Reflections While “On the Move”

One of the joys experienced as I am “On the Move” across campus is to hear, first-hand what faculty and staff are doing to bring learning alive at PVCC. Below is a recent (albeit not complete) summary of our very good work demonstrating the interconnectedness to learning-centeredness.

In the M Building breezeway, I ran into Dr. Tom Schmidt, Chair of Behavioral Sciences who is leading our efforts to expand Psi Beta, the Psychology honorary…passing through M Bldg. Andrea Robertson, theater faculty, shared with me her community outreach through a stage fighting workshop at the Great Hearts Academy… cutting through the E Bldg., I connected with Randy Babick, interim manager of the Computer Commons, who showed off a number of facility improvements… while stopping by Facilities and Planning, Terry Siemer, lead custodian shared the new techniques her team is using to keep our floors in amazing condition…outside his office in the J Building, Dr. Satindar Baines, Chemistry faculty, continued to articulate his ideas around the possibilities of hybrid learning augmenting online lecture learning with face-to-face labs…rounding out the west side of campus, I caught up on what’s new in the Business/IT division in a spirited hallway meeting with Dr. Kishore Dash, Dr. Dina Preston-Ortiz, Sean Petty, Stacy Smith, James Loop, Michelle Carter, and Dr. Raji Lauffer, all business faculty…later in the day while at the Black Mountain campus, I connected with Kim Dean, Math faculty and Darra Browning, Biology faculty preparing for their classes and Dr. Scott Massey, Physical Sciences Division Chair, doing “hallway” office hours tutoring chemistry students…additionally Shannon Anzelmo and the Black Mountain staff were busy preparing for STEAMTastic…on my way out I visited with Lori Anonsen, Nutrition faculty member, who updated me on the innovative programming soon to be happening in our new teaching/learning kitchen…last Saturday, I saw Christie Colunga and Ana Stigsson, early childhood faculty members, in action leading a workshop featuring internationally-known experts…then I stopped in on Dr. Carolyn Miller, CTL Director’s session on online learning – in attendance was Kaitlin Southerly, English faculty member…on my way out of Q Bdlg., I stopped by the baseball dugout and got a preview of the 2019 Puma baseball team from head coach, Victor Solis – the squad looks promising.

These conversation summaries represent just a sampling of the faculty and staff committed to bringing learning alive. Perhaps equally as important, it is a lot of fun just to “catch up.” I encourage you to “be on the move” and connect with your colleagues.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Remembered 2019

The year 2019 marks the twenty-sixth time that Arizona has officially celebrated the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday. For those of us living in Arizona in the late 80’s/early 90’s, we remember the inauspicious beginnings of this day of remembrance. The holiday was originally established by then Governor Bruce Babbitt in 1986 and then later rescinded in 1987 by the late Governor Evan Mecham before we could celebrate the first holiday. Arizona voters, despite national support, voted down the holiday in 1990 and subsequently Arizona lost the NFL Super Bowl because of the league’s protest. Finally, in 1993 the citizens of Arizona voted affirmatively to establish the holiday for Dr. King.

I share this brief history because it demonstrates that our State has always been somewhat hesitant to take a proud stance on remembering the importance of the history of civil rights and reluctant to take a progressive approach on civil rights moving forward in addressing the inequities (educational, economic, social) that exist today.

We as a college are taking a stand that fair-minded critical thinking is a panacea for producing life-long learners who will more reasonably address challenging social issues that Dr. King fought for – moral and just laws, equal civil rights, and the non-violent contesting of injustices. Practicing fair-minded critical thinking is a “heavy lift.” The standards that we will thoughtfully and consistently engage each other: clarity, accuracy, relevance, logic, and openness to opposing viewpoints can sometimes get lost in the emotion of the issue at hand. And today’s issues are equally as relevant as during Dr. King’s lifetime: inequities in access and success in education, broken immigration policy, and a faltering criminal justice system to name a few.

Please take a few moments this weekend to reflect on your understanding of Dr. King’s work. Augment your knowledge (it is not that hard to do with YouTube, Google, Wikipedia) – even if at the surface level. Perhaps, if so inclined take it one step farther and read one of his essays or reach out to a colleague or friend who personally experienced the civil rights movement or who is personally engaged in a civil rights struggle circa 2019.

Thank you for being part of a college that values positive social change.