During J Term 2014 at SMU-in-Taos, students are taking courses including Environmental Communications, Social Problems, Mountain Sports and Computers and Information Technology.
Just two days after forming my idea for research on TCEDC’s impact in the community, almost everything seems to be in line: TCEDC’s directors have said my research is an important need; Dr. Nibbs, my cultural anthropology professor and mentor for the internship, has helped me to outline a plan and create interview questions; and I already have started some preliminary interviews with several of TCEDC’s clients. Yet I already have some hesitations about the whole thing. As good as the idea may sound, it ultimately came from me, an outsider, rather than the community. The distinction is significant: not only does my outsider’s perspective compromise my ability to do research, but it also establishes an undesirable relationship that places [...]
In Taos, poverty rates among high school graduates is almost 10 percent above the state average. For TCEDC, that means that most clients simply cannot afford to pay at cost for the services that TCEDC provides. As a result, TCEDC heavily subsidizes its services, making it largely dependent on grant funding. I soon recognized an opportunity to use my skills and experience to maximize my impact at TCEDC by addressing its need for grant funding. Grant funding is something I have dealt with since high school, having written grant proposals for a struggling nonprofit organization in Hawaii (I ultimately helped them to win two grants!) and organizing grant-writing services for other nonprofits in need. Although TCEDC needs no help with [...]
Kyle is a junior President's Scholar majoring in biology, individual studies in applied scientific computing and human rights in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Kyle is participating in Engaged Learning and also was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internship from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. During summer 2013, he interned at two nonprofit organizations: Taos County Economic Development Center, where he examined how economic development corporations can help nonprofits empower communities, and Ke Ola Mamo Native Hawaiian Health Services, where he examined how one local nonprofit is able to work directly with the community.
Monica is a junior Hunt Leadership Scholar majoring in communications in Meadows School of the Arts and business in Cox School of Business who spent the 2013 May Term in Taos.
Shannon is a senior majoring in environmental science with an emphasis in biology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. During summer 2013, she is taking a field botany and systematic botany course at SMU-in-Taos.
Julia is a senior finance major with a specialization in alternative asset management, a concentration in risk management & insurance, and a minor in economics. During summer 2013, she is studying at SMU-in-Taos.
Nancy is a graduate student in the Master of Liberal Studies program. During summer 2012, she is participating in a course on New Mexico wildflowers at SMU-in-Taos.
I look back and there fading in the distance is the SMU-In-Taos campus. I look at the rearview mirror and the campus becomes smaller and smaller until it finally fades in the distance. While I made unforgettable moments in Taos and feel a twinge of sadness that I am leaving, I am reminded that in just a few days I will be flying out to Guatemala to complete my Engaged Learning Research! I have completed all my preliminary research, including my interview questions and have all my recording equipment ready. I cannot believe that every time I speak to an individual about my research, it seems that they have some connection to Guatemala as well. For example, at the Engaged [...]
Time has passed by so quickly that I cannot believe I have spent a month in Taos. I have had the most wonderful time in Taos and I am so glad I decided to come and complete my research here. The landscape is always breathtakingly beautiful and the weather is just lovely. Albeit, the last week I was here it was quite warm but even that could not make me regret coming to Taos. I sit here in my room looking around and realizing that I have so much to pack! Did I really bring all these clothes or buy all these souvenirs from here? Or better yet, am I really bringing all these plants and rocks back to Dallas? [...]