DCI: 2002-2003 Awards

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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

The Vice President's Grant for Diversity & Community Initiatives (DCI)

DCI: 2002-2003 Awards

The Committee for Community and Diversity is pleased to announce the recipients of The President's Community and Diversity Grant Fund.

The grant fund provides financial support to projects that foster interactive, inter-group communication, collaboration and educational programming with an emphasis on diversity and/or community.

Twelve thoughtful proposals were submitted. The following seven were ultimately selected for funding:

(1) Interfaith Forum

Daniel Greenwald
Society for Jewish Education, TC

Nathan C. Walker
Columbia University Senate, Student Affairs Committee TC Student Senate

The mission of the Interfaith Forum is to foster meaningful dialogue across the landscape of religious traditions. Moderated by Professor Thomas Sobol, the Interfaith Forum will host predominant New York City religious educators from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions on the questions, "What is the responsibility of American religious educators to a democratic tradition in responding to sociopolitical conflict?"

(2) Education and Exclusion in Latin America

Julieta Garcia Hamilton
Association of Latin American Students (ALAS)

Mary Mendenhall
Society for International Education

This event will involve two main activities: a movie discussion, and a conference. The event aims to cross community boundaries by seeking the participation of the Teachers College and Columbia University communities, as well as individuals and international organizations in New York City engaged, at diverse levels, with issues of education in Latin America.

(3) The Future is Us: Arts Advocates for Tomorrow

Peter Heslip
Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA)

Annemarie Schoepfer
VP of External Affairs, SAA

Joan Jeffri
Program in Arts Administration, Department of Arts and Humanities

This half-day conference is designed to offer a critical opportunity for current arts and cultural leaders to address a diverse cross-section of future cultural leaders and advocates (students). Included in the audience will be students representing Columbia's many departments and divisions, including, and not exclusive to, Arts Administration, Arts Education, the Schools of the Arts, Business, Law, Journalism, and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). In addition, the conference will cross intercollegiate boundaries: we anticipate attendance of delegates representing schools from around the city, state, and country. Given the uniqueness of this event, it is anticipated to generate national visibility and awareness of arts advocacy issues at the collegiate level.

(4) Get REAL*: A Conference in Support of Racial, Linguistic, and Cultural Diversity in Urban Schools

James Lerman
Professional Development School Partnership - TC

Verneda Johnson
Professional Development School Partnership - TC

Jacqueline Ancess

Christopher Calloway Brooks
Cab Calloway Harlem Renaissance Center

Angela Calabrese Barton
Programs in Science Education; Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

We plan to conduct the Get REAL* conference as a way to engage a diverse community of teachers, students, parents, community members, and teacher educators around significant issues and concerns involving racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity in urban schools. Through a series of events and experiences conducted over a Friday evening and a Saturday, we project that Get REAL* will support participants in raising questions, expanding their awareness, articulating next steps, and learning about effective practices. Through outreach to the community and the involvement of many collaborators and co-sponsors, we anticipate between 125 and 175 participants from a wide variety of constituencies. While focusing primarily on people from the 5 schools in TC's PDS Partnership and TC itself, widespread publicity for Get REAL* will emphasize that all interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend.

(5) Building a Better Academic Community in the Teachers College Residence Halls

Lori Mielcarek
Office of Housing and Residence Life - TC

Orla NicDomhnaill
Resident Director, Greystone Hall - TC

The project's primary goal is to provide an academically focused programming series for all TC students. The programs would be conveniently offered in the TC residence halls and all students would be invited. Faculty and staff will be asked to provide support for a variety of topics to assist students in preparing their theses, dissertations and other research projects. In the Fall 2002 academic semester, OHRL organized focus groups with students living in the residence halls, to better evaluate their programming needs. A strong theme emerging from the focus groups was that students desired more organized programs related to the following academic issues:

  1. "Research Do's and Don'ts"
    A workshop addresses both qualitative and quantitative research.
    Presenter: TBA (A faculty member or an advanced doctoral student)
  2. "Electronic Support for Research"
    A double workshop on how to use Endnote and SPSS software to organize and analyze information and to enhance the research writing and presentations.
    Presenters: Shawna Bu Shell and Lori Mielcarek, TC doctoral students and Community Assistants in Housing and Residence Life
  3. "Work Block Workshop"
    A Saturday workshop on how to manage procrastination and how to prioritize completing theses and dissertations.
    Presenter: Dr. William G. Sommer of Columbia University
  4. "How to Do a Dissertation in Psychology at Teachers College"
    A presentation focusing on psychology dissertations.
    Presenter: Mario Smith, TC doctoral student and Community Assistant in Housing and Residence Life
  5. "How to Write Strong Grant Proposals and Scholarship Applications"
    A presentation and discussion that will help students improve their chances for getting external funding, so they can prioritize their academics.
    Presenter: TBA (A faculty member or an advanced doctoral student)
  6. "NYC Teaching Certification Requirements"
    An informative presentation outlining the steps students should take to get their NYC Teacher Certifications.
    Presenter: TBA (A member of the Teacher Education program)
  7. "Using Teachers College Career Services"
    A presentation on the vast array of services offered by the TC Career Services Office.
    Presenter: Mary Mendenhall, Assistant Director of Career Services.

(6) Representations of Diversity: Media, Art and Education

Celia Oyler
Educators for Social Justice - TC

David Shaenfield
Educators for Social Justice

A series of panels discussing representations of diversity in three areas: Media, Arts, and Community. The panel participants are members of different grassroots organizations located in New York City. Our goal is to have more people from the TC community understand and get involved in work done in communities and organizations around New York City concerned with social justice in the three areas. As members of Educators for Social Justice and the larger TC community, we feel that this event will widen community boundaries and promote inter-group communication.

(7) Haitian and Dominican Communities and Students in NYC: Historical and Contemporary Connections Across Diaspora

Mary E. Sefranek
The Program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education; Department of International and Transcultural Studies

This project is designed to be a panel activity and multimedia presentation in which guest speakers representing Dominican and Haitian American communities in New York City come together to dialogue with each other and with TC community members about the historical and contemporary connections across these two constituencies living in Diaspora. This dialogic encounter is envisioned as a critical educational project that will enable Haitian and Dominican Americans to collaborate in an open, public forum, with the intent of sharing issues and concerns affecting the two populations, such as immigration, education, community development and empowerment, and political conflict. Specifically, events in the Haiti and the Dominican Republic that affect Haitian and Dominican communities and students in the U.S. will be addressed, such as the recent arrival of 250 Haitians off the shores of Miami in October of 2002 and the response of the U.S. government, as well as the responses of individuals and groups within Haitian and Dominican communities.