OCC ESL Faculty Member Learns In Italy

babilonia_giardino ITALIAN SCHOOL GARDEN

Every year, Italian language school Babilonia, in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of Italian, awards a two-week teacher study grant to American-based teachers. This year, OCC Faculty member Sarah Lemelin, was selected as one of only three U.S. recipients of this esteemed program.

Lemelin was selected due to her success teaching ESL and Italian courses at OCC. Through creative classroom activities, promotion of Italian language study, dedication to students, community involvement and a genuine appreciation of Italian culture—along with stellar recommendations—Lemelin was confirmed as a natural match to the program.

Sarah Lemelin Italian Faculty Member“I’ve done similar programs in the past, but I’m particularly impressed with Babilonia’s Italian as a second language methodology,” said Lemelin. “The school’s founder and director, Alessandro Adorno, has done a remarkable job of hiring and training teachers. They’re personable, supportive, flexible and fun, but they’re also excellent teachers.”

She adds, their teachers consistently create detailed, interesting and communicative lessons focused on students’ needs, interests and abilities. Instruction is exclusively in Italian even for students who are absolute beginners, providing a true immersion experience invaluable in second language acquisition. In addition, many students rent rooms from local families to further their immersion experience.

Lemelin spent nearly a month engaged in the culture and lifestyle of both Sicily and Rome. Since returning, she has reflected a lot on her experiences in her own classrooms and believes all teachers can greatly benefit from experiencing work from a student perspective.

For more information on courses and programs visit the Babilonia Italian Language School.

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Father / Son Faculty Duo Pay It Forward

Dads 80th bday bike rideMathematics faculty Jeff Parent (RO/SF) and his father, professor emeritus and part-time nutrition faculty Marv Parent, have established the endowed Parent Family Scholarship at OCC.

Jeff said the scholarship honors Marv’s mom and dad and established to say thanks to OCC for “all they did for our family. OCC has been very good to us.”

Marv Parent joined the faculty of OCC in 1970. For nearly 30 years, he taught chemistry, photography, and (after getting his Ph.D. from Wayne State University) nutrition. During his tenure, he was a department chair and elected “Faculty of the Year.” While teaching at OCC, he saw his son, Jeff, graduate from OCC before earning two master’s degrees and joining the College in 1993 as math faculty.

“Neither of my grandparents finished high school. My dad making it from a first generation student to a Ph.D. is an amazing testament to the support and determination of our family.”

The Parent Family Scholarship gives preference to students who are earning an associate’s degree in science and their home campus is Royal Oak or Auburn Hills, where the Parents teach. Many recipients have been students of both faculty members.Dads 80th bday bike ride with the grandkids

“It is a unique privilege to teach alongside my dad,” said Jeff. “There is so much pride hearing great words from students about my dad, and for my dad to hear about me. OCC has given us that unique opportunity.”

“Every year, Dad rewrites and updates his classroom notes and teaching guides and is just a great example of living the content he teaches.” As an example, Marv recently celebrated his 80th birthday by riding his bike 80 miles with the support of his family.

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Poverty Simulation at OCC Offers Life Perspective

What’s it like to live the life supporting a family with one car, sandwiched between two generations of dependents, saddled with medical debt? Or, a single parent living on a fixed income, supporting a child with disabilities?

These are a couple of the many real scenarios participants will put themselves through in the 7th annual Poverty Simulation Exercise at the OCC Auburn Hills Campus on Nov. 16, at 10 a.m.poverty simulation

All profiles are based on real people. The simulation is done in partnership with Lighthouse of Oakland County and Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency.

Nearly 50 students from several sociology and psychology courses and the student body at large will participate in this simulation to go through “a day in the life” of a person or family living in poverty.  Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Student LIFE is the program organizer.

“This event is always truly an eye opening experience for all involved,” said Auburn Hills Student Development Coordinator Jessica Lizardi.

The simulation is set up like a small town and it unfolds as a day in the life of someone in poverty. Participants are given a scenario complete with their income, and other aspects of their situation. The simulation emulates one month of interaction with government agencies, a “Check n Go,” pawn shop, work, school and other agencies and resources that people in poverty would go to during that time.

“Participants walk away with a sense of empowerment to effect change in their communities and a better idea of the things people go through and how they live,” Lizardi added.

Register by email.

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators Receives $500,000 Kresge Foundation Grant

The Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators (CMVE) received a $500,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation that will bolster the group’s efforts to help Michigan veterans navigate their higher education pathways as they seek education and training to re-enter the civilian workforce.

Established in 2010, the CMVE includes representatives from all 43 public colleges and universities in Michigan, including OCC. It offers a rich network of professionals with varied expertise on issues military-affiliated students face to facilitate information sharing and ongoing professional development opportunities for member institutions. Campus advocates provide leadership dedicated to improving the student veteran experience in Michigan along with partners from the Michigan Center for Student Success (MCSS) at the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), and the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN).

“As Veterans Day approaches, and provides us the opportunity to recognize the honorable service of American military men and women, it also provides us the opportunity to re-focus our efforts on supporting student veterans and military-affiliated students,” said MCSS Executive Director Erica Orians. “The goal of the CMVE is to build capacity around awarding academic credit for military service and training, build competencies among the faculty and staff who work with student-veterans, and address institutional policies and services that can enhance the experience of veterans on campus.”

The grant funding – distributed over three years from 2015-18 – will support these efforts and improve the capacity of colleges and universities statewide in helping student veterans, Orians added.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 19,012 students used VA educational benefits in Michigan. The timing of CMVE’s expanded leadership is needed — with the continued removal of troops from the Middle East, Michigan can expect to see an influx of 12,000 more veterans by 2018.

Student veterans have unique needs as they transition from military to civilian life, and the role of the CMVE will be to support the efforts of our member institutions to be sure these students have access to the appropriate programs and services on campuses across the state to meet their educational goals, Giardello said.

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Western Oakland County Parenting Education Fair

Event Features a Dozen Strategies and a Dozen-Plus Speakers for Parents Preschool through 12th Grade

Parents, educators, teachers, administrators and childcare workers are invited to the Western Oakland County Parenting Education Fair, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, November 21, 2015, at OCC’s Orchard Ridge Campus.

OCC marks its second year of partnership with Farmington, Huron Valley, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield school districts and PTAs, Oakland Schools, and Oakland County Youth Assistance.

The event features Keynote Speaker Kirk Martin. Martin and his son, Casey, will provide parents and teachers with a dozen strategies to eliminate defiance, disrespect, yelling, bullying, sibling fights and more that, characterize our homes and classrooms. Martin provides concrete, practical strategies that work with kids ages 2-22 in everyday situations. For more information on Kirk Martin and his message, visit www.celebratecalm.com.

BREAK OUT SESSIONS – The event features two tracks and three rounds of breakout sessions, and more than a dozen different presenters. Breakout sessions are geared to Preschool to fifth grade, and sixth to twelfth grade, and include topics such as:

  • Diary of a Real Bully
  • OMG! My Child is going to College Soon!
  • Taking the Hassle Out of Homework
  • ADHD: Understanding Your Child

A complete conference at a glance is available on the Western Oakland County Parenting Education Fair web site.

CHILDCARE at the event: Event organizers are pleased to offer child care during the event for a nominal fee: $3.00 for one child or $5.00 for two or more children, including lunch.

For more information and to register for the Western Oakland County Parenting Education Fair, visit www.wlcsd.org.

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment