Universal Design Project helps with accreditation

By Daniel Johnson, Investigative Reporter

The Universal Design Project is one of the Academic Quality Improvement Programs (AQIP) projects of CNM, which is part of the accreditation pathways with the Higher Learning Commission, said Associate Dean of CHSS, Paula Smith-Hawkins.

UNM, NMSU, and CNM all have accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, she said.

Smith-Hawkins said the Universal Design Action Project Team was formed in the Fall of 2013 and has an international movement, which is now prominently fea­tured in Higher Education.

“Few community colleges have been part of this conversation, CNM is a leader in this effort so go Suncats,” Smith-Hawkins said.

The program infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement of the culture of colleges and universities by providing different choices through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation, according to ncahlc.org.

A college needs to demonstrate how it meets the accreditation standards and expectations through the events and activ­ities it uses to improve its performance, according to the website.

This concept has been important for architects and developers seek­ing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act since the 1970’s, Smith- Hawkins said.

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler of the University of Washington is considered the national leader for Universal Design in Higher Education, she said.

“Our Team was able to meet with her by video conference back in April of 2014 to discuss the next steps for the Universal Design Project,” Smith-Hawkins said.

The CNM team is review­ing Dr. Burgstahler’s work, which is titled Universal Design in Higher Education over the summer semester, she said.

Concepts like flexible use can prove useful in designing curriculum, just as much as they can when designing build­ings, she said.

“Required reading doesn’t go away once you graduate, because we are still doing it on the daily,” Smith-Hawkins said.

The universal Design team wants to be able to introduce and apply the prin­ciples of universal design into CNM’s cul­ture by 2015, she said.

The process, developed by a previous CNM AQIP team will involve assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation and integration, she said.

The past year was spent in the assess­ment or research phase, she said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time researching, reading and meeting with campus leaders with expertise,” Smith-Hawkins said.

As most Business majors know, there are a lot of processes that go into the for­mation of a team, but even more for a team like the Universal Design Project Team, she said.

“The process is forming, norming, storming and on to performing, so we meet regularly to accomplish the goals that we have set forth for ourselves,” Smith-Hawkins said.

Most projects that are set in motion by a team like Universal Design take three years to be completed from begin­ning to end, she said.

According to the higher learn­ing commission website at ncahlc. org, the Academic Quality Improvement Programs is one of several pathways leading to con­firmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission for different colleges.

AQIP differs from the other pathways because it is based on principles of continuous quality improvements, along with confirm­ing the institution’s accredited status with the Commission once every cycle, according to the website.

Many colleges have reported trans­forming the quality of time spent at an institution for disabled students since taking on the AQIP Pathway and CNM is one of them.

Colleges in the United States seek accreditation through two types of agen­cies, institutional and specialized.

National accreditation associations focus on certain types of colleges such as trade and technical institutions like CNM, or religious colleges such as seminaries and bible schools.

Regional accreditation agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree granting colleges and universities.

Regional accreditation proves the quality of a college as a whole and evalu­ates things like academic offerings, gov­ernance and administration, mission, finances, and resources.

The accreditation process is based on a system of peer reviews, according to the website.

1,300 educators from different col­leges serve as peer reviewers and conduct accreditation evaluations for other college.

Peer reviewers also serve on committees that make up the elements of the accredita­tion process, according to the website.

Don’t be that guy, because nobody likes that guy

By Rene Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

Most women that walk around the city by themselves tend to get cat-calls from men, and most of these women just deal with it because they have been conditioned to think that this behavior is tolerable, and that dealing with it is just part of their daily routine and lives, but that does not have to be the case— not anymore.

Women can actually empower themselves to stop these men by telling them why they do not appreciate being harassed on the street by complete strangers, and explain to these men or even other women sometimes that being harassed for simply being a woman walking down the street makes them uncomfortable.

Some women and even men at times actually do appreci­ate this type of courting, and maybe they get some kind of validation out of people complimenting them on the streets, but most women actually find it majorly offensive, and are even sometimes treated like or called prostitutes just because they are trying to get from point A to point B.

And if you think that it ends there with cat-calling you are dead wrong, because this type of behavior can take a turn for the worse in a matter of seconds and scar a woman for the rest of her life.

Some also may think that cat-calling at women is harm­less, but it can progress into groping or even rape in some cases, and that type of behavior is not exclusive to places such as India or Egypt where sexual assault is rampant.

Sexual harassment and assault happens right here in Albuquerque every day and needs to be stopped, not only by the women it happens to, but also the men who portray and perpetuate this type of behavior.

An example of this is when someone I know was walking down Columbia Drive SE just a few blocks east of CNM’s main campus a couple of years ago, and she had her headphones on while commuting to work on a sunny afternoon.

She saw a man trying to get her attention, and she just passed him by; ignoring his advances as many women are forced to do, but then this man thought it was okay to sneak up on her and sexually assault her.

He came up behind her to grope at all of her private parts before she even had a chance to realize what was going on, or to react to the situation, and then he just ran away like a coward.

The women ran after him screaming and yelling in shock that someone would do this to her in the light of day, and she lost sight of him after he turned past a wall into an alleyway.

But she then realized that he entered an apartment build­ing only a few feet away from where she lives.

She called the police and made a report, and of course nothing came from it, so from that point on she was afraid to walk down her own street for fear of being sexually assaulted once again by this man.

She started walking a different path and even feared leav­ing her own home at times but was then utterly relieved when she could finally be able to afford a car, so she would not have to be approached by strange men or fear being assaulted while attempting to get to work.

A woman should never have to be relieved at the thought that she does not have to walk down her own street because she fears what might happen.

This was not the first time in this women’s life that some­thing like this had happened to her, nor was it the last.

The reason I know this is because all of this happened to me, and in fact, sexual assault happens to women on a daily basis without any provocation what so ever.

It does not matter what I was wearing, (which was a pair of sweats and a T-shirt) or what I looked like that day.

This assault happened to me solely because I am a woman who was walking down the street alone.

Now, when men cat-call or stare at me like a piece of meat, I call them out on it now; not only for myself, but for the women that they might take it too far with in the future.

Most women want these types of men to realize how alarming, terrifying, infuriating or even annoying it can be to have a complete stranger come up to them and harass them merely because of their appearance.

This type of behavior is unacceptable— plain and simple, and men as well as some women need to become educated that most women hate to be troubled this way and deserve to be able to walk down the street without fear of being harassed or assaulted.

Cat calling, whistling, or gawking perversely at women will not change, that is unless all of us take the time to call out people who act this way toward women, and to help change this behavior at its source.

So women, I urge you to speak up when you are forced to feel uncomfortable by cat calls or perverted stares, and let these types of men know that it is not okay to treat you with such disrespect, because all women deserve better than this type of behavior.

And to the men who are guilty of cat-calling, whistling or staring at women with a gross and perverted look written all over their faces, I urge them to have more respect for the women around them, and don’t be that guy, because, really, nobody likes that guy.

Enter the Dojo’s Master Ken

By Rene Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT PAGE The cast of Enter the Dojo exaggerates the Americanization of martial arts through Ameri-Do-Te.

 

The web based show Enter the Dojo has brought many viral videos to social network feeds, including ‘100 Ways to Attack the Groin,’ or ‘How to Block a Bitch Slap,’ but there is actually an entire series of Enter the Dojo in its third season, which is filmed right here in Albuquerque.

Creator of the show and owner of Riff Raff New Media, Matt Page sat down with the Chronicle to explain what this show is all about, as well as how he envisioned and brought to life the character Master Ken, who he plays on the YouTube series, he said.

“I felt like there wasn’t a lot out there for this type of thing, and I feel like it addresses what’s funny about the martial arts world,” he said.

Page said that the show is mostly scripted, but at times, especially during the character interviews, that the actors sometimes go completely improv, which he said really adds to each of the characters identities.

The best formula for the show Page said is to write each episode and have them carefully scripted, and then the day they are filming the crew do as many scripted takes as possible.

“Most of the time when we are doing the inter­views in the show, we try to see if we can make the crew laugh, then we know we got what was needed,” Page said.

Page, who created Master Ken and Ameri-Do-Te; the fictional martial arts style in the series, said that he has been training in martial arts since he was 17-years-old.

He has also learned many styles, from Okinawan Kenpo and Kobudo, to Brazilian Jujitsu and American Kenpo as well.

In regards to his favorite martial artists he said “Ed Parker was very influential to me, and Bruce Lee’s book ‘Tao of Jeet Kune Do’ was a very important book that I have studied— both of their philosophical views of martial arts and how to apply it to real life helped me in many ways. I was probably the biggest fan of John Claude Van Dam as well at the height of his popu­larity, and his movies really made me want to learn martial arts, so it’s cool to see that he’s still around doing stuff.”

Page said he was able to create Master Ken because he had traveled a lot and went to many different types of dojos that were for a better term ‘Americanized,’ with instructors that made up their own styles of mar­tial arts from previous trainings.

“After years and years of having trained with people like Master Ken, I wanted to do a web-series because it was becoming popular and I didn’t know what subject matter to do it on, so I thought since I had been training in martial arts off and on for so long, why not just kind of sample my experiences from that,” he said.

Page’s favorite episode of the series so far is from season two titled ‘Thrust of Freedom,’ because he said that particular episode represents what they are striving to do with every episode they produce.

The techniques that are made-up in the show he said the fans seem to really latch onto, and that some actually make their own videos mimicking the fic­tional Ameri-Do-Te techniques.

“So the ‘Thrust of Freedom’ has been one of most popular techniques to mimic so far. It’s really encouraging when an episode resonates with all of the fans— it’s one we’re really are proud of, and when we see people are actually quoting the show, we are so thrilled,” he said.

Page has been in many other productions as well, including Breaking Bad, In Plain Sight, and The Lone Ranger, as well as many other locally made movies and television shows.

“I’ve had a good year and it’s been fun— I’ve met a lot of really cool people and worked on some big things. Since coming out with Enter the Dojo, people have taken notice of the actors, and we all seem to be going into auditions more often; it might have been happenstance, but it seems more like it’s because of the show,” Page said.

Page is a transplant to New Mexico since 2001 where he graduated from the College of Santa Fe, and said he loves living and working here in Albuquerque because of the great filming commu­nity that exists here.

Including on the movie Odd Thomas that Page said is being offered on Netflix this summer, where he plays a corky bad guy in the opening scenes of the movie.

“I got to do some really fun stunts on that one. When people message me and say ‘I just saw you in this film,’ that’s really exciting for me, and the thing that I would say is the coolest realization about it though, is that no matter how big or small a movie is, that ultimately the process is exactly the same, which is kind of reassuring,” he said.

Page said that there really are so many things that he loves about New Mexico, such as the landscape, food, and hiking in the Sandia mountains, but what he loves most is that there is a real filming community that is flourishing here in Albuquerque, which he is grateful for in many ways.

He said he likes the fact that he can work behind and in front of the camera here and that there are jobs available in the city for filming opportunities, which are not really anywhere else besides Los Angeles.

“The fact that I can live here and be able to do all of that is amazing. The timing was really fortuitous, because I graduated in 2005, and that was when things were really just gearing up; ever since I graduated I’ve had work in the industry and been able to enjoy living in a smaller place,” he said.

His advice to students out there that are trying to get in the same field is simple, as he said it is all about following your dreams and creativity right away, and to not wait one more second, but to just go for it.

Page also said that sometimes what a person thinks may give them a break, ends up being noth­ing, and that experiences that did not seem like much at the time for him, actually shaped the person he is today and changed his life in so many positive ways, so going all into whatever projects are going to make a person happy is what the work should be all about.

“I used to think the most important thing was preparation, but the longer I waited, the more it seemed like I just needed to do more, so my advice would be to not wait in expressing your creativity, because the only way you are going to get better at this stuff is to just to do it; do it often, and to not be afraid to fail,” Page said.

To check out the seasons of the Enter the Dojo local web series, go to youtube.com/enterthedojoshow.