Keynote speakers for COS 2017 include regionally, nationally, and internationally-renown leaders and scholars in the field of community engagement. We are also excited and honored to welcome student leaders and Newman Civic Fellows from the Western Region as speakers for a PechaKucha presentation on Commitment, Action, and Impact. Learn more about all of these dynamic individuals!
Roberto Cabrales, Newman Civic Fellow, Pitzer College "I am a junior studying Environmental Analysis at Pitzer College as a NRS Student. I started organizing at the age of 17 and am rooted in the fight to improve the quality of life for all, especially communities on the front lines of environmental impacts. I was an organizer with Communities for a Better Environment from 2002 to 2015 where I worked on legislation to bring more electric vehicle incentives to Los Angeles' low-income communities. Additionally, I organized Southeast Los Angeles residents to successfully shut down Exide Technologies in Vernon, CA, a battery recycling facility that was spewing tons of toxic lead into the air and poisoning thousands of residents in LA County. I have lead hundreds of toxic tours in Los Angeles, bringing awareness to the environmental injustices Los Angeles residents have endured for decades. In January of 2016, I joined the organizing team at Inner City Law Center in Down Town LA's Skid Row helping Los Angeles residents with habitability issues and battling slumlords. By improving tenants' habitability living conditions, I am helping improve quality of life for the most vulnerable populations of Los Angeles."
Dr. Anne DePrince, Chair, Department of Psychology, Director, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, University of Denver Dr. Anne DePrince is the Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the University of Denver, is Chair of the Department of Psychology, and is also the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award recipient for 2016. Dr. DePrince integrates community-engaged teaching into her courses focused on violence against women and children and research methods. She is a tireless advocate of engaged pedagogies, demonstrating the very best in campus and community collaborations.
Dr. Michele Haney, President, Red Rocks Community College Dr. Michele Haney is the 9th president of Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO. She has served at community colleges across Colorado for the past 24 years and is Chair of the Campus Compact of the Mountain West Board of Directors. Serving on numerous boards of directors and through several civic organizations, Dr. Haney is truly engaged in the community and has been widely recognized for her service to Colorado. Dr. Haney is a champion for civic and community engagement and we're excited to incorporate her inspirational vision and leadership into COS.
Maribel Hernandez, Newman Civic Fellow, University of La Verne "My parents instilled in me the importance of community through their own acts of generosity and service. I saw it exemplified in their lives and they helped me to develop it in mine. My parents, immigrants from Mexico, came here for a better life for their children. They introduced me to Neighborhood Youth Association, an organization that helps low-income students, like myself, to earn a college degree. I started off as a participant in third grade and in tenth grade I became a Youth Leader. Throughout my childhood, I was the one receiving service from my community. However, as I became a young adult I knew it was my turn to give. At the university I became involved in the Latino Student Forum as Director of Community Involvement. I am confident that my leadership and involvement with my community will continue to expand for the rest of my life."
Dr. Justin Krawitz, Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, University of Northern Colorado Dr. Justin Krawitz is a South African pianist and scholar and is Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Krawitz has performed all over the world and is known for his artistic collaborations that highlight new and little-known repertoire. As part of the Democracy 25 Project, Dr. Krawitz takes the 25th anniversary of the abolition of Apartheid as a starting point to extend the social functions of classical music, connecting disparate publics as part of a social justice movement. Look forward to an engaging keynote that incorporates live performance and discussion.
Cindy Kuo, Newman Civic Fellow, University of Utah "My parents are the descendants of poor, uneducated rice farmers who labored from dawn until dusk to provide meager food and shelter for their hungry family. Although they suffered through poverty as children in Taiwan, they dutifully studied in school and used their family's life savings to attend college, oceans away, in America. The stalwart dedication of my grandparents to pass on that dream to their children has spared my brothers and me the anguish of scarcity and reinforced the power of knowledge. My entire family's tenacity and selflessness to scrape what money they can for their children's education is a font of inspiration. Their willingness to freely give back has driven me to dedicate time to civic engagement. As I have discovered more aspects about myself through acts of service, I have also been captivated by the power of altruism, compassion, and unconditional understanding. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my college journey than holding a student leadership position that promotes active volunteerism around campus and in the community. The kindness that has been shown by others and my family emboldens me to share what I have in abundance to those around me."
Lilliana Toste, California State University, Fresno "Upon graduation, I was humbled and honored to be named the 2016 President's Medalist and University Volunteer of the Year. My undergraduate experience included opportunities such as restoring parks, building trails, feeding the hungry, assisting various community benefit organizations, comforting the sick, tutoring students, and serving abroad on an international service-learning trip to Fiji. These opportunities opened my eyes to the beauty and worth of others, my community, and my own strengths and passions. This is my fourth year working as a student leader at the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State alongside a team of driven students, coaching students through post-service reflection and advocating active service participation. I presented alongside fellow student leaders at the Continuums of Service Conferences in Hawaii and Southern California on the topics of how to share one’s service story and how our student-led groups function. At the National Campus Compact Conference in April 2016 in Boston, I participated in conversations around civic engagement on a national scale. It is empowering to see my university’s efforts combined with those of colleagues throughout the region and the nation, and to be heard as a student voice. I currently serve on the Service-Learning Subcommittee of the Academic Senate. I was also honored to be a member of the advisory committee which assisted in generating this conference. I am currently pursuing a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology."