Campus Events

Fall 2017 Events

International Education Week

“No Standardized Tests, No Homework, No School Inspections? The Secrets to Finland’s Educational Success”

Jennifer Bell (AED) and Lisa Busto (Accounting)

Date: Monday, October 30

Time: 12:30 - 1:45 pm

Location: X250ab

Audience: Harper students, faculty, staff, and community

Description: Come learn about how Finland uses equity, trust, autonomy, and equality to promote excellence in student success. Jennifer E. Bell, Professor in Adult Educational Development and doctoral student in the DCCL (Doctorate in Community College Leadership) program with Ferris State University participated in a 10 day study abroad to Finland where she toured a variety of schools from pre-school to university level in Helsinki in the south and Lapland on the Arctic Circle. She will explain the basics of the Finnish school system, and reflect on her observations of why Finland’s schools have been deemed the best in the world! She will end her presentation with a discussion about how we might incorporate elements of the Finnish system, and if it is possible to implement the Finnish structure in the United States.


"Traveled for Textiles"

Teagan Schirmbeck, Fashion program student

Date: Tuesday, October 31

Time: 11 am - 12:15 pm 

Location: X250ab

Audience: Harper students, faculty, and staff

Description: After realizing I had a deep passion to learn about textiles, I decided to extend my education to Scotland where I attended Heriot Watt University's School of Textile Design. This presentation will provide a glimpse of the intricate, hands-on curriculum and environment in which I was immersed while abroad. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to hear about what it is like to study and travel in another country for 5 months. Additionally, I will be sharing images of the textile and CAD projects I completed during my semester abroad. I hope to share my unique experience of studying abroad with fellow students who also have a similar yearn to continue their education overseas.

"Moving from Intercultural Competency to Cultural Humility"

Valerie Walker (Human Services Program) and David Antonides (Student Development)

Date: Tuesday, October 31

Time: 12:30 – 1:45 pm

Location: X250ab

Audience: Harper students, faculty, and staff

Description: Are we open to treating students as experts on their own lives?

This interactive session will explore paths for increasing our competencies and capacities for serving students with connections to Central America.  Our students are impacted by the legacies of geographic and cultural heritage, current sociopolitical issues, and other cultural identity factors.

Elements of contextualized practice (in teaching, counseling, advising, coworker roles) will be discussed as it relates to inter-cultural competency, facilitating dialogue on diversity issues, cultural humility, mindfulness and culturally responsive teaching.  The emphasis will be on defining intercultural competency as a lifelong practice which takes us to the point of cultural humility.

Collaborating in our field research, we will offer testimonials of our experience in the International Field Seminar, lessons learned about the ‘Lived Experience’ of Central Americans, the impact of acculturative stress on persons who are immigrants, and culturally grounded practice in our roles with students and the Harper community.  Engaging in one culture is only an invitation to strengthen our capacity to move toward an intersectional understanding of inter-cultural competency with additional communities. Tools and resources will be included to further educate ourselves and contextualize our interventions with students in classroom, advising, campus and community settings. 


Social Justice Expo

Date: Wednesday, Nov 1

SESSION ONE:   “The Ugly Truth: Barriers to Health for Undervalued Communities, and How We Can Serve”

Time/Location: 12:30 - 1:45 pm in D195

Presenters: Yusuf Vidal, Community Engagement Specialist, and Kelly Albrecht, Public Health Educator, both of the Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services

Description: This discussion will focus on the obstacles to healthcare services; such as primary care, mental health, and human services. These include the lack of resources, better known as “health deserts,” the lack of education and awareness of various community-based health services, and the lack of policy and social support around access to mentioned services. Hamdard Center was established as a proactive response to address the critical needs of the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities, and regarded as a leader in service delivery, advocacy, professional training and education on under-served communities. The session will highlight the importance of culturally appropriate services, and opportunities for activism when working with diverse groups.

SESSION TWO:  "What's New with Immigration”

Time/Location: 3:30 - 4:45 in A238

Presenter: Fred Tsao, Senior Policy Counsel, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)

Description: The new Administration has brought many changes in federal policies on immigration, such as the travel ban and the repeal of DACA, as well as state and local responses such as the Illinois TRUST Act and local welcoming ordinances.  This presentation will survey these recent changes as well as opportunities to get involved.

SESSION THREE: “Community Collaborations to Address the Social Determinants of Health: Experiences of a Community Health Psychologist”

Time/Location: 6 - 7:15 pm in X124

Presenter: Venoncia M. Baté-Ambrus, PhD (c), MS, Community Health Psychologist

Description: There are so many community issues - poverty, inadequate health care, food scarcity, violence, discrimination - where do we begin. From a community psychology and community health worker perspective, listening to community members’ cultural perspectives and looking to their strengths can teach us how to collaborate within and across sectors, among all leadership strata from grassroots to grass top to c-suite in order to improve community wellness and capacity-building. The information and discussion in this session will be relevant for anyone interested local or international volunteering, activism, and career opportunities in health care, social science, public health and public service professions.


“Experience Capoeira: the Iconic Afro-Brazilian Dance-Fight”

Date: Thursday, Nov 2

Time: 11 am - 12:15 pm AND 12:30 - 1:45 pm

Location: A-building atrium

Audience: Harper faculty, students, staff, and community members

Description: Come, learn, and experience the Brazilian martial and cultural art of Capoeira Angola, an art form developed by enslaved Africans as a powerful instrument of resistance during the colonial period of Brazilian history. Incorporating physical movement, music, and philosophy, and embedded African traditions, Capoeira Angola, continues to be a tool for resistance, empowerment, and self-discovery. Through the dynamics of the playing circle, or roda, individuals can discover and maximize their potential, establishing an outlook based on patience, endurance, confidence, and elegance.

Join Contramestre Beto  and members of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation, Chicago in a discussion and demonstration of this beautiful art form. Prepare for an invitation to enter the roda (playing circle).  


American Dreaming: an ongoing conversation

Date: Wednesday, November 15

Time: 2 to 3 pm

Location: D building, room 169

Description: American Dreaming is a program led by students at Harper College and Oakton Community College that includes discussions about America’s immigration policy, DACA, and undocumented individuals who are part of the American fabric and who are contributing to American society. American Dreaming is co-sponsored by Latinos Unidos and the Office of International Education at Harper College; it is also co-sponsored by ¡ANDALE! and the Diversity Council at Oakton Community College.

The program will include an interactive Skyped conversation during which students at Harper and Oakton Colleges present an American Dreaming discussion and organize future programs. This program will also include a reading and discussion of the poem “One Today” by Richard Blanco. Refreshments will be provided.

American Dreaming is part of an ongoing series of programs whose goals include giving opportunities for students and others in the Harper College community to proactively engage in public dialogue about immigrants, American culture and values.



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