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Sylvania Campus leaders honored with accolades
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION TAPS JEANNIE LAFRANCE – At its annual benefit this year, the Oregon Education Association, the state’s largest public school employee organization, honored Jeannie LaFrance with the Ed Elliot Human Rights Award, for making a sustained contribution to human and civil rights in Oregon.
LaFrance is the coordinator and co-founder of Portland Community College’s Illumination Project, an innovative student leadership and education program designed to foster a climate of equality, compassion, justice, and respect for all people in the college’s academic community and the community-at-large.
Using peer education and interactive social justice theater, the Illumination Project engages student educators/actors and audience members so that they join together to rehearse ways of solving problems – such as racism, immigration and cultural pluralism, among others. In performances audience members enter a scene and dynamically change its outcome. In this way, the Illumination Project challenges the viewpoints of both the audience and the student educators/actors in a performance.
Additionally, LaFrance is the director for Act for Action, which teaches people how to use the performing arts to build communities, educate and create positive social change.
During the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the National Education Association and the American Teachers Association merged to promote inclusion of all students in public education. Ed Elliot, as a staff member of the Oregon Education Association, advocated for this effort within the Oregon public education system. The Ed Elliot Human Rights Award is awarded to an individual who has made a sustained contribution to human and civil rights in Oregon. The award recognizes contributions and leadership that advocates for social justice to promote quality of access, representation, and opportunity for all.
KAREN PAEZ ELECTED TO OREGON PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Karen Paez, chair of the Sylvania Campus counseling department, has been elected to serve on the board of directors for the Oregon Psychological Association (www.opa.org). Her term began on July 1, and Paez is one of eight directors at large on the board.
The association is a not-for-profit, statewide professional organization made up of Oregon psychologists who advocate on a variety of local, state and national legislation and issues that affect the profession. In addition to promoting psychology, the OPA:
- Organizes continuing education workshops, town halls across the state, and an annual conference to meet the continuing education needs of the membership;
- Publishes the newsletter, Oregon Psychologist Bulletin, to update members on opportunities, events and issues affecting psychologists;
- Creates opportunities for professional and peer interaction and networking;
- Protects consumers and educates members through ethics; and
- Offers a listing of psychologists as a resource for consumers.
Rounding out the rest of the OPA board is the organization’s president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer, immediate past-president, American Psychological Association representative, chapter affiliate representatives, seven additional directors at large, and one student representative.
Paez received her doctorate in 2006 from the University of Oregon’s counseling psychology program, having pursued a specialization working with college students in her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency at the University of California, Davis.
TERI MILLS, SYLVANIA NURSING INSTRUCTOR, NOMINATED FOR REGIONAL AWARD – Teri Mills, a nursing instructor at the Sylvania Campus since 1979, is a finalist in the 2012 Nurse.com/NurseWeek Nursing Excellence Awards, in the category of “Advancing & Leading the Profession.”
As a finalist, she was featured in NurseWeek magazine this summer and on the organization’s Web site (http://www.nurse.com/galleries/public/index.html?galleryID=716002). Additionally, Mills has been invited to attend the organization’s Nursing Excellence Awards gala in Chandler, Ariz., on Aug. 10. At the awards ceremony that night, Mills will learn if she has been chosen as the winner of her category; if so, she will become a finalist at the national level.
Mills counts teaching more than 3,000 RNs as one of her greatest accomplishments over her 35 years of as a nurse educator. Other academic roles she has played in her tenure at PCC include serving as part of the development team from 2010 to 2012, to transform the college’s nursing department into a member of the Oregon Consortium of Nurse Educators (OCNE); as the faculty liaison to the PCC chapter of the National Student Nurses Association for several years, helping to build student leaders to better serve the community; and as the PCC second-year student coordinator, from 2003 to 2007.
In 2005 Mills authored and published an op/ed, “America’s Nurse,” that ran in the New York Times. This piece called for a National Nurse to create a new standard for a more accurate and realistic recognition of nursing’s importance to health and health care in the United States. Her op/ed was introduced into Congressional Record and shortly thereafter, Mills founded the National Nursing Network Organization (http://www.nationalnurse.org/). As its president, she currently leads a board of seven members and an advocacy team comprised of 36 prominent nurses and stakeholders.
The National Nurse Web site is frequently listed on recommended lists of Web sites, including the Top 20 Medical Blogs for Academic Reference. Mills is widely respected and looked upon by others as a transformational leader; as such, she was recognized in 2010 as one of the nation’s 20 most influential leaders in nursing by Web Nurse.