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Meet the 2020 EPIC Community College Fellows

Group photo of the 2019-20 EPIC Fellows
Lauren Arenson

Lauren Arenson

Professor of Anthropology and Humanities, Pasadena City College

Lauren Arenson completed her M.A.'s in anthropology and museum studies, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education. In addition to her years of teaching, Dr. Arenson has worked at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits), and the Los Angeles Zoo. She has contributed to three textbooks and an online lab manual in biological anthropology.  Lauren's research interests include issues of diversity, health inequities, and environmental justice as a response to climate change.

Project: Environmental Justice and Social Equity From a Global Perspective

The media regularly reports on climate change without much analysis of the global impact upon different nations or acknowledgement of the disproportionate amount of negative consequences some cultures are forced to endure. It is my goal to offer a humanities course designed to increase students’ understanding of climate justice, by connecting standards of human rights with issues of sustainable development and the need for global responsibility.

View Lauren's presentation here

Chris Cruz-Boone

Chris Cruz-Boone

Associate Professor of Communication, Bakersfield Community College

Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone has spent over a decade as a teacher in higher education at both four-year and two-year institutions.  She was awarded an M.A. and B.A. in communication studies from California State University, Northridge with a minor in women studies.  In 2014, she completed her Ed.D. in educational leadership, and her dissertation discussed persistence of underrepresented college students. 

Project: Establishing Best Practices for Early College: Using Lacuna Stories in Culturally Responsive Teaching

This project will utilize digital learning resources, specifically Lacuna, as a mechanism to increase student engagement. Materials will be designed for general education classes and aim to engage students to simultaneously explore relationships in cultural context of globalization and integrate these skills in the process of effective communication. Students will annotate an assigned reading/media and then create verbal citations to share during their class presentations. 

View Chris's presentation here

Dana Grisby

Dana Grisby

Professor of African American Studies, Laney College

Dana Grisby received her M.A. in African American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.A. in journalism from Howard University. She has served in the U.S. Peace Corps twice. She has an intersectional approach to teaching that centers social justice and community involvement. She challenges students to think critically about the overlapping identities of race, sexualities, class, genders, social status, and work toward dismantling systems of oppression. She creates a classroom environment that privileges the experiences of people from marginalized communities.

Project: Internationalizing African American Studies With Diaspora Dialogues

The goal of my EPIC project is to create an intercultural relationship between the growing African student populations and their success as students at Laney College. A component of my project will be to conduct series of Diaspora Dialogues. These dialogues will be facilitated conversations of students, faculty, and staff to explore ideas around race, immigration, education, and economic globalization. Projected outcomes of this project include updated curricular materials that are more global in scope and reflect texts and learning activities that resonate with African student populations. 

View Dana's presentation here

Edward Hashima

Edward Hashima

Professor of History, American River College

Edward Hashima is a professor of history at American River College (ARC) in Sacramento, CA, where he teaches courses in U.S. history and Asian Pacific American history. He recently ended a term as the faculty professional development director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at ARC. He also teaches in the ARC Honors Program. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in history from UCLA and his undergraduate degree in history from Stanford. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, who is also a historian, and their nine-year-old son.

Project: Centering Global Migrations: A Digital Archive and Syllabus for American History Surveys

In my project, “Centering Global Migrations: A Digital Archive and Syllabus for American History Surveys,” I hope to collect and create content about human migrations within Lacuna for use in a general education U.S. history course. After a literature review to identify available and possibly needed content about global migrations in American history, I plan to develop an archive and syllabus with the shared experience of migration as the center of a curriculum that introduces students to the importance of people’s movements to and within the Americas in the narrative of American history.

View Ed's presentation here

Adam Levy

Adam Levy

Associate Professor, Ohlone College

Adam Levy is a broadly-trained geographer and passionate teacher who aims to help students and scholars recognize how borders and barriers rise and fall in the Bay Area and beyond.  Using his academic and professional research expertise around the Balkans and Black Sea region to investigate peoples changing places, he emphasizes the transformative power of fieldwork and multisensory inputs to inform understanding.  To this end, Adam seeks to go beyond the map and chart changes across spatial scales using not just iconic imagery but also soundscapes, smellscapes, and tactile mapping tools.

Project: Variable Vulnerabilities: Mixed-Methods and Multi-Sensory Strategies for Teaching Global Studies

This project develops non-visual cues to teach global studies. As a multisensory approach to human and physical geography courses it uses an experiential model that mixes sights, sounds, and smells to plot urban challenges, for example. Blending global studies topics with mapping-for-the-blind pedagogies and open-access museum designs, this project prepares students to consider how problems and solutions are variably understood.  Focusing on scents, sounds, and tangible textures as evidence, this project empowers students to consider perceptions of space and place that go beyond the visual.  

View Adam's presentation here

Humberto Merino-Hernandez

Humberto Merino-Hernandez

Adjunct Economics Instructor, Cerritos College; Value Investing Program Manager, UCLA

Humberto Merino-Hernandez teaches economics at Cerritos College while serving as an Education Advisory Fellow for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  In addition, as the UCLA Value Investing Founding Manager, Humberto develops and oversees a Graham-Dodd investment curriculum in addition to spearheading education-based partnerships with investment firms.  Humberto holds a transfer certificate from East Los Angeles College, a B.A. in economics/B.S. in finance from CSU Long Beach, and an M.S. in economics from Tufts University.

Project: A View of the World Through Financial Crises

This project will focus on developing a community college course that explores the phenomena of panics and asset bubbles within our global financial system. There will be in-depth analyses and discussions of the underlying causes, private and public policy responses, and cultural responses to historical financial crises. Students will also gain hands-on experience with data analysis and oral presentations as they develop their own analysis of a past crisis.

View Humberto's presentation here

Takami Nieda

Takami Nieda

English Instructor, Seattle Central College

Born in New York City, Takami Nieda has been a community college teacher since 2001. After teaching at Sophia University in Tokyo for five years, she is now an instructor at Seattle Central College where she teaches English composition, research writing, and starting Winter 2020, a class teaching global competence through the practice of translation. Nieda translates books from Japanese into English, the most recent of which is the coming-of-age novel Goby Kazuki Kaneshiro.

Project: Redesigning the Global Competency Certificate Program

This project proposes to redesign and relaunch the Global Competence Certificate Program (GCC) currently on hiatus at Seattle Central College. The program comprises two 10-week modules during which participants can develop their global competence with a diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff. The redesign of Module 2 involves incorporating the annotation platform Lacuna, so that participants will read and post their responses to specific readings about global issues and cultural difference.

View Takami's presentation here

Andy Radler

Andy Radler

Economics Instructor, Butte College

Andy Radler is a full-time economics instructor at Butte College and an adjunct lecturer at California State University, Chico. He completed his graduate degree at the University of San Francisco and his B.S. from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He served as a practicing economist for eight years in California and Massachusetts.  As the assistant director of community and economic development, Andy was responsible for preparing redevelopment plans, grant writing, and coordination with state and federal agencies.

Project: Economic Growth and Development in Emerging Economies

The aim of this project is to develop curriculum to understand the process by which economies in developing and industrialized economies change and grow.  The focus will be on the roles that both institutions and individuals play within their respective societies.  Curriculum development will also include how different economies adapt to changing political and social forces, and the research on which this project is based will include both established and emerging theories. 

View Andy's presentation here

Soraya Renteria

Soraya Renteria

Art History Instructor, Las Positas College

Soraya Renteria is an architectural historian who teaches a wide array of art and architecture courses at Las Positas College. She holds an M.A. degree in art history from San Francisco State University. Her research interests include the medieval world and the intersection of architecture and cultural identity. In the past few years, she has also developed an interest in pedagogy and how students learn about and shape history. She has also worked at several Bay Area art museums and galleries and is the coordinator for the Las Positas College Art Gallery.

Project: Working Toward a Global Introduction to Art History

Introductory art history courses have been predominantly Western focused for most of the discipline’s history. My goal is to rewrite Las Positas College’s Introduction to Art History course to create a more global introduction to the history of art. I plan to rewrite the course outline of record, create a new syllabus, teaching materials, and activities using the latest pedagogic strategies. By taking a thematic approach, I hope to create an Introduction to Art History course that will offer a unique global perspective of the discipline.

View Soraya's presentation here

Citlali Sosa-Riddell

Citlali Sosa-Riddell

History Instructor, Pierce College

Citlali Sosa-Riddell is an assistant professor of history at Pierce College and a Ph.D. candidate in history at University of California, Los Angeles.  She also holds an M.A. in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a B.A. in sociology from Pomona College.  She has lived throughout California and is a proud Californian. Citlali enjoys reading history novels, history mysteries, and visiting all the bookstores she can find. She loves teaching and likes to push herself everyday to improve herself.

Project: Connecting American Myths to Global Myths

The aim of my project is to develop a lesson plan about national myths of non-U.S. countries in order to expand my American history course. I intend to look at the theories of national myths and incorporate class discussion about national myths of other countries, including the countries of origin of many of my students, specifically Iran, Vietnam, El Salvador, and Israel.  I aim to connect these countries to my American history course by focusing on how countries develop national stories to overcome conflict, connect citizens, and create group identity.

View Citlali's presentation here