NACURH Winner
Month: April 2019

NACURH, INC.

Educational Program of the Month
Fish and Friends

School: University of California Los Angeles Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Dayanna Ramirez Nominator: Anthony Mercado

Target Population: 500 Time Needed to Organize: (1) month
Number of People in Attendance: 30 Date(s) of Program: April 6, 2019
Number of People Needed to Organize: 4 Cost of Program: $400
On-Campus Population: 13013 Chapter Size: 57

Origin of Program:

The initiative to construct the event of Fish and Friends commenced upon the collaborative voice of residents wanting to get to know more about his or her faculty-in-residence. Thereafter, Tara Prescott, the FIR from Canyon Point, blissfully agreed to share her outside life events with the UCLA resident community. Primarily, being a UCLA Writing Lecturer, she also unveiled that she was a Volunteer Exhibit Diver at the Aquarium of the Pacific in her recreational time. In conjunction, she related it with the discourse within her TEDxUCLA talk, navigating that it was perfectly fine to explore different items in life, that do not always have to relate to your major at-hand. By pursuing her Scuba-Diving Certification, it enabled her to promote the elasticity of goals that can be pursued, outside of one's major. Hence, by inviting residents to attend her Dive shows at the aquarium, it would inspire peers to pursue extracurriculars that would not constrain them, but actually blossom the possibilities she or he could potentially pursue. In essence, the program was held in respect to the theme of Educational Freedom, and the various pursuits each and every person can undertake.

Word Count: 191


Please give a short description of the program:

A multitude of residents were given the opportunity of travelling to the Aquarium of the Pacific, in order to view Canyon Point's Faculty-in- Residence, promote the liberty of educational pursuits. Intially, once arriving to the aquarium, students were given the freedom to indulge upon the marine conservation and exhibits placed throughout the building. On the educational level, students were able to view initiatives taken up to help cuiltivate coral reefs, feasible manners to assist in water conservation, and even the deconstruction of misbeliefs on the dangers of tiger and black-tip reef sharks. Simply by navigating the aquarium, peers were able to learn, in abundance, about numerous practices and current events played out in the world all around them. Afterwards, throughout their adventures, they would all be able to congregate around the dive stadium, and hear their very own UCLA FIR speak on the issues disseminating through the coastal area. For example, she illustrated that some of the coral displayed behind her were ficticious, as conservation efforts for it took priority towards rebuilding its poulation. It played into the concept of our role's to help reduce the widespread impacts of sewage pollution, and introspective moments to consiously recognize our own practices. Consequently, on the macro level, she took the opportunity to also explore the dichotomy between the practices of her occupation and outside extracurricualrs. Prescott divulged that even though she was a lecturer at a prestigious university, she did not allow that to constrain her lifestyle, and outside experiences she could pursue. It's okay to major in anything, and with that, exploring other interests outside of one's bubble in life. Henceforth, she illuminated upon receiving her Scuba-Diving Certification throughout her undergraduate career, and the joy she received after taking a leap outside of her field of concentration. Her words served as motivation towards giving students access to the liberty and choice of utilizing his or her own education towards all portions of life. Moreover, after the diving exhibit, she personally gave all the residents a Behind-the-Scene look to the intracacies of the Aquartium. It gave her the chance to talk personally to the group as a whole, and further emphasize the unnecessary constraints we place on ourselves. That is, students were given the encouragement to pursue outside activities, they once would have thought were outrageous, just as Prescott took her own leap towards becoming a Volunteer Exhibit Diver.

Word Count: 396


Goals of the program:

The program served the purpose of a dual intitiative to introduce residents to marine conservation efforts at play, and also the liberation to pursue any outside activity they wish. Moreover, by way of the Aquarium, it allowed peers to wander throughout the enxhibits and become consious in his or her own practices towards mitigating waste pollution. As well, it pushed the goal of becoming more familar with the wildlife around them, deconstructing misbeliefs on typically dramatized animals, such as sea-jellies and tiger sharks. In conjunction, while learning about marine life, the FIR also utilized the scenario to display her own life practices. By having the attention of all the students, she was able to display the freedom we have in our educational pursuits, by way of her own lifestyle. Simply by showing students that she was a UCLA Writing Lecturer, who was a part-time scuba diver, it motivated peers to consider unorthodox choices he or she may have never even considered beforehand. It gave them the opportunity to expand their educational horizons, and learn from faculty who had already implemented it within her own life.

Word Count: 185


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

In the educational portion of Fish and Friends, students learned a myriad of conservation practices he or she could implement within their own life. That is, orchestrated within the middle of the aquarium depicted models of how rainfall and sprinkler types negatively impacted the environment. Hence, it promoted advocacy towards the systems in play within a peer's own home, city, and state, which he or she could directly influence. As well, through Prescott's discourse, she unveiled that if each person in the room simply took the intiative to divide their trash more coordinately to compost, recycle, or trash, it would dramatically reduce sewage pollution. Thereby, each person in the room would take a step foward towards bringing the coral population from the brink of extinction. Finally, being able to observe Prescott as an Education Diver, outside of normally being a UCLA lecturer, took away negative sterotypes that would have held students back from pursuing activities outside of their major. Therefore, it served as the positive first step towards normalizing the concept of student educational liberty and the joyous benefits expanding in life can bring.

Word Count: 184


Short evaluation of the program:

As a participant in this extraordinary event, I was very ecstatic at the initial notion of being able to go to an aquarium, as a student of low socio- economic background. However, Prescott, Dayanna, and the coordinators were able to further impact the lives of students with all of the auxillary portions within the event. Being able to visit each of the exhibits gave way to marine familairity, allowing one to take interest in a marine course within their instution. Having the dive show, introduced the current marine conservation affairs playing out this very day. The Behind-the-Scenes, personalized the students' experiences and aggregated the memories they would take away from it. Also, having an actual UCLA Faculty member made the notions of interactions between students and faculty more feasible and practical. Alternatively, the event could have made a proposition for more funds, in order to allow more students the opportunity of getting to experience these positive impacts. As well, extending the time offered at the Aquarium would have allowed for greater portions of time for students to fully comprehend the exhibits and stories they were portraying.

Word Count: 185


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Essentially, navigating the undergraduate journey and conversing with faculty can be a difficult experience. Giving the faculty the opportunity to share their outside lives would potentially bring up the chance for students to not only have one-on-one interactions with them, but also insight into possibilities after university. By constructing a faculty member's outside interest into a community event, it will enable personal interactions to be constructed, while also telling a genuine story. For example, for areas not on the coast, an event could hold a Mathematics professor discussing about his or her experiences as a volunteer City Hall representative. This would allow for the chance to introduce students to the life of politics, while also having a personal conversation with the faculty at hand. Therefore, it simply revolves around giving a voice to faculty in regards to an important issue, while allowing them to share parts of their personal lives with students. Through this collaboration, students would be less frightened to talk to professors in their own courses, and also learn more in-depth about important current issues.

Word Count: 177



Date of entry into database: 2019-05-04 18:59:55

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