2013 Conference Program

February 7 & 8, 2013

Marriott Hotel – El Paso



For the next two days, Doña Ana Community College and El Paso Community College are co-sponsoring the 13th Border Learning Conference.

This is a continuing, dynamic program of presentations of teaching practices and issues, round tables and forums.

Educators who demand that education is about learning will discover opportunities abound when joining colleagues at the 2013 Border Learning Conference.

2013 BLC Steering Committee

Fred Bunn

Lisa Elliott

Martha Garcia

Fred Huff

Bryan Koller

Peter Maas

Susan Selk

Joaquin Tadeo

Olga Thurman

Grace Vaughn

Paul Vonnahme

Breakouts at a Glance

Thursday Salon A-B Salon C-D Salon G-H Salon I-J Mockingbird
10:30 – 11:30  Pineda: Roundtable Hajjar: Border Health Issues facing El Paso Becker-Conklin; Become a Rock Star Brauer (Pearson) Career Readiness Skill in reading Sheriff Wiles: Border Community Security
11:30-12:50 Lunch
1:00 – 1:50 Sanchez: Roundtable Tarango, et al: Student Technology Services Gomez: Media Filters Chappell, et al:Student Success Sheriff Wiles: Border Community Security
2:00 – 2:50 Harrington(Cengage)Making Student Success Research Come alive Mitchell, et al:The Living Lab-Lifestyle Change Becker: Secure you home wireless network Lusk, et al: Teaching Clinical Social Work in Spanish Ortega-Eckhart: Identity Theft in Border Community
3:00 – 3:50 Moreno: Critical Race Theory in Dev. Ed Ansari, et al: Results of STEM Project Elliott: Opting out the changing role of Privacy in the digital age Montelongo, et alGlobal Learning Communities Plummer: transition of Military into Civilian Life
Friday Salon A-B Salon C-D Salon G-H Salon I-J Mockingbird
9:00-9:50 McNiel-Miller:Getting Student to Step Up Falvo-Chaides:Skills-training for VSRT Wheaton: Cultivating Digital & Media Literacies Salas- Ramos: Clickers in the classroom Truax: Assisting Homeless
10:00 – 10:50 Wehmhoner:Make your dreams come true Dhillon: Understanding of Engineering & Science Student Retention Ramos-Mejia: Meet the Ladybug Rudnick:Google Drive/Google Docs Ortega: Identity theft on the border
11:00 – 11:50 Bell: Against the Odds: an exam of educational challenges Pagel, et al: Bridging the Reading Gap Hernandez: working w/you is killing me Becker: Secure you home wireless network  Open –
12:00 Lunch/award Ceremony




NOTE: Sessions were numbered by when received, not by presentation day or time


Working with You is Killing Me Alex Hernandez
The workplace is a volatile environment where people sometimes rub each other the wrong way.  Although it is usually unintentional, erratic, or emotional behavior can invade a person’s workplace and rattle their nerves.  Learning how to identify and handle any work relationship that holds you back is the purpose of this workshop.Alex Hernandez  is the Director of Human Resource Development at the El Paso Community College.   He has Master of Arts in Organizational Management from The University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from UTEP. Mr. Hernandez has a National Accreditation in Human Resources, SPHR, is a certified Covey Leadership Facilitator and a certified Insight Learning Personality Assessment Facilitator.


Round Table Discussion Claudio Sanchez
Open for discussion.


Understanding of Engineering and Science Students Retention at the Undergraduate Level Dr. Tarlochan Dhillon
This presentation deals with the survey analysis why students choose to study engineering, and also discussion on any correlations between the reasons that the students choose engineering and their retention after one year in college will be done. Also, if instructional methods used to teach introductory engineering courses make any difference. Results show that active and cooperative learning methods facilitate both learning and a variety of interpersonal and thinking skills. These methods may initially provoke student resistance; the resistance can be overcome if the methods are implemented with care.Dr. Dhillon holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He has served for about 39 years at various levels in education in Asia, Africa, Europe and USA, and has published numerous papers on semiconductor devices, nanotechnology, electroluminescence devices at the national and international level. Further, he is the recipient of about ten million dollars research grants from various organizations including NSF.


Result of S-STEM Project with International Boundary and Commission Dr. Fariba Ansari, Edith Aguirre,
Dr. Naomi Waissman
The Rio Grande is the life line for cities, agriculture, and wildlife, water quality being a key factor in determining its general environmental state.  S-STEM students participated in Rio Grande related projects, including S-STEM scholars (Dr. Fariba Ansari, Ms. Edith Aguirre, and Dr. Naomi Waissman), using Statistics and a knowledge of biology to analyze the raw data from the Rio Grande.  Students developed statistical descriptions of nutrients in river water, performed cleanups, or hosted a Rio Grande Science Café.  Students will present data on nutrient levels from selected river segments and discuss their experiences with the Adopt-a-River Program. The Result will be submitted to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ ) for annual report and publication.


Media Filters: Assumptions and Biases Jorge Gomez
My presentation will look at how educators can teach students about how the media disseminates information. Especially, the presentation will show two examples of media bias, one by simple choice of words, the other by choice of coverage. Further, I will show a webpage that showcases newspaper coverage of a single story, in order to show how students can be taught about how headlines can affect reader perceptions of a news story. Finally, I will show a website that details media ownership by a handful of corporations to show how students can be made aware of who ultimately controls what gets covered, how it gets reported, and how new media dissemination of news is a double edged sword for today’s youth who read newspapers online instead of print.


The Impact of High Fidelity Simulation
on Nursing Student Education
Paula Gail Meagher
Based on a literature review, I will present on the effects that High Fidelity Patient Simulation has had on Nursing Students in the area of Self-Confidence, Competence, Skill Acquisition, and Transferability into the Acute Care Setting.



Become a “Rock Star Teacher”
with the use of Apps
Richard Becker
Michelle Conklin
Join us for an overview of practical Apps instructors can use to streamline their workflow and bring their teaching into the 21st century.  From iClickers and grade books to attendance and presentations, these Apps will “rock” your students and save you precious time, all from the comfort of your iDevice.


Securing Your Home’s Wireless Network or Stop Sharing Your Internet Connection with the Folks Down the Street Richard Becker
Is your home’s wireless network secure?  Are you thinking of creating a wireless network for your family? Are your neighbors using your wireless network to surf the net at your expense? This workshop will provide you with the needed information, in a practical manner, to secure your wireless network at


Making Student Success Research
Come Alive  In Your Classroom
Christine Harrington
Do you have trouble finding active learning strategies that will help your college students become successful learners? Is it difficult to find appropriate research to support student success? This informative, interactive presentation will review several research studies on student success and provide activities and strategies that support college success for students. This engaging session will allow the participants to engage in the strategies that they can include in their daily teaching practices. Handouts will be provided.


Critical Race Theory as a Framework for Pedagogy in Developmental Education Dr. German Alonso Moreno
Critical race theory attempts to understand how race is constructed by social and political structures, which include educational institutions. While a critical race theory framework may result in various educational practices, the presenter will describe how it supports participatory action research as pedagogy (“PAR as Pedagogy”). This approach might be a viable approach for developmental students, because it attempts to foster critical thought that challenge students’ perceptions about themselves and their world. These new perspectives might help students gain insight that could motivate them to reach their goals, and in turn more fully participate as citizens.


Border and Community Security Sheriff Richard Wiles
 Manuel Marquez
Current situation in Juarez, Mexico and how it affects community security in El Paso. Additionally, discussion of these issues related to security of campus students, particularly international students


Border Health Issues facing El Paso
Youth and early adults
Dr. Souraya Hajjar, ABD, MPH
It will be a workshop presenting the most prevalent health issues plaguing our El Paso’s youth and young adults.


Student Technology Services Larissa Tarango, Jaclyn Briones,
Emilio Tarango, Jose Guillen
STS provides students an opportunity to gain professional experience, while earning an income. STS students are most often placed with experienced faculty and staff members in a field closely related to their education goals. STS is managed by students, who are working towards similar goals as our current STS students. While applying the theories learned in the classroom, STS students graduate with real-world experience and the hands-on skills necessary to succeed in today’s market.



Bridging the Reading and Writing Gap Myshie Pagel, Susan Silva,
Rosa Galindo


Texas Developmental Education is moving to a fully integrated Reading and Writing course by 2015. This workshop will present activities used in ESL classrooms that focus on the integration of reading and writing skills.


The Living Lab- Lifestyle Change
through Learning
Jackie Mitchell, Mary Scott,
Carlos Amayo


This interdisciplinary presentation shares the experiences of three faculty from the EPCC VV Living Lab. The Living Lab introduces EPCC Borderland students to sustainable gardening, promotes a healthy lifestyle and connects students to a vital heritage and a healthy planet. Through gardening our students incorporate education with physical activity and discover the profound pleasure of eating native and organic foods, fresh from their own garden. Faculty from Biology, Art, Sociology and Mexican American Art will share this success story, inspired by programs from across the country


Student Success–Let’s Hear It
Directly from the Students
Hilda Chappell, Hillary Avitia,
Raquel Ramos


What is Student Success? Let’s give the students the opportunity to share with others what student success means to them.


Introducing Career Readiness Skill In Reading, Writing and Mathematics in the Digital Age Doug Brauer


MyFoundationsLab™ is a complete online mastery-based resource for assessing and remediating college- and career-readiness skills in reading, writing and mathematics.  The system offers a rich environment of pre-built or customized assessments, personalized learning paths, and highly interactive learning activities that enable students to master skills at their own pace.  Ideal for learners of various levels and ages, including continuing education or workforce readiness programs, MyFoundationsLab™ provides the skill development students need in order to be successful in college.


Opting Out: The Changing Role of
Privacy in the Digital Age
Lisa Marie Elliott


Because of the internet and other technological innovations, the role of privacy in our culture is changing.  We used to be a culture that had to “opt in” to sharing our information, but now, the default is that the information is shared and private information being public is the norm.  Join us for a discussion of how this impacts our students, our classrooms and each one of us as faculty and administrators.


Against the Odds: An examination of educational challenges and responses in the Borderland Rebekah Bell


Educational access issues on the Border are complex.  Whether dealing with poverty, migration, English acquisition, etc. the El Paso area possesses unique challenges.  This presentation examines specific trends in the El Paso area and ways that community involvement is helping to improve educational access for area students.  Discussion of specific manners in which local students and educators can “get involved” will be provided.




Teaching Clinical Social Work in Spanish: Cultural Competency in Mental Health Mark Lusk
Silvia Chavez- Baray


The presenters have taught a new graduate elective in the UTEP Master of Social Work degree program called “Evaluation e Intervention en Español.” This class, taught entirely in Spanish, is designed to train Spanish-speaking MSW students in culturally competent clinical practice with Hispanic patients. Students are taught concepts about mental health from a Hispanic perspective. They also engage in social work assessments and interventions with Spanish speaking Standardized Patients in mental health scenarios. Cases are videotaped and reviewed by students and faculty. Students master clinical skills by rehearsing and reviewing patient interactions. They are also taught culturally appropriate methods of engaging Hispanic clients as well as Spanish mental health terminology.


Cultivating Digital and Media Literacies Dr. Alicia Wheaton


One challenge in education is the need to continuously unlearn, relearn, and relearn skills in a digital age. Today’s classrooms need to offer digital learners the opportunity to share and construct their knowledge through Information and Communications Technology (ICT).


Assisting Homeless Women and Children make the difficult transition back into life by learning about the student learning opportunities at the Reynolds Home Dorothy Truax


Presentation on working with the women to ensure they are able to earn a steady income, and resources, such as continued education, to remain self-sufficient and capable of providing good care of themselves and their children.  Discussion will include the use of students in Service Learning Programs to help assist homeless women and children make the difficult transition to independent living with the help of the Reynolds Home and El Paso Community College serving as partners


Getting Students to Step Up:
The Ladder of Accountability
Lisa McNiel
Charles Miller


Are you tired of students making excuses, blaming others, and playing the victim? Are you tired of teaching a powerless class?  Are you tired of being powerless yourself?  Come learn how to implement The Ladder of Accountability in your own classes and even how to apply it to your own life circumstances.  Based on a business management tool developed in the 1970s, the Ladder of Accountability can help you teach students how to take responsibility, how to creatively and critically problem-solve, and how to recognize themselves as powerful agents of their own success.  Step up!







Skills-training for VSRT volunteers – Building bridges to serve El Paso crime victims and their families Rick Falvo
Elisa Chaides


Students do not always have adequate preparation when entering the workforce. Despite internship opportunities and fieldwork as requisites for degree completion, much training is still “On The Job.” However, when volunteers are called to serve people, there is less time for a learning curve to take effect. While all volunteers are dedicated to causes they serve, there is one group – the Victim Services Response Team – that exudes a special dedication. They arrive at crime scenes, or knock on doors of families to convey bad news, or rush to the aid of victims. These pre-responders are the responders before the first responders. This session examines the training associated with becoming a VSRT volunteer. It will showcase how people from disciplines such as Speech Communication, Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Counseling can cross the border from the classroom (and textbook) to the front door or crime scene of victims and their families. This session will also examine how anyone with a dedication to serving those in need of comfort can become a VSRT volunteer, regardless of the classes one takes. In short, this session will help people see the way that skills learned in the classroom can be the vital bridge to the community of crime victims and their families.


Global Learning Communities: Using First-Year Seminars to Traverse Global and Multicultural Borders Irma Montelongo, Thernral Mangadu,
Dorothy Ward


A Global Learning Community (GLC), linking courses and students from different countries, communities, and cultures, offers a space for entering students to achieve transitional goals while better understanding intercultural connections.  The University of Texas at El Paso offers GLCs that link first-year seminars with comparably-themed courses at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. This session examines how the GLC’s multicultural interactions develop students’ cultural sensitivity, preparation to understand global issues.


Meet the Lady Bug Document Camera and Media Cart Sergio Ramos, Carlos Mejia


Learn how the document camera works as well as all the things you can do with it using the media cart.  Find out how the media operates for classroom use. Come have some fun with this hands-on presentation.


Clickers in the Classroom Jessie Salas, Sergio Ramos


Learn how to create simple interactive power point presentations to engage full student participation. You will use the clickers to experience them on the student side as well. Come have some fun with this hands-on presentation


Transition of Military Personnel into Civilian Life John S. Plummer


Transitioning Military Personnel from a Military Career to civilian life. Assisting with real estate issues facing soldiers and their families who are re-entering civilian life


Identity Theft in our Border Community Fernando Ortega,  Robert Eckhart


This presentation provides information and statistics on identity theft in the border community and basic identity theft information (deter, detect, and defend) and what do if your identity is stolen.


Make Your Dreams Come True: Starting Your Own Business in a Community Chuck Wehmhoner


The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) provides local workshops and events throughout the country to connect small business owners with the people and information they need to start, grow, and maintain their businesses.  SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE of El Paso is a Border Organization providing Border Business Solutions to individuals in the community proving resources needed in developing tools and plans they need to navigate their way to small business success

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

Bedford/St. Martin’s & Worth Publishers.
       Jay Walker, Senior Publishers’ Representative
Cengage – Math and Science
Ashley Fathergill, Cengage Learning Rep
Cengage – Humanities and Social Sciences
Lisa Goodrich, Cengage Learning Rep
Cengage – Business and Computing
Ailene Rocha, Cengage Learning Rep
Pearson Arts & Sciences
       Patricia Gabbard, Publisher’s Representative
Shelby Distribution – Express Office Products
       Mike Charter – Development Manager
Office Depot
       Ivan Resendez – Account Manager


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