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Issue 2  –  April  2012  

Editor/College Coordinator:  Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer   Assistant  Editor/Intern:  Ileana  Roque-­‐Gonzalez    

“Civic  Engagement  Day”  Event  

  On  April  4th,  The  Democracy  Commitment  held  an  event  that  occurred  simultaneously   on  all  three  campuses  with  West  as  the  central  location  and  with  a  live  web  cast  through   Webinar  on  East  and  Osceola.    The  theme  was:  Does  Your  Vote  Count?  (A  student’s  Guide  to   the  Voting  Process).    It  featured  speeches  by  Orange  County  Supervisor  of  Elections  Bill  Cowles   and  Valencia  College  President  Sandy  Shugart.    It  also  featured  a  panel  with  a  round  table   discussion  including  State  Representative  Geraldine  Thompson,  former  State  Representative  of   Massachusetts  and  current  Valencia  College  faculty  member  Brian  Knuuttila,  League  of   Women’s  Voters  representative  Michelle  Levy,  and  Faculty  President  Bob  Gessner.    In  addition,   on  the  Osceola  campus,  State  Representative  Darren  Soto  gave  a  speech,  along  with  an   audience  question  and  answer  session,  after  the  panel  discussion  was  concluded.   The  event  was  a  resounding  success  with  over  110  students  attending  the  event  on   West  and  over  60  students  attending  on  Osceola.    In  addition,  over  45  students  were  registered   to  vote  with  the  help  of  the  Osceola  County  Supervisor  of  Elections  office  on  the  Osceola   campus  alone!    Special  thanks  must  go  out  to  the  Student  Government  Association  (SGA)  on  the   Osceola  campus,  the  African-­‐American  Cultural  Society  on  the  East  campus,  the  Model  United   Nations  on  the  West  campus,  the  Internship  and  Workforce  Services  office  on  all  three   campuses,  and  the  Student  Development  office  on  all  three  campuses  for  volunteering  to  help   on  the  day  of  the  event  and  for  helping  to  advertise  and  market  the  event  in  the  time  leading   up  to  it.    Finally,  personal  thanks  from  myself  and  the  campus  coordinators  Scott  Crosby  (West)   and  Chris  D’Urso  (East)  go  out  to  Democracy  Commitment  intern  Ileana  Roque-­‐Gonzalez  and   Valencia  College  student  Steven  Guerrero  for  helping  with  much  of  the  leg  work  involved  in   implementing  the  planning  of  the  event  (e.g.  fliers  and  invitations).    I  really  don’t  think  we  could   have  done  this  without  you  two        


Dick Batchelor  Speaks  at  Valencia  College       Dick  Batchelor,  Orlando  based  political  consultant  and  former  member  of  the  Florida   House  of  Representatives,  was  invited  by  professor  Desmond  Duncan  to  speak  on  the  West   campus  in  March.    The  following  is  an  article  covering  this  speech  by  contributor  and  Valencia   College  student  Victor  Pereira.       When  I  was  first  informed  that  a  former  member  of  the  Florida  House  of   Representatives  was  going  to  come  and  speak  with  our  class  about  two  weeks  ago,  I  must  admit   that  neither  my  expectations  nor  my  enthusiasm  was  all  too  high.    Walking  into  building  9  on   West  campus  and  locking  eyes  with  the  speaker  for  the  first  time,  I  analyzed  his  “typical   politician  look”  which  only  caused  my  suspense  over  hearing  what  he  had  to  say  sink  even   lower.    It  felt  like  it  took  forever  to  get  all  of  the  introductions  out  of  the  way  and  finally  get  the   official  speaker  onto  the  podium.    Obviously  enough,  I  foolishly  made  it  clear  to  myself  that  he   wasn’t  going  to  be  able  to  prove  his  worth  after  such  a  daunting  introduction  that  led  up  to  his   speech.    I  set  myself  up  for  a  huge  surprise.     The  speaker  was  Dick  J.  Batchelor,  another  fellow  Floridian,  and  a  former  member  of  the   Florida  House  of  Representatives.    He  memorably  started  his  speech  declaring  himself  to  be  a   child  activist.    I  found  this  to  be  a  refreshing  way  to  introduce  himself,  as  another  human  being   with  a  heart,  which  I  hoped  wasn’t  just  another  clever  tactic  that  he  perfected  during  his  time   serving  the  role  of  a  politician  who’s  always  desperately  attempting  to  appeal  to  the  public.    He   later  went  on  to  list  his  connections  to  big  names  in  government  like  former  president  Bill   Clinton  and  the  secretary  of  state  Hillary  Clinton,  even  declaring  that  he  has  hugged  Nelson   Mandela!     With  the  foundations  of  his  speech  set  and  all  the  memorable  and  surprising  facts  about   himself  out  of  the  way,  he  began  his  effort  to  relate  even  better  to  the  audience.    Apparently,   he  once  attended  Valencia  many  moons  ago  at  age  26,  and  he  was  the  youngest  person  to  run   for  the  House.    This  successfully  gave  way  to  the  image  that  it  really  isn’t  impossible  to  get  into   politics  and  have  a  real  voice  in  government,  and  it  was  not  the  worn  out  delusory  statement   that  “all  citizens  have  a  say  in  the  American  government,”  which  only  turn  out  to  be  faint  pleas,   cries,  and  complaints  that  seem  to  remain  ignored  by  politicians.    Since  we  were  going  over   public  opinion  at  the  time  [in  my  U.S.  Government  class],  that  fact  was  exactly  something  that  I   personally  wanted  to  be  reassured  about.     Mr.  Batchelor  turned  out  to  be  surprisingly  easy  to  relate  to.    He  was  humorous  and   seemed  passionate  about  what  he  stood  for.    In  fact,  the  most  simple  of  things  he  said  is  what   has  stuck  with  me  the  most,  “communicate  with  passion  in  order  to  be  an  advocate!”    When   answering  questions  from  the  audience,  he  kept  his  cool  and  remained  knowledgeable  over  just   about  anything  that  was  thrown  his  way.    Oddly  enough,  I  found  this  unmoving  nature  about   these  politicians  inspiring,  which  would  be  ironic  to  anyone  who  truly  knows  how  I  feel  about   the  government.     I  honestly  would  never  have  guessed  that,  by  the  end  of  the  period,  I  would  be  glad  that   I  witnessed  his  speech.    Even  though  I  must  admit  I  let  my  preconceived  personal  judgments   over  what  stereotypical  politicians  are  get  the  best  of  me,  Dick  Batchelor  didn’t  seem  to  be  that   way  at  all.    I  ended  up  learning  more  than  I  would  ever  have  expected.    The  speaker  gave  me  

hope that  there  is  still  room  for  humanity  in  the  superficial  realm  of  politics.    With  politicians   and  political  consultants  like  Dick  J.  Batchelor,  I  can  see  that  a  better  public  approval  rating  for   the  future  of  America  is  indeed  possible.      

Black History  Month  –  Presentation  by  Dr.  Kevin  Washington  

  During  Black  History  Month  (February),  a  number  of  prominent  guests,  including   Kwabena  Tandoh  and  Dr.  Bernice  A.  King,  gave  moving  speeches  and  talks.    The  following  is  an   article  by  Democracy  Commitment  Assistant  Editor  and  Valencia  College  student  Ileana  Roque-­‐ Gonzalez  covering  a  discussion  conducted  by  Dr.  Kevin  Washington,  Professor  of  Psychology  at   Valencia  College-­‐Osceola,  concerning  “The  Psychological  Impact  of  African  Enslavement.”       The  presentation  by  Dr.  Washington  discussed  psychological  implications  of  African   American  enslavement.    Dr.  Carter  G.  Woodson,  the  father  of  Black  History  Month,  raised   questions:  what  happens  when  a  population  is  marginalized?    Dr.  Woodson  went  against  some   of  his  peers  who  believed  African  American  history  was  not  separate  from  the  history  of  every   other  American.     African  slaves  were  controlled  by  a  cultural  hegemony  where  they  were  manipulated   and  made  to  believe  their  inferiority,  denied  their  identity,  suppressed  from  celebrated  who   they  were  and  where  they  came  from.    Dr.  Washington  gave  an  example  of  how  slaves,  even   among  themselves,  were  divided  into  various  forms.    He  went  on  to  discuss  the  different   dimensions  of  trauma  and  their  effects  –  “when  you  control  men’s  thinking,  you  do  not  worry   about  their  activities”  –  and  asked  the  question,  “what  happens  to  the  ones  committing  the   violations?”  referencing  the  impact  not  only  suffered  by  the  slave  but  also  by  the  slave  master   or  proponent.     The  Greeks  and  Romans  of  ancient  history  have  been  given  credit  for  their  contributions   to  humanity,  but  that  has  not  been  the  case  for  the  legacies  contributed  by  the  Africans.    Egypt,   for  example,  is  the  place  where  the  first  exact  statements  about  the  interrelationship  among   geometric  figures  started.    Ancient  universities,  such  as  Sankore  University  and  University  of   Timbuktu,  were  some  of  the  many  learning  centers  in  West  Africa.    These  are  just  a  few   examples  of  the  rich  history  and  legacies  Africans  have  contributed  to  the  world.      

Youth and  the  Decline  in  Knowledge  of  Civics  

  In  a  recent  speech  and  presentation,  national  education  standards  expert  E.D.  Hirsch   attributed  a  dramatic  decline  in  American  students’  knowledge  of  civics  over  the  last  half-­‐ century  to  a  simple  failure  to  teach  it  that  has  resulted  from  complacency  about  the  proper   function  of  schools  in  a  democracy.    To  read  more  of  his  presentation  and  associated  study,   please  go  to      

Digital Citizenship       A  recent  study  by  Paul  Baumann,  in  conjunction  with  Bennett,  Freelon,  and  Wells   (2010),  takes  a  closer  look  at  the  characteristics  of  “digital  natives”  and  provides  a  summary  of   research  about  digital  natives'  civic  engagement  habits  and  the  implications  of  this  research  for   education  policy  aimed  at  promoting  digital  citizenship  for  today’s  youth.    To  learn  more,  please   read  his  article  at      

Pillars of  the  Community  –  Christie  Pickeral    

In  each  issue  of  this  E-­‐zine,  a  Valencia  College  faculty  member,  staff  member,  or   community  partner  will  be  featured  that  has  brought  prominence  to  Valencia  as  a  strong   institution  of  civic  engagement,  education  in  democracy,  and  community  leadership,  along  with   personally  demonstrating  the  importance  of  civic  commitment  to  the  positive  development  of  a   college  and/or  local  community.    This  issue’s  featured  star  is,     Christie  Pickeral  –  Professor  of  English  for  Academic  Purposes;  Service  Learning  Coordinator    

    Professor  Pickeral,  as  the  Service  Learning  Coordinator  at  Valencia  College,  has  been  a   very  strong  proponent  of  experiential  learning  that  benefits  the  community  and  enhances   student  engagement  with  course  content,  service  learning  projects  that  help  teach  civic   responsibility  and  strengthen  local  communities,  and  faculty  development  through  the   professional  development  course  Service  Learning  Across  the  Curriculum  (LCTS  3213)  through   the  Office  of  faculty  Development.    In  the  Service  Learning  course  SLS  2940  that  she  oversees,   students  earn  college  credit  while  responding  to  needs  in  the  community  and  applying   knowledge  from  their  courses  with  guidance  from  a  faculty  supervisor.    2011  projects  have   included  taking  students  to  the  Dominican  Republic  (Kevin  Mulholland  and  Christie  Pickeral)  to   host  a  science  camp  for  children,  Habitat  for  Humanity  projects  (supervised  by  Ann  Farrell,   Rachel  Allen,  and  Andy  Ray),  Coalition  for  the  Homeless  projects  (Rachel  Allen),  and   involvement  in  Give  Kids  the  World  (Deb  Hall).    Thank  you,  Christie,  for  all  your  hard  work  and   service  to  Valencia  College.    It  is  truly  appreciated.  

Conference Presentation         Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer,  Professor  of  Political  Science  at  Valencia  College-­‐Osceola,  will   present  a  research  project  titled  "Parrotheads  or  Community  Leaders:  Alternative  Spring  Breaks   as  a  Method  of  Fostering  College  Students'  Civic  Commitment”  at  the  2nd  Annual  National   Democracy  Commitment  Conference.    The  following  is  the  abstract  for  the  paper,  and  if  you  are   interested  in  the  larger  research  project,  please  contact  Professor  Creamer  at  closer  to  the  June  7th  conference  date.       Higher  education  institutions  in  the  United  States  sponsor  alternative  breaks  to  give  students   an  opportunity  to  assist  underserved  communities  during  spring  and  fall/winter  breaks.    As   students  address  social  issues  during  alternative  breaks,  many  are  likely  to  commit  themselves   to  long-­‐term  involvement  in  community  service.    This  project  is  based  on  research  conducted  at   numerous  higher  education  settings,  ranging  from  community  colleges  like  De  Anza  College,   private,  liberal  arts-­‐oriented  schools  like  Rollins  College  in  Florida,  and  public,  comprehensive   universities  like  Western  Carolina  University  in  North  Carolina.    Case  study  methods  were  used   to  explore  the  learning/development  outcomes  of  the  institutions'  alternative  break  programs   and  the  influence  of  alternative  break  experiences  on  students'  continued  involvement  in  civic   activities.    The  research  revealed  that,  despite  the  limitations  of  short-­‐term  service  projects,   students  who  participated  in  alternative  breaks  became  sensitive  to  social  issues  and  seemed   committed  to  community  causes.    Three  specific  recommendations  are  offered.    Among  them,   reflection  is  highlighted  as  a  process  designed  to  help  students  derive  meaning  from  their   experiences  and  develop  positive  attitudes  to  civic  engagement.      


-­‐Peace  Studies  Institute  @  University  of  Notre  Dame    intensive  program,  held  June  10-­‐15,   2012,  brings  together  teams  of  academics  who  want  to  launch  a  peace  studies  program,   strengthen  or  develop  a  new  dimension  to  a  peace  studies  program,  or  move  an  established   peace  studies  program  to  the  next  level  of  design  and  rigor.    To  learn  more,  check  out­‐announces-­‐4th-­‐annual-­‐summer-­‐institute-­‐faculty-­‐peace-­‐ studies-­‐program-­‐development-­‐9  

-­‐This semester  and  into  the  summer,  Valencia  will  keep  up  its  steady  involvement  in  the   Democracy  Commitment  through  a  number  of  endeavors  –     ♦Attendance  at  and  participation  in  the  national  Democracy  Commitment  conference  in   San  Antonio,  Texas  in  June   ♦Production  of  a  video  detailing  Valencia’s  commitment  to  promoting  education  of   democratic  principles  and  community  leadership  to  be  screened  at  the  American   Democracy  Project  conference  this  summer      

Calendar of  Events    

April 19th  –  Earth  Day  events,  10am-­‐2pm,  all  campuses   April  19th  –  Faculty  Council  meeting,  2:30-­‐5pm,  West  6-­‐202   April  20th  –  Voter  Registration,  10am-­‐2pm,  East  Great  Hall   April  23rd  –  Student  Affairs  Leadership  Team  (SALT)  meeting,  10am-­‐12pm,  Osceola  3-­‐319H   May  5th  –  Valencia  College  Commencement,  10am   May  9th  –  Alternative  Delivery  Steering  Committee,  2-­‐4pm,  West  6-­‐202   May  10th  –  West  Campus  Faculty  Senate,  1:15-­‐3:30pm,  West  6-­‐202   May  17th  –  Faculty  Council  meeting,  2:30-­‐5pm,  East  3-­‐113   May  21st  –  SALT  meeting,  10am-­‐12pm,  Winter  Park  107   June  7th-­‐9th  –  National  American  Democracy  Project  and  The  Democracy  Commitment  Annual     Meeting,  San  Antonio,  Texas   June  13th  –  College  Curriculum  Committee,  2-­‐5pm,  West  6-­‐202     Faculty  Development  calendar  –   Employee  Activities  calendar  –   SAGE  international  education  events  –   Internship  and  Workforce  Services  on-­‐campus  recruitment  dates  –   Peace  and  Justice  Initiative  calendar  –  

For other  college  calendars  of  events,  workshops,  etc.,  check  out    

E-Zine 2012  

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E-Zine 2012  

Last Issue