Three Pacific students Anise Abraham, Lorena Campos, and Chanthou Thoeun and Professor Zhou Xiaojing, presented papers on the panel “Creating Transformative Learning Communities through Interdisciplinary Studies and Campus Events” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the National Association of Ethnic Studies held at Mills College, April 3 –5, 2014.
This was the first time that Anise, and English major and Ethnic Studies minor, and Lorena, a Political Science major with double minors in Chinese and Ethnic Studies, participated at a national conference. Both came away with invaluable insights and a greater passion for their field of study.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere of community among scholars with a wide range of backgrounds, and found the experience reinvigorating and empowering,” Abraham said. “I discovered that my voice matters and can make a difference.”
Dr. Zhou Xiaojing, second from right, with Anise Abraham, Lorena Campos, and Chanthou Thoeun.
For Campos, the conference was equally profound.
“The most significant things I learned at the conference were the importance in rooting Ethnic Studies in the institution in order to transform the learning space at Pacific, and that we can become proactive rather than reactive in the environments we take part in by taking the enrichment and principles we have learned to other places beyond Pacific,” Campos said.
For Thouen, an Ed.D. candidate at the Benerd School of Education who focuses on Ethnic Studies and multicultural education, participating at the NAES conference was an invaluable experience.
“It allowed me to collaborate with highly innovative thinkers and colleagues, and to develop my voice as a scholar in the field of teacher education,” Thouen said. “Presenting allowed me to take the first steps in sharing my research in a public venue. The experience was both challenging and liberating. It is the first step in advancing my research agenda as I continue my work on the educational experiences of Hmong American youth.”
Dr. Zhou, a professor of English and Ethnic Studies, presented her own paper topic: “Students as Active Participants in Interventional Knowledge Production through Ethnic Studies Courses and Events.”
Participation at the NAES conference was made possible by the Pacific Fund and by the Student Research Fund.