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Spring 2015 Newsletter
Thanks to Eric Hetland, a 2012 graduate, for updating the department on his continuing success since Beloit:
What are you doing now professionally?
I am a Resident Counselor at the Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy.
If you are teaching, what school, grade level and subject?
I work in the Residence Life Department here and focus on the students’ personal and social development. I provide educational programming that focuses on topics such as appreciation of differences, time management, lifelong learner, community, self-identity, and positive risk-taking, to name a few. IMSA is a residential high school for gifted students in grades 10-12 with a major focus on STEM.
Is there any news that you would like to share with us from your classroom or work experience?
I am also the Coordinator for our school’s Peer Multicultural Education group. This student group aims to increasing multicultural understanding within the student body and provides a variety of cultural programming. I am also an adviser to our school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (Spectrum). Between these two experiences, I have been able to mentor under-represented students and provide them additional support, including emotional, academic, and personal. I have also had the chance to attend professional conferences, present at them, and learn more about the field of multicultural education—which is where I see my career heading.
Is there any other news, accomplishments or awards you have received which you would like to share with us? If so, please let us know what information is personal and what can be published in our newsletter?
Outside of my job at IMSA, I have been heavily involved with the non-profit group Scouts for Equality (SFE). SFE is a group of Scouting alumni who are committed to seeing an end to the Boy Scouts of America’s membership policy that bans openly gay and bisexual adults from serving as leaders. We also advocate for a more inclusive and supportive environment within Scouting as it relates to LGBTQ youth members. My involvement has led to me forming the Chicago Chapter of SFE—one of nearly 40 throughout the country.
Congratulations to Samantha Anderson and Zack Anderson, for their new baby Holly Elizabeth.
Samantha Anderson–––––Creative Writing
Adrianna Baldwin–––––––Literary Studies
Andrew Blake Garcia––––––––Psychology
Alexandria Rehfeldt–––––Literary Studies
Youth and Society
Margaret Kepley–––International Relations
Lauren Rivas–––––––––––––––Art History
Joining us this spring in the Education Department is Richard Kořínek (and his family), from Olomouc, Czech Republic. Richard, a psychologist and social worker, directs the regional branch of a Czech NGO, working with the socially excluded (specifically Roma people) in the Olomouc region. While in Beloit, Kořínek is conducting a research project on the quality of management approaches and strategies of local non-profit organizations that work with marginalized communities. Kořínek and his family arrived in Beloit on March 5th, and will remain in the area until July. This past semester he visited classes and spoke about his experiences with the Roma, European NGO politics, social exclusion, and service provision.
On April 15, Caitlyn Fisher (Class of 2017, EDYS Student Worker) had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Kořínek for an interview about the Fulbright process and his visit to the US. Following are questions from the interview and summaries of Mr. Kořínek’s responses.
How did you
get the Fulbright and what role did (EDYS professor) Bill New play in the
After holding the same position in the Czech Republic for 7 or 8 years, Richard Kořínek felt burned out, and decided he needed a change. He sought that change through the Czech Fulbright committee, which eventually lead him to the Education Department at Beloit College. A few years ago, Bill New and a group of students came to the Czech Republic and attended a presentation of Mr. Kořínek’s work with marginalized groups and education in the Czech Republic. After the presentation he showed Bill and the students around what he referred to as ‘socially excluded’ areas, “Which are basically slums.” He has been in contact with Bill ever since, allowing him to set up a project with Bill for his Fulbright scholarship and maintain a relationship with the college.
of work do you do in the Czech Republic?
Kořínek works for a nonprofit based in Moravia (Czech Republic) that serves people in need. The nonprofit focuses mainly on providing support for marginalized families and individuals. With young people, they struggle to support them as they receive their education. They also provide social services to families and individuals Kořínek works in managing the 35 (and counting, since they are currently expanding the project) employees as they try to encourage youth to stay in school through high school. In the Czech Republic, Kořínek explains, school is only compulsory until 16 years of age, so many young people drop out and get office jobs, or other dead-end or short-term employment. Many of the students, though, Kořínek tells me, just fall into unemployment. Most of the young people who drop out of school are on welfare, they’re stuck. “That’s why we want to support them through high school,” Kořínek says. The goal is to give these young people a chance to improve upon their socioeconomic status.
you hope to accomplish in your time in Beloit?
Fulbright project is not typical research, he calls it “Informal Social and Education
Exploration.” He is here at Beloit to observe our education system in
action, and identify any policies or services that might inspire solutions for
problems in Czech schools. At the College especially, he is looking at student
support services. He says, one day, his organization might focus not only on
encouraging youth to stay in school through high school, but also to pursue
further education as well.
you found interesting and/or challenging in coming to the US with your family?
Kořínek tells me that in adjusting to life in the United States, it’s mostly the little things that surprise him. There have been challenges in getting settled, especially in finding accommodations for his family, and getting his children into local schools. Kořínek has also found pleasant surprises. He explained, “I was very surprised with the school my son goes to, Todd Elementary. His teacher there wanted to support the children in reading, so she started looking for books in Czech, in his language. She was accommodating him, something I would never expect a teacher to do in our country.
your children like the schools here? Are they able to adapt easily to their new
Living in Wisconsin has presented Kořínek and his family with a number of challenges. His son, for instance, has only taken four years of English, and is still at an elementary speaking level. He is doing everything to support his son’s successful expression. His son uses a tablet with Google Translate to communicate. “He’s making friends,”Richard tells me, “but it is difficult.” His daughter, a teenager, misses her friends back home, but Kořínek says that the school has been very supportive. “We’re very in touch with the teachers there.
it is going to be worth it for them, and for me,” he said.
would you like EDYS majors to know about you as a professional working with
marginalized groups in the Czech Republic?
Richard what advice he had for our EDYS majors, coming from a professional
background working with marginalized groups, and this is what he had to say:
“Here (in the US), the education majors understand the importance of the work we do, much better than in the Czech Republic. We have to do a lot of work to explain why our work is important. We work mostly with the Roma people and it doesn’t make sense to the schools to educate these people.” Kořínek went on to point out that, from his point of view, many people here are very critical of the US public school system–and he thinks there is still a huge amount of room for improvement–but within the system he sees a lot of things that might seem natural to us, but that he finds highly exceptional. For example, he worked in a high school as a psychologist in the Czech Republic. He worked for ten hours a week, and there were 1000 students - and was the only one providing support. He couldn’t do much - only working with a few students. In contrast, Kořínek points out, here in Beloit, looking at Aldrich Middle School, a much smaller school with a much larger school intervention team (psychologists, a social worker, counselors), he sees cooperation with students’ teachers to provide support. In his opinion, this is very useful and needed. He wants EDYS students to be aware that, in the Czech Republic, they don’t have that. He feels that we have a very well-designed and functioning program. Kořínek said, “There’s a lot of good in your system, which is an inspiration for me.”
reminded students, “Don’t overlook the good things you already have, maybe come
to the Czech Republic to see that we have it worse.”
encourage EDYS majors to come to the Czech Republic and why?
Recently, Kořínek has been considering initiating some kind of exchange program. He would like to encourage EDYS majors, either on their own or through some kind of established program, to come to the Czech Republic. “Our clients live in a very poor environment,” he told me. “Very limited.” Kořínek thinks it would be good for the people he works with to meet students from abroad, because they don’t have many chances to travel and meet new people. “It would be great for them to know there are people abroad who are interested in helping these kids. It would be enriching.”
Mr. Kořínek and his family will be in Beloit until July, 2015.
The International Youth Initiative Program in Sweden
by Hana Vacková ‘15
Education & Youth Studies, Track 3 major
Hometown: Olomouc, Czech Republic
The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) is a year-long training for youth with the initiative and passion to make a positive change in this world. The program is framed as a social entrepreneurship training, with week-long courses taught by community organizers, NGO-workers, and activists from all over the world. YIP-participants also engage in 5-week internships at community organizations in countries such as South Africa, The Philippines, Nepal and the Unites States. The whole program concludes with the “Initiative Forum,” which is a celebratory forum where students share their accomplishments and insights.
YIP is located in Ytterjärna, a community south west of Stockholm, surrounded by biodynamic farms, Waldorf schools as well as the famous Vidar Clinic (Vidarkliniken) “the only hospital in the Nordic region that integrates conventional medicine with anthroposophical medicine.”
I initially heard about YIP through an online forum when I was still
The main building in Ytterjärna with its main cultural center (Kulturhuset).
in high school. While studying abroad at Linnæus University in Växjö, Sweden, during Fall term 2014, I decided to participate in one of their open courses to the public. I was able to take a course entitled “From Complexity Theory to Food Revolution,” which covered a range of educational and environmental topics through the lens of polycrisis and sustainable development.
The course was taught by Eduardo “Shima” Shimahara, Brazilian educator and sustainable development enthusiast, who started the educ-ação collective. Along with his 3 friends (Camila Piza, Carla Mayumi and André Gravatá), he traveled the world visiting innovative schools like YIP in Sweden, Green School in Bali, Indonesia or Schumacher College in England. Their travels resulted in the book “Volta ao mundo em 13 escolas” (published in Portuguese, but is being currently translated into English). Shima is currently a Master’s candidate at the Sustainability Institute at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and is working on creating a network of inspiring educational projects around the world.
More information about YIP can be found on www.yip.se.
Eduardo Shimahara’s journey to document innovative schools around the world resulted in
the book “Volta ao mundo em 13 escolas.” (Image taken from educ-ação Facebook page.)
Weissburg Scholarship – Osha Waterdu (Youth & Society)
Clarence R. Von Eschen/Lysle H. Steele Endowed Education Award: Daniel Corral and Zoe Gierman
Martin G. Roessger Memorial Scholarship in Education: John Bakewell
The following awards were given at the SAAC (Student Athletic Activities Committee) Banquet on May 5, 2015.
Highest Individual GPA: Seth Sanderson-Basketball, Danny Corral-Baseball, Fabiola Ramirez-Soccer
Joe Kobylka Award: Seth Sanderson-Basketball, Jim Leyhane-Baseball
The Ed DeGeorge Award: Danny Corral
Pat Dawson Award: Alex Lawrence-Baseball
The Blanket Award: Alex Lawrence
Accepted into the Teach for America Program: Danielle Wright and Alida Sanchez, in Milwaukee and New Orleans
Headed to Penn State to complete a Masters in Educational Policy: Stephanie Mayo
Headed to Teachers College, Columbia University to complete a Masters in Education and Economics, Wenxin Xu
Headed to the University of Wisconsin, Madison to complete a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership: Danny Corral and Yasmin Rodriguez-Escutia
Headed to Slovakia with a Fulbright Fellowship Teaching Assistantship award, and also accepted into the Caux Scholars Program: Margaret Kepley
Congratulations to the following December 2014 graduates, who have completed all of the requirements for certification in the state of Wisconsin!
Congratulations on the successful completion of all the requirements for certification!
Joseph Carmody ('13): Grades 6-12, Physics
Congratulations to the following Education Students who presented honors papers related to Education at the 39th Annual Student Symposium:
(To access the booklet with the abstracts of the student's papers, please follow the link: https://symposium.beloit.edu/2015SymposiumBooklet.pdf.)
"Hip-Hop Pedagogy, Social Justice, and Hip-Hop Artistry: A Synthesis and Call to Action"
"The Latino Male Achievement Gap: Structural and Cultural Explanations"
"From “Leave Me Alone, Man” to “I Love You Too”: The Story of One Student Teacher and Two African American Students in a Public School"
"Do These Jeans Make Me Look Fat? Exploring Middle School Girls’ Relationships to Themselves, Each Other, and Femininity"
"More Than an Internship: Witnessing the Growth of One Special Education Student through Interactions and the Development of Relationships"
"Fútbol, Futebol, Soccer: A Metaphor for Academic and Personal Success in Youth"
"English Language Education in Japan"
"Community-Based Tourism as an Ethical Alternative? Power, Influence, and Dependency in one Ecuadorian NGO"
"Everyone Leaves: Administrative and Teaching Turnover and the Way It Effects Low-Income Students"
"A Hybrid Incubator: International College Preparation Program at Public High School in China"
"Mindfulness in the Classroom"
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