Tag Archives: equity

Futures Conference 2019: Lessons of the Great Manure Crisis

The College held its sixth Futures Conference on April 26. I want to thank the nearly 70 members of the community, including a half dozen students, who joined Pima employees to discuss how Pima should respond to the profound changes impacting 21st-century society. We are in the midst of an economic upheaval driven in large part by the emergent technologies of Industry 4.0: cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, mobile technology and the Internet of Things.

I began with a story highlighting the challenges new technologies pose to institutional planning. In 1898, New York City hosted an international conference dedicated to a problem plaguing the world’s great cities: Millions of pounds of manure, the byproduct of the proliferation of horse-and-buggy transportation, the Uber of its day.

To their credit, the world’s urban planners had identified and attempted to respond to the challenges of their cities’ predicament. But they overlooked the automobiles that were just beginning to make their way down Park Avenue, Kensington Street and the Champs-Élysées. They lacked the foresight to fully imagine the consequences of the post-manure world (Manure 2.0 and 3.0), conceivably because they misjudged the speed at which new technologies would be adopted.

It took about 10 years for the horse and buggy to give way to machine-powered transportation in New York and other major cities. The timeline for changes wrought by Industry 4.0 is likely to be much more compressed. (It is worth noting that it took 20 years before 100 million Americans acquired a cellphone, 10 before 100 million connected to the Internet and only five before 100 million Americans signed up for Facebook.) I impressed upon the attendees that their task was to address challenges both distant and immediate. The future of education will be here soon, and thanks to Industry 4.0, will mean the new hallmarks of an effective classroom will be increased hybridization, digitization and personalization.

Personalization may be the most critical advance, as it offers a pathway to achieving educational equity. We need to understand and value the individual. Tens of thousands of diverse students come through our doors. We must take into account our students’ personal circumstances in order to lift them up to the starting line. Pima recognizes that offering equality of opportunity is an empty gesture without first redressing inequities, many of which are systemic, and some of which have been centuries in the making. If successful, Pima will achieve its goal of being an instrument of social justice, a necessity for our community, for, as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has said, “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.”

Graduation Season

Treece

With Jessica Treece

For the College, May is a month to showcase and celebrate our students’ success. Students, faculty, staff, administrators and the Governing Board have worked hard in 2017-2018, and the result of their efforts during the academic year deserves recognition.

I have had the privilege of participating in several ceremonies. At Multicultural Convocation, our annual celebration of diversity, equity and inclusion, I shared my story of coming to America from my birthplace in South Korea. I stressed the things we have in common, so that we can build bridges and bring back our humanity.

That same night, I joined more than 1,000 Tucsonans for the Fashionarte 2018 fashion event that showcased the amazing work of the students in our Fashion Design program. The event, held at the Fox Theatre Tucson with the support of several community sponsors, is an example of how public-private partnerships can benefit the College and the community.

I also had the opportunity to attend a ceremony honoring more than 75 graduates of our Nursing program. These women and men have completed a rigorous program that is deservedly recognized for the quality of their graduates.

On Friday, I broke bread with about 25 of the 295 student-veterans who will graduate from PCC this year. Those who attended heard the powerful story of Jessica Treece, who has fought back from severe injuries suffered in a mortar attack when serving in the Army in Iraq. Jessica will graduate from PCC with a certificate in Emergency Medical Technology and an Associate degree in Fire Science.

I congratulate all our graduates and thank the PCC teams that made each event memorable, and look forward to our Graduation May 17 and our High School Equivalency Graduation May 31.

“One City, One County, One Community”

It was an honor to join nearly two dozen of our region’s leaders at the “One City, One County, One Community” event organized by Tucson City Council member Richard Fimbres.

Pima Community College is committed to social justice. We stand for what is right and in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. And we know that working with the community, we can make great strides in improving life for our neighbors and constituents.

Learn more about the “One City, One County, One Community” initiative.

Reiterating our commitment to diversity

 

Earlier today, I sent the following message to all College employees:

Colleagues,

In December 2015, I wrote to the College community regarding our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Recently, some states have considered or enacted legislation that undermines anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. Thus, it is timely and appropriate to reiterate our ongoing pledge to live up to the College Value of People. Our Diversity Statement proclaims in part:

We cherish the diversity of our community and, in addition to equal opportunity and educational access for all, we respect and are inclusive of all beliefs, values, abilities, personal experiences and preferences, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and worldviews. We believe our differences are our strength and a source of innovation, excellence, and competitiveness. [More information is available on our Diversity webpage.]

PCC is committed to adhering to all federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding institutions of higher education. Among these is the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute, which protects students from discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs or activities that receive federal support.

Apart from laws and regulations, the College considers it a moral imperative to make our campuses places where all students, employees and community members feel secure and welcome, so they can focus on studies and activities that lead to student success. Together we remain resolved to move forward on the path leading to a multicultural society built on a foundation of civility, equity and social justice.

 

PCC’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Here is a message I sent to the College community about an extremely important topic at PCC.

Colleagues,

In January 2015, I approved Pima Community College’s Diversity Statement as a welcome to celebrate and foster the diversity and contributions of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, while emphasizing the inclusiveness of our college community. In light of the recent tragedies across the country, specifically in St. Louis, Missouri and San Bernardino, California, and comments made during the current political campaign, I would like to reflect on PCC’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice and ensure we maintain the utmost levels of civility and respect for all.

During my leadership and through the creation of the PCC Diversity Committee, I am dedicated to promoting student success, community engagement, and transparent communication through the stories like those of Celeste Nunez. Ms. Nunez is a PCC alumnus, and the first student in the six-decade history of the Arizona Town Hall to serve on its Board of Directors. As a first-generation and predominantly Spanish-speaking student, Celeste says that, “Having instructors that were an email or phone call away, and would go above and beyond, made all the difference in my success at Pima Community College.”

On any given day, the College serves a broad variety of learner needs, from the concurrently enrolled high school student, to the newly arrived refugee student, to the first-generation ESL learner. PCC programs span the advanced needs of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines in our unique Aviation Technology program, and meet articulation transfer requirements for students who choose to complete their associate degrees and transfer to universities throughout the nation. We serve more students through our Adult Basic Education Programs than anyone in Southern Arizona. PCC also recognizes the more mature learners and students over 50 retraining for second careers in new high-demand occupational fields. The students in these programs come from varied backgrounds, have different learning needs, and range in ages from 15-50+, but as the PCC Diversity Statement says, “Our differences are our strength and a source of innovation, excellence, and competitiveness.”

For more than a century, community colleges have stood as the open door to higher education, and, as democracy’s colleges. We uphold equity and social justice, and our open doors ensure equal access and opportunity. I will continue to work on behalf of PCC to support diverse ideas, safe learning environments, secure policies and practices, and to value multicultural education that unifies us as a learning community through open ideas and expression.