Nadia De Leon
Part-Time Faculty Member
Office: ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships
B.A. Interdisciplinary Arts Education with emphasis in Dance Education from the WKU Honors College
Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies from Western Kentucky University
MA Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University
Courses I teach:
FLK 280: Cultural Diversity in the U.S. (undergrad class)
A graduate of the Folk Studies graduate program, Nadia De Leon teaches Cultural Diversity in the US (FLK 280) for the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology as an adjunct part-time faculty. She also coordinates campus and community partnerships, and is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships. In addition, she is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with emphasis in Post-Secondary Education and Organizational Leadership. If that wasn't enough, Nadia is also a professionally trained dancer, choreographer, instructor, and producer. Among her many honors and awards, in 2011 Nadia received a Women of Achievement Award in the arts category by the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission.
Nadia said: "I am an educator at heart, and I enjoy the kind of hands-on work that addresses the needs of people, not just their traditions, and helps bring about positive social change. I work to coordinate multicultural services, engaged scholarship opportunities, and community development efforts. My job and many personal endeavors keep me connected to the arts and non-profit worlds, as well as to the needs and assets of diverse communities – particularly immigrants and refugees. Being a public folklorist helps me frame my work and existence. I am interested in researching and understanding folklore, but also invested in finding ways in which a community's traditions can help sustain or improve its quality of life."
Service-learning is dear to Nadia's heart and informs her teaching philosophy. Since the Spring of 2011, Nadia's sections of Cultural Diversity in the U.S., along with Dr. Evan's, Molly's, and Jennifer's, have been conducting The $100 Solution™ service-learning projects to benefit and learn from immigrant and refugee families. The projects were coordinated in partnership with the Bowling Green International Center, The Center for Development, Acculturation and Resolution Services (CEDARS), and the WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships. This semester is the biggest it has ever been with four sections involved, 17 families and 85 students!
Of the project, Nadia said, "The goal of the project was to create meaningful interaction between the students and the families. All the student projects and experiences were a success. The student service-learning projects helped meet some of the needs of the partner families as well as learning objectives for the students."
Here is one student's reaction to the project, which relefects many of the students' reactions: "This project made each of us feel uncomfortable at times, and it made each of us feel frustrated, but most importantly, by the end of it all it made each of us feel like we had made a difference. We have taken away such joy from helping our partner and setting the building block for future refugees. This project has taught us to accept others regardless of the differences we may have, for everyone has things in common. And it has also cleared up many misconceptions we've had about people from other cultures."
Check out Nadia's profile on the ALIVE Center's website.