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2016-17 EPIC Community College Fellows

Anne Argyriou

Instructor, De Anza College

Anne Argyriou has taught Reading at De Anza College since 2000. She holds a Certificate in the Teaching of Post Secondary Reading and an M.A. in English Composition from San Francisco State University. She earned an MPhil in Psychology and Education from the University of Cambridge. 

Project: Reading the World in California

How can we encourage our students to read more? How can we make reading relevant to their own lives? And how can we find out what our students think about when they read something? These questions inspired my EPIC project. Students in my reading classes compared high schools here in the United States to Finland, Poland, and Korea. We then used the Lacuna annotation platform to start conversations between ourselves and the text. Students were able to dive deeply into the text, and I got a sense of what they were thinking about.

Patricia Gibbs Stayte

Professor of Sociology, Foothill College

Born and raised in Canada, Patricia Gibbs Stayte started her post secondary education at Vancouver Community College and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She is a professor of Sociology and chair of the Sociology program at Foothill College. Her interests lie in the race, class and gendered dynamics of everyday life. 

Patricia enjoys helping students see individual actions in social context, develop an awareness of social justice issues and a Sociological Imagination, or the ability to make connections between personal life and public issues, and then act on the basis of that knowledge. 

Project: Global Studies Programs Around the World: Including Post Secondary Programs in the Field

Do you recall the fable of the blind man and the elephant where each describes only a part of the whole? Well we have a similar situation with global studies curriculum. My Stanford EPIC research focused on the global global studies scene, and including community colleges in that, to create a kind of global imaginary. To do this, I connected with a founder of the field of global studies, I created a database of global studies programs around the world, and I surveyed representatives of each of those programs. 

Judith Hunt

Associate Professor, College of San Mateo

Judith Hunt is an Associate Professor at the College of San Mateo and teaches course in U.S. history and European history. Before relocating to California in 2015, she was a faculty member at Loyola University New Orleans and served as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Judith received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She is currently working on project to develop a new course in Modern World History. 

Project: From Western Wanderings to Global Migrations – Re-imagining an Interconnected Past

What do the following people have in common: a Chinese miner, a Basque sheepherder, an Italian vitner, a Portuguese fisherman, and a Mexican rancher? They each represent nineteenth century global migrations to California. Collectively, their histories represent a storied past that is alive in our classrooms today. Their descendents are California students, and they, like their nineteenth century predecessors, live and learn in transnational spaces with new migrants from all over the world. In an effort to capture this twentieth century diversity I'm developing a thematically driven world history course to complement or replace the Western Civilizations course.

Carrie Hunter

Adjunct Professor, Foothill College

Carrie Hunter is an adjunct professor at Foothill College. She has an M.A. in English with Concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and an M.F.A. in Poetics. This winter she used her EPIC fellowship to teach an English as a Second Language (ESL) pre-transfer level composition course focusing on exploring the benefits and drawbacks to teaching international texts to international students. 

Project: Teaching International Texts to International Students

Have you ever wondered whether teaching American subject matter and culture is the best way to teach students who are learning English as a second language? I noticed, while reading some reflective journals, responding to a reading that happened to mention China's Great Leap Forward, that so many of the Chinese students' writing was more fluid, focused, and confident. My project utilizes international texts to try to engage my students through aspects of their own cultures. 

Clara Lam

Professor of ESL, De Anza College

Clara Lam is a full-time professor in the ESL (English As a Second Language) Department at De Anza College, where she has taught for 22 years. As an ESL teacher, Clara believes in incorporating and honoring the cultural and world knowledge of her students as they learn critical thinking and language skills in her classroom. Clara received her ED. D in Language Education from the University of Georgia. She also earned an MFA in Creative Writing from San Jose State University. 

Project: Cultivating Global Perspectives in Advanced ESL Classes

In your classes, where are your students from? Are they from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or other parts of the world? If yes, have you used books that tell stories of their country's landscape, people, traditions or struggles? In my project this year, I have internationalized the curriculum, to bring my students back to the world they are from, and learn about it in the process. There are many ways to internationalize the curriculum; what I have done is to use texts relating to cultures and places beyond the United States, such as Haiti, Peru, and South Africa.

Danni Redding Lapuz

International Education Program Manager, College of San Mateo

Danni Redding Lapuz serves as the International Education Program Manager at the College of San Mateo and as adjunct faculty in the Music Department at Cañada College. She attended Orange Coast Community College and earned a B.A. in Music from UC Irvine. After traveling and working abroad in over 40 countries, she earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, specializing in Indonesian Gamelan and Southeast Asian Studies, conducting her graduate research in Indonesia. Through the EPIC fellowship, Danni created the Global Speaker Series at CSM, integrating global presentations in five thematic areas into the campus curriculum through a multi-disciplinary faculty collaboration. 

Project: The Global Speaker Series

Our planet and life as we know it are in crisis, but how do we take on massive topics, like global warming, food security, and cultural hegemony, and make them meaningful and relevant for community college students? As an EPIC fellow, I developed the global speaker series to bring specialists from a variety of fields to our campus to share what they are doing, and the global impact of that work with our students and campus community. The program is developed around 5 themes, and these were created in conversation with a multidisciplinary group of faculty on our campus. Those faculty adopted the global speaker series into their course curriculum, so it is an integrated part of what students are learning at our college. My hope is that students will gain cultural competancy and a greater understanding and awareness of global issues. Ultimately preparing them to address the problems that we face in our world.

Anthony Santa Ana

Instructor, De Anza College

Anthony Santa Ana is a part time instructor in Asian American Studies and the Program Coordinator for the Office of Equity, Social Justice, & Multicultural Education at De Anza College. He has A.A. in Liberal Arts from De Anza Community College, a B.A. in Speech Communication w/emphasis in Intercultural Communication & minor in Asian American Studies, from San Jose State University, a M.A. in Education & BCLAD Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco and is a Ed.D student in International/Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. Anthony’s EPIC fellowship project is the creation of two indigenous teach ins in collaboration with multidisciplinary instructors to expose De Anza students to the knowledge, wisdom, culture and epistemology of indigenous peoples. 

Project: Decolonizing the Curriculum Through Indigenous Teach-ins 

Human rights, especially indigenous rights, have been a strong interest of mine due to the current state of our world, and I'm looking for solutions of sustainability for our holistic health and mother earth. In spring quarter of 2017 at DeAnza college, we will have two indigenous teach-ins. The first teach-in will feature instructors from the Anthropology, Sociology, Intercultural Studies Department and the Counseling Division will share their content expertise about this topic. Throughout the quarter, students will be able to learn more about this topic, and be able to present through different forms of dance, poetry, song and presentations to share at the second indigenous teach-in. So many have said, if we want to know where we are going, we should be able to learn from the past. As indigenous communities have resiliently survived and thrives for hundreds if not thousands of years, we can learn from their wisdom about the sustainability of our mother earth.  

Monika Thomas

Professor of Economics, De Anza College

Monika Thomas is currently a full time Professor of Economics at De Anza College, where she has taught since 2010. Before teaching at De Anza College, she taught at UCSC and SJSU. She is a Ph.D. Candidate and earned an M.A. in International Economics from UCSC. For the EPIC Fellowship, she viewed environmental economics through an international lens: She developed central themes that transcend national boundaries, integrated economic and environmental justice issues into the curriculum, and cultivated student engagement. 

Project: Integrating Transnational Perspectives into Economics Courses

How does one design a course on environmental economics so that it includes more international perspectives? Environmental economics combines the aspects of economic growth with sustainability. For example, providing incentives for fisheries not to over harvest their stock of fish. I created the course "Environmental Economics" that was not offered in our district, and I consider essential. I developed central themes, which show students how the topics of environmental economics are interconnected, interdependent, interdisciplinary, and at the same time transcend national and cultural boundaries. For example, we explore how different countries address their environmental challenges to achieve their food security. 

Susan Thomas

Instructor, De Anza College

Susan Thomas is particularly interested in cultural issues having lived, worked, volunteered and taught abroad, most significantly in Japan and Uganda. She is also a business owner and Professional Development Trainer with over 25 years of training expertise in the areas of leadership, self-awareness and motivation, stress management, conflict resolution, and group dynamics. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University, a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently teaching Psychology at De Anza College. 

Project: Exploring and Informing Students' Cultural Sense of Self

Are you more likely to challenge an authority figure, when you believe they've made a mistake? Or would you keep it to yourself, and wait to see what happens? How is your problem solving or decision making influenced by culture, in this ever globalizing world? These are questions that I ask my students to ponder during the social behavior unit of general psychology. Each of us has a unique perspective and style when it comes to interacting with our world and the people in it. This perspective is influenced by our upbringing, our caregivers, our peer groups, any chosen religion, various experiences, and importantly, our culture. I engaged students in a multistep activity and discussion to look at their unique sense of self, and how that influences their response to authority, conformity, conflict, and other big social psychological concepts.

Laura Woltag

Adjunct Professor, College of San Mateo and Berkeley City College

Laura Woltag is an adjunct professor at the College of San Mateo and Berkeley City College, where she enjoys reading, writing and thinking about literature and social justice issues alongside her students. Laura has an M.A. in English Composition and an M.F.A. in Poetry, both from San Francisco State University, and she is an active writer. For her EPIC fellowship, Laura designed an international poetry unit for her Literature and Critical Thinking class. 

Project: Writers at Risk: An International Poetry Unit

Every semester, I encounter at least one student who tells me "I am not a poetry person. I do not understand poetry." My quest as an educator is to help my students see that meanings aren't buried within poems, rather, they can use poems to create meaning. During my EPIC fellowship, I created a unit called "Writers at Risk." This international poetry unit features five poets who face censorship or exile due to an interpretation of their poetry. We read and discussed the poetry using the Lacuna platform.