With this in mind, it is my pleasure to share with you that Tulsa Community College has recently begun to offer a Liberal Arts degree focus in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.  Upon completing the class requirements, students will receive a certificate through the Liberal Arts office for their resume portfolios.  Our first graduate next year will be Michelle Harris.

This degree emphasis was developed according to a model I received in a workshop with David J. Smith, Director of Education, from the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. This workshop, “Teaching About Global Peace and Conflict and Promoting the Humanities and Civic Engagement” was offered as part of the 2009 Community College Humanities Association conference in Chicago.

We are also offering a related Liberal Arts degree emphasis in Humanities and the Environment since, as Jared Diamond says, the fight for resources will be one of the major causes for conflict and violence as the population rises in the 21st century.  Dr. Diane Knapp developed this degree plan using the model from the Institute for Peace as well, and a certificate of completion will be given to anyone requesting it.

We are looking at transfer possibilities in the state of Oklahoma with Oklahoma State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and the University of Oklahoma, although nothing has been formalized yet.  There are 3 areas into which this degree might transfer, Social Sciences, Homeland Security, and Business.  These kinds of degrees are offered all over the country , including but not limited to American University, California State University, DePauw University, Indiana University, Oregon State University,  the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina, Wellesley College, Colgate University, Kent State University, LaSalle University, the University of Missouri and many others.

We have ordered the four-volume Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace (2010) edited by Nigel Young, and it is on reserve in the LRC at Southeast.  It is the most ambitious effort to date to chronicle the interdisciplinary field of Peace Studies and represents the efforts of numerous scholars throughout the world who present a full range of views related to the historical, political, philosophical, and theoretical issues related to peace and conflict.

Humanities faculty member, Dr. Rob Katz, has joined our efforts, and we have begun plans for a peace or meditation garden at the Southeast campus as well. We have established a Peace Studies faculty website and begun anti-hate teach ins to promote our capacity for conflict management for the affirmation and advocacy of human dignity and human rights in our pluralistic and multicultural world.

Peace Studies Initiatives

Humanities professors, Dr. Rob Katz, Dr. Annie Malloy, Roberto Maduro, and Dr. Diane Knapp continue to facilitate the online resource center in peace studies and conflict resolution in Blackboard.  It includes references to books, articles, films, websites and other resources about the causes of violence, alternatives to it, and ways to develop the moral imagination for peace building.  Over 30 faculty, staff, and administrators from all four campuses and every academic discipline have joined this online group including, among others, from the Southeast Campus: Phoebe Baker, Cathy Furlong, Tiffany Engel, and Chris Myers-Baker in Liberal Arts;  Lynnda Brown in Distance Learning;  Mary Phillips in biology; Roberto Maduro in the Language Lab; Dave Charlson, Cathy Campbell, and Diane Polcha in Communications; David Patocka in mathematics; Will Smith in business;  Nick Dean in sociology; Kay Behar and Suzanne Haynes in the library; and Barbie Slagle in Continuing Education.  Members from other campuses include Lauren Brookey and Cynthia Marshall from Central;  Cherie Hughes in religion/humanities from Metro;  Audrey Alcorn in Liberal Arts, Kaye Ellis in RCDHH, and Pam Chew in international languages from Northeast campus; and Mariko Takahashi and Doug Price from the Central  office of global education. Among the websites is the interactive village of Arampur created by 2 professors and 4 web designers at Wesleyan University in Conn.

Humanities professors, Dr. Rob Katz, Dr. Annie Malloy, Roberto Maduro, and Dr. Diane Knapp continue to facilitate the online resource center in peace studies and conflict resolution in Blackboard.  It includes references to books, articles, films, websites and other resources about the causes of violence, alternatives to it, and ways to develop the moral imagination for peace building.  Over 30 faculty, staff, and administrators from all four campuses and every academic discipline have joined this online group including, among others, from the Southeast Campus: Phoebe Baker, Cathy Furlong, Tiffany Engel, and Chris Myers-Baker in Liberal Arts;  Lynnda Brown in Distance Learning;  Mary Phillips in biology; Roberto Maduro in the Language Lab; Dave Charlson, Cathy Campbell, and Diane Polcha in Communications; David Patocka in mathematics; Will Smith in business;  Nick Dean in sociology; Kay Behar and Suzanne Haynes in the library; and Barbie Slagle in Continuing Education.  Members from other campuses include Lauren Brookey and Cynthia Marshall from Central;  Cherie Hughes in religion/humanities from Metro;  Audrey Alcorn in Liberal Arts, Kaye Ellis in RCDHH, and Pam Chew in international languages from Northeast campus; and Mariko Takahashi and Doug Price from the Central  office of global education. Among the websites is the interactive village of Arampur created by 2 professors and 4 web designers at Wesleyan University in Conn.

Teach INS for Peace

On Wed., Nov. 7, TCC held its first “Teach In for Peace” sponsored by the Liberal Arts, Communications, and Peace Studies programs as well as the Student Government Association.  Initiated by the Muslim Student Association, this anti-hate event was later embraced by the SGA representing all of the student organizations on campus.  The speaker, Jillian Holzbauer from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke against hate and Islamophobia, pointing out how some Libyans confronted their anti-American countrymen at the time of the American diplomat’s assassination.  Jill has worked on the West Bank and with Amnesty International. Shortly after, the TCC Connection published an article, “Tulsa Muslims speak out about violence against Pakistani school girl Malala.”

The second Teach In for Peace was presented by the German Program and the International Language Lab under the direction of Roberto Maduro.  It was “Frieden Auf Erden” (Peace on Earth), a multicultural holiday series of events from Dec. 3-5 with stories, traditions, arts, crafts, food, music, and reflections on peace and multicultural understanding.

The third “Teach In for Peace” event occurred in January when the staff of the library created a gallery display promoting peace. Staff member, Kay Behar, and student, Krutika Patel, created this wonderful exhibit with a 3 dimensional effect of cutout doves (which they spent a great deal of time creating.) It showcased books and quotations by people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Jimi Hendrix.

This morphed into the fourth event in March when the library peace display was integrated into a gallery exhibit about the history of women’s rights in America.

The fifth “Peace Teach In” was sponsored by the International Language Lab and the Japanese Student Association on March 27 as the “Cherry Blossoms and Peace” festival.

This included a full tea ceremony, origami demonstrations, food, games, haiku, manga, poster displays, and other activities. The organization wants to donate two more cherry trees to the peace garden in addition to the five they have already planted. Over 300 people attended.

The sixth “Teach In” was Fruhlingsfest, the German Spring Festival, on Tuesday, April 2, in the Chat room at SEC.  It involved homemade German food, dancing, multimedia storytelling, and a maypole.  This was sponsored by the German Student Association, the International Language Lab, and Student Activities. The focus was on the coming of spring and harmonious living with nature and others in building peace.

The seventh Teach In for Peace, “Poetry for Peace,” was held on Thursday morning, April 18, during Poetry Month.  It was organized by Dr. Allen Culpepper in Communications with event co-sponsors; the Liberal Arts division, Communications division, the Library, and Student Activities. It included a student poetry contest on the subject of peace and/or causes of violence judged by Drs. Culpepper and Katz.  There were also poems read by special guest, award-winning poet Dr. Britton Gildersleeve, director of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project, faculty, and staff.  Prizes were provided by the Student Activities office under Jennifer Beatie. Library staff member, Kay Behar, and student, Krutica Patel, created a stunning and shattering gallery exhibit to support this event. Josh Barnes organized a poetry on the sidewalk event for the students. In addition, acknowledgments were given to the TCC marketing dept., Matt Edwards in IT, Roberto Maduro in the Language Lab, Annie Malloy, Sheila Black, David Charlson, and the SEC print shop. Special thanks to the student poets. Over 60 people participated in the 2 reading sessions and the sidewalk poetry activity.

Portions of this article originally appeared in the TCC Connection, the student newspaper of Tulsa Community College.  It was written by Dr. Annie Malloy and is posted with permission.