Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Diversity in Higher Ed Revisited

The Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) has a vested interested in fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.  In an interesting article about the Fisher v. University of Texas, two things are discussed: 1) how diversity is recognized as important and impactful for making scientific and technological advances, and 2) politics can shape or harm education through the legistature and judicial branches.

In the first topic, it was discussed how UT had made a blanket 10% rule (the top 10% of each graduating senior class automatically was granted admission).  Because of a some racial/economic segregation among school districts, the 10% rule did yield more diversity (275 African-Americans and 1,024 Hispanics in an incoming class).  However, UT additionally conducted holistic review of students, which means other--and what might be considered nontraditional (or not white-centric)--forms of merit, besides test scores, were given more importance.  According to the article, the enrolling class (of a similar size) saw 335 African-American students and 1,228 Hispanic students.  These numbers may be closer to the actual racial and ethnic demographics in Texas: according to Wikipedia, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial distribution in Texas was as follows: 70.4% of the population of Texas was White American; 11.8% African American; 3.8%, Asian American; 0.7%, American Indian; 0.1%, native Hawaiian or Pacific islander only; 10.5% of the population were of some other race only; and 2.7% were of two or more races. Hispanics (of any race) were 37.6% of the population of the state, while Non-Hispanic Whites composed 45.3%.

In the second topic, the point is made that if URMs want to make sure their voice is heard in the political system (besides the obvious "go out and vote" idea), they should try to get advanced degrees, as that will help them get appointed to positions that will affect policy.  I thought this was an interesting point to make, because, as noted by Professor Margaret Montoya (re: affirmative action), “When students of color are admitted, we greatly enhance scholarship outcomes and new ways of teaching happen. Consideration of race allowed debate and discussion to enter the classroom. It benefits all society. To discourage diversity is a waste of human capital at the macro level, because we are wasting human capacity.”  So not only does diversity enhance and drive science and technology forward, but it could also impact and drive the policies and laws that we as citizens live by.

To see information about 2010 census demographics (showing white people to still be the majority at 72%), check out this Wikipedia article.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NYC

In preparation for a scrap weekend I'm going to next weekend, I thought I'd take a peek at some recent work.  So here is another page from my New York scrapbook:


I cut circles out of some bright colored paper to offset the grayness of the photos, and used that paper for journaling.


I also used a corner rounder on all the photos to tie into the round elements.


I used a piece of decorative tape to help break up the pictures.


The decorative tape also helps let the bottom photo stand on it's own.  It's a photo of a sculpture I really liked, and the physical break helps to highlight the photo.


I also used some silver bling on the pink journalling circle to further draw the eye to this section of the page.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A Tree Fell in Our Backyard!

In September there was a horrendous, windy storm, during which part of one of our trees in our backyard fell!  Luckily, the large tree branch (in the photo below) didn't damage our fence.  The branch was big enough to be it's own tree, and spanned about 2/3 of our backyard (look how small Nox is in comparison!).


My parents came over to help cut up the tree and clean up.  Murphy and Nox had so much fun playing in the tree while we were working on the clean-up (Murphy is here laying down in the tree).


Here's a photo of how lucky we were that the tree didn't actually fall onto the fence.  It was quite difficult to get the branch down without damaging the fence.


Here's Murphy in the tree.


Here's the beginning of the stack of firewood.


The branch (trunk?) was pretty large, and the age lines were pretty cool.


Here's a photo of my dad working on cutting up the main part of the branch for firewood.


Here is the increasing stack of firewood:


When the brush was getting thin and the dogs couldn't hide in the tree anymore, the dogs enjoyed chasing and chewing on all sorts of branches:


Here are the dogs romping around the yard and amid the piles of brush:


When the main branch / tree was cut up and we were working on cleaning up the brush.  It took awhile to clean up the brush...


But finally we got all the brush piles cleared, and I was finally able to mow the lawn, after about a month!


Here's the final stack of firewood:


It's quite a bit of wood!


And here is the stack of brush that we put out on the street for the October brush pick up.  The stack is taller than our mailbox and the width of the pile goes from the mailbox to our property line!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

True Love

This is a simple page layout I did for our wedding scrapbook:


The base page is from a Creative Memories line.


The matte is an invitation that I co-opted to frame the photo with.


I cut a red heart with my cricut machine, and I used sparkly white letters to make the title:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Riding the Subway

Here's another scrapbook page from my New York scrapbook.  Here we are on the subway with our New York friends:


I used a paper that had blue and green swirls (mimicking Becky's green coat and Carolyn's blue scarf).


And then a I used some pink paper to matte the photos to help offset them from the black background.


A little touch of journaling so we remember the context of the photos:


And an embellishment I do very rarely: a banner.  I used paper that was a light and muted to stand apart from the dark background, and it mimics the paper that I used for the journaling.


And one more photo of Mark with Becky and Carolyn.  :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#BBUM

Here's another article about diversity (this time, Being Black at UM) in Michigan, post-Prop 2.

If everyone agrees that diversity is important, then why does the law interfere to keep the status quo?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Gratz Can Suck It Part 2

So, I made have more to add to this arena later, but here is more information from another Inside Higher Ed article in the realm of affirmative action, this time in regards to the University of Texas at Austin's use of race in admissions decisions:
diversity is a legitimate goal for a college to have for the way it educates all students
and
"Given the test score gaps between minority and non-minority applicants, if holistic review was not designed to evaluate each individual’s contributions to UT-Austin’s diversity, including those that stem from race, holistic admissions would approach an all-white enterprise,"
Fisher, the student involved in this lawsuit, stated:
"It is a shame that for the last six years, hundreds of UT applicants were denied admission because of UT’s racial and ethnic preferences."
I would like to point out that when admissions reviewers do not make a conscious effort to consider (non-white) ethnicity and race, the bias tends towards white males--in other words, hundreds of applicants who are not white males would be denied admission...Again, how easy it is to complain about this issue when you are among the privileged majority.