Recent Events in the Adrian Area
We are continually having events in the area for our current students and our alumni. Scroll through the page to see pictures and details about each event, or click the provided links to go directly to that event.
On Tuesday, April 23, the Institute for Ethics hosted the mascot imagery forum, co-sponsored by the Institute for Education. Tecumseh and Clinton school districts were recently named in a Michigan Department of Civil rights suit regarding Native American mascot and imagery use. Panelists on the forum included Daniel Levy, Michigan Department of Civil Rights; Jeanette Henagan, director of NAACP Lenawee County; Abel Cooper, Leh-Nah-Weh Native American Organization; Michael Miller, editor of the Toledo Free Press; and Eric Long, Tecumseh community resident.
Dr. Fritz Detwiler moderated the event.
For more information on the forum, please visit the lenconnect.com website.
On Wednesday, April 17, the Institute for Education and the Teacher Education department were pleased to sponsor Lauren Kazee, a mental health consultant for the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Community Health. Ms. Kazee spoke to a large audience of students and community members concerning the link between poverty, mental health and academic success. Adrian College TED student Sarah Kope said, “the presentation helped me realize the relationship between mental health and school safety, which was not a connection I had previously considered. I was able to realize the influence that a caring adult can have on the success of a student.”
Ms. Kazee presented research on the importance of relationships, respect and school safety. She concluded with actions the Michigan Department of Education is doing to address the concerns.
On April 2 at 6:00 pm, the Institute for Education hosted Dr. Andy Jorgensen. Dr. Jorgensen is an associate professor and director of general chemistry at the University of Toledo. Dr. Jorgensen’s discussion, “Climate Change: What Is It? What Can We Do About It?”, challenged students and faculty in their knowledge (or lack thereof) regarding the phenomenon many call global warming.
Climate change is defined as any change in the climate over a period of time (www.dictionary.com). Climate change is said by many to be increased by the human population due to pollution.
“The impacts of climate change are incredibly interdisciplinary,” Jorgensen said. “Certainly the natural sciences play a key role, but also sociology, economics, political science, law and the humanities as you look at the ethical implications of climate change.”
Climate change is so much more complicated than we could have imagined. Still, Dr. Jorgensen admits many governmental officals are doing their best to figure out a solution. He says, “...during my time in Washington, I was able to go hear leaders in the field, including the President’s science advisor, and to be a part of a broad community dedicated to the study of environmental issues.” He went on to say, “It gave me a much deeper appreciation for what will be needed for the global community to slow and combat a problem my children and grandchildren will ultimately be left to confront.”
Dr. Jorgensen’s message is important because climate change impacts everyone. Dr. Jorgensen spoke about how the warmer Earth temperature results in greater variations in temperatures and rainfall—this is also the case in extreme weather conditions, such as during hurricanes. The audience was engaged throughout Dr. Jorgensen’s presentation by using a personal response device to answer questions posed by Dr. Jorgensen. He asked factual questions regarding temperature increases, but emphasized the importance of discussion by posing opinion questions such as “Should the US have more nuclear power?”, asked by Kristen Miller, administrative assistant for the Institute for Education.
Dr. Jorgensen encouraged audience members to think outside of the box, making for a relevant discussion and leaving staff and students with critical thoughts. Whatever the outcome, climate change is real and Dr. Jorgensen is doing something about it.
“It was an honor to have him speak at Adrian College,” said Dr. Andrea Milner, assistant professor of teacher education and director of the Institute for Education.
Event reported on by student writer Nicole Gestwite.
The Institute for Education and the Teacher Education Department sponsored the “New Alumni Night” on Wednesday, February 6. Recent graduates of Adrian College in Teacher Education comprised a panel of speakers that spoke to current Adrian College students. The panel shared their post-graduate experiences as they transitioned into the workforce.
The alumni panel all had different experiences post-graduation, which gave our current students perspective. After the panel discussed their experiences, they opened it up to questions from the students in attendance. The panel provided insightful thoughts regarding their experiences and their advice was well received by current students. TED student Andrew Miller said that it was “eye opening” to hear the panel speak in regard to their post-graduate job opportunities and expectations to participate in extra-curricular activities.
The Teacher Education Department at Adrian College held their annual Teacher Association Banquet on Wednesday, October 10. The banquet recognizes Adrian College associate teachers and their cooperating teachers from local schools. President Docking and Vice President Caldwell were in attendance as well as Adrian College notable alumni, Bob Gustas and Mike McAran. Bob Gustas, 2010 Hoosier Educator of the Year recipient was the guest speaker for the event. Mr. Gustas focused his presentation on the importance of assessments and how diversity within assessments can help students learn at a deeper level. It was a night full of recognition and celebration for the education profession.
Dr. Gene William Poor, Hamilton Endowed Professor from Bowling Green State University, visited Adrian College on Monday, October 8. The Institute for Education and The Institute for Creativity were excited to sponsor Dr. Poor’s visit. Dr. Poor has been an entrepreneur and professor for 40 years and he spoke to Adrian College students and faculty about the importance of creativity in the business and education professions. His awards include the 2004 BGSU Master Teacher Award, and the 2004 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
On Friday, September 21 Professor Michelle Hiscock of the Department of Teacher Education hosted the first in a series of technology seminars for faculty and staff at Adrian College. Professor Hiscock detailed the use of Prezi as a web-based instructional tool for class presentations. Renee Collins, Assistant Professor of Journalism, an attendee, said, “The tech class on developing and using Prezi was excellent. By the time we finished the class, I felt confident I could make my own Prezi presentations for class, and have successfully done so.” Throughout the series, Professor Hiscock’s primary focus is to enhance and advance instructional technology. All classes are held on Fridays from 2:00-5:30pm in Valade 202. All faculty and staff are welcome.
The Institute for Education and the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures is collaborating in providing an Introduction to Japanese class for accelerated students from surrounding school districts in Lenawee County. Dr. Andrea R. Milner and Dr. Bryan Bott are facilitating the class. Three Adrian College students; Jamie Besier, Kristin Johnson, and Tim Rotarius, are teaching the class. Class started on February 18th and will run every Saturday concluding on April 7th.
Jamie Besier provided an in-depth synopsis of the first class: “The first class was fantastic. I think all three of us were a little surprised at just how well things went. The students are so excited to learn! They are also very practical. When we asked them what they wanted to learn about Japan, they said government, laws and travel information. A group of future leaders to be sure. While we hope to expose them to these things at least a little, I think we would primarily like to give them a taste of Japanese culture. Kristin, Tim and I have discussed exposing them things such as Japanese food and we would also like to give them a chance to explore things from Japan. Having visited Japan, Kristin and I have accumulated items from shrines and souvenirs and we would like to share these “artifacts” with the students. At the culmination of this program, I would like to see the students having a basic understanding of Japanese language, but also a glimpse of Japanese life.“
On Wednesday, November 16th, the Institute for Education had the great honor of hosting Matinga Ragatz, Michigan Teacher of the Year 2010/2011, as our guest speaker. Ms. Ragatz spent the day at Adrian College and spoke in our Teacher Education classes. She spoke about issues, solutions, best practices in teaching, and the continuation of her own education as a 21st Century educator.
Ms. Ragatz teaches social studies and World Language at Grand Ledge High School. Ms. Ragatz has immersed herself in culture and has been taking her students abroad in learning about different customs. Most recently she and her students have been visiting eastern Asia and she is preparing to travel to Tunisia.
She is the founder and Project Management Director of Interface Global Alliance. Interface Global Alliance is a non-profit that helps deprived communities that are in need of economic improvement. Ms. Ragatz continues to be a global traveler promoting education and her mission with the Interface Global Alliance.
Currently Ms. Ragatz is developing a variety of learning models to help students with their core education as well as improving their skills. Please take a few moments to visit her website. http://matinga.com/
By Emily Cutler, Contributing Writer
The Associate Teaching Banquet took place Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Adrian-Tobias Room. This program was co-sponsored by the Teacher Education Department and the Institute for Education as a means to recognize and thank the student teachers along with their supervisors.
“We just want to say thank you,” said the department chair of teacher education, Marcie Brown. “Every year we do an associate teaching banquet.”
There are 22 student teachers this semester, and there will be about 18 seniors next semester. The seniors are placed in numerous school systems around the Adrian area and work under a supervising teacher at that school.
“I like to come in every year to say thank you to the supervisors,” said President Jeffrey Docking at the event. “[Teaching is] a noble cause and a noble profession.”
The program consisted of not only a dinner for the guests, but also featured speaker Nate Parker (‘98), the current principal of Adrian middle school.
“Teaching is not just a career, it’s a calling,” said Parker during his speech. “God knows we need good teachers right now.” Parker’s presentation was entitled “My Heroes have Always Been Teachers,” and discussed the importance of quality teachers in the education system.
“The key to a great school… is the same as it always has been and always will be—outstanding teachers,” he said. “Anybody can teach the top tier students. Great teachers can teach them all.”
Senior Emilia Ertz begins her student teaching at Onsted high school in January. This semester she is observing the classes. She said the banquet was a great way to get to know the supervising teachers on a more personal level outside of the classroom. It was also an effective way to show appreciation to the supervisors. “The banquet made me really excited for student teaching,” she said.
Ertz was also impressed by the speech that Parker gave. “I thought he was very inspirational,” she said. “It was nice to know he is an AC graduate and has gone so far in the education field.”
During the event Parker also emphasized the significance, as teachers, to motivate and encourage students. “Your job is to care, to challenge and to inspire,” he said. “Most importantly as a teacher, your job is to inspire.”
Three alumni of AC were also recognized at the program for demonstrating the Ribbons of Excellence and carrying out the mission of teacher education. These alumni included Parker (‘98), Christopher Timmis (‘96) and Mary Betzoldt (‘68).
“I think it’s really nice to give awards,” said Ertz. However, Ertz also noted that while these teachers deserve to be recognized, there are many teachers who go unrecognized for their dedication.
Parker concluded his speech by stressing the importance of teachers to continually work towards helping their students however possible. “[Students] don’t just need good teachers,” he said. “They need heroes. You are it. Don’t let them down.”