Serve Well Blog

January 2016 Entries

1.27.16

Knowledge is the Only Sustainable Gift

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Advocacy, Global Citizenship, Education, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Jaleesa Trapp '14 receives MLK Jr. Legacy Dream AwardJaleesa Trapp ’14 is the Coordinator of the Computer Clubhouse, teacher of computer science at Tacoma’s Science and Math Institute, and works with the Tacoma Action Collective (TAC), which focuses on police and media accountability. In December, Jaleesa was involved in TAC’s “Die-In” at the Tacoma Art Museum in December. The protest highlighted the near-total absence of artists of color in the exhibit “Art AIDS America”—even though 44% of new HIV cases and the majority of AIDS deaths take place in the black community. Thanks to meetings with the exhibit curator and museum staff, the Museum will include more black artists when the show travels to Georgia and New York this year, and invest in staff-wide diversity training. Last fall, she spent three months in Ghana as part of a graduate class at the University of Washington.

I knew that going to Ghana was going to be life changing, but I didn't expect it to be reaffirming. I went with the University of Washington's School of Informatics to conduct research on information and communication technologies (ICTs). My specific project was to see how teachers use games to teach math (with or without ICTs).

The reaffirming moments were spread throughout my research project. Seeing the disparities in education reminded me all too well of the education system in the U.S. Although I'm blessed to work at an awesome school, there are children all over the country who are deprived of an excellent education, because of where they live. In my research, I looked at how rural and urban schools teach mathematics, specifically if they use games and technology as methods. Many rural schools don't have enough books for students, let alone computers to teach math. I also learned that for most people, teaching is a last resort, extremely underpaid, and is not a respected profession. It was evident which teachers were there because they wanted to be, and which were there because they had no other choice. We met a teacher who took pride in his job and the success of his students. All of the students were smiling, and eager to share what they knew on the chalkboard in front of the class.

One teacher told me that students don't go home and practice their reading or math, and that is why they are all behind. But, as I walked through their village I saw fresh chalk on the side of homes with spelling words and math problems written on them. Students did care about their education, but had a teacher who did not believe in them.

Growing up, I could always tell the difference between those two types of teachers at school, and what type of effect they'd have on my education. This is why I agreed to become a teacher; to make a difference. I wanted to be the teacher that wants to be there and has a positive influence on students learning experience.

There was a school I went to in hopes of meeting with the headmaster to collect data, and the first thing he said to me was "What did you bring me?" Initially I was shocked. Why would he think I brought something? Historically, many Americans and Europeans have come to Ghana to "help" schools by donating, and leaving. The people are left to figure out how to maintain their new inheritances, or how to make the school supplies last the whole school year. A student at the university told me it's not fair if I conduct research and just take it home. This reminded me of my work at the Computer Clubhouse. Knowledge is the only gift I can give that is sustainable. Our motto at the Computer Clubhouse is "Each one, teach one; lifting as we climb."  This is important because funding and equipment comes and goes, but the knowledge I'm able to share is forever.

1.26.16

A Heart Full of Grace: commitment to human dignity motivates Nathan Palpant '01 in research, bioethics

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Healthcare, Healthcare, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Nathan PalpantNathan Palpant '01 PhD served with Africa Inland Mission before entering graduate school at the University of Michigan and an academic career.  Along with his wife Darien ‘01 and children Clara and Elias, Nathan moved from the Seattle area to St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia, where he is Lab Head at the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience. This profile of Nathan's work appeared in the Krista Foundation's Fall 2015 newsletter.

How do we understand human suffering and human dignity?  Nathan Palpant '01 PhD has wrestled with these questions all his life-from his childhood in Kenya, as a Whitworth undergrad, through a service year for the Africa Inland Mission, into graduate school and an academic career.  

Recently honored by the International Society for Heart Research, Nathan is a research scientist probing the early developmental stages of the heart to understand potential treatments for heart disease. Last fall, he and his wife Darien ‘01, and children Clara and Elias moved to Australia, where he runs his own laboratory at the University of Queensland.  

During his service experience providing medical care in Kenya and in war-torn communities in rural Sudan, "I was trying to engage aspects of the human experience that we in the U.S. are shielded from," he
says. "Coming back was challenging. The Krista Foundation asked the right questions and helped me process the experience."

Equipping young adults like Nathan to embrace and incorporate even difficult lessons into a lifelong ethic of service is central to the Krista Foundation's work. Nathan lives out that ethic in his workplace and daily life by pursuing questions of bioethics in addition to his 9 to 5 research.  "I am working to bridge the gap between scientists who don't understand ethics and ethicists who don't understand science," he says.  As co-editor of Suffering and Bioethics, published by Oxford University Press, he gathered scholarly voices on the biological, psychological, clinical, religious, and ethical dimensions of suffering.

Suffering has a purpose, Nathan contends. "When it comes to medical interventions, we often wrestle with the dilemma of choosing between the powers we're capable of through medicine and technology versus protecting the moral goods we value in the human experience. These are not always in alignment and are difficult to distinguish or understand." As a heart researcher and bioethicist, he is animating an important conversation that will ultimately help guide us through the quagmire of decisions around biomedicine.

1.25.16

2016 KF Service Leadership Conference

The Krista Foundation | Service In The News, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Post-Service Term Reflections, Sustaining Service


2016 service leadership conferenceThe Krista Foundation is pleased to announce the 2016 KF Annual Conference at Clearwater Lodge on Davis Lake (45 minutes NE of Spokane, WA).

When: Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Guest Registration and details

2016 theme

The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship 2016 Service Leadership Conference explores the theme "ReStorying Us: Crafting Narratives for Change"  There are many narratives that define "us" as a community of service leaders, as a community of faith, as diverse and unified humans. Yet there are many cultural narratives that divide us, promote fear, or are unheard or silenced that reinforce (intentionally and not) the twisting of our collective understanding of "us," and "our" story. Hence - "Restorying us." To restory us is to restore us.

 

This year we will collectively "workshop" our way through a ReStorying Us process and utilize the conference platform to launch ongoing restorying connections in person and virtually after the conference.

 

2016 Featured SpeakerJaleh Sadravi

We welcome Jaleh Sadravi as our featured speaker. She brings a powerful mix of narrative crafting and technical skill from her life as the daughter of an African American Lutheran pastor and a Persian Shiite Muslim, as a service leader, and professional communications and media expert. Together, we'll craft narratives for change. We'll gain new frameworks and tools for shifting perspectives, conversations, and crafting multimedia stories.

 

What are you waiting for?! Please sign up to take advantage of this special opportunity to connect with and encourage young adults on their journey of service leadership!

Click here to register as a guest 

1.6.16

Nominate a Krista Colleague today

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America

Nominate a Krista Colleague Today

Follow this link to learn more about the Krista Colleague program and criteria.