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Union Institute & University
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Union strives to engage, enlighten, and empower students in a lifetime of learning and service.
Union strives to engage, enlighten, and empower students in a lifetime of learning and service.

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Union BA psychology student Deb Pinger is featured this week on the AICUO (Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio) homepage! 

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Union Institute & University students are extremely busy adults who must manage their limited time carefully and balance a variety of responsibilities. Juggling work, school, family, volunteer, and social life activities can be a challenge. To find out how they manage it all, we asked Union student Angie Brown to share her secrets for succeeding as an adult student.

Angie Brown
West Chester, Ohio
B.S. with a major in Leadership student

These are the things that help me remain balanced and true to myself.

1. Faith: My faith is extremely important to every aspect of my life. I spend time daily reflecting, praying reading my bible and seeking guidance and wisdom to live the life I was born to live. I expect the best out of life.
2. Family: My husband of 31 years keeps me grounded, and makes me believe I’m still that 19-year-old he first met. My adult children, watching them achieve their advanced degrees with honors, makes me grateful that I was able to remain at home with them during their younger years. My family is my encourager, I look at them and know that I can achieve.
3. Fun: I truly believe that laughter, fun, and fellowship are essential to balance. I run or ride my bike every weekend during the spring and summer. We spend time with friends at dinner, discuss world events, travel and sometimes just enjoy being still and reading books.
4. Focus: To remain focused I keep post it notes and pictures around my house of my dreams and goals. I keep a jar on the left side of my desk, and add small gratitude notes to it daily. At the end of the year I empty the jar and read every note. This allows me to see what I’m thankful for.
5. Future: Reminding myself what I want my future to look like. Asking myself the tough questions: Will I leave a legacy? Am I walking in my purpose?
6. Freedom: The freedom to work as a consultant for the 8th largest school district in Ohio. The freedom to help others in my job. The freedom to take on new challenges by utilizing what I’m learning in class. The freedom that my education is now catching up to my life experience. The freedom to make new friends in class from different parts of the country and accept the fact that we may disagree but still want each other to achieve.

When I decided to return to school, I was excited, somewhat fearful of the unknown but I knew this was something I had to do. I chose Union Institute & University because of the initial contact I made with the school. I love the fact that my adviser sat down with me and guided me through the process of enrolling and made sure my past credits would be honored. I love all of my professors; they have brought out the best in me. I laugh and say my education is catching up with my life experiences. I am honored to be a part of the Union family. Something great is happening with my life, and Union is playing a major role in that greatness!
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Union Alumna named Dean of Tuskegee’s Architecture and Construction Science School

Union Institute & University alumna Carla Jackson Bell (Ph.D. 2009) has accepted the position of dean of the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science School at Tuskegee University, a school whose mission is to sustain the legacy of Booker T. Washington and the strategy of “educating the hand and the mind together.”

Her impressive resume includes recognition as one of only 12 tenured African American women architecture faculty in the United States and the first to receive a doctoral degree specializing in architecture education. She is also one of two African American women to be named dean of an architecture program and the first to lead a construction science program.

Prior to accepting this position, she served as a faculty member and the director of Multicultural Affairs in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC) at Auburn University where her students won first place for three consecutive years in the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) student design competition.

Dr. Bell has earned the prestigious John and Janet Stone Lectureship for Multicultural Understanding, Equality and Justice, and the Minority Achievement Award for recruitment and retention at Auburn University. In addition, she is the chair of the Higher Education Task Force in the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and was also named to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Diversity Council in 2013. In 2014, she released her first book, Space Unveiled: Invisible Cultures in the Design Studio (2014), which examines issues of race, culture, gender, and space in design studios and construction seminar courses.
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The transformation of lives and communities is a lofty goal. It takes dedication and commitment to a higher purpose. One man who understood this premise is Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, the founder of what is now known as Black History Month.

Woodson, often referred to as the “Father of Black History,” was the son of former slaves and a Harvard-trained historian who dedicated his life to the research and preservation of the history of African Americans. He was one of the first to decry the lack of African-American contributions in history text books.

It was this glaring omission of African-American history that led him to start “Negro History Week” in 1926, the forerunner of today’s Black History Month. Dr. Goodwin stated, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”

The significance of Black History Month should not be overlooked. This was the first time that the African-American community was asked to highlight the significant contributions to the social, economic, and political culture in our country.

Dr. Goodwin is a resolute example of how one transforms lives and communities. His dedication shines a light on the challenges faced then and now.

Union Institute & University is proud of its commitment to transform lives and communities. And, as we state in Union’s newly revised values statement, “Union is committed to promoting diversity among its academic community and in the world at large.”

We are highlighting just a few of our many students and alumni below who have made a positive impact in the last year–breathing life into Union’s mission and furthering it across the nation and the world.

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#TBT Some materials from Union’s early days, when we were named the Union for Research and Experimentation in Higher Education (1964-1969).
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An interesting article for our MA with a major in Creativity Studies students and scholars. Do you agree that limited resources can lead to great ideas? 

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Ph.D. Student Aiesha Turman Launches Black Girl Project to Combat Stereotypical Media Images 

Believing in yourself is essential to personal freedom. That is why Aiesha Turman, a Union Institute & University Ph.D. student with a major in Humanities & Culture, created The Black Girl Project, a documentary film featuring black girls telling their stories in their own words. Her goal is to transform individuals and communities through inter-and intra-generational dialogue.

“Too many black girls see themselves as the stereotypical images portrayed in the media. The media often portrays black women and girls as saintly which strip them of any other character attribute except that of martyr/mammy, or demonized and used as the fall gal to explain away all that is wrong with the black community and society-at-large. It is important to hear and see black girls speak their truths,” said Turman. 

The Black Girl Project has evolved into a grassroots organization using various art platforms to continue the goal of personal freedom. 

Her ground-breaking work recently earned her a fellowship from Culture Push, a New York City arts organization that strives to push the boundaries of conventional thinking. Turman is using her fellowship to engage New York City’s black women and girls to examine issues of sex/uality, gender, identity, community, and place-making. The project incorporates a range of artistic modalities including literature/poetry, performance, visual art, and digital media.  

Dr. Anu M. Mitra, chair of Turman’s Union Institute & University Ph.D. program committee, explains how Turman’s work complements Union’s commitment to students to reflect their awareness of the social implications of their studies.

“Aiesha has masterfully synthesized and integrated arts-based learning with issues of equity and justice as it pertains to African American youth in communities in New York. Her Black Girls Project provides creative and equitable opportunities to youth so that they are competitive, aware, and giving individuals in a community that they intentionally create,” said Dr. Mitra. “Aiesha is a brilliant, aware, and highly creative individual whose purpose lies in creating access to all. She does this through narrative story-telling, mbongi circles, and other artistic practices that serve to show the inter-relationship among people, rather than highlighting their differences.” 

With belief in herself and her art form, Turman continues her quest to provide a safe place for black women and girls to free themselves of stereotypical images. 
 
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With winter storm #Jonas approaching we thought it would be a good time to reminisce about this peaceful, snowy day last February. #TBT #throwbackthursday  
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