Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

WSLs Welcome New Members, Host Social Justice Event

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Watson Student Leaders welcomed 36 new members to their last meeting of the fall semester, held at the Watson College on Nov. 12. The meeting featured a panel discussion with five beginning teachers and WCE ITFSE department chair Eleni Pappamihiel.

At the meeting, the WSLs also announced their new leadership council. Lauren Johnson, a junior enrolled in WCE’s Elementary Education program, will assume the role of WSL president in January. Other leaders announced for 2018 are Savannah Phillips, vice president; Carolyn Cugini, secretary; Vanessa Ibarra, treasurer; Madeline Bowling, recruitment; Jillian Noble, public relations; Juliana Larem, community; and Peyton Perry, professional development.

On Nov. 13, the WSLs were host to an event titled “Social Justice in Education.” The meeting was designed to encourage undergraduate students to examine their privilege and ways that privilege and race impact relationships with classroom students, peers and future colleagues.

Hannah Jenkins, a senior enrolled in the Special Education program at the Watson College, said a personal interest in the school to prison pipeline fueled her participation in the event.

“The facts are alarming and beg the question, ‘What can teachers do differently to give each child an opportunity to learn and succeed?’” she said. Part of the answer lies in “understanding the relationship between concepts like racism, privilege and social justice, examining how these concepts occur in schools and teacher education, and analyzing the effects of complacency.”

“Elementary school teachers are the most influential people in a child’s life outside of their parents and other family members,” Jenkins said. “We need to become more knowledgeable in order to help children succeed.”

Twenty-five Watson Student Leaders participated in the two-hour discussion. Jenkins and graduate students La’Mon Johnson and JD Hastings planned and facilitated the event.

The role of Watson Student Leaders is to serve as ambassadors and represent the college through leadership, professionalism and service. To learn more about their activities, visit them on Facebook.