Dr Derick Wilson (2019-20 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence) welcomed to St Philip's College

Dr Adena Loston, President of St Philip’s College, welcomed Dr Derick Wilson from Northern Ireland as Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for 2019-20 on 17th August 2019. 

St. Philip’s College is one of the oldest and most diverse community colleges in the United States, and is the only college to be federally designated as both a Historically Black College and Hispanic-Serving Institution.

St Philip’s College, in common with the four other Alamo Colleges, received in November 2018 the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the most prestigious honour a higher education institution can achieve in the United States. 

St Philip’s is committed to addressing poverty through attracting students, many of whom would not normally access traditional higher education institutions. St Philip’s views their diverse students ‘as assets not problems’ and front loads extensive support services and personal affirmation from enrolment and even before. If necessary, some students are offered support around their personal well-being, food, housing and financial aid throughout their course, increasing their ability to complete their studies. 

In this past week I have witnessed a unified college culture where all elements of administration, college enrolment, advice and support, faculty and curriculum are harnessed both to lift students out of poverty and give them tools, experiences and nationally recognised qualifications that give them new career opportunities and transformed life chances!

Derick - as Reader Emeritus in Education (Restorative Practices and Community Relations) at Ulster University, and a member of the Corrymeela Community, a reconciliation charity in Northern Ireland established in 1965 - is Scholar-in-Residence at St Philip’s with their Behavioral and Social Sciences Faculty supporting them: internationalise their programmes; develop learning programmes supporting students engage in civil society outreach; and completing ‘Nurturing Hope’, an individual and group learning resource helping people from 16-80+ act to reduce distrust and fear, supporting them promote an openness to different others and create more interdependent civic and public cultures. 

‘Nurturing Hope’ is an initiative of The Understanding Conflict Trust in Northern Ireland with St Philip’s, San Antonio and the Okedongmu Project, a South Korean reconciliation NGO. It is intended this resource will be available through the mediums of English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese. 

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