Monday, May 23, 2016

A Photo To Capture The Energy and Karma Of The Last Five Years @FairfieldU: One Shot Says It All.

Jessica Baldizon, Class of 2016,
Graduate School of Education and
Allied Professions, Fairfield University
I was excited to see that Jessica Baldizon was on my A-G student roster during yesterday's Fairfield University Graduate Commencement, but even more thrilled when she entered the room with a cap decorated by her students' signatures and the word Ubuntu made with African beads, pencils, and white ink.

Jessica has been with me for the last few years, first with an EN 411 course on teaching writing and for summer work woffering academic enrichment to refugee and immigrant youth via Ubuntu Academy. This summer, it will be the third year of collaboration and I'm so proud she's a top-notch collaborator. She is also an incredible ESL teacher and educator destined to change the lives of many.

This Fall, Jessica, William King and I present our collaborative efforts with relocated youth at the National Council of Teachers of English in Atlanta, Georgia. She and Mr. King have taken their summer work at Fairfield University and used it within their instruction in Cesar Batalla, K-8, and Bassick High School, 9-12. The young people they work with for 180 days are some of the same ones we offer summer literacy enhancement for in July. 

When I think about the energy, excitement, scholarship, and practice that have gone forth to support a youth population we believe in, a photograph like this speaks the universe. What I cherish the most about the artistry of Ms. Baldizon in celebration of her achievements and accomplishments, however, is the inclusion of student names on her cap, promoting the community in which she effortlessly and empathetically embraces. We are partners who believe in supporting young people locally with recognition of complex histories globally. 

Yesterday was a very proud day for all who embrace education at Fairfield University and I was thrilled to be part of every second of it.

Congratulations, 2016 Grads!

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