Sixth annual Global Citizenship symposium stirs discussions on campus relations

Seven students, stood in front of a classroom of their peers and members of Santa Monica College's Global Citizenship council, as a conversation stirred around the room during the sixth annual Global Citizenship symposium on Friday.

Professor Gordon Dossett asked participants what could be done to help build global citizenship on campus.

"Walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself, that’s it," said Damian Tarelle Butts, who would win third place in poetry at the Global Citizenship symposium.

Daria Fomchenkova, who would win second place for her ESL essay on the challenges of immigration within Ukraine, said that international students often have a problem feeling welcome.

"International students feel hesitated," she said. "We feel like we don’t know everything about American culture."

She and fellow second place winner, in poetry, Najla Butts, befriended each other when a professor had the class split into groups in the fall. They both did not realize the other was in the symposium until they compared schedules to find out they were both busy for the same reason.

"Instead of going with the norm and what’s comfortable for you, choose someone else," said Butts to the room. "Choose someone that you maybe usually wouldn’t speak to, or that maybe doesn’t even know your language, or that you know may be new to the country. That’s what I did, and that’s how I established a friendship with Daria."

Students were reached through announcements from Corsair Connect, the school website, and professors in class to show off their work that related to Global Citizenship, particularly this year's theme of Peace & Security.

According to the council chair Eric Minzenberg, most, if not all, of the projects that were turned in were modified and polished class projects which the students were encouraged to enter by their professors. Some projects, such as research posters from STEM students, were worked on by groups of students. Minzenberg even pointed to a previous year's entry in which a group of students made a short film in an indigenous Honduran language, Garifuna.

The Global Citizenship initiative aims to brings the campus together to discuss global issues ranging from peace, race, religion, food, poverty, and race. Minzenberg says that the council wishes to see students lead the discussion on these issues and more.

"They are an integral part of this campus, national and international students," he said. "This college would not be the college that it is without all the different races, ethnicity, genders, etcetera that we have here."

Fomchenkova added to her essay a few words of the importance of the date to her. The symposium was held on the 70th anniversary of World War II, in which her parents joined the allied forces under Ukraine and Russia to fight the Nazi regime.

"Unfortunately 70 years later, my native country is in a state of undeclared war against her closest brother nation and ally Russia. It is an ongoing conflict, just like other conflicts in hot spots on the globe that are happening right now as we speak," she said. "We as global citizens must be aware of these violations of human rights and freedom and cannot be ignorant. Thank you for attention."

The SMC Foundation provided the Global Citizenship with $3,000 to award the students who were chosen as winners. Out of 50 entries, 19 were chosen, with 37 winners in all receiving varying amounts of money that they were presented with at the symposium. The largest sum given was to the winner of the President's award, given to the entry which SMC president Chui L. Tsang, along with the council, felt exemplified the year's global citizenship theme.

The winner was film student Raphael Rosalen who made a short film in which he and other participants throw paint at one another. "The world is a blank canvas," said Rosalen to the room after presenting his piece."In the video the colors mixed to create a diverse painting, giving the idea of layers of community."


Rosalen found the ad on Corsair Connect and entered there. "I feel like a lot of people in the college don’t even know about this or kind of don’t care," said Rosalen.

Council committee member Nancy Grass Hemmert acknowledged the outreach problem had by all campus entities. "We've asked [the Associated Students] in the past to join us and be a cosponsor which would be a really helpful way to get the word out," said Grass Hemmert, noting that the asking usually takes place when the new A.S. board is just starting its term. "We could use the help of more faculty announcing it in their classes, because students do tend to listen to faculty."

Grass Hemmert also emphasized the importance the symposium places on research. ”We wanted to encourage students to get their research minds on so that when they transfer, they’re really research ready,” said Grass Hemmert. "For art you might explore a topic or idea and the product of your art is the result of your research, so research can take many many many different forms."

Global Citizenship Symposium winners

President's Award Raphael Rosalen Be Color

First Place - ESL Essay Dongwoo Shin Dark Side Behind the Korean Dream

First Place - Poetry Raven Kras Letter to Eleanor

First Place - Research Jane Miyamura On Becoming a Global Citizen: One Simosa at a Time

Second Place - Poster Ruby Resendiz, Anya Gumberg, Maria Cabrera Abad, Dimitry Larkin, Henry Conde, Aurelia Rhymer, Mariyam Jivani, Ethan de Cohen Investigation of the GAPDH Gene Family in Diverse Angiosperms

Second Place - Poster Joash Sigamoney, Alejandro Montoya, Manuel Larach, Sarah Sanchez Shores, Jaime Jaime, Monica Campos, Xuyi Long, Francisco Enriquez, Franklin Cortez Ultrasound Assisted Extraction and Quantification of Carotenoids from Sweet Yam

Second Place - Research LeAnn Bogart A Taste of Peace and Security

Second Place - ESL Essay Daria Fomchenkova Two Challenges of Immigration that Confront Ukraine

Second Place - ESL Essay Xueying Zhang Immigration Challenges in China

Second Place - Speech Sebastian Paulino The Real Issue with Climate Change

Second Place - Poetry Najla Butts We Have a Voice

Third Place - Art Jane Miramuya Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Third Place - Photo Xiaojun Zhu, Zac Frappier, Xujia Chen, Siqi Zhang, Jameel Askari Earnest Malaysia Missing Flight

Third Place - Poetry Damian Tarelle Butts Secure the Peace

Third Place - Poetry Maritza Estrada Word to the Wise

Honorable Mention - Poster Leslie Szabo Coral Bleaching: Fighting for Future Peace & Security of Global Ecosystems through Science and Bioremediation

Honorable Mention - Essay Alex Sonnenschein A Brief Ethnography of Yoga

Honorable Mention- Essay Leonardo Cerutti Global Citizen Journal