Wednesday, January 6, 2021
A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
Students from Professor of Speech Suzette Ashton’s Interpersonal Communications Honors class did not let COVID-19 prevent them from “traveling” abroad this semester. Although the traveling was virtual, the experiences were educational and enlightening.
Students from Koning Willem I College (KWIC) in the Netherlands worked collaboratively with Suzette’s students on a dialogue poem about racial equity. Faculty and students from both colleges met via Zoom every Friday morning for two months. During the sessions, students shared their experiences and ideas about racial equity through the lens of their culture. Their discussions were lively, and there was a genuine desire to hear and be heard.
The students wrote about four different aspects of racial equity for the content of the dialogue poem: language, stereotypes, pathways to citizenship and job opportunities. During the final session, students from both colleges performed the dialogue poem, and students from KWIC’s Media Design program shared their illustrations of various lines from the poem. View the performance of their dialogue poem here.
“Whenever I look around, I see all kinds of languages!”
“We climb the Purple Mountain of Majesty to become America the Beautiful.”
“English is the gateway to communication around the world. We may all speak different languages, but we are saying the same thing!”
Both Valencia College and KWIC students gained powerful knowledge and experience from this project.
“My experience with working with students from Holland was enlightening,” student Jeremey Felicie commented. “Meeting such talented and wonderful Dutch students has taught me that we are more similar than we might think. We are an ocean away from each other, yet we are connected and worked so well while completing our share of the poem.”
“It was so interesting to be working with students in The Netherlands and although their native language is Dutch, they also speak very good English,” acknowledged student Jacob Riley. “Despite the distance, I feel that I have a strong connection with my Dutch partners. I had so much fun working with them and learning more about them and their culture,”
Student Darlene Romero added, “My experience working with my colleagues was so much fun and I enjoyed having the opportunity to Zoom and meet new friends; plus I cannot forget to mention the hard work we put in with each other on this dialogue poem.”