A Double Epic Achievement

August 31, 2018

Public Information Officer


It’s the first week of class at St. Philip’s College, and students and colleagues of college social and behavioral science faculty members Andrew Hill and Irene Young do not yet know they have made history in the multidisciplinary field of global and international studies, but eventually they will.

Young and Hill returned to campus a few days ago with status, resources and responsibility as Fellows from the Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) Fellows Program for the 2018-19 academic year at Stanford University.

Hill and Young have years of separate outstanding track records of inspiring colleagues while teaching philosophy and psychology to students at 120-year-old St. Philip's College in ways that inspire global thought---and now notice from Stanford. They are participants in Stanford's premiere program for bringing together and supporting faculty members committed to developing global and international studies. When the program with a global focus expanded beyond California for the first time this year, Young and Hill were included, and history was made.

"There are ten Fellows named every year; however, this is the first time Stanford has awarded EPIC Fellowships outside of California---we are the first two national Fellows!" Hill exclaimed with a smile.

St. Philip's College and San Jose City College are each represented with two Fellows in the cohort at Stanford. Mission College, De Anza College, College of Marin, Mission College, Grossmont College, Pasadena City College are each represented with one Fellow in the cohort.

Hill and Young began the fellowship year by processing their respective fellowship offers. They will end their year with a meeting of the Fellows at Stanford. In between time they will enrich the lives of both students and colleagues through a diverse, synergistic focus on globalization.

Young and Hill recently returned from Stanford where the EPIC Fellows gathered for their three-day summer intensive session earlier this month. Both Fellows focused on what it means to internationalize and how they can promote global competencies among their students at St. Philip's College. Hill and Young heard from Stanford's Global Studies Division faculty director and they engaged in a discussion about organizational behavior. They read strategically on international and cross-cultural education and how they can use both to help students in San Antonio and online globally. As they continue to network with members of the 2018 cohort of Fellows, Hill and Young are infusing their students with new approaches to thinking globally.

Hill's fellowship project is themed Approaches to Engaging Faculty in the Process of Internationalization: Global Humanitarian Values in the Classroom. Young's fellowship project is themed Approaches to Engaging Students in the Process of Internationalization Using Social Psychology. Together, the Texas team of Hill and Young enhance academic success at St. Philip’s College in the course of a year through an infusion of globalization at the student and faculty levels. 

Students and faculty at the college who are pupils or colleagues of both Hill and Young are always in for a double infusion of globalization. This year the infusion is enhanced with EPIC.

But first the faculty members had to literally climb considerable application and networking mountains in order to make the unique and history-making EPIC opportunity a reality. 

"Mr. Hill and I previously worked together on a St. Philip’s College and Alamo Colleges District study abroad program for Northern Ireland, and also in bringing Fulbright Scholars from that region to our college," Young said.

Young's previous academic experience also includes teaching students in the European and Mediterranean divisions of four-year colleges. In a department that annually builds the knowledge of 3,500 social sciences students, Young’s annual regular course load is anywhere from 170-200 students. She feels sharing one of her impactful personal globalization experience stories with the Fellow selection team was one factor in her co-making history along with Hill.

"I met a Kurdish national from a family being forced off their land while I was serving in Turkey. One of the women in the family... she literally tried to give me her child, a 9 month old child. We couldn’t communicate by language, but that really made an impact on me. She communicated physically, ‘we have nowhere to go, but there might be a better life for my child somewhere else.’ From there, I knew she saw the world in a different way than I did," said Young.

"This is quite a wonderful opportunity we are working on in the Global Studies Division at Stanford, and the goal is to infuse global studies at all colleges and universities. The EPIC Fellows program is an educational partnership on internationalizing curriculum. We are looking at how we can incorporate global studies at community colleges. Community college faculty teach the majority of college students in this nation. In my Social Psychology course, my students are looking at how issues can be addressed from a global perspective. At Stanford this summer, we attended several workshops, had full access to library and research resources needed to infuse that global approach, and we want to encourage other faculty members to think about the importance of globalization. Globalization empowers students to make our world a better world. To think beyond the state level to the issues that are worldwide issues," said Young. 

"We were the first ones (Fellows) from Texas, so that's a big deal, and it's encouraging to me. I've done study abroad as a faculty member, and there are proposals available from EPIC to study in Europe in extension with Stanford. The aspiration is for our students at St. Philip's College to apply to visit the Stanford campus in Florence,” said Young.

"On that journey, we want to inspire our students to want to be in the room when a Fulbright Scholar arrives at St. Philip's College, to visit that Stanford campus in Florence, to enroll in our classes... We’re helping our students to appreciate the perspectives and world view of others. That will encourage them to have appropriate and effective relations with students across cultures. Openness. Respect. Global mindedness,” Young said.

Hill and Young will present results of projects they have been working on with their students and faculty member colleagues at St. Philip's College upon return to Stanford later this year.

"We already do teleconferences as Fellows with Stanford, and we share among colleagues and draw information in support of one another," said Young. "I am really excited about prospects for my students. Arousing their curiosity to make a difference when many of them have not had opportunities to travel and learn about other places. We can help them appreciate others... and where we are right here as well,” said Young.

"Once you are introduced and you have an opportunity to learn about others... it’s beneficial," Young said. "World peace begins with learning about and understanding one another." 

To join the conversation on education through globalization through the EPIC project at St. Philip's College, contact Hill at ahill76@alamo.edu and Young at iyoung@alamo.edu. (Images courtesy Stanford University)