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In This Issue: 
Freshman Honors Convocation

Talking Black in America: The Story of African American Language

MYEN & SNCAE: Black History Month Trivia "Making Moves"

Passport to Success Meet & Greet/Orientation 

Passport to Success Spring Kick-Off

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn: Why Sense of Belonging Matters So Much for Black Students at White Institutions

The Politics of Black Hair Exhibit

Reflection: Politics of Black Hair as an Educator of Color


Classes Resume
Monday, March 12 at 8:30 AM
Enrollment (Registration) for Fall 2018 term begins
Wednesday, March 21
Spring Holiday (No Classes)
Friday, March 30
Classes Resume
Monday, April 2
Last week of classes
Monday, April 23-Friday, April 27
Final Examinations
Monday, April 30-Wednesday, May 9
CED Spring Commencement Exercises
Friday, May 11
University Spring Commencement Exercises
Saturday, May 12

Freshman Honors Convocation

By: James Daniels
Junior, Middle Grades Education

(From left to right): Tremaine Brittian, Director of Advising, Dr. Regina Gavin Williams, Director of Student Engagement & Diversity Coordinator, honorees: Giovanny Hernandez, Itzel Galvan, Kevin Nguyen, Tre' Thompson and James Daniels; Student Engagement Graduate Assistant, Iwinosa Idahor 

“Don't mistake activity with achievement.”-John Wooden

To perform an activity is to simply do something, but to achieve is to do something successfully with skill, effort, and courage. The students and colleges honored during NC State’s annual Freshman Honors Convocation on Friday, Jan. 26, were not honored for simply being different in their college, but for wearing that title well by going above and beyond the status quo. Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) hosted this annual event to honor first-year multicultural students who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher and to honor colleges who had 50% or more of their first-year students earn a 3.0 or higher. For the 16th year in a row the College of Education had the highest percentage of students (69%) to achieve a 3.0 or greater fall semester GPA. This celebration of multicultural excellence included keynote speaker, NC State Alumna Lucero Galvan, as well as many other MSA and OIED representatives. 

(From left to right): James Daniels, Itzel Galvan, Kevin Nguyen, Tre' Thompson, and Giovanny Hernandez
As a recipient, I can say that it took more than a few hours of studying to accomplish this feat. For most of us, it took forming study groups and other relationships to build our content knowledge, constant usage of NC State’s best resources, and getting involved in as much as possible to stand out from our peers. This sensational event not only celebrated our academic activity, but our overall achievement rooted in our desire to “Think and Do the Extraordinary.” 

"Talking Black in America: The Story of African American Language"

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the Committee on Multicultural Initiatives and Diversity (COMID) hosted a film viewing and discussion entitled, “Talking Black in America.” Talking Black in America is the first documentary to portray the most controversial and misunderstood language variety in the history of American English. Filmed in various locations from the Caribbean and South Carolina Sea Islands, to the rural South and metropolitan areas of the northern United States, it examines the historical roots of African American Language, its contemporary status in society, its essential role in everyday life, and its critical utility in artistic performance. The documentary is built around the comments and activities of everyday speakers and performers reflecting on real world experiences, curated alongside the observations of linguists, historians, and educators. It showcases the development and changing role of language in the lives of African Americans, as well as the remarkable impact it has had on the speech and culture of the United States and beyond. The documentary confronts the persistent stereotypes and prejudices about African American language and positions it solidly as an integral part of the cultural legacy of all Americans.

Upon watching the film, viewers had an opportunity to engage with Dr. Jeff Reaser, Associate Professor of English at NC State University and co-producer of the film. Viewers asked questions regarding language diversity in education and the inspiration behind the concept of this film. Themes of acculturation, identification, and cultural inheritance were also discussed. After viewing this film, hopefully, viewers were able to leave with a better understanding of the power of language as a tool of inclusion (and exclusion), and acknowledging the legacy of language in America.

 MYEN & SNCAE: Black History Month Trivia "Making Moves"

By: Andrykah Smith, Senior, Psychology

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, the Multicultural Young Educators Network (MYEN), in collaboration with the Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE), hosted Black History Month Trivia: Making Moves. This event featured an interactive game of Kahoot with five rounds designed to test the attendees’ knowledge of the contributions African Americans have made in the fields of education, politics, business, and social justice, along with general achievements made by Black Americans. Most of the questions were purposefully hard, with little-known facts about African American figures such as Bert Williams, the first African American actor to be featured in a motion picture, and George Edwin Taylor, the first African American presidential candidate.

Carter G. Woodson, the “father of Black History,” once said “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” Woodson created Negro History Week in 1926 to preserve the history of African Americans and to highlight their often overlooked contributions to society. Since 1970, Black History Month has been celebrated around the country, especially in schools and on college campuses. All over America, children are being informed of the many great things African Americans have been able to accomplish despite the substantial odds against them. What this program aimed to do was highlight some of the important figures that many people do not know, figures that are never thought of when Black History is mentioned.

While the trivia game was a competition with a winner and runner-up being named at the end of the five rounds, the hosts really wanted to emphasize that the attendees were also meant to learn something from the questions. Overall, the event was a success, not because of the points people were able to rack up during the game or because it gave people the opportunity to show off their knowledge of Black history. The event was a success because it showed that Black History is so much more than slavery, segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement.

(A special congratulations to the winners of the evening: Jeancarlo Ferman, a freshman in Human Biology and Polymer & Color Chemistry; and Carolyn Rauch, a graduate student in the Higher Education program.)

Passport to Success Meet & Greet/Orientation

By: Arianna Johnson
Junior, Elementary Education

Passport to Success scholars during the Meet & Greet on Friday, February 9th

On Friday, Feb. 9, Passport to Success had its annual Meet & Greet and Orientation. Scholars who were recently accepted into the program had an opportunity to meet and chat with their mentors as well as current scholars prior to attending the Passport to Success orientation. A variety of majors and classifications were represented at the event, which made the Meet & Greet even more interesting!

During the Meet & Greet, light refreshments were served. Scholars got a chance to catch up with familiar faces and even meet new people within the College of Education. It was a great networking opportunity for both scholars and mentors. Towards the end of the Meet & Greet, everyone had the chance to introduce themselves to the group. It is no doubt that Passport to Success has become even more special!

Congratulations to our 13 new Passport to Success Scholars
Becca Churchill, Elementary Education
Sarah Colurciello, Math Education
Rachel Hulicki, Elementary Education
Desiree McClarnon, English Education
Cooper Migden, Elementary Education
Jessica Montgomery, Middle Grades Language Arts & Social Studies Education
Nicole Renwick, Elementary Education
Ellie Rinehart, Elementary Education
Dongjian Shang, Technology, Engineering, and Design Education
Mason Taylor, Technology, Engineering, and Design Education
Summer Thompson, Middle Grades Language Arts & Social Studies Education
Aaliyah Whitfield, Middle Grades Language Arts & Social Studies Education
Monica Willis, Math Education

 Spring Kick-Off 2018

By: Hayley Sullivan, Sophomore, Elementary Education

On Friday, Feb. 23, Passport to Success scholars came together for the annual Spring Kick-Off Event. The Spring Kick-Off is a great opportunity for present scholars to meet new scholars and to reestablish goals for the semester. New scholars had the chance to ask current scholars questions regarding the program through a student panel. Scholars also connected through a game of Human Bingo.

Students participate in "Human Bingo" during the Passport to Success Spring Kick-Off
Members of Passport to Success also gained professional development. Presenters, Ms. Kerri Brown-Parker and Ms. Laura Fogle, hosted a Tech Tool Slam in which they, along with a few scholars, shared technology tools that they have found to be effective in the classroom. Each participant presented two minutes worth of information on their own technology tool. This was a great learning experience and allowed the group to discover new tech tools that may be useful in their futures as educators. The Passport to Success Program had a successful Spring Kick-Off and is looking forward to another great semester!
Kerri Brown-Parker assists students during the Passport to Success Spring Kick-Off

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn: Why Sense of Belonging Matters So Much for Black Students at White Institutions

By: Ezinne Ofoegbu, Doctoral Student, Educational Research and
Policy Analysis
Dr. Terrell Strayhorn

On Thursday, Feb.15, the College of Education welcomed Higher Education scholar, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn. Dr. Strayhorn is well-known for his research on sense of belonging and college students of color. His talk this time around, revolved around why sense of belonging matters so much to African American college students on predominantly white institutions, a topic consistent with the premise of Black History Month. Dr. Strayhorn began his talk by explaining why Black History Month is important, saying, “We do not know ourselves, until we know each other”. He then gave an in-depth historical overview of African Americans at North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University), starting with Ellen McGuire, a former slave and infirmary worker, affectionately known by students and alumni as “Aunt Ellen”, who began working on NC State’s campus in 1889. NC State did not see its first African American student until 1953, when Robert Clemons and Hardy Liston began graduate study. Three years later in 1956, Ed Carson, Manuel Crockett, Irwin Holmes, and Walter Holmes were the first African American undergraduate to enroll they’ve become known as the “First Four”. Robert Clemons went on to become the first African American graduate of NC State in 1957.


Guests listen as Dr. Terrell Strayhorn shares more information about the importance of creating a sense of belonging
Dr. Strayhorn then shifted gears to discuss the current state of African American college students. He presented the following figures: of the 2.1 million African American college students in this country, 1.4 of them are women, while only 600,000 are men. From here, he begins to address why sense of belonging is so important. He defines sense of belonging as “a basic human need and motivation, sufficient to influence behavior”. For college students this translates to feeling supported and connect to the campus community, having relationships with peers and faculty/staff and essentially, being able to answer this question: If I left school today, would anyone come looking for me? To some, these things may seem trivial, and only a fraction of the college experience. For African American students and other students of color, who do not often see themselves in their classmates, their professors or other student services personnel, this means everything. To further complicate this reality, Dr. Strayhorn revealed that loneliness is a national epidemic, so much as that a recent study loneliness to be a larger health risk than obesity.
Ezinne Ofoegbu (left) and Dr. Terrell Strayhorn (right), pose for a photo after the discussion

Dr. Strayhorn concluded his presentation by comparing his beliefs regarding sense of belonging model to Vincent Tinto’s (1975) model of college student departure. Tinto’s model outlines how a student decides to enter postsecondary education and why they either finish their degree, or leave prematurely. When this model was created, it was modelled after the experiences of white, middle class students, alienating the experiences of students of color, low income and first generation students. Tinto’s model also assumes that academic and social integration are equally important. However Dr. Strayhorn found that academic integration only accounts for 25% of sense of belonging and retention outcomes, while social integration accounts for 50%. With this in mind, Strayhorn’s presents Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which shows that full potential cannot be achieved until the students feels like they belong.

Overall, Dr. Strayhorn’s presentation served as call for educators to foster spaces in which their students of color can feel vulnerable and authentic. This idea of having a “place” and people who they trust on their campuses, is important at all levels of education. 

The Politics of Black Hair Exhibit

By: Angela Gay
Assistant Director, NC State Women's Center and Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development

The politics of Black hair refers to the assumptions and/or principles that are inherent and inscribed into the narratives about Black people and their hair. Politics, by nature, are concerned with power and status within a social realm. Historically, power and control were exerted upon Black folx in many ways, however, the oppression of Black identity was also connected to the modification of Black people's appearance, notably through hair. Black folx were forced to modify the appearance of their hair to suit a master narrative of conformity and assimilation. This forced modification was one form of dehumanization, systematically stripping away the identify of Black and Brown folx, while simultaneously elevating a narrative of White supremacy.  

Angela Gay, Curator of the exhibition, posing in front of "Energy" and "Restoration"
Therefore, the exhibition, #PoliticsofBlackHair, as curated by the NC State Women’s Center, acts as a form of political resistance reaffirming both the power and beauty of Black identity through hair. The exhibition features 97 photos of NC State students and staff presenting their hair and counterstories as an act of resist against dominant narratives told about them through the vehicle of hair. #PoliticsofBlackHair names the emotional and mental acts of violence that occurs when Black hair is used a tool to dehumanize Black and Brown people. Additionally, #PoliticsofBlackHair calls out systemic abuses that denies Black folx access to systems such as health care, education, and employment. Most importantly, however, #PoliticsofBlackHair calls forth the need to act in solidarity, to put forth energy, to become an actor for restoration, to move as a revolution, to create space for voice, to celebrate innovation, and to embrace with empathy.
Opening reception, visitors are engaged as they view the exhibition

Reflection: Politics of Black Hair as an Educator of Color

  By: Whitney N. McCoy
Doctoral Student,  Educational Psychology, Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)

As a participant in the Politics of Black Hair photoshoot, I was given the opportunity to share my hair story and show the larger NC State community why my Black hair should be accepted, why I love the versatility in it, and how its natural state is a form of daily liberation. The earliest memory I have with my hair is when I was in Kindergarten. I attended a school in Asheville, North Carolina and was the only African American girl in my class. My White classmates loved to touch my hair because it was long, but when it started to return to it's natural unrelaxed state, they had an apathy for playing in it.

This memory stayed with me and I was ashamed of wearing my hair in its kinky state until I went to college at a Historically Black University. I saw how beautiful and versatile natural hair could be and slowly transitioned to a head full of curls! At the opening of the Politics of Black Hair, it was uplifting for other men and women to look at pictures of my hair and see its beauty when I've been in places where my hair was critiqued or unaccepted by others. I hope that the Wolfpack will take the time to visit this exhibit to learn how Black hair is a form of authenticity and self-acceptance within our culture.

Whitney N. McCoy, participant and doctoral student in the College of Education
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VISION Newsletter
March 2018

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College of Education
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