This February, the Cross Cultural Counseling Conference was held in Savannah, Georgia and eight people from the program attended and presented to a diverse group of professional counselors, educators and counseling students. The opening speaker for the conference was Dr. Derald Sue who shared his insights into levels of discrimination. It was wonderful hearing from an expert in the field of cross cultural counseling and learning so much from his personal and professional perspectives. Everyone attended small break out sessions that afternoon and came away feeling affirmed, educated and perhaps a bit full from the knowledge savored.
On the second day of the conference we had our presentation. Tania Arcos, Michael Fagan, Emma Pluta, Kathryn Strachota, and Holly Wilson presented their multicultural class media presentation on Mexican Immigrants and Katie Vaughn presented her group's presentation on Muslims. Dale Brotherton and I were faculty representatives and we were very proud of everyone's accomplishments. Despite the typical technical problems with computers and sound the presentation was well received and several attendees spoke with Dale and I afterwards asking for copies of the presentations. The final speaker was William Cross, who transformed the Black Racial Identity Model into a practical understanding of how to help African American individuals feel and become empowered. His energy and passion for teaching was evident to everyone.
We would like to extend a special thank you to the Counseling Program for providing funds for us to dine at one of the most prestigious buffets in Savannah. The place is called The Lady and Sons, owned by Paula Deen who has her own show on the food network. The food was so rich that few of us could eat dessert, yet Michael and I managed to eat banana pudding!
I hope that more opportunities are given for our program to be represented by students and faculty at state and regional conferences. I believe we need to educate others to our insights, knowledge and skills and encourage others to see the value of the high quality education attained at WCU.
From the Garden of Good and Evil,