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Voices of the Past, Voice of the Future

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Voices of the Past, Voice of the Future is project created by Christopher Silavong. This is a personal story where I delve into my parents' past and a country of which I knew nothing. As a child, I never learned

Voices of the Past, Voice of the Future is project created by Christopher Silavong. This is a personal story where I delve into my parents' past and a country of which I knew nothing. As a child, I never learned about my parents' country, nor did I ask about their childhood and what Laos was like. I'm sure they spoke about their past in passing, but I didn't pay attention or asked further questions. I was young and time seemed forever. And then in 2012, the realization that one day they'll die became real. My father suffered a stroke nine days before my birthday. I wanted to know who my parents were and what brought them to America. My parents' stories will be incomplete. They've lived in America much longer than they'd lived in Laos, and it's difficult for them to remember what happened to them at 10 years old, especially for my father. It also doesn't help that I don't know how to speak Lao. This is a working project, and I'll continue asking them about their lives until I no longer can. But for now, here's what I've pieced together.

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Date Created
2017-05

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The Immigrant Experience

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Immigration policy in the United States today is complex and far-encompassing. This project aims to present it in an easily accessible way: Through the eyes of those who have experienced its effects in a deeply personal manner. This online project,

Immigration policy in the United States today is complex and far-encompassing. This project aims to present it in an easily accessible way: Through the eyes of those who have experienced its effects in a deeply personal manner. This online project, housed at http://immigrant-experience.com/, includes profiles of four people who have immigrated to the United States from other countries. The website includes graphics and multimedia elements, that help to tell their stories. It also provides information about immigration statistics, research and policy. The DREAMer who came to the country as a child, the young Mexican man on a seasonal visa, and the Eritrean refugee share in the immigrant experience, but the effects of U.S. policy on their lives are vastly different. Factors at play include age, education, country of origin and socioeconomic status. These factors are what shape the policy that dictates whether an immigrant can become an American citizen. They are also what make Gloria, Adrian and Azarya's stories so unique. It is a multitude of personal stories that collectively define the immigrant experience. These stories may be drastically different, depending on the country of origin and circumstances of each individual, but some aspects of the experience are shared. The difficulties inherent in uprooting oneself from a familiar community are common to "immigrants" of all shapes and sizes: students moving out of state for college, new hires moving to a new city, parents moving their children into a better neighborhood, etc. Through in-depth profiles of immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds, this project highlights those shared experiences while showing the diversity of personal stories, challenging contemporary stereotypes about immigrant populations.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Unathorized: A Short Film on Technology and Immigration

Description

Unauthorized confronts the relationship between technology and personhood in the modern world. More specifically, it addresses the personal and social effects of border politics within the frame of cyber crime. The short film takes place in the near future where

Unauthorized confronts the relationship between technology and personhood in the modern world. More specifically, it addresses the personal and social effects of border politics within the frame of cyber crime. The short film takes place in the near future where a hacker can create citizenship for anyone she wants, effectively turning anyone into a legal person in the United States. This parallels the real life struggles of unauthorized immigrants trying to gain a new life this side of the border despite the overwhelming backlash from the conservative and xenophobic population. The main character's ability to grant citizenship forces the viewer to confront what being a person really means. The film also alludes to the popularized antics of modern day hackers and whistleblowers who are often turned into heroes for fighting the establishment despite their character flaws. The protagonist of Unauthorized struggles through underhanded sexism and blatant racism as well as her own personal struggles with drug addiction and failed relationships. These are very real struggles women face in technology jobs and life in general. The main character's actions ultimately destroy every relationship that she's established, including the connection to her own family. This film, in short, is about the walls people build between each other, both physical and social.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Power Lines: A Play in Two Acts

Description

This full-length, two-act play explores the way loss brings together and tears apart two families in the United States, a lower-middle class Mexican family and a relatively wealthy white family. Throughout the play we explore family dynamics, culture, and how

This full-length, two-act play explores the way loss brings together and tears apart two families in the United States, a lower-middle class Mexican family and a relatively wealthy white family. Throughout the play we explore family dynamics, culture, and how we all ultimately cope with navigating a complex and often devastating world. While this thesis project has completed the honors requirements, the play itself is still under construction. The version you see here is a final thesis project, but not a final product.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

Recommendations for Implementing Journalism Programs for the Montessori Secondary Education System

Description

This thesis provides recommendations to implement journalism and publishing programs into Montessori secondary education systems. This applies to students of 11 years or older that can be found in more than 210 Montessori schools across the nation, according to the

This thesis provides recommendations to implement journalism and publishing programs into Montessori secondary education systems. This applies to students of 11 years or older that can be found in more than 210 Montessori schools across the nation, according to the American Montessori Society. Much of the foundation for this thesis is created by my own experience starting a journalism program at Desert Garden Montessori School in Phoenix, Arizona. The literature review looks at the history of Montessori education; the differences between Montessori education and traditional public schooling; the benefits of journalism programs for secondary education systems; and the observed fit between journalism and Montessori philosophies. The greater research explores my experience as a journalism adviser for Desert Garden Montessori School, and my own lessons learned through the spring 2015 semester. The final suggestions for a journalism program are split into three sections: those by the Desert Garden Montessori students, by certified members of American Montessori Society, and my own final recommendations. It then looks into areas for further research to solidify the expansion of journalism programs into other Montessori schools. The appendices contain newsroom documents and material published during my time as journalism adviser for Desert Garden Montessori School. This includes the magazines and stories created by the newsroom students.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

Searching for home: An in depth look at undocumented youth in Arizona from their perspective

Description

Searching for home: An in depth look at undocumented youth in Arizona from their perspective, a research and creative project, looks at not only the history and data surrounding unauthorized immigration, but a personal account through the stories of undocumented

Searching for home: An in depth look at undocumented youth in Arizona from their perspective, a research and creative project, looks at not only the history and data surrounding unauthorized immigration, but a personal account through the stories of undocumented immigrants. The research paper focuses on the policies, court cases and history of protests that surround the topics. The article under Appendix A focuses on the personal stories and accounts of two undocumented immigrants who discuss the importance of fighting to stay in the U.S. and preserving the dream and life they built. Two videos also explore the emotional stories of the undocumented immigrants and those who live on the border. The first video features two undocumented immigrants who discuss their beliefs in protesting and working to stay in the U.S. The second video features two women who have lived in both Mexico and the U.S. legally and discuss how immigration and border policies affect them.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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The Kids You Don't See: Arizona's English Language Learners

Description

Arizona's English Language Learners have the lowest graduation rate in the nation at 18 percent in the 2013-2014 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. There is no federal standard for how to teach English Language Learners.

Arizona's English Language Learners have the lowest graduation rate in the nation at 18 percent in the 2013-2014 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. There is no federal standard for how to teach English Language Learners. Arizona mandates that all English Language Learners be enrolled in a four-hour model for quick language acquisition, a system that went into effect in 2009. It is the only program of its kind in the country. Graduation rates dropped from 48 percent, the year before the model was implemented, to 19 percent in 2014, according to data from the Arizona Department of Education. Advocates have argued that the model creates a barrier to graduation and segregates students by language while the state and immersion advocates maintain that the model is working. The model was the focus of a federal civil rights appeal that eventually ruled in favor of the state. But educators say problems persist. The difference in opinions stem from conflicting philosophies about the best method for language acquisition \u2014 bilingual or immersion. The debate is heated and rightfully so - Hispanic and Latino students make up a majority of the school-aged population meaning the education of their community can have lasting impacts on Arizona's economy. With a growing Hispanic and Latino population nationally, Arizona's education system is put in the national spotlight. If Arizona can get ahold of its education system, one advocate said, the impacts would ripple across the nation.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Trading Spaces: The Use of Social Media as a Strategic Change Agent

Description

The purpose of this study is to assess to what degree employees of the Commercial Service are knowledgeable about social media. It is also a means to learn about the perceptions of social media within the U.S. government and the Commercial Service and examine its innovation culture.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

UndoQmented: Documenting the UndocuQueer Identity in Phoenix

Description

This paper reflects on the processes and outcomes of a multimedia storytelling project on undocumented, queer individuals in Phoenix. It weaves these stories into theories of intersectionality and social movements to give them context. Extensive research has been done on

This paper reflects on the processes and outcomes of a multimedia storytelling project on undocumented, queer individuals in Phoenix. It weaves these stories into theories of intersectionality and social movements to give them context. Extensive research has been done on the separate experiences of undocumented immigration and queerness, but little research can as of yet be found on the intersection of both. Participants in this project stand at this intersection, and their stories demonstrate how the UndocuQueer experience brings unique challenges, and thus cannot be solely constructed by existing groups and norms. The web-based project can be found at: http://undoqmented.businesscatalyst.com/

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

amerIcan dream

Description

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports there are approximately 884,000 immigrants living in Arizona. Of these, 64 percent (around 570,000 people) come from Latin America. However, 73 percent (over 390,000) of these Latino immigrants are not U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports there are approximately 884,000 immigrants living in Arizona. Of these, 64 percent (around 570,000 people) come from Latin America. However, 73 percent (over 390,000) of these Latino immigrants are not U.S. citizens. They fall under four categories as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: permanent residents, refugees and asylees, temporary visa holders and unauthorized residents. The link to the website where the thesis is located is: americandreamaz.wordpress.com This study looks into the struggles immigrant Latino students have faced growing up in the United States based on each of these categories, especially now that they are nearing high school graduation and applying for college.The first segment of this study explains the types of Latino immigrants living in Arizona, a synopsis of the struggles immigrant families face and an explanation of legislation that has given the undocumented students a chance for a better future. The second segment is the testimonies of six high school students from San Tan Valley, Arizona who have faced challenges growing up in the United States as immigrants. Each of these students come from different backgrounds and countries, but have many similarities in the obstacles they have had to overcome since moving to the United States. The final segment of this study is an explanation to the use of a Cannon DSLR camera for the filming of the interviews, instead of the larger Sony NX video camera that is typically used by journalists in the field.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05