Dr. Edward Olivos, assistant professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon's College of Education, wanted to provide his students with insight into the issues of citizenship and immigration. So he took them to the border.
A 2003 graduate of the joint doctoral program in education offered by Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University, Dr. Olivos knows well the value of imparting first-hand experience. So for two weeks in the summer of 2008, 15 of his students learned first-hand what life is like for some Mexican immigrants.
The class, which combined field work with seminars and course work, included interviews with immigrants and service with non-profit organizations on both sides of the border.
"Honestly, this class did change my life," said one of Dr. Olivos's students. "I don't think I've ever felt this strongly about (anything) in my life."
"The class is really about experiencing what is happening and seeing what it is like down there," Olivos said before departing for San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. "My hope is that students will be able to better relate to the immigrant population."
On the role that his graduate studies have played in his career, Dr. Olivos said "Claremont Graduate University taught me to think innovatively about my teaching and my research by connecting them to real-life experiences and issues. My CGU instructors encouraged me to invest my passion into my work. I feel I'm doing that now."