As Fall Semester 2016 neared an end, Social Work Program adjunct faculty members Ruby Aguilar and Jacob Campbell enjoyed the results of an event months in the planning. Aguilar, a therapist with Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, and Campbell, a social worker with the Pasco School District, conceived the idea while planning together during the summer months for the Social Policy I class each would be teaching in the upcoming semester. They wanted to bring together the students from Aguilar's class at the main Toppenish campus and Campbell's class at the Columbia Basin College campus to share the presentations the students were developing on a variety of policy issues. Giving a group presentation to classmates in your own cohort can be a valuable experience, but Aguilar and Campbell understood that presenting to another class would improve the quality and meaning of the assignment.
They arranged for the Tri-Cities students to travel to the main campus one evening in November. About 40 students shared a potluck dinner and had the chance to meet colleagues from another cohort. The presentations covered a variety of topics including homelessness, mental health treatment, human trafficking, service animals and domestic violence. Their research identified social polcies that impact well-being, service delivery and access to services and applied critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. Heritage University is thankful for the adjunct faculty who bring their real-world experience and innovative ideas to the classroom every week.
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