Skepticism not denial
Director of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus Jim Steele and his book, Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism, were the subject of an Oct. 15 San Jose Mercury News article. "My hope is my book will separate the politics (of) climate change from legitimate environmental science and promote more respectful debate instead of dismissing justified skepticism as denial," Steele said. "Good conservation science has helped the recovery of gray whales, bald eagles, walruses and polar bears. The scare tactics used by climate alarmists are misdirecting our conservation efforts and causing a backlash against environmentalists. I hope the book demonstrates what good environmental stewardship really entails."
Criminal Justice Lecturer Michael Santos, who earned two degrees and published seven books while incarcerated, was profiled in an Oct. 18 NBC Bay Area report. Since his release he has lectured internationally about the U.S. prison system. "I've been giving them a perspective that differs from the classes that they took earlier and I'm thrilled to have this privilege. It's truly an amazing feeling, because academia played such an enormous influence on my life during the 26 years that I served," Santos said. "My hope is to play a role in dismantling the practice of mass incarceration, which I consider a disgrace to our country and the greatest social injustice of our time."
Associate Professor of History Dawn Mabalon was interviewed about the important influence Filipino-Americans had on California history for an Oct. 20 Sacramento Bee article. Filipinos "built the Central Valley with their bare hands in asparagus, tomatoes, celery, peaches, tomatoes and grapes. Filipino and Mexican immigrants and their families turned California into the seventh-largest economy in the world," Mabalon said. "Little Manila’s larger legacy is that the UFW (United Farm Workers) was able to move people to take seriously the plight of farmworkers and to care about their working conditions and wages. The tragedy is that most people think the UFW made everything better in the fields while work is still done in absolutely brutal conditions with poor wages."
Associate Professor of Latino/Latina Studies and Director of the Cesar Chavez Institute Belinda Reyes discussed issues facing California’s Latino population for NPR's Latino USA that aired Oct. 19 on WHYY. "More institutions of higher ed are recognizing that most of the students that are coming through the pipeline are Latinos and more and more institutions are becoming Hispanic-serving… resistance is still there, but it is a work in progress," Reyes said. "The view of the student as deficient is an issue that we keep talking about on campuses and in schools; how you need to move institutions away from thinking the problem is the student to actually 'maybe I'm not teaching them right and I need to change my pedagogical tools and the way I go in the classroom, because it's not meeting the needs of this new, growing majority.' So, those conversations are taking place, but it's still not the majority of voices at the table."
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