After attending our last community meeting for IA Scholars, I decided to volunteer to help design a mural for the Columbus Global Academy on December 1st. This event falls under the category of a service event as painting a mural benefits the community. This was my first time being involved in the mural making process and it was not what I had expected. I worked with two other IA scholars students to come up with a design that fit best with the theme of the school. After hearing that the school was designed to help refugee and immigrant students transition to life in America, one of the artists decided to incorporate folktales from various countries (predominantly the countries that the CGA students come from). We all came up with separate designs and then met up to create a combination of our visions. One of the artists created a digital version of our design and we used this to project on the wall for the teams of IA scholars to work from.
When we had arrived at the school I was surprised at how many people were willing to give up their Saturday to work on this mural. It was not only my first time working in a mural, but my first time being in a leadership position where I had to direct people to do different jobs. Everyone I worked with was very cooperative and it really opened my eyes to the type of people that are in IA. The work was daunting and painting a mural from start to finish in 12 hours took a lot of coordination as a team and communication skills. I personally believe that this event was one of the more important things that I have gotten a chance to be a part of not only during my time in college, but throughout my life as I got the opportunity to actually help a group of people. During that afternoon Jeremy (the director of CRIS) spoke to us about how they had primed the walls the day before. He explained in a half joking manner that the students of CGA had been excited about getting the primed walls themselves and that they had no idea that they would soon have a mural. Even hearing that made me realize how important the event was not only to the school, but to the kids that attend it. I think that putting a vibrant and meaningful painting in the middle of the school will mean a lot to the students and hopefully it will make the students of CGA feel more at home in this unfamiliar country that they have found themselves in.
IA scholars is about creating a community and making people from many different social and cultural backgrounds feel like they belong. I think that this event was exemplary of that goal and if I had the opportunity to participate in something similar I would accept, even if at the end of the day I would be tired, sweaty and covered from head to toe in paint.
I attended the Climate Change Justice and Responsibility forum featuring professor Brooke Ackerly from Vanderbilt University on September 13th at the Mershon Center. This event fulfills a community requirement. The topics discussed at the forum focused on the issues of climate change in Bangladesh and how it is affecting coastal communities. While climate change can affect groups in many ways, for the coastal communities, they face issues of sea level rise, saline inundation and general changes in livelihood. Before attending this forum, I had heard about sea level rise becoming a more prevalent issue for coastal communities but seeing the pictures and listening to a person who spent time in these places helped to give me a better perspective on the issues of climate change.
One focus of the presentation was the idea that we as a people need to focus more on legislation and electing people who will help combat the issues of climate change that we are faced with. Professor Brooke Ackerly suggests that our approach to solving the issues of climate change should be in a grounded normative theory. This means that we need to look at climate change in a political context and use empirical data within the problem-solving process. This theory is rooted in struggles for feminism, racial justice, queer equality, and human rights. Going into the presentation, I assumed that like many other speakers, Brooke Ackerly would simply explain the issues that were happening around the world. It was refreshing to see someone present ideas that focused on real problem-solving methodologies. Her presentation outlined a clear process that everyone in society should follow.
The Climate Change Forum Justice and Responsibility forum relates to international fairs in many ways. The most obvious way is that climate change is an issue that affects everyone on a global level. When a nation produces large quantities of carbon dioxide emissions, the effects are not limited to the country in which the problem originated. Professor Ackerly stated herself that greenhouse gases cause harm to people that often don’t contribute to the issue. Agriculturally based communities with few greenhouse emissions still face the issues that are caused by highly developed nations. Because of this dynamic, we as a nation must be willing to reach out to other nations and implement solutions for climate change in our own foreign policy. We must turn to experts such as academics and political scientists to come up with a solution for the growing threat that is climate change.
Many of the issues related to international affairs are inter-sectional and multidisciplinary. Thus, not only should we focus on ways to mitigate and prevent climate change within our own country, but we must also rely on the people outside of our nations to make steps toward combating the effects of climate change. This does not only mean focusing on fewer carbon emissions, but also on infrastructure, social justice, and the prevention of over-harvesting and juvenile by-catch. This will be a change of economic policy and a big shift in the livelihood of many communities, but it is a goal that we should all strive for if we hope to secure a better future.
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[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email email@example.com. Delete these instructions and add your own post.
- Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
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- Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
- Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]
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