CALEXICO — San Diego State University-Imperial Valley professor Lluliana Alonso has won the 2021 SDSU Outstanding Faculty Global Engagement Award for 2021, the university announced on Monday, Nov. 1.
Alonso will be honored in an awards ceremony during the inaugural Faulty Global Engagement Symposium on Nov. 16, during 2021 International Education Week. At the event she also will have an opportunity to showcase her work in a TED Talk-style presentation, according to the university.
Alonso’s project involves a unique transborder approach she developed and implemented with her fall 2020 introductory educational credential course. The course, among other things, delves into how social and cultural history affect student learning.
She took her students beyond the traditional reading and writing on the subject by developing a collaboration with Escuela Normal Fronteriza Tijuana (ENFT), a teacher-training institution.
“This partnership was grounded in supporting novice borderland educators develop skills for equitable practice and committed to pedagogy that allowed students to recognize their cultural, historical, ancestral, familial and personal forms of knowledge as legitimate and valuable,” Alonso stated.
Through the program she created a transborder learning bridge by having 15 ENFT students embedded along with 15 SDSU-Imperial Valley students for eight weeks of the semester in a virtual global classroom.
Alonso gave students a chance to reinforce their learning by assigning them the task of exchanging weekly “Professional Reflections in Peer Letters” with a fellow student across the border.
“What resulted … were critical and informed reflections of fronterizx pre-service teachers that illustrated the intersections of race, class, gender, language, and immigration status, in deep and meaningful ways,” she stated.
For the course final, Alonso assigned SDSU-Imperial Valley students to complete a written, oral and creative “Educational Testimonio,” to reflect their personal experience and its influence on their educational path.
The images and reflections students submitted in their assignments were profound and heartfelt and their evaluations of the course were enthusiastic.
Of the virtual global course, Alonso concluded, “I believe a robust learning environment is possible when people of different backgrounds and experiences are brought together to exchange ideas and this international exchange further drives my commitment to continue to engage in diversity efforts that are equity-driven, promote and honor a more inclusive learning community.