Higher Education News
After weeks of hard work, hours of meetings, and too many packets of instant coffee, we pulled it off – hosting the 2018 AAPI Youth Summit! Held yesterday at Google’s D.C. headquarters, this year’s gathering built on a tradition of connecting with young Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders.
Each year, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) invites AAPI students and interns to an event aimed to educate, connect, and inspire the next generation of AAPI leaders. This year’s theme, “Going for Gold,” highlighted trailblazer AAPIs across different industries and throughout the federal government.
To kick off the event, WHIAAPI’s Executive Director, Holly Ham, delivered opening remarks. She shared stories from her youth and discussed her inspiration to go for gold in both the private and public sectors. Holly encouraged participants to dream big and take a few risks. She then introduced Aerica Banks, chief operating officer of the Asian Google Network, who expressed her excitement for us being there and welcomed everyone to Google’s space.
The countless email chains and rounds of phone tag paid off for our first panel, “A Heart of Gold: Pathways to Public Service.” Moderated by Melissa Fwu from the White House Office of Public Liaison, the panel featured three accomplished federal employees from different facets of government. The panelists discussed their paths to a career in public service and shared their thoughts on why AAPI representation in the federal government is important. Jennifer Shieh, senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, discussed her shift from studying biomedicine to working on policy at the White House. Sujit Raman, associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice, shared advice for prospective lawyers in the audience. Larissa Knapp, the deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Directorate of Intelligence, demystified the FBI and explained how students can work in the intelligence community.
After this educational panel, we had some fun. In our “Race for Gold” session, participants were quizzed on their knowledge of pioneering AAPIs. Who was the first AAPI to serve in Congress? (The answer is Dalip Saund.) Why is Maya Lin so important? What AAPI subgroup was the first to arrive in North America? From history to pop culture to politics, our student leaders really knew their AAPI trivia. The top three contestants entered a sudden showdown, where they competed for a free house and eternal glory (actually, some Asian snacks).
After a short break, we dove into our “Going for Gold” panel. Panel moderator Bill Imada is the founder, chairman, and chief connectivity officer of IW Group, a communications agency that consults on the growing multicultural markets. Imada introduced the summit’s special guests and panelists. Short video clips built suspense, after which Thomas Hong and Domee Shi entered to thunderous applause.
Looking like your typical college kid, Thomas blended in with the summit attendees. The 21-year-old, however, is a world record-holder for short-track speed skating who competed for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Thomas talked about his AAPI identity and what it meant to him to return to his birth country of South Korea to represent Team USA. Domee began as an intern (just like us!) at Pixar and went on to become the first woman to direct a Pixar short. She directed and wrote “Bao,” (the short film playing before “Incredibles 2”), which features an adorable little dumpling that comes to life on the big screen. Raised in Toronto, Domee talked about the differences she sees between the Asian experience in Canada and in the United States. Bill deftly guided the conversation, our attendees loved hearing the panelists’ remarks and stories, and everyone left inspired. Along with our guests’ impressive accomplishments, we found them to be courteous and kind.
The summit concluded with a networking reception. Professionals from across the public sector joined us for hors d’oeuvres and candid conversations. Our attendees appreciated the opportunity to connect with federal employees, learn from their experiences, and meet role models and potential mentors.
We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to coordinate and execute this event, and we enjoyed working with everyone at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to make our vision into a reality. After this experience, we’re all ready to go for gold.
Sai-Kit Jeremy Lee, Maureen (Maki) O’Bryan and Andrew Teoh are interns at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The post Achieving Gold: Asian American and Pacific Islander Students Convene for the 2018 Youth Summit appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
Ohio State Suspended Its Head Football Coach. Does That Show Universities Are Taking a Stronger Stand on Domestic Abuse?
Transitions: New President Starts at Los Angeles Southwest College, Cornell U. Names Its First Female Architecture Dean
Their Students Died at Frat Parties. Now These Presidents Are Trying to Make Sure That Never Happens Again.
“When I was a student at Arickaree High School, we didn’t have a clue as to what was going on in the real world,” said Gregg Cannady, who today heads collaborations and concepts development at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado, about 100 miles from his former high school in Anton. That was in the 1970s. “I went to college and found out I was totally unprepared,” Cannady said. “I really didn’t understand any career that wasn’t something that I’d not seen out on the farm.”
You might think that in the 21st century, things would be different in rural education from when Cannady was in high school. But, according to Cannady, a music teacher with 30 years of experience, engaged, job-related education is still lacking in parts of rural America.
When Cannady took his education positon at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, it was to create a music program. But Principal Penny Eucker and the Nathan Yip Foundation, a sponsor, urged Cannady to do something also for the state’s rural students.
At the same time, Shane Walkinshaw, Arickaree School District superintendent, was looking for STEM opportunities for his district’s just over 100 students. It happened that the Walkinshaw family lease farmland from Cannady’s father. This family relationship led to conversations about greater opportunity for Arickaree students and was the start of the synchronous learning partnership between the two schools.
“Synchronous learning,” as Cannady explained, is “a two-way collaboration of engaged learning that guides students to real-world problems that they can solve together in real time.” The technology requirements are an internet connection and large viewing screens at each participating location so that, Skype-style, a teacher-facilitator and students at one location can interact in real time with students who are a great distance away.
As an example, Walkinshaw said, “Today we were working on a song together with a school in Mexico. Traditionally as a teacher, I would sit in front of the class and lay out everything we were going to do. But today I came in and asked the students questions like, ‘Where are we at in the process?’ And they got right into trying to perfect the song.”
Synchronous learning is different from online learning. Cannady calls online learning “the talking head” with teachers talking at students. “[Arickaree] Superintendent Walkinshaw told me,” Cannady said, “it’s not engaged learning. So it’s not synchronous, meaning real-time interactions student to student.”
Neither Cannady nor Walkinshaw is suggesting that synchronous learning should, or even could, replace human relationships. Rather, synchronous learning is “our next-best thing to being there. The first thing we did with Arickaree is we went there; we tried to build relationships. You go meet them in person,” Cannady said.
Looking ahead, Cannady said that the global learning crisis people talk about is real, and the need for action is now. He drew an analogy from his childhood. “Being raised on a farm, you feed the cattle. We didn’t talk about feeding cows. We didn’t write a book on how to feed cows, whether we should feed cows or not feed cows,” Cannady said. “When the cows were hungry, we fed the cows. These kids need us right now. It’s time to stop writing the manual on what to do ‘if.’ It’s time to just do it.”
Joe Barison is a public affairs specialist in the Office of Communications and Outreach.
Note: This is a post in our #RethinkSchool series. The series features innovative schools and stories from students, parents and educators highlighting efforts across the United States to rethink school. Check back on Thursdays for new posts in the series. The #RethinkSchool series presents examples of approaches schools, educators, families and others are using to rethink school in their individual and unique circumstances. Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. The Department of Education does not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.
The post #RethinkSchool: Family Relationship Opened Door to “Synchronous Learning” Between Colorado Schools appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century (Perkins V) Act was signed into law this week and brings changes to the $1.2 billion annual federal investment in career and technical education (CTE). The U.S. Department of Education is looking forward to working with states to implement the new legislation which goes into effect on July 1, 2019 and replaces the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (Perkins IV) Act of 2006.
“The law creates new opportunities to improve CTE and enables more flexibility for states to meet the unique needs of their learners, educators, and employers,” said Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
Provisions in Perkins V allow school districts to use federal funds to provide all students, not just those enrolled in CTE, career exploration and development activities in the middle grades and for comprehensive guidance and academic counseling in the upper grades.
Perkins V removes the Department from negotiating state performance levels for student academic attainment and other outcomes, leaving it to states and their stakeholders to determine their performance goals.
Perkins V also updates and expands the definition of “special populations” to include homeless individuals, foster youth, and those who have aged out of the foster care system, and youth with a parent who is on active duty in the armed forces. The new law also increases the amount states may spend on students in state correctional systems, and increases the amount states may set aside in a “special reserve” fund to focus on rural areas, areas with high numbers or concentrations of CTE programs, or areas with gaps or disparities in performance.
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Savoring the Little Moments: The U.S. Presidential Scholars Recognition Program from a Scholar’s Perspective
As one of three 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars from Hawaiʻi, it is safe to assume that my plane ticket from Honolulu to Dulles was one of the more expensive tickets reimbursed by the program. From the day the list of Presidential Scholars was released to the moment I boarded my nine-hour flight, thoughts of the National Recognition Program (NRP), held each year in the nation’s capital, felt surreal—scenes of historic national landmarks and famed politicians from both CNN and “Cory in the House” filled my mind.
From attending the Medallion Ceremony to meeting the sitting President in the White House and my state’s elected officials on Capitol Hill, NRP was full of the unique opportunities that it had promised. On Sunday afternoon, Scholars checked in at Georgetown University and were introduced to their small-group “clusters” of students from similar regions. The first highlight of NRP was the Medallion Ceremony in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, where Scholars and their guests were addressed by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Mick Zais.
Gen. Zais reminded this year’s class of Scholars, “For each of you, there are 23,000 students who are graduating from high school [in America]. Those are pretty slim odds, of being 1 of 23,000, and I hope you recognize the specialness of that achievement.”
Other program highlights included the Scholars’ visit to the White House, as well as the Salute to the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars performance by the Arts Scholars. The performance, which was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was undeniably the pinnacle of NRP’s celebrations. The raw talent and creativity possessed by the nation’s top young musicians, singers, actors, writers and visual artists, who organized the full performance within a week, was breathtaking.
At a quick glance, NRP is clearly characterized by its prestige, and while my experiences undoubtedly confirmed these perceptions, they also proved that the two-day program, while short in length, could form a network of valuable friendships, reinstill the importance of civic duty and provide countless moments of learning and laughter alongside incredibly inspiring peers. While at surface level, the official events described above are what define NRP, it was in fact the little moments of connecting with others—on the bus, during mealtimes and long after the evening activities adjourned—that I will cherish forever.
Even a week after returning home, I fondly recalled the conversations I shared with my Advisor and fellow Scholars from Hawaiʻi, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Germany as we wandered around Georgetown past midnight trying to find Insomnia Cookies. I often think back to the talks shared with students from Washington to Vermont as we anxiously waited to receive our medals and lined up to enter the White House; I already miss the ease of being able to spark new connections by merely asking, “Where are you from?”
I miss Monday night’s goodbye activities and the many laughs shared as my cluster planned and performed a humorous “foreign Americans” skit. Finally, I continue to feel inspired by the insights offered by numerous Scholars during the Scholar as Citizen forum. From a student’s enthusiastic call encouraging everyone to register to vote to a panelist’s reminder of our responsibility as Presidential Scholars to ensure that the thousands of other incoming college freshmen across the nation receive the same privileges and opportunities that we have received, the forum reminded me that my peers serve as some of my greatest resources.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, in its 54th year, has formed a diverse network of thousands of the country’s brightest minds in law, politics, education, science, technology and the arts. Upon receiving the honor of joining this network and meeting my fellow Scholars, many of whom were already founders of organizations, nationally renowned academics and acclaimed performers, I began to wonder whether or not my accomplishments were enough to justify my being there.
Yet, one of the greatest gifts that NRP provided me with was the ability to recognize the importance of my peers’ achievements in furthering my own ambitions. I soon began to view the myriad of talent and intellect surrounding me as a means of motivation rather than a source of self-doubt. Ultimately, I knew that I had nothing to prove beyond my ability to be kind and open-minded towards so many incredible individuals that I hope I will someday meet again.
I’m honored to have been a part of the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars cohort and am deeply grateful to the program staff and Advisors for making this year’s NRP possible. As all 161 of us Scholars prepare to embark on the next step in our respective journeys, may we continue to create and explore with the same curiosity, drive and passion that first brought us together.
Isabelle Rhee is a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar from Hawai’i who loves to explore her cultural identity and issues of social justice through her writing. Rhee will attend Yale University in the fall.