyst Award. EMERGE is a Twin Cities community development agency that works to help people access jobs, financial coaching, supportive housing, and other key services. This award recognizes Cuevas for her time investment and contributions as a mentor to formerly homeless families, an ability to work with families to support stabilization and overcoming barriers, and whose positive effort supports the infrastructure in Emerge Villages.
The CEHD Health, Sport and Recreation Career Fair on Feb. 8 at the U’s Recreation and Wellness Center is specifically designed for Kinesiology, Sport Management and Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies students looking for internships, full-time positions and graduate program information. Fifteen organizations from diverse areas such as Allina Health, U of M Athletics, and the YMCA and YWCA, will be there to recruit and share information about their organization. Visit GoldPASS to see all of the employers who will be attending. No registration is required.
Juan Telles, CEHD Student Services student employment development coordinator & front desk manager, presented this month at the National Student Employee Association conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The title of his presentation was “Connections Between Universal Instructional Design and Supervision of Student Workers.” His presentation focused on ways to develop student employees using a Universal Instructional Design (UID) approach. UID provides theories, tools, and approaches to teaching that caters to different learning styles. Using this type of an approach with student employee professional development caters to the different needs of students and also provides support for their holistic supervision.
The U of M TRIO programs in CEHD are celebrating their anniversaries this year: Upward Bound, 50 years; Student Support Services, 40 years; McNair Scholars, 25 years. The federally funded programs ensure equal opportunity and equitable access to higher education for underrepresented students. Watch this video highlighting the impact of their work and a tribute video to Bruce and Sharyn Schelske, who worked with U of M TRIO programs for over 40 years.
The 2016 University of Minnesota TRIO Ronald E. McNair Scholars presented their summer research in August at the annual poster research symposium. The poster session highlighted the research efforts of 20 McNair scholars, including six CEHD undergraduates, six CEHD faculty and a graduate student. The McNair Scholars program is one of three U.S. Department of Education funded TRIO programs housed in CEHD. The program seeks to increase the doctoral program application, matriculation, and degree attainment by underrepresented and first-generation college students.
The cohort included students from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Metropolitan State University. A complete list of the 2016 scholars research projects is here. CEHD undergraduate 2016 McNair scholars and mentors are: Danielle Cotton and Tabitha Grier-Reed, Family Social Science; Ana Lozano, Family Social Science and Rose Vukovic, Educational Psychology; Fadumo Awil Mohamed and faculty mentor Lori Helman, Curriculum and Instruction; Dorothy O’Berry and faculty mentor Rashne Jehangir, Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development; Vilma Quito Fernandez, Business & Marketing Education and faculty mentor Virginia Zuiker, Family Social Science; Ricky Vang and faculty mentor Cathy Solheim and graduate student Veronica Deenanath, Family Social Science.
Tracey Hammell and Don Riley, academic advisers in CEHD student services, presented this month at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 6 Conference in Omaha. Their presentation — “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” — examined what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others.
CEHD Student Services advisers Faustina Cuevas and Tracey Hammell presented at the 2015 Overcoming Racism: Vigilance Now! conference at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Cuevas and Hammell’s presentation — “Microaggressions: Did that just really happen?” — examined microaggressions’ role in society and their effect on people. Cuevas and Hammell discussed what steps can be taken to understand and limit microaggressions in our own way of being as well as creating awareness of microaggressions with others. Using case studies and lived experiences, they also facilitated a discussion with attendees to engage in a meaningful dialogue.
Youth studies undergraduate student Soua Thao (pictured in the middle) was awarded theSharon Doherty Student Leadership Award from the University Women’s Center. Thao serves on the youth advisory council for the National Youth Leadership Council, a service-learning organization. At the U of M, Thao is a TRIO student and is pursuing a minor in Leadership and is a part of Students Today Leaders Forever. With the award funding, Thao will attend a national leadership conference.
The Sharon Doherty Award recognizes a woman-identified student who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer service concerning women’s issues on campus or in the broader community.
CEHD Student Services received the 2015 Lillian H. Williams Award from the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The award recognizes individuals and units who have shown their commitment through the education of the U of M community on issues and topics related to equity, diversity and the struggle against discrimination and harassment.
CEHD Student Services has been engaged in a comprehensive equity and diversity plan since 2009. The unit created a vision and policy statement on equity and diversity that informs their daily work and is shared with all applicants for open positions in the unit. In addition to guiding hiring and promotion practices, the Student Services equity and diversity plan guides unit and individual professional development opportunities, and staff routinely partner with and educate others on equity and diversity issues in the U of M community.
CEHD’s TRIO programs received the award in 2014. The award is named in honor of Lillian H. Williams, the founding director of the U of M’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
CEHD staff presented on the college’s global experience initiative at the NAFSA Association of International Educators conference held in Boston last month. The presenters were: Tracey Hammell, academic adviser; Christopher Johnstone, director of CEHD international initiatives; Jeannie Stumne, director of CEHD career services; and Rhiannon Delyth Williams, research associate in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning.
This session described CEHD’s global experience initiative through the perspective of diverse stakeholders who seek to address student access, assessment, organizational buy-in, and students’ diverse disciplinary career goals.
Tracey Hammell, academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, presented this month at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 6 Conference in Fargo. Hammell’s presentation, Times are a Changin’: What could the future of academic advising look like?, discussed integrative learning theory. The theory suggests a framework that could allow advisers to be active participants in shaping and redefining the role of advising on campus. By applying integrative learning theory and tracking the developmental changes a student experiences throughout their program, the advising community could provide new ways to assess the effectiveness of the advising system.
Don Riley, academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, and Nate Whittaker, TRIO Student Support Services adviser, received U of M Global Programs & Strategy Alliance (GPS) travel grants. Riley traveled this month to Argentina to meet with the program staff for the Learning Abroad Center’s “Language and Culture in Buenos Aires” program. Riley’s goal is to create an embedded program in which students take the APPS Going Global class in the A term of a spring semester and then spend spring break putting their tools to use in Argentina. Designed as a first experience abroad, the course is meant to expose students to the variety of reasons students go abroad: language study, cultural immersion, internships and service learning, and regionally-specific coursework
Whittaker’s grant will bring Anthea Jansen to the U of M in October 2015. Since 2010, Jansen has conducted the service-learning component of Whittaker’s South Africa global seminar at Afrika Tikkun, where she oversaw many of the social and youth services. Jansen is also a trainer for the South African National Association of Child Care Workers and is starting a new after-school program with Whittaker in poverty-torn areas of Cape Town titled “Bridges.” She has several years of experience working in Delft Township, known for its substandard schools, lack of jobs, and high rates of crime, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. While at the U of M, Jansen will be learning about best practices in program development, speaking, and meeting others who have a vested interest in collaboration, sharing expertise and knowledge, and developing partnerships with numerous South African programs and institutions.
More than 125 TRIO students from colleges across Minnesota attended the annual TRIO Adult Student Leadership Symposium held at Coffman on February 7. TRIO Student Support Services staff organized the conference around the theme of Honoring our Past, Owning our Future, in celebration of TRIO’s 50-year anniversary. View the video recap.
John S. Wright, Morse-Amoco Distinguished Teaching Professor of African American & African Studies and English at the University of Minnesota, delivered the keynote address, with a welcome from CEHD dean Jean Quam. TRIO alumnus Anthony Shields was the master of ceremonies.
Several CEHD student services staff presented at the conference on themes related to graduate school, working with kids, building social capital, the McNair Scholars program, and career decision making. Staff presenters were Anthony Albecker, Sheri Beck, Shade Osifuye, Jeannie Stumne, and Bai Vue. Additionally, more than 30 University of Minnesota TRIO students volunteered at the conference. Twin Cities-based Hmong dance group Nkauj lab Nraug OO provided the closing entertainment.