Archives—October 2016

Filling the Pool…

By Lorelle Meadows, Dean Pavlis Honors College

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to find time to read a book that was recommended to me by a PHC student. It’s called Crucial Conversations. It’s about developing the skills for engaging in the day-to-day conversations that affect your life. But not just any conversation – crucial ones: the kind when opinions vary, the stakes are high and emotions run strong. Yikes!! Sounds like something we like to avoid!

Crucial Conversations

One of the first things the authors mention is the importance of the free flow of relevant information – the open and honest sharing of perspectives and ideas – because only then will the best decisions be made and only then will everybody buy in to and respect the decisions. The authors call this filling the pool of shared meaning. I like this analogy and the image that it takes all of us to fill this pool. It also fills much quicker if we are all pouring in our thoughts and ideas.

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When people have a chance to share their ideas – no matter how controversial they might appear at first glance, no matter how challenging to others beliefs – people feel valued and engage in making meaning together – in understanding. Even though not everybody is guaranteed to be completely happy with whatever decision is made, the deeper the pool, the better the choice and the stronger the belief in the decision and the understanding of why the decision was made.

What I hope to always remember as I continue to meet and work with others, is that in that instant when I feel challenged or faced with controversy, and my heart begins to race and I start to think about running or hiding, that I am engaging in the beginning of filling that glorious pool of shared meaning. And, soon, that pool will be overflowing with unique perspectives, amazing ideas and all I have to do is dive in!!


Cultural Vistas Opportunities

cultural vistas
Photo from Cultural Vistas.

Application season for the Cultural Vistas’ fellowship programs is now open. Several fully-funded programs for various students and professionals are available.

Sophomores and juniors who have not participated in a formal work or study abroad program, may want to consider the Cultural Vistas Fellowship. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates (18-24 years old) in all fields, who wish to live, study, and intern in Germany. The Alfa Fellowship Program to Russia and the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program are great for early- to mid-career professionals, who wish to gain high-level experience abroad.

These fellowships are international initiatives that offer accomplished Americans the opportunity to complete fully-financed professional development. For details, please refer to the eligibility requirements outlined on each program’s website.


Meet Kemin Fena…

Fena
Photo courtesy of Rachel Connors

 

One of Kemin Fena’s favorite books is By Amy Karagiannakis

The Quiltmaker’s Gift, written by Jeff Brumbeau and illustrated by Gail de Marcken. For those of you not familiar with this classic children’s book, it is the story of an old woman who makes elaborate, beautiful quilts, only to give them to the poorest people in the village. The greedy King, who required the people of the village to bring him their most valuable possessions, heard of the little old woman’s quilts and demanded that she make one for him. The old woman told the King that she would only make him a quilt once he had given away all of his possessions and became poor himself. The King found that as he gave away his possessions one by one, he became happier. When he had finally given everything he owned away, the old woman presented him with a quilt that was more beautiful than any quilt she had ever made. The King remarked, “I may look poor, but in truth my heart is full to bursting, filled with memories of all the happiness I’ve given and received. I’m the richest man I know.” This lovely story demonstrates how fulfilling and rewarding service work can be, something Kemin has experienced first-hand.king

Kemin is passionate about community service. Her pathway to service didn’t start with the Pavlis Honors College though. In 2014, she spent her summer in Lima, Peru volunteering at El Hospital del Nino with a non-profit organization called Aprendo Contigo. After nine weeks, Kemin realized that helping others was something she wanted to dedicate her life to. She applied to the Custom Pathway Community in the Pavlis Honors College in 2015 with a chosen focus on the service pathway.

Kemin is a Biomedical Engineering major set to graduate next Fall. While at Michigan Tech, she was an Orientation Team Leader and participated in Leadershape. Kemin has volunteered at the UP Health Center and Portage Pointe Nursing and Custodial Care Center. She also volunteered in a research lab under the direction of Michigan Tech’s Dr. Feng Zhao. In addition to all of these volunteering commitments, Kemin made time to visit Frank Pavlis at his home in Allentown, PA to do an oral history on his life. She created a masterfully edited video, that tells the story of a young man who was born to a modest farming family who grew to be one of Michigan Tech’s most successful graduates. This video will be shown for the first time later this month during the Pavlis Honors College External Advisory Board visit, and then publicly released shortly after.

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Kemin Fena continues to impress the faculty and staff at the Pavlis Honors College with her continued dedication to service and her community. Thank you Kemin for all you do! To learn more about Kemin, visit her Seelio profile @ seelio.com/kxfena.

Check out the Custom Pathway Experiential Learning Community and click on Service to find out how you can get involved!