4th Hour

For my photo story line, I was thinking of taking photos at the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’m going to the show with my family over spring break. I had the idea of taking candid photos of people with the flowers as well as posed photos and capture my slideshow “Stop and Smell the Roses.” Ideally, I would like my photos to show people stopping and enjoying life and the beautiful flowers that are presented at the flower show. I also would be taking pictures of just the flowers themselves. I don’t own a nice camera, so my photos will be taken through my iPhone. I plan to edit them in the Mac lab here on campus.

Amanda Walck: Albright College’s Most Dedicated Alumna

Albright professors, faculty, staff, and even the students in the senior class may remember Amanda Walck as a history and criminology student at Albright College. A student no more, Walck has traded in her textbooks for a cubicle on the third floor of the Camp building with a plaque sitting on her desk that readings, “Amanda Walck, Assistant Director of the Fund for Albright.

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Interview Highlights

On where she ideally saw herself after graduation

As a history and criminology major, Walck is out of her element. “I knew upon graduation that I wasn’t going to go to grad school right away and I knew that I wanted to stay at Albright,” states Walck. While a student at Albright, Walck had applied for several jobs within the college before graduating. Other than her love for the college, the other main factor of why she wanted to stay with the institution was because of its rich history.

A former student worker in the college archives, Walck was able to see first hand the history of the college and its alumni. “After my  two years in the archives I kinda felt like I was just digging in.”

Ultimately, Walck plans to go graduate school to earn her masters in library science and American history. “I want to be an archivist, whether that’s at Albright or somewhere else,” says Walck.

 

On transitioning from student to staff

“It was an interesting transition,” states Walck. Because Albright College is a liberal arts institution, the courses that are offered aim to prepare students for all employment opportunities. Walck felt that because of her liberal arts degree, she was prepared to take on the role of the Assistant Director of the Fund for Albright only a few short months after receiving her diploma. “I definitely feel as though my time at Albright as a student had really prepared me to go into a business and work environment.”

A graduate of the class of 2014, Walck mentions that it’s nice still being relevant to the students, since the current senior class were Albright’s newest students during Walck’s senior year.

Being a young alumna employed by the college allows her to connect with the current students. She also likes the fact that with her working at the college that she serves as an example to the current students that no matter what degree students may graduate with, the liberal arts education students receive from Albright prepares you for all opportunities.

 

On her role and impact on the college

 

As the Assistant Director, Walck works hand-in-hand with the Director of the Fund, Kathleen Sutton. On a daily basis, she oversees the Phoneathon program, students who are paid by the college to call alumni, parents, and friends of the college to gain monetary support for the school. She also works with the young alumni on giving, the Lion Diplomats, a student group on campus that promotes student understanding on philanthropy, and she runs the senior class gift, an initiative to get the current senior class to give back to their soon-to-be Alma Mater.

The development department, where Walck’s work is based out of, financially supports the college. “I really think the effect is just in the day-to-day stuff,” says Walck. “Sometimes I don’t notice the overreaching myself until we get towards the end of a fiscal year. Last year we are able to say that we raised two million dollars for the Fund for Albright.”

 

On the importance of giving back to Albright

One of the reasons students who attend Albright enjoy their experience is because they have been directly effected by the philanthropy of others. Another person has sacrificed and donated to the college so that students today are able to be here and pursue a higher education. “In my opinion, educating everyone on what goes on behind the scenes, what giving back has already done, should be inspiring enough for it to continue happen again,” says Walck.

 

On how she personally contributes to support Albright

Other than her paid position, Walck gives back to the college in several ways. “I give back with my time. Not only do I work here but I volunteer here,” states Walck. Alongside of her job obligations, Walck assists with reunion committees for homecoming, Greek life on campus, and helps her student employees with whatever she is able to help with. “I also support the college financially,” says Walck. “It’s not a lot, but somebody did it for me. I know that there were a lot of people over the years that gave in order for me to be able to have the education that I do have.”

 

Whether it is through her paid position, monetary donation, or volunteer work, Walck is a dedicated alumna of Albright College. Her passion for the institution is shown everywhere she goes on campus through her work to enhance the college for its current and future students.

Fourth Hour Assignment

In my opinion, a clear focus on what you’re aiming to capture makes a photograph successful. If the photographer has a vision of what it is they are trying to capture, then I believe that the photographer will do what it takes to make their vision a reality. Other aspects that go into photography are lighting, setting, and camera quality. Obviously you’re not going to get professional quality from an old flip phone camera.

I personally have no professional experience with photography. I have been captured by friends who are interested in photography, and by professionals for my yearly dance shots done by dance studios. The most experience I have behind the camera is behind my iPhone 6, which takes decent pictures, but nothing too professional. I would really like to learn about the editing process and what kinds of softwares photographers use to edit their pictures.

A photograph I admire is one that my friend actually took on her iPhone when we went pumpkin picking. I like how it captures the pumpkins and captures perfectly the bright colors of the pumpkins.

Image

Profile Topic

For my profile, I have selected two women who I am close with on Albright’s campus. I wanted to know what you think would be the better option for this next assignment.

Option 1: Amanda Walck (I know you have already read a lot about her from my other assignment in 315).

Amanda Walck ’14 is the Assistant Director of the Fund for Albright. She has worked and planned both 24 Hour Challenges and oversees the phoneathon program here on campus. She is also the advisor for Greek Life on campus and balances her time working out of the camp building and Greek Office. Amanda ran formal recruitment for the sororities on campus that involved months of planning and preparation. I think she would be a great person to do a profile on since she plays two big roles on campus and was a recent graduate of the college. She can discuss the importance of fundraising for Albright, since she is responsible for fundraising for this college.

Option 2: Shelia Simyak, an Early Childhood Education Professor

Professor Simyak is a former teacher and building principle preparing students to go out into the classroom and teach, or as she likes to refer to it as, “saving lives.” Wise beyond her years, professor Simyak is one of the few professors on campus who work directly with students both in Albright’s classrooms as well as during practicum and student teaching. I think she would also be a great person to do a profile on since she has a lot of experience working as an educator and principle. I also think it would be interesting to gather her thoughts and opinions of the discontinuation of the early childhood education program here at Albright. This profile could also go hand in hand with my DeVos articles. She can comment on the importance of public schools and what kind of teachers are needed in today’s society.

DeVos’ confirmation as secretary of education hits home

On Feb. 7, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie by voting in favor of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education. DeVos, a billionaire with no personal experience with public schools and a strong advocate for voucher programs and charter schools, has been confirmed to be responsible for the education of our nation’s youth.

Public schools: what happens now?

The confirmation of DeVos have left those who support public schools, send their children to public schools, and work in public school districts are concerned for what’s to come now that DeVos has the power.

Some of those people who are frightened attend and work at Albright College.

Emma Morrill, a junior Early Childhood Education major is worried about her future.

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Emma Morrill, junior at Albright College

“I planned to teach in a public school after graduation,” Morrill states. “Any public school will be even more underfunded after she takes over. Any parent should be opposing this decision. All DeVos cares about is profit and benefits for the richest in society. Low income students and families are not a priority.”

Kayla Sargent, also a junior studying Early Childhood Education, is concerned about what will happen to her after graduation now that DeVos is in our schools.

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Kayla Sargent, junior at Albright College

“I am directly affected by this election. I go to a school that is nearly $50,000 to get a teaching certificate in hopes of being a Pre-K to 4th grade classroom teacher in a public school,” comments Sargent. “I am very, very afraid for what the future of education holds with DeVos in office. She wants to bring guns to our schools, and doesn’t seem to care much for children with disabilities. This is also a woman who believes teachers make too much money, when in reality, they make next to nothing. One year of my college tuition is more than what my yearly salary will be.”

Not only are current education students who are getting ready to begin their careers afraid for what’s to come, parents are afraid too.

Dr. Katherine Lehman, a professor at Albright College and parent of children in public schools, expresses her concern for the education of her children.

“As a parent I’m really concerned,” states Lehman. “My children are in Muhlenberg school district which has large class sizes already, the struggles you see in many suburban or urban schools. And so the question is will the same supports be in place that we have taken for granted? I know that many of my friends who have children with disabilities or special needs certainly are concerned that those aren’t going to be supported.”

Qualifications? All that matters are deep pockets and conservative beliefs.

DeVos not only has no personal experience with public school, she also has no personal experience with financial aid and the process of applying for it. The only thing she does have experience with is supporting the Republican Party by donating millions of dollars, thus guaranteeing her the position as Secretary of Education.

Devos was quoted, as stated in the Huffington Post, that “she wanted to confront the education culture ‘in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom.'” Her husband. Dick DeVos, also stated that it’s “certainly our hope that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education.'”

Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? Did all the rules go out the window when an unqualified billionaire was sworn in to be responsible of the education of our nation’s youth?

Her actions: exposed.

The Washington Post published an article in early December about what DeVos did to education in her home state, Michigan as a precaution to the nation about what she may do if confirmed as the Secretary of Education.

No one listened.

Detroit, the nation’s largest urban network of charter schools, offers parents plenty of choices of where they would like to send their children to school. The only high school left in Brightmoor is the charter school, Detroit Community School. This high school has terrible test scores and a superintendent who earned $130,000 a year without educational experience or credentials.

On the west side of the state, Hope Academy, yet another charter school, has been around for 20 years. In those 20 years, the school’s test scores have been among the lowest in the date throughout its operation. According to the article, in 2010, it ranked in the first percentile, the bottom for academic performance. Despite the astronomically low test scores, the charter was renewed.

Schools of choice are schools that open their doors to children who live outside of the district boundaries. This can be helpful to some, but in Detroit, it’s counteractive since the children who depend on public transit are too far away from the state’s top performing school districts.

Those districts don’t even participate in the the schools of choice program.

 [Schools of Choice were] created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome. And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to cause the school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.

Now that she has been sworn in as the Secretary of Education, are public schools going to be her “schools of choice” to focus on?

Voucher programs: the loophole.

The LA Times  published an article on February 9th, 2017 stating that if you care about public education, you should now be worried since it lies in the hands of DeVos.

DeVos is a big advocate of voucher schools. But what are voucher schools? Voucher schools are private schools that have applied for state-funded programs that pay for the tuition for either some or all of it’s student body.

Although voucher schools receive federal funding, they still don’t have to follow the regular guidelines that public schools have to follow, since they are still defined as “private.”

“Voucher schools operate by separate rules, with minimal public oversight or transparency,” the article states. “They can sidestep basic constitutional protection such as freedom of speech, and do not have to provide the same level of second-language or special-education services.”

Voucher schools also have the ability to suspend or expel students without legal due processes, and can completely disregard state law prohibiting discrimination against students based on sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or marital or parental status.

More or less, voucher schools are the loophole is allowing private school to receive federal funding while giving them the access to basically do as they please with curriculum and religious beliefs.

Time will tell what DeVos will do now that she oversees the education of this country. If her being confirmed as the Secretary of Education and the election of our new President tells our country anything, its that money may not be able to buy you love, but it sure can buy you power.

 

Localized Blog

For my localized blog post, I plan to localize my previous blog post about Betsy DeVos. Now that she has been sworn in as Secretary of Education, I plan to interview current education students on their opinions and what this means to them. I also plan to ask (I’m not sure if any will share their political opinions on this,) current education professors how they feel about the new secretary of education and how they think she will change education as a whole.