Skip to Content

News Archive

Summer 2022

Spring 2022

  • The American Council of Learned Societies recently awarded funding for a Texas State University project called the “Engaged Humanities Research Accelerator”. The Department of OWLS recognizes our Chair, Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, and her outstanding work in research. She is one of the nine awardees who will be collaborating together to partner with communities hardest hit by the pandemic. They will help create knowledge and increase in community, cultural and educational engagement. 

    "The grant revives projects focused on advancing engaged humanities research slowed or stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funding enables faculty and students to partner with communities hardest hit by the pandemic to create knowledge and increase community, cultural, and educational engagement. The projects address pressing social challenges through dialogue, insights, and humanities inquiry regarding racial equality, US-global relations, public health and pandemic recovery, and America’s diverse history. "

    "Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, chair of the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS), will empower community members through counter-life storytelling to help them explore their experiences closing the racial wealth gap in low-income communities. The project will use a human-centered approach to understand economic and cultural issues of national importance from the community’s perspective."


    "The grant advances applied research at Texas State and promotes community engagement between Liberal Arts faculty, Texas State students, and community organizations in Central Texas. "


    Source: TXST NewsRoom

  • The Department of OWLS recognizes Enixe Castro for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research for her study examining why Hispanic high school graduates opt out of attending college. Enixe, congratulations on this recognition! 

    Have you ever wondered the impact Hispanic high school graduates have on themselves and the community when they opt out of attending college? This research video will give you insight on why Hispanic high school graduates opt out of attending college, the benefits they are missing out on, and how they impact society. Follow me as we dive into the life of several Hispanic research participants who have endured discrimination, challenging life circumstances, and limited support forcing them to opt out of attending college.  

    To see video summaries click here.

  • Dr. Omar López was recently spotlighted for his involvement with STEM in the university’s e-newsletter. He encourages others to get involved with STEM to result in more voices being heard, especially those in the Hispanic community. Read more here

  • This week in the OWLs department, we celebrated Dr. Mary Jo Biggs' hard work and accomplishments during her 17 years at Texas State University! Happy Retirement!



  • The OWLS Department will be hosting a Virtual Meet & Greet on Thursday, March 31st at 6:00 PM! Join using the following Zoom link and come to learn about upcoming events and meet our faculty!


  • The OWLS Department is honored to name award recipients and nominees for the 2022 Spring semester. Congratulations to all of our amazing students and faculty!

    View the Award Presentation here.

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

  • The ACCEYSS Network opens its university-community resource center in San Marcos, TX, on January 21, 2021.


    San Marcos, TX - On January 21st, the ACCEYSS Network hosted a grand opening of the ACCEYSS​ University-Community Resource Center (U-CRC) located at 174 S Guadalupe St. Suite 105, San Marcos, TX 78666. The event began with an invocation by Lauren Lowry, San Marcos native and Senior Pastor of Sozo Church at 10:30 am, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 11 to 11:30 am, and a grand opening celebration with lunch catered by Soulful Creations of San Marcos, Texas. During the event, official greetings were read from Congressman Lloyd Doggett, and proclamations were acknowledged from the State of Texas (sponsored by State Representative Erin Zwiener), Hays County (sponsored by Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe), and the City of San Marcos. The City of San Marcos has declared January 21, 2021 as the ACCEYSS Network Day.


    The P2P Movement doing business as ACCEYSS Network, is a 501c3 nonprofit that serves as a coalition with a mission of providing underrepresented and underserved youth and families with access to STEM and Agriculture pathways through Entrepreneurship and the Arts (i.e., STEEAAM pathways). Board members of the ACCEYSS Network include: Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd - Founder and President (Texas State University – Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies), Dr. Dana M. García – Secretary (Texas State University – Department of Biology), Pastor Lauren Lowry (Sozo Church), Dr. Cara DiMattina Ryan (Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area), and Algie Thompson.  Lydia Dobbins serves as the Program Manager.


    ACCEYSS (Association of Collaborative Communities Equipping Youth for STEEAAM Success) was founded by Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd as one of 70 two-year design and development launch pilots funded by the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES program. The outcomes of the ACCEYSS project yielded creation of the ACCEYSS Model (i.e., informal K-12 STEM curriculum framework) and initiation of the ACCEYSS Network with inaugural partners from the Greater San Marcos region. Additionally, she founded the STEEAM pathways project in rural communities with partners in Luling, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has consolidated her efforts under the umbrella of the ACCEYSS Network to strengthen the STEEAAM workforce ecosystem in the Greater San Marcos region. As a “social edupreneur”, and an assistant professor in the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University, she is transforming her research into action while creating a platform for other community-engaged STEM and agriculture researchers to offer valuable resources to the local community through the launch of the ACCEYSS U-CRC.

    (continued on next page)


    The primary goal of the ACCEYSS U-CRC is to provide connections, funding, and resources for faith-based and community organizations with a shared vision of closing the STEM equity and racial wealth gap in Hays and Caldwell counties. The ACCEYSS Network invites researchers, educators, entrepreneurs, community organizers, faith leaders, industry partners, and supporters to utilize the U-CRC’s shared resources; whether it’s a training space or meeting room for their employees, a quiet office space without a long-term lease, or a place to connect with like-minded individuals striving to make a powerful impact in their community.


    The ACCEYSS Network Community Resource Center is available to both members and non-members alike. To learn more about memberships, networking opportunities or to become a community member, you may visit the ACCEYSS Network website at




  • President Denise M. Trauth provides updates to the university in her newsletter, From the Hill. In the Spring III 2021 Issue, the OWLS faculty member, Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd was highlighted! 




  • Texas State University has been awarded a $1.5 million reskilling grant to help up to 1,000 former students with some college credit return to school and complete their degrees.

    Texas State received the pass-through grant from the United States Department of Education's Education Stabilization Fund Program via the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund.

    Reskilling grants to institutions will support displaced Texas workers who need to reskill or upskill to get back into the workforce and Texas students who have previously stopped out of higher education institutions without completing a postsecondary credential. 

    Texas State's grant is part of the Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant Program, a $46.5 million fund established to provide essential emergency educational support to students that have been most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and aid in the continuation of their education and economic recovery. It will directly support Bring Bobcats Back, a program created in 2018 to encourage students to return to Texas State and finish their degrees.

    "This is a great opportunity for those who want to finish their degree," explained Todd Sherron, assistant professor of practice with the Department of Organization, Workforce and Leadership Studies (OWLS), who oversaw Texas State's grant application. "If a student has 90 hours of course credit and meets the criteria, we will provide financial assistance to them to finish their education."

    More than 36 million Americans – including more than 2 million in the state of Texas – have some college experience but have not completed their degree. This challenge has significant implications for students’ financial well-being, particularly during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic: a college degree translates to an average of $1 million additional earnings over a lifetime, and college graduates are half as likely to be unemployed as those with a high school degree.

    Enrollment Management at Texas State, which manages Bring Bobcats Back, has developed a list of prospective candidates by reviewing academic records to identify formerly enrolled students who completed several years of study but stopped short of earning their degree. Those prospects will be contacted and provided information about the new opportunity.

    The financial aid is not just limited to those who initially attended Texas State. Those who began, but did not complete, their coursework at other universities are also eligible if they meet the program's criteria.

    "I'm biased, but OWLS was really built to serve this kind of need," Sherron said. "We have accelerated pathways in the OWLS program for this type of degree completion, but all of the colleges at Texas State will be participating.

    "I've seen people graduate within two to four semesters on average," he said. "That's a pretty quick degree completion timeline."

    The grant strengthens Texas State's ongoing efforts to identify and reach out to former students who left the university before obtaining their degree. In 2020, the university entered into a partnership with ReUp Education to identify, engage and support the re-entry of students who have stopped out of college. 

    To qualify for the reskilling program, prospective returning students must be Texas residents eligible for in-state tuition as determined by the institution; have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); have financial need and are eligible for federal Title IV aid; have affirmed they were affected by COVID-19. Institutions may establish their own processes for determining COVID-19 impact; are enrolled in an eligible undergraduate or short-term workforce credential program on either a full time or part time basis; have not been enrolled in an accredited postsecondary institution in the previous academic (long) semester or previous six months; and are within twelve months or 75% or more of completing their credential program.


  • The ‘Real Winners’ of CAEL’s 2020 Conference

    CAEL just wrapped up its 46th annual conference and its first-ever virtual one. With the sudden pivot to online learning that swept the postsecondary space, you’re probably familiar with just how “real” the challenges of switching quickly to virtual engagement can be. Meeting them was more than worth it. Thanks to the generous support of Strada Education Network and our other sponsors, we were able to offer live access free to all CAEL members. That helped us set a new attendance record and gain several hundred new CAEL members. But despite the unprecedented circumstances of our conference this year, a longstanding tradition remained among its brightest moments: our award winners. 

    Adult Learner Impact Award

    Finally, our Adult Learner Impact Award recognizes excellence in adult learning on an institutional level. This year, the honor went to Texas State University (TXST). Being mindful of the needs of adult learners is nothing new for TXST, a Hispanic Serving Institution. It has devoted specialized efforts to support their success since the 1970s. It’s been building on that momentum ever since.

    For example, faculty recently completed enhancements to the institution’s bachelor of applied arts and sciences program outcomes, curriculum, and PLA processes. These updates are saving students thousands of dollars in textbook, tuition, and other expenses while supporting retention and greater credit hour production. These achievements were recognized by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), which presented TXST’s bachelor of applied arts and sciences program with the Malcolm Knowles Award for Outstanding Program Leadership.

    Further distinguishing TXST is its department of organization, workforce, and leadership studies. The department earned two Texas Workforce Commission awards that provide additional support for PLA through the new College Credit for Heroes program. The program bridges workforce gaps faced by military students by connecting military experience, education, and training with the requirements of high-demand civilian occupations in Texas. Given our just-released research confirming the substantial, wide-ranging benefits recognizing prior learning can create for adult learners from diverse backgrounds, it’s clear that TXST’s latest enhancements can make a difference in many meaningful ways. View TXST’s acceptance video here.

    Each of these award winners’ stories helps paint a picture that illustrates the vital nature of the work of the CAEL membership community. I hope you are as inspired by them as I am. Thank you for all that you do to enable the countless similar stories that are unfolding as a result of our work together. 

  • The Exceptional Research/Service in the Field Award

    The first annual Exceptional Research/Service in the Field Award will be awarded to Carrie Boden of Texas State University-San Marcos, in honor of her work on the IAP book series Adult Learning in Professional, Organizational, and Community Settings, which AHEA is pleased to sponsor, providing a publication outlet for many in the field.



    Dr. Carrie Boden Professor and former Chair of the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University. Before joining Texas State University, Dr. Boden worked extensively with undergraduate and graduate adult students in her roles as Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Master of Adult Education Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Associate Professor and and Director of the Program for Adult College Education at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Boden ’s research is primarily focused in the areas of adult learning theory and practice, including prior learning assessment, program administration, teaching and learning strategies, mentoring, and transformative learning. She has produced over 50 articles, book chapters and conference proceedings, 100 conference presentations, 18 grants and funded projects, and 15 academic books. Her work has been disseminated nationally and internationally. Dr. Boden has designed and taught courses in traditional, hybrid, and online formats, and she has developed and overseen the implementation of several online program initiatives. Dr. Boden has been recognized for her work with awards such as the Distinguished Teaching Fellowship from the Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Alpha Chi Favorite Professor, Award for Excellence in Online Teaching, and Veteran’s Alliance Above and Beyond Award from Texas State University, The Malcolm Knowles Award for Outstanding Program Leadership from the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, and the Adult Learner Impact Award from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and the Sister Cities International Award for Technology and Innovation. In service to the profession, Dr. Boden served as Director on the Board for the Adult Higher Education Alliance for a decade, a Member-at-Large on the Board of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education, and as the series editor for Adult Learning in Professional, Organizational, and Community Settings. In her spare time, Dr. Boden practices yoga, enjoys outdoor activities, live music, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

  • OWLS Per Course Faculty Member, Dr. Gary Springer, is having his two works included in the "Restore Our Earth" exhibit at the Price Center Gallery. (222 W San Antonio St, San Marcos, TX 78666)

    This exhibit includes his works- "Duck Family at Texas State University" and "Blue Heron over Water". See them up close! along with other wonderful creations by local artists.

    Exhibit Period: April 3rd - May 22nd.




  • After completing both the BAAS degree and Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, OWLS Alumnus, Raul Trevino, shares his experience of his academic journey while he faced many challenges and obstacles! 



  • The university will use the award money to support Bring Bobcats Back, a program created in 2018 to encourage students to return to Texas State and complete their degrees.

    Dr. Todd Sherron, an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Organization, Workforce and Leadership Studies (OWLS) and writer of the grant application, says Bring Bobcats Back is a university-wide incentive available to all former students, from any college at the university, who meet the criteria.

    “Students may be eligible to receive up to $2,500 per semester for tuition and fees until they graduate,” Sherron says. “This is [an] amazing opportunity for students to complete their degree."


  • It is our honor to highlight Dr. Shetay N. Ashford-Hanserd on her recent promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor starting Fall 2021! Congratulations!! 

    Visit her Faculty Profile to see her journey and work! 


    headshot ashford hanserd

  • It is our honor to highlight Dr. Catherine A. Cherrstrom on her recent promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor starting Fall 2021! Congratulations!! 

    Visit her Faculty Profile to see her journey and work! 


    headshot cherrstrom

Fall 2021

  • Texas State University grant brings students back to finish degrees

    The Texas Reskilling grant is set up to give up to 1,000 students funds to come back and finish their degrees.

    Watch the Full Story Here



    "The Texas Reskilling Grant, a grant that was appropriated because of the CARES Act, it's an amazing opportunity. It really is," said Todd Sherron, the assistant professor who helped get the grant for the school.

    The original grant was intended to help 1,000 students with up to $2,500 to get them back to school and finish their degree. Now they're allowing students to get the funding for more than just one semester. 

    "We're really trying to reach out to those who are almost finished, 50% or more, and say, 'Hey, we have some funds for you to come back to school,' and that's just a great opportunity," said Sherron.

    "It was just a blessing, really. I didn't really ask too many more questions. It's just going to help me finish," said Butler.

    It's helped more students like him reach that exciting day of graduation.

    "I just appreciate it. I really do," he said.

    For those who qualify, Sherron said the best thing to do is get readmitted and file the FAFSA. The financial aid office will then select the qualified students.


  • The OWLS department would like to congratulate our newest faculty member, Dr. Lie Xie, for his acceptance into the Grant Writing Program (Series). Dr. Xie will have the opportunity to work on his proposal titled: Faculty-Student Engagement for Future Engineering Workforce.


    In addition to the workshop series Dr, Xie will have one on one meetings to help learn more strategic advice regarding his targeted opportunities.


    Congratulations Dr. Xie!

  • We want to congratulate Dr. Lopez on his nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching!


    "These presidential awards are intended to recognize and reward superior accomplishments, to provide models of excellence for fellow faculty, and to encourage all faculty to continue to perform, improve, and advance their teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and service."

    AA/PPS No. 02.04.20 (6.11)

  • HACU will open applications for 16th Annual Southwest Airlines ¡Lánzate! Travel Program on March 16

    The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Southwest Airlines will begin accepting applications for the 16th Annual ¡Lánzate! / Take Off! Travel Program on March 16, 2020. Online applications will be accepted from eligible college students from March 16 through April 30, 2020, for the opportunity to receive travel awards.

    HACU and Southwest Airlines will award roundtrip e-pass(es) to undergraduate and graduate students across the country who travel at least 200 miles from home to pursue a higher education and meet the eligibility criteria. An essay is required. Students selected receive e-pass(es) for use to travel between home and college or university.

    A selection committee consisting of national education advocates and community leaders will select the award recipients. Recipients may be awarded 1-4 roundtrip e-pass(es) for the student to use when traveling to/from the college/university. The complimentary e-pass(es) can be used for travel to any of the Southwest Airlines destinations in the continental United States as listed on

    Deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Help spread the word, download a PDF poster here and post on your campus. To read detailed guidelines and eligibility requirements click here.

  • Congratulations to the following award winners from the OWLS department! We know you all will continue to succeed in everything you all do.

    This year's award banquet was cancelled due to COVID-19. Each student exemplified the example of an outstanding Undergraduate or Graduate student. While they could not receive their award in-person, students received their award certificate through the mail.

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Shannon Paz

    Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant – Luis Benavides

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Dean Atkinson

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Andrea Laina

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Racheal James

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Phillip Taylor

    Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research – Alyssa Ellis

    Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research – Linda Rogers

    Outstanding Graduate Student – James Chesnut

    Outstanding Graduate Student – Mary Williams

    Outstanding Graduate Student – Kellie Price



  • You can check out the latest results from ACCEYSS by downloading the PDF below. You will be able to learn more about the "Factors that influence persistence of Biology Majors at a Hispanic-Serving Institution". With the help of Dr. Ashford-Hanserd and her research team, they are able to continue their efforts in STEM education research.

    Publication: "Factors that influence persistence of Biology Majors at a Hispanic-Serving Institution"

  • jim chestnut head shot 

    YouTube has featured Jim Chesnut's 50 years of his music legacy in a Top Tracks playlist titled 'Top Tracks-Jim Chesnut'. It is a collection of 56 of his recordings that play back to back.The last one in the sequence is "I Just Can't Get Enough of You." It has risen to top-10 status in Wayne Hodge's IndieWorld Country Record Reports at #6 last week. You can check out any updates at his website

    YouTube's Top-Tracks-Jim Chesnut

  • dr boden head shot photo

    Our very own Dr. Carrie Boden hosted this years first ever  “Let’s Do Lunch!”
    faculty learning community, sponsored by Faculty Development during the Spring of 2020.

    Every Friday at noon we will meet by ZOOM to visit, exchange ideas, and find ways to take care of ourselves and our students as we navigate this new world of remote teaching and learning. We will have topics based on your suggestions. It will be a time to share what’s working in your classes and to hear ideas on best practices for surviving and thriving in this new learning environment.

    - Faculty Development "Lets Do Lunch!" Website

    The dedication to her faculty members has helped make a difference during unprecedented times.

  • geoff golden head shot
    Geoff Golden (Picture courtesy of Montana State's Athletic Website)

    Congratulations to OWLS student Geoff Golden on his acceptance as Montana State University's Assistant Head Coach of the women's basketball team.

    Golden built his career as a teacher, trainer and developer of amateur and professional basketball athletes for 18 years as founder and director of Geoff Golden Basketball Academy and BC Denver Basketball Club. During that time, he built a strong reputation as a top player development specialist and college recruiting expert with clientele represented in basketball leagues worldwide including the NBA, WNBA, NCAA, EuroLeague, and NBA Development League.

    -Montana State Women's Basketball Website

    Keep up the great work Coach Golden!

  • Sharing a video that was recorded for Evy and new faculty STEP program the about Dr. Ashford-Hanserd's Journey with Funding (

  • Mr. John L. Navarrette ('87)
    CenturyTel Investments of Texas, Inc.
    B.A.A.S. Applied Arts & Sciences


    John Navarrette is president of CenturyTel Investments of Texas Inc. He oversees South Texas Region Operations for CenturyLink’s South Texas District properties in Port Aransas, Pettus, Pawnee, Charco, Berclair, Stockdale, West Columbia, and San Marcos.

    Navarrette began his career in the telephone industry in 1975 as an installer/repairman for the San Marcos Telephone Co. He served in several roles for the company, including director of operations, Region IV manager, district manager, area operations manager for Texas markets, and acting general manager for Texas and Louisiana. He has also been heavily involved with the Texas Telephone Association (TTA), serving on their board and various committees to advance telecommunications. His efforts have earned him several industry awards, including the TTA’s highest award, the Neville Haynes Award. He has also served in various board roles with the Independent Telephone Pioneers Association and U.S. Telecom Association (formerly the United States Telephone Association).

    Community involvement is a staple of Navarrette’s life. He has served on the San Marcos Industrial Foundation Board, San Marcos Women’s Sports Foundation Board, San Marcos CISD Education Foundation Board, Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, CTMC Foundation Board of Directors and the San Marcos LBJ Museum Board of Directors in addition to several committees and Boards at Texas State University.

    Distinguished Alumni

    The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have achieved prominence and made a significant impact on the lives of others through their professions, accomplishments, affiliations, and service to the society and the university. This exclusive award was first presented to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who later served as the thirty-sixth President of the United States of America. To this day, Lyndon B. Johnson’s legacy inspires excellence at Texas State, as it maintains the unique distinction of being the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. President.

  • cael webshoot


    Presentation by OWLS Faculty_ Drs. Carrie Boden, Cathy Cherrstrom, Todd Sherron (PLA Coordinator)


    The CAEL Conference, last held in November 2020, is widely known as the leading place to support adult learners through PLA and Credit for Prior Learning advancement. But it's also a place where leaders across the work-learn-earn spectrum make necessary connections between education and career success to generate the powerful ideas that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth to transform individuals and help communities thrive. 

    Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

    CAEL AWARD Webpage


    Adult Learner Impact Award

  • Congratulations to our Per Course Instructor, Dr. Pat Gibson, on being selected for the 'Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award' for the College of Applied Arts!!




    As a means to further the University’s efforts to recognize outstanding faculty and to acknowledge the many and important contributions of the nontenure line faculty, this policy establishes an awards program for recognizing part-time faculty excellence in teaching and outlines a process for selecting and making these awards. This award is intended to recognize instructors who have not historically been eligible for university teaching awards.

    All faculty members who taught less than full-time in the preceding calendar year are eligible to apply for the Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.  One award may be bestowed in each academic college annually.  The award will consist of a certificate and a monetary award.  

    2019 Award Recipients

    College of Education: Alison Hock, Curriculum and Instruction
    College of Applied Arts: Pat Gibson, OWLS
    College of Fine Arts & Comm: Courtney Cone, Art and Design
    College of Liberal Arts: Ken Karrer, History

  • Each year OWLS graduate students present their research to Texas State University faculty, students, and the public on YouTube.

    I am pleased to share that there were 696 views of the students’ presentations this year (x̄=99.42 views per student)!


     Much gratitude goes to our judges who reviewed these presentations and recognized one for the Outstanding

    Interdisciplinary Research Award and one for the Outstanding Practicum Award:

    • Dr. Catherine Hawkins, Professor of Social Work, Texas State University
    • Dr. Keiskuke Ikehata, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Texas State University
    • Dr. Minda M. Lopez, Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, Texas State University
    • Dr. Jesica McCue, Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Houston-Victoria

    Dr. Mary Jo Biggs, OWLS Chair, will present you with the award at the College of Applied Arts Reception in the spring.

    We wish you the very best in your plans after graduation.


    And the winners are. . .

    The Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research Award for Fall 2020 goes to

    James Chesnut

    Assessing Cancer Patient Communication: A Correlational Study

    The Outstanding Professional Practicum Award for Fall 2020 goes to Mr. Jason Lundin.

    Jason Lundin
    Students Embrace Diversity in Physical Education: Project Based Learning


  • What is TEDx?
    TEDx is a grassroots initiative, created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the globe through TEDx events. TEDxTexasStateUniversity is excited to present talks that revolve around the theme of “AMPLIFY."

    About TEDx 2021: Amplify
    Noise. The last year has been filled with it. Unfortunately, through all the noise, some ideas and voices are not heard. TEDxTexasStateUniversity is ready to AMPLIFY these voices. This virtual event will feature innovative ideas from a variety of speakers who’s talks embrace and AMPLIFY underrepresented voices, under-served communities, or ideas that we now take for granted. Our 2021 speakers come from diverse backgrounds who are driven to create change, solve problems, and question current standards. Our talks will represent a variety of fields and perspectives including technology, health, the arts, media, social science, the humanities, and the hard sciences. We invite you to join us for a day of inspiration and conversation as we AMPLIFY ideas that can help us navigate our new reality. Help us cut through the noise.

    Shailen Singh- Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational, Workforce & Leadership Studies at Texas State University with a research focus on issues affecting parents of children with disabilities. Dr. Singh has spent several years working with faculty, staff, and outside constituents to create intentional and thoughtful structures designed to provide underrepresented students with the best opportunities for success. 



    The TEDxTexasStateUniversity Planning Committee invites you all to our virtual TEDx event on Saturday, February 13, 2021.  This event is fully virtual and can be streamed from the comfort of your home and runs from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  More information and tickets can be found and purchased here on the TEDxTexasStateUniversity event page.


    TEDxTexasStateUniversity is hosting 7 speakers who will be speaking on various subjects surrounding our 2021 TEDx theme AMPLIFY.  Here is the list of this year’s TEDx speakers:

    • Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Jolt Action
    • Jennifer Johnson, Content Creator for the IT Assistance Center at Texas State University
    • Marcus Peoples Jr., Human Resources Analyst, community advocate, children’s book author, and Texas State University Alumnus
    • Melodie Graves, 2nd Vice President of the Amarillo Branch NAACP and Vice President of Solidarity Isn't Silent
    • Qy’Darrius Mceachern, Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life at Texas State University, Content Creator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Graduate Student in Student Affairs Higher Education program at Texas State University
    • Sean Huiet, Head Volleyball Coach at Texas State University
    • Shailen Singh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University


    During this year’s event, we will also be sharing pre-recorded interviews with past speakers to find out what they have been up to since speaking at TEDxTexasStateUniversity. 


    We hope you will join us, virtually, at TEDxTexasStateUniversity!


    For more information or questions email us at or visit TEDxTexasStateUniversity.

  • AAACE Awards Presented at 2020 Annual Conference 

    Association Recognizes Leaders and Contributors in the Adult Education Community 

    The American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) community is proud to recognize and honor exemplary contributions to adult continuing education. The awards are a highly visible component of the association's statement about standards of excellence in the field. 

    The AAACE awards are annually bestowed upon deserving individuals and teams in recognition of outstanding leadership, service, knowledge, learners, and practice in the field of adult education.

    The awards were presented at the 2020 Annual Conference on October 29, 2020 held virtually. AAACE Past President Larry Martin presided over the ceremony.  

    Commission for Professors of Adult Education (CPAE) 

    Early Career Award 

    Recipient: Catherine A. Cherrstrom, Ph.D. 


    This award honors individuals who, in the early stages of their academic career, have made significant contributions in scholarship (research and publishing) and service to the field. 

    cherrstrom headshot



  • OWLS students and faculty

    On December 12, 2019 the OWLS department had the privilege to hood our graduates students at the College of Applied Arts hooding ceremony. All the students have exemplified hard work and dedication into their degrees. We are looking forward to the future successes of all OWLS aulmni.


    Congratulations to our 2019 Fall graduates from our Masters and BAAS program!


    Dr. Springer standing with Dr. Biggs
    Left to Right: Dr. Springer, Dr. Biggs

    In honor of Dr. Springer's 35 years of dedicated service, the OWLS department had the US flag flown at our nations capital in Washington DC.  To commemorate Dr. Springer's achievements, he was presented the flag at this year's Fall 2019 hooding ceremony. Dr. Springer will be retiring at the end of this semester.

    Congratulations on 35 years of service!

  • OWLS Grad Student Amy Jiang Receives Love of Learning Award

    amy jiang
    Amy Jiang (Picture from Texas State Staff Council Website)

    Congratulations to Amy Jiang for being selected as a recipient of a Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award.  This is a tremendous achievement and a testament to her outstanding academic abilities. Her story will be featured on the Grad College website and announced on the University News website. 


  • Old main through trees

    Congratulations to Mr. Jeff Novak, this year’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2019. Mr. Novak graduated in 2015 with his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S) from Texas State University. As a former NFL Player and founding partner/president of Novak Brothers, LLC, he has continued to inspire students and others around him towards reaching their goals and dreams. He is also a 2015 Hall of Honor Inductee with Texas State Athletics.

    The Department of Organization Workforce and Leadership Studies congratulate Mr. Jeff Novak in his accomplishments and for being this years Distinguished Alumnus. 

  • Old main through trees

    Ms. Summer Salazar was featured with Dr. Mary Jo Biggs on 930 AM where they discussed the OWLS department and what all the B.A.A.S degree has to offer to students. Ms. Salazar talked about her experience while being a student in the B.A.A.S program to now teaching OWLS students while working in career services at Texas State University. Her expertise has helped many students finish their degree and land the next steps after graduation.


    Tune in to the interview here.

  • Flier for ACCEYSS Summit, for more information or email

    ACCEYSS will be having their 2019 Central Texas Leadership Summit October 4th, 9am-5pm and October 5th, 9am-12pm at the LBJ Student Center  in San Marcos, TX. The room number will be announced very soon.

    The summit hosts will be Dr. Kristy L. Daniels, Dr. Dana M. Garcia and our very own Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd.

    To register for this event go to or email for more information.


    Come join to see how STEM education is making an impact in underrepresented communities.


    Our new name affected August 26th is the Department of Organization, Workforce and Leadership Studies. We look forward to what this new name represents for both our faculty and students.

  • Dr. Stephen B. Springer
    Dr. Stephen B. Springer

    Our very own Dr. Stephen B. Springer was recognized for 35 years of service at this year's University Convocation and Annual General Faculty Meeting at the University Events Center (UEC).

    Congratulations on 35 years of service Dr. Springer!

  •  Dr. Biggs, Kasey Williams and Dr. Singh
    (Left to Right) Dr. Biggs, Kasey Williams and Dr. Singh

    Congratulations to Ms. Kasey Williams for her achievement!

  • Dr. Brett Lee
    Dr. Brett Lee (Picture from TXST Newsroom)

    Dr. Brett Lee, a lecturer in the Department of Organization, Workforce and Leadership Studies, has recently been featured for his work in helping Texas teachers afford classroom help through crowdfunding.

    "Lee’s doctoral dissertation centered on the growing popularity behind crowdfunding, and specifically how teachers are using to make up for budget shortfalls." - Texas State Newsroom

    Great work Dr. Lee!

    Please find his featured stories below:


    TXST Newsroom

  • Books on their side in a shelf

    Dr. Mary Jo Biggs and her guests Dr. Stephen Springer, Cory King and Patty Karshis were interviewed Saturday July 6th, 2019 about Parkinson's Disease and ways to help the family member or friend with Parkinson's and the caregiver. They were able to talk more about our PLA program and how work life credit can count towards your degree, specifically veterans and the working adult. You can listen to the interview here.

  • Dr. Shailen Singh
    Dr. Shailen Singh (Headshot)

    Congratulations to Dr. Singh who successfully completed the 2018-19 Scholarship & Teaching Excellence Program (STEP).


    "The program strengthens the teaching and scholarly missions of the university, creates awareness of various university policies and resources, addresses the tenure and promotion process, and instills a sense of academic community among the participants. Completing STEP represents a substantial commitment of time and effort."- Dr. Candace Hastings, Director of Faculty Development

    Keep up the great work Dr. Singh!

  • 2019 Distinguished BAAS Alumni Winner

    Congratulations to Mr. Jeff Novak, BAAS, Applied Arts and Sciences, '15 for being one of this year's winners of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni awards!


    "Texas State University’s Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS) department and the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) have partnered to study and identify the workforce training needs throughout Hays and Caldwell Counties." - Greater San Marcos Partnership
    Read articles here: 
  • Ms. Portia Gottschall has been selected to serve as the CAA member of the Environment and Sustainability Committee beginning in the fall. The term is through 2022.


  • Picture of Dr. Springer sitting in his office in a gray blazer and a blue/white flannel



    Dr. Mary Jo Biggs and Dr. Stephen Springer were interviewed on Saturday May 11, 2019 by San Antonio's 930 am THE ANSWER about the Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies Department at Texas State University. They were able to talk about our PLA program and how work life credit can count towards your degree, specifically veterans and the working adult. You can listen to the interview here.

  • oldmain at night

    Please check out Dr. Ashford-Hanserd's Research Portfolio here.

  • Dr. Ashford-Hanserd smiling


    Dr. Ashford-Hanserd is a computer scientist, social entrepreneur, and scholar-activist that is igniting pathways to prosperity for women and underserved communities of color. With 13 years of experience as a management consultant and global training program manager at Fortune 50 companies such as General Electric, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Dell Technologies, she has led international projects across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Japan. Currently, she serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University.

    Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, has participated in the "2019 STEM for All Video Showcase"! watch her video here.

    As Principal Investigator of federally-funded (e.g., National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture) community-engaged research programs, situated in urban-rural “opportunity zones” centrally located in the Austin-San Antonio High-Tech corridor, Dr. Ashford-Hanserd’s Research Group is a top producer of evidence-based solutions and best practices with the potential to transform communities, cities, and nations.

    Read more about her Research Group on "Igniting pathways to prosperity for women and underserved communities of color." 

    ACCEYSS (Association of Collaborative Communities Equipping Youth for STEM Success) is an NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot at Texas State University (TXST) that is building a sustainable ACCEYSS Network and culturally-responsive and evidenced-based Model to prepare underrepresented and underserved youth to pursue undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and career pathways in the Greater San Marcos region of Texas.

    For more information on ACCEYSS click here.

  • Ashford-Hanserd

    Name:  Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd
    Affiliation: Texas State University
    Degrees: B.S. in Computer Science – University of South Florida, M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies – Texas State University, Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Career and Workforce Education
    Years in the Evaluation Field: 7 years
    Joined AEA: 2015


    Why do you belong to AEA?

    I was first introduced to AEA by one of my mentors, Dr. Liliana Rodríguez-Campos. As part of my doctoral studies at the University of South Florida, I enrolled in Dr. Rodríguez-Campos’ evaluation certificate program, and I’ve been a member ever since.

    When I first joined, I was intrigued by the plethora of connections and resources that AEA provides, which convinced me to remain a member. I have had the opportunity to meet prominent scholars, thought leaders, and book authors in the field of evaluation. I also enjoy the numerous opportunities for networking during and after AEA conferences, and the online AEA community, which provides numerous resources for practitioners, educators, and researchers alike.

    What is the most memorable or meaningful evaluation you have been a part of? 

    I had the opportunity to conduct a metaevaluation at a youth technology literacy program that focused on bridging the digital divide of at-risk youth.

    Since metaevaluation is an evaluation of an evaluation, I used the Program Evaluation Standards developed by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation to determine how well the standards were met (i.e., feasibility, propriety, and accuracy). I was enriched by this experience because I had the opportunity to utilize my knowledge and experiences as a certified evaluator to make a judgment, based on defensible criteria about sound and accountable contributions of an existing program evaluation. Since I have 13 years of experience in the IT industry as a training program manager and consultant, I also glean from my industry experiences to inform evaluations of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs.

    What advice would you give to those new to the field?

    I highly recommend that all new members take full advantage of the resources and networking opportunities that AEA offers at the annual AEA conference, AEA summer institute, and the AEA 365 blog. I also encourage new and existing members to seek mentorship opportunities as they become available.

    These AEA 365 blog has a wealth of knowledge shared by evaluators. They can learn about new and current evaluation practices and gain access to resources that may be used in their everyday work.  Additionally, I have learned so much at AEA conferences and the Summer Evaluation Institute by attending pre-conference workshops and workshops presented during the AEA. Most recently, I attended the AEA Summer Evaluation Institute 2018 and pre-conference workshops during the Evaluation 2018 conference while serving as AEA Minority Serving Institution Fellow, which is a program led by Dr. Arthur Hernandez. I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on culturally-responsive evaluation (CRE) facilitated by Rodney K. Hopson and Karen E. Kirkhart.

    The Face of AEA features the association's members - sharing their background, why they joined and what some of their most memorable experiences have been. Know someone who should be interviewed? Email the AEA editor, Kristin Fields, at

  • "This is a unique model that we're utilizing."

    Dr. Ashford-Hanserd in a white blazer with short hair, smiling

    Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, assistant professor in the College of Applied Arts’ Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies (OWLS), is leading a research-practitioner partnership to help obtain cultural district designation for the San Marcos’ Dunbar Historic District, encompassing the historic African American Dunbar neighborhood.  Dr. Ashford-Hanserd is working with a research team comprised of Dr. Eric Sarmiento and Dr. Colleen Myles, assistant professors in the Department of Geography, and Dr. Steven Rayburn, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. The project is in collaboration with OWLS and Department Chair Dr. Mary Jo Garcia Biggs. The #ReclaimDunbar Research Team will host a Dunbar Community Conversation to obtain input for the project on Monday, May 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cephas House, 217 W. Martin Luther King Drive in San Marcos.

    The San Marcos City Council renewed its support for the creation of the Dunbar Arts, Cultural and Innovation District on Tuesday night. Dr. Ashford-Hanserd from the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies is leading the support for the creation of the Dunbar Arts, Cultural and Innovation District. 

    For the full article click here

  • Dr. Springer and Dr. Biggs

    The Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies honors Dr. Stephen Springer for Outstanding Service and Dedication to Texas State University. Congrats Dr. Springer!

  • Soldiers prepare for their future in education, changes are coming to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, that supports them and their family members in achieving their higher education goals.


    Watch the full video

    Read the full article


    Sign says: Education Services College Fair
    Photo Credit: Central Texas News Now
  • Jennifer Wood and Dr. Biggs

    Jennifer Wood's study, New Student Orientation Experiences of First Generation Hispanic Students, examined the new student orientation experience of first-generation Hispanic students at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The study adds students voices to the literature, addresses the literature gap in orientation experiences of first-generation Hispanic students, and offers implications for practice and ideas for future research.

    The Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies congrats Jennifer Wood on this recognition!


  • Kassey Wiliams and Dr. Biggs

    Kasey Williams practicum video presentation titled Developing an Early Childhood Educator into a Curriculum Coordinator can be viewed down below.

    Her practicum experience took place at the University of Texas Child Development Centers over the course of eight weeks. In so doing, she had the opportunity to gain hands on learning and exploration in the role of a curriculum and training coordinator in the field of early childhood education.

    The Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies congrats Kasey Williams on this recognition!


  • Noel Fuller has been elected the new Staff Council Chair and has accepted his new position. You can view the members of the Executive Committee here.

  • Dr. Steve Springer presented “Public Managers Going Above and Beyond Legal Requirements to Assist Special Needs Employees” at this years CPM conference. 

    "...With candid and humorous insights, Dr. Springer related the personal impact possible (for both employee and employer) when we build relationships with persons with disabilities, rather than simply “checking the box” and meeting the letter of the law."- Texas CPM Conference Website

    Dr. Springer’s PowerPoint presentation may be accessed here.

  • irish scholars and faculty

    (Pictured Left to Right: Dr. Brian O'Donnchadha, Ms. Lindsey Wilson, Dr. Omar Lopez, Dr. Niamh Nolan, Dr. Mary Jo Biggs, Ms. Nuala Mc Guinn and Dr. Todd Sherron)

    In April 1st the OWLS Department welcomed Ms. Nuala McGuinn, Dr. Niamh Nolan and Dr. Brian O'Donnchadha from the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development NUI Galway, Nuns' Island Galway, Ireland.

    The scholars visited in aim to learn more about our program and workforce development in Central Texas. The US visit project is titled 'Development of Pedagogical Frameworks for Work- Based Learning'.

    The project visit aims to explore innovative approaches to and identify best practice methodologies in the design and development of teaching programmes which seeks to develop work-based learning/ apprenticeship style education within the higher education sector.  Such programmes provide an opportunity for employees to upskill while in employment, but also provide employers with an opportunity to identify specific skills sets necessary for the development of their workforce.  The project visit aims to identify the following elements in course design and delivery:

    • An innovative pedagogical framework which supports work-based learning programmes and apprenticeship-style education;
    • Tools used in the development of occupational profiling and competencies necessary for specific roles and industry sectors;
    • Innovative tools for assessment, collaborative learning and the development of online communities of practice;
    • Methods of course delivery which incorporate the employer within the workplace as a co-deliverer of training;
    • Recognition of Prior Learning providing routes of accreditation for training undertaken in the workplace which may be recognised as part of a higher education award;

    Development of models of work-based learning which incorporate opportunities for students to work internationally either through short work placements abroad and/or through virtual communities of practice.


  • Dr. Omar Lopez received the Wilson Latin American Research Award to help support his research.

    Dr. Omar Lopez

    "The purpose of the Latin America Research Scholarship is to provide a means for Texas State University to engage with universities, agencies, and research centers that function in Latin America for the purpose of collaborative research, teaching, and outreach."- International Office Website


  • Reclaiming Lost Voices in Historic Communities of Color

    Dr. Shetay N. Ashford-Hanserd, Assitant Professor in the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies gives a call to action for community and scholar activists to “#ReclaimDunbar”. For more info click here.

  • The OWLS Department has partnered with the Agriculture Department to sponsor a promotional booth at the San Antonio Rodeo this February 2019. 

    It provides the department the ability to reach out to potential students and network! Proceeds from the raffle tickets and booth sponsorship benefit the Junior Livestock Auctions (some of those students will be attending Texas State) San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo dates-February 7-24th, 2019

    Picture Left: The OWLS Department Chair, Dr. Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, is seen below representing the department at the booth. Picture Right: The OWLS Department Chair, Dr. Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, with the Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller, talking about OWLS initiatives and projects including College Credit for Heroes. 




  • Picture of the Dialogue

    Housing activists from San Antonio and a social equity scholar from Texas State University led a conversation about "Gentrification" at Dialogues for Activism, Friday (6/22/18) at 9:00 a.m. at the LBJ Museum of San Marcos.

    The dialogue on "Gentrification" was moderated by San Marcos activist Tomas de Leon. The session was emceed by Diann McCabe. The panel featured housing activists Marlon Davis and Salena Santibañez, and equity scholar Dr. Shetay N. Ashford-Hanserd.

    Jo Ann Carson, coordinator of the Texas State University Philosophy Dialogue program, facilitated a deliberative dialogue on "Equitable Housing."

    "Diverse and affordable housing has been a topic of conversation in the context of Code SMTX in council chambers this year as the San Marcos median home price surpassed $150,000 in 2016. Eight years ago, the median home price in San Marcos was $121,700, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, the median household income in 2016 was an estimated $30,985.
    “We must do better,” said San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides.

    "In 2014, the city adopted its affordable/workforce housing policy that included goals such as increasing the homeownership rate, encouraging the creation of a diverse housing stock, reducing builder costs for owner-occupied housing and encouraging infill development in existing neighborhoods." (Community Impact Newspaper 3/29/2018)

    The San Marcos web page on Fair Housing identifies needs for affordable housing and more public knowledge about Fair Housing.

    And Austin recently had a task force on institutional racism and systemic inequalities, which issued recommendations for dealing with gentrification:

    Please forward and share with your social media networks:

  • Overview

    During this one-day storytelling conference, four women of color, employed at multinational high-tech corporations in Central Texas, will share their stories (TED Talk style) to an audience of K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students from local school districts, colleges, and universities.  Our vision is to encourage girls and women of color to pursue STEM careers by illuminating the life stories of women who have persisted in male-dominated professions.

    To register go to:



    8:30 AM

    Continental Breakfast

    9:00 AM

    Welcoming & Interpretive Dance

    9:15 AM

    Counter-Life Herstory #1

    9:35 AM

    Counter-Life Herstory #2

    9:55 AM


    10:00 AM

    Counter-Life Herstory #3

    10:20 AM

    Counter-Life Herstory #4

    10:40 AM


    10:50 AM

    Campus Tours

    11:55 AM

    Closing Remarks

    12:00 PM

    Picnic Lunch in LBJ Amphitheater with Live DJ

    1:00 PM



    Point of Contact

    Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd



  • P.E.O. Sisterhood logo
    Photo Credit: P.E.O. International

    Chapter IW (Horseshoe Bay) of the P.E.O. Sisterhood has awarded three $1,500 grants to Texas State graduate students through its Program for Continuing Education. P.E.O. stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization, and its mission is to support educational opportunities for women. The Program for Continuing Education provides need-based grants to women whose education has been interrupted (at least 2 years as a non-student) and who return to school to complete a degree that improves their marketable skills for employment. This is the first time students from Texas State have applied for and received these grants. The three recipients are as follows:

    Monica Swift – OWLS

    Jane Heffelfinger – History

    Dana Minney – Family & Child Studies

    Congratulations to these students and thank you to Dr. Andrea Hilkovitz, research coordinator in The Graduate College, for working with these students!

  • Graduate Representative Jessica Ramos-Karmaker

    Jessica Ramos-Karmaker is a graduate student at the Round Rock Campus who has been selected as a member of the Graduate House of Representatives. This is a wonderful honor for her, and she has expressed her excitement at bringing ideas and feedback from Round Rock graduate students.

    Since the MSIS and MEd degrees in the OWLS department can be completed in Round Rock, if you have any feedback for her and the Grad House, you can contact her via email at

    There will also be a suggestion box in the Student Services office in the Avery Building should graduate students prefer to leave anonymous suggestions for Jessica.

  • Grant will encourage STEM studies among underrepresented youth

    Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, assistant professor in Texas State’s Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies, received a $299,536 grant from the National Science Foundation INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program. Her research team will develop a collaborative project to prepare historically underrepresented youth to pursue undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees. Under the Association of Collaborative Communities Equipping Youth for STEM Success program, Dr. Ashford will work with San Marcos-based nonprofits, churches, schools, city offices, and organizations to implement a culturally relevant learning model.