Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding's Social Justice Award Recognizes Fielder and Chouinard

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Jan 23, 2015

Fielding Graduate University's Social Justice Award Recognizes the life work of Marie Fielder, PhD (posthumous) and Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia.

During Fielding's annual Janaury Winter Session at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara,CA, faculty, students, staff and alumni came together to recognize the social justice work of Fielder and Chouinard. The Social Justice Award was established in 1986 by psychology alumna Lynn Friedman Kessler to recognize demonstrated concern for and commitment to the furtherance of social justice. The award is granted through the Office of the President and demonstrative of one Fielding's core values focused on reducing the many forms of inequality.

Marie Fielder, PhD

Marie FielderFielder achieved national prominence as the first African American woman with a doctorate to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for her theories that focused on how diverse cultures and groups relate to one another. Fielder was one of the first researchers to document cultural bias in IQ testing, and was instrumental in making the Berkeley public schools the first in the nation to desegregate through two-way busing.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Fielder contributed to the work of such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Whitney Young. She also advised numerous government and civil-rights organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Black Panther Party for Defense and Justice, and the National Organization for Women. Fielder lectured, directed diversity forums, and conducted workshops and training for many school systems, government agencies and businesses across the United States.

Fielder worked with many kinds of people to help empower and enable them to solve their own problems. She inspired several generations of students at the three universities at which she held faculty appointments in California, many of whom went on to pursue highly successful careers.

As Congressman Ron Dellums said about her in 1995 when he acknowledged Fielder in the Congressional Record, she has been an exemplary public servant, bringing quiet dignity and distinction to every project on which she has worked.

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard

Chouinard was born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1938, and raised in Southern California. There, as a teen he taught himself how to climb, surf, skin dive—and blacksmith. By the early 1970s when he founded Patagonia, Chouinard Equipment pitons, carabiners and ice axes had become the world standard.

Spending 140 days a year in the natural world, Chouinard learned early in his life as an alpinist, surfer and fly fisherman the seriousness of the environmental crisis—and he brought this knowledge to bear on his work. In the late 1980s he instituted Patagonia’s earth tax, pledging 1 percent of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

In the 1990s, Chouinard encouraged Patagonia to consciously to reduce the environmental footprint of its products and activities, beginning with a 100 percent switch from conventional to organic cotton and the introduction of fleece clothing made from recycled polyester. He then sought to work with other partner companies to reduce environmental harm on a global scale. Chouinard, either independently, or with Patagonia helped co-found the Fair Labor Association, One Percent for the Planet, the Textile Exchange, the Conservation Alliance, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. In addition, Patagonia has been a B corp member since 2012.

Chouinard continues to surf and fly fish. He is the author or co-author of Climbing Ice, Let My People Go Surfing, The Responsible Company and Simple Fly Fishing.

President Katrina Rogers and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Research, Orlando Taylor, PhD, took stage in front of a packed house to introduce the outstanding work of the recipients.

Nicola Smith, MBA, JD, daughter of Fielder, shared some inspiring words about her mother’s work, as she accepted her award posthumously. She encouraged today and tomorrow’s scholar to exemplify Fielding’s values by leading the way in the social justice field.

Social justice award nicola yvon katrina resized 600Highlights of the evening also included a question and answer session with Chouinard after he introduced his company values and goals. Chouinard enthusiastically shared personal insights to his life and business vision. The discussion addressed topics such as his work to promote a more sustainable retail industry that educates consumers, his ongoing commitment to choose international supplier with safe and fair practices and his efforts to offer an innovative and equitable working environment to his employees. As the evening closed, the energy in the room was contagious after what had proved to be a lively and informative award ceremony.

 

Tags: patagonia, social justice, sustainability, higher education, fielding graduate university

Fielding Awarded the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Jan 08, 2015

Fielding Graduate University Awarded the Carnegie Foundation Advancement of Teaching for Community Engagement Classification

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Fielding Graduate University as one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

Carnegie CEC digital seal resized 600Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification—institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities. “The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

Fielding President Katrina Rogers, PhD, noted, “Our leadership sees community engagement as one of the key values of the institution. It is reflected in our strategic plan and the ways in which Fielding manifests community engagement through its mission and educational enterprise. We define community engagement as the actions that we take as an institution and through our graduates to create positive social change using the best research and practice. Our stated values support community engagement in various ways, emphasizing community building internally and externally, diversity, learner-centered education, social justice, and transformational learning.”

Fielding Graduate University was founded in 1974 as an independent non-profit graduate school, dedicated to learning for experienced, mid-career adults. Fielding’s student population consists of 1,200 with 130 faculty members all across the United States. Long before the internet, Fielding invented a pedagogical model that enabled individuals to participate in high quality graduate learning from a distance and in small groups in their communities. Fielding’s vision then and now is based on the notion that adults deserve access to graduate learning that they can apply in their communities as they study, and not only when they finish. From the beginning, Fielding expected its students to be engaged in their communities, taking from their educational experience the more relevant theories to address local issues.

Fielding’s vision for their students role in community engagement is two-fold: 1) to build a high level of knowledge and skills for their graduates to be effective in collaboration and change work; and 2) to enact through their centers and curricula the multiple ways in which Fielding can make a contribution to society. Fielding’s community engagement-focused efforts are most apparent within Fielding’s Institute for Social Innovation (ISI). The ISI’s mission and function is to turn knowledge into action for the workplace and local communities. The programs currently under the ISI include: the Women’s Network for Gender Empowerment, the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate, the World Cafe, and Evidence-Based Coaching certificates. The ISI’s Center for Public Life, is funded by a grant from the Kettering Foundation to support the Center’s services to local non-profits in the central coast region of California.

The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on NERCHE’s website.

Tags: educational leadership, organizational change, evidence based coaching, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education, human development, institue for social innovation, Carnegie Project