Introduction: Today at NVC
My NVC students during an outdoor writing project, April 2012
I teach philosophy at Northwest Vista College (NVC) in San Antonio, Texas. At NVC, I have taught a wide range of undergraduate students in the following courses:
• Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1301)
• Introduction to Ethics (PHIL 2306)
In addition to teaching full-time in the Humanities Division, I also have been involved in these three projects:
I. The International Education Committee
II. The Peace & Conflict Studies Committee
III. The "Doing Ethics" Brown-Bag Lunch Series
II. Peace & Conflict Studies Committee
I serve on the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee. Members of the these committees are working to integrate into their courses the Exploring Humanitarian Law Program (EHL) developed by the American Red Cross. The program is described this way:
"The programme is, above all, aiming to deal with ethical and humanitarian issues arising in armed conflicts, and the main education objectives are to develop awareness of the necessity of existence of humanitarian norms, to understand different perspectives and to encourage interest and the feeling of responsibility for local and international events. These objectives are to be achieved by treating concrete cases, which serve as an incentive to formulate and focus on the dilemmas and possibly juxtaposed standpoints; finally, possible answers from the point of view of IHL are offered through debate."
Pictures of the Red Cross Training, on campus at NVC:
Pictures of the Red Cross Training, in Washington, DC:
I. International Education
Today, at Northwest Vista College, I serve on the International Education Committee, which among other activities, sponsors the annual International Education Week. For this project, the Committee as a whole was recognized with the 2012 NVC Award for Service.
International Education Week
These are our NVC students marching to celebrate International Education Week in November of 2011. For this project, the International Education Committee as a whole was recognized with the 2012 NVC Award for Service.
Pictures of the week-long event:
III. "Doing Ethics" Brown- Bag Lunch Series
In the fall of 2011, Dr. Charles Hinkley suggested that we begin a sequence of informal lunch conversations as a way to engage our students outside of the classroom. He was familiar with other colleges and universities that sponsor similar activities, and it was his hope that we might be able to extend the spirit of our collaborative learning through a series of discussions about ethics across the curriculum.
His idea, the weekly series “Doing Ethics: Brown Bag Lunch Conversations about Ethics,” began in February and ran through April 2012. The conversations were led by NVC students and faculty members from Humanities, Speech, Philosophy and Chemistry.
This successful program was profiled in the “NVC Faculty Forum” (March 20, 2012 ), and consistently drew students to conversations about topics such as the death penalty, education rights, and ethical issues in scientific research. These conversations outside of the classroom did, indeed, have the intended effect of advancing the learning outcomes from inside of the classroom.