Seek these speakers

Aztec Press Logo


On Oct. 6, Pima Community College will continue its second annual Speaker Series.

Seven the upcoming free talks will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at PCC District Office Community Board Room (Building C) on 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. Light refreshments will be available at each event.

The series is a monthly forum where Pima instructors speak on a topic they’re knowledgeable about and is important to them.

The Speaker Series kicked off Oct. 2 with “Morphing a Grant into a Program: The Successes and Challenges of the National Endowment for the Humanities funded Border Culture Project.” The speakers were Alisha Vasquez, Border Culture studies instructor and co-coordinator for the NEH Border Culture grant; Sandra Shattuck, Ph.D., Border Culture Studies instructor and co-coordinator for the NEH Border Culture Grant; Kristen Valencia, Ph.D., Border Culture Studies instructor; and Mari Galup, Ph.D., coordinator for the Earlham College Border Studies Program.

The Border Culture Project was fostered with the notion that borders could be used as a source of building and connecting communities together instead of using division as a source of power.

Desert Vista Campus general education classes, such as WRT 90/101/102, HIS/MAS 105/127, ART100 and REA 91 were implemented with border themes that facilitated and created ongoing conversations between all of the Border Studies classes.

This in turn became a place of community that gave way to “hosting guest speakers of the community becoming part of the conversation, specialized readings, along with and discussed borders in a broad sense; borders exists within ourselves, among individuals and groups in society, and in geopolitical ways like the US-Mexico border,” Vasquez said.

“It provides Pima students the opportunity to learn about the history and emergence of borders, see themselves as experts as fronterizos since Tucson is technically a border town, and productively discuss current topics that are often shied away from due to current political unrest in order to learn about multiple perspectives on borders,” said Alisha Vasquez, of what is important about the Border Culture Project.

This creates the opportunity for students to look outside of themselves and reflect on the borders that exist in their own lives and to determine their impact.

On Nov. 6, the talk will be called “Gender Punks, Native American Military Veterans and the Value of Diversity Studies.” The speakers will be Francisca James-Hernandez, Ph.D., Anthropology faculty; Olga Carranza, Ph.D., Psychology faculty; Gregory Redhouse, Ph.D., American Indian Studies faculty; and Marcos Guerrero Trujillo, Sociology, and Gender and Women’s Studies faculty.

The larger topic of discussion for this particular conversation will be the importance of Ethnic Studies and how its existence impacts communities for the better.

“Research shows that when education reflects background people of color, students of color along with gender and sexual minorities are more likely to triumph in an academic setting and positively impact factors such as attention, retention, reproduction and motivation,” Hernandez said.

Ethnic, Gender and Women’s studies are pivotal to the development of an ever-changing world.

“It is about showing people that there is more than one way of looking at the world and broadening people’s experiences about their own culture and the languages that have been lost along the way,” Hernandez said.

The overarching goals of these classes is to open the door so that there is a place for everyone to be included and for bigotry and ignorance to be left at the door. That way, there is a place for knowledge to be fostered through active and thoughtful discussion.

On Dec. 4, the conversation will be “To Climb a Gold Mountain: One Restaurant’s 50-Year Story” by Darryl Wong, Culinary Arts faculty.

For Darryl Wong this means an interactive cooking demonstration will take place, a family dish that is made with vegetables and a meat of some kind and derives from style seen most commonly in Asian cuisine.

“It is really about sharing how a good home cooked meal can bring families together,” he said.

The role of breaking bread never ceases to make people come together, which is why it is so important.

The spring semester Speaker Series will begin Feb. 5 with “Nursing Beyond the Bedside” by Colleen Ford, Nursing Beyond the Bedside.

Nursing Beyond the Bedside will center around the active role nurses play this day in age and how they have become pivotal pieces of the healthcare system.

For Colleen Ford,“This topic is important to me because as nurses, there is so much more we can do beyond the bedside to impact and promote optimal care for patients. It is also important to show that nurses entering the profession are being trained and educated at the highest level to meet the needs and demands of the industry,” Ford said.

The impact of the changes being made in higher education to support the growing numbers in diversity better prepare the nurses of tomorrow in serving the community to their fullest potential as they are more equipped to overcome the challenges of the profession.

On March 5, there will be a presentation of three-minute microbursts in the “Theme of Transformation: A Reading Featuring PCC English Faculty.”

And finally, on April 2, there will be “Information Poverty: Why Students Need More Than Information Literacy Skills to Succeed in Life By: Librarians Chuck Becker and Keith Rocci.

The Information Poverty will address how information is a commodity in this new technological age and that the lack of resources are rigged against those who are of a low socioeconomic status.

Money is the root of the matter because there is a lack of funding within the public education sphere that prevents students from acquiring the basic needs such as how to find information and how to receive information.

“The schools that really represent Tucson schools like Cholla High School, Pueblo High School, and Sunnyside High School are burdened with the lack of internet resources and levelling the playing field for those students that way everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed,” Rocci said.

Keith Rocci and Chuck Becker come from a place of passion, “It is our profession and levelling the playing field in any way that is in our power, that way we got to a point where there is no student who can’t complete their schoolwork because there is no internet at home,” Rocci said.

For more information go to:

Leave a Reply