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  • Writer's pictureJ. Singh

Western Regional Honors Conference (WRHC) 2024 Workshop!

It has been a while since my last update, so here's what's been happening! I got my proposal for a workshop accepted on Feb 13, 2024! The workshop was titled Burnout Vs. Depression and it would be taking place on March 29, 2024.

Of course, the conference itself was a wonderful experience. It was my first time travelling to California and staying in the beautiful city of Long Beach, CA. While the official web page for the conference details is still up, I've gone ahead and saved PDF copies of the official Conference Schedule and Presentation Abstracts, just in case the website goes away sooner or later.

2024 Western Regional Honors Council Conference Schedule PDF
Download PDF • 414KB

2024 Western Regional Honors Council Conference List of Abstracts
Download PDF • 876KB

It was an honor to be the only student representing Pima Community College at the conference. I think more so than the actual workshop, the thought of making sure that I put my best foot forward and represented my school amicably was on my mind. Now that I've had a chance to come back, decompress, and reflect on the conference I think (or rather hope) that I did a good job.

The workshop itself went well! Obviously, due to privacy concerns and the nature of the topics being discussed in the group participation part of the workshop, I felt it was best to not have any kind of audio/video recording setup inside the room while I was conducting the workshop. but aside from my own workshop, I managed to attend several other workshops during my time at the conference.

The workshop titled "Building Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization into Honours from the ground up" by Jenna Woodrow from Thompson Rivers University was particularly of interest to me, and I was grateful that I was able to have the 2:30PM time slot available to attend! Some of the most impactful lessons I took from that workshop were as follows:

  • Higher education is designed for the "average" student; but the problem is that there truly is no average student. Everyone is different, everyone is unique, and everyone learns differently.

  • If you build the system for the average, then in reality you're building it for nobody due to the uniqueness of each person.

  • What education should be designed for is "the edges", in other words, the extremes of what can be achieved given a finite budget so that it may allow for as much participation as possible and be inclusive of all students, not just a few. Thereby providing a learning experience that does not inhibit the mind and allows for diversity of thought, expression, and creativity.

  • Also important to remember that Belonging is lower for underrepresented students. Correlates with poorer academic outcomes.

  • The opposite of belonging is fitting-in” - An extremely impactful statement that I can still remember long after the conference concluded.

  • Another important word I recall from the workshop is Ckultn i.e., Community and belong are a fundamental birthright for all things. To exist is to be an interconnected parts of a whole.

  • The workshop concluded and urged the participants to re-think the way they design programs, curriculums for their classes, and even how they may impart information to those they work with to be more inclusive of all people.

Finally, I'll leave you with a photograph of myself, as I concluded my workshop. I'll miss Long Beach, CA and the weather over there. But I was glad to be headed back home to Tucson.

I think the greatest lesson I've learned from this conference is this: Nothing will happen if you don't try because you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. I wasn't expecting my proposal to get accepted, and yet it did. But it wouldn't have had the chance to even be considered if I hadn't applied in the first place.

Until next time.

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