AC provides opportunity for Iraqi and local students to form lasting connections

Posted on August 29th, 2018 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

For the second summer, local Allendale Columbia students participated in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) here in Rochester. IYLEP* is a four-week exchange program for promising Iraqi students to visit different U.S. cities and learn about leadership, peacebuilding, and civic engagement. Rochester is the only host city that has American students participate in the IYLEP program for the full two weeks, which allows them to build a strong bond and further break down stereotypes and misconceptions.

“Before this program, what I thought and knew of Iraq was based off what I see in the news, and sure, we have our differences, but we have way more in common than I thought,” said AC student Garrett Wilson.

During their time in Rochester, Iraqi and AC students visited an array of places, ranging from workshops at the M.K. Gandhi Institute, site visits to Rochester International Academy, a service project at Foodlink, and a night out at a Red Wings game.

 

On August 16th, students, host parents, and members of the community gathered in the Curtis Performance Center for the IYLEP Student Showcase. As guests trickled in, IYLEP participants laughed, sang NSYNC, and posed for selfies together, further proving that teenagers are teenagers, no matter where they’re from.

 

“Just because we’re from different places, it doesn’t mean we have different kinds of hearts.” – Mikayla Gross ‘19

 

Showcase presentations included a student-produced video highlighting the activities and friendships formed over the course of the two weeks in Rochester; a skit depicting some of the cultural differences identified between American and Iraqi students; and a touching thank you video to the host families. Many participants spoke about the lasting impact of the program, including the simple experiences like living with pets or riding a bike.

The evening concluded with the presentation of awards to the IYLEP participants by RGC Executive Director, Cecelia Hencke, and Program Facilitator, Mary Beth Moyer, followed by a friendly mix and mingle over refreshments in the Dining Commons.

 

“The lasting impact of this program is the person-to-person connection formed between people from diverse backgrounds,” said Hencke. “It increases international understanding and promotes positive U.S. foreign relations and a more peaceful and prosperous world. The program has a multiplier effect because the students are now ambassadors of one another’s country and will help further breakdown the stereotypes or misconceptions.”

 

Allendale Columbia School has been involved with IYLEP since 2017, when the AC Center for Global Engagement partnered with Rochester Global Connections (RGC), a local nonprofit organization that promotes cultural exchange,  to bring this opportunity to our community. Local high school students who participate in the program are eligible to receive accreditation from AC’s Center for Global Engagement. This year’s participants included 11 high school students and one adult mentor from Iraq and eight local Allendale Columbia students.

Since the program’s founding in 2007, IYLEP has brought more than 2,300 promising Iraqi high school and undergraduate students to the U.S. In addition to promoting mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the U.S., IYLEP also fosters relationships within the diverse group of Iraqi participants, who represent a broad range of ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds.

During their program, IYLEP participants visit two to three U.S. cities where they engage in experiential learning activities and cultural exchange. Upon their return to Iraq, they implement projects in their communities, such as organizing peace festivals and providing relief services to refugees and orphans. As an investment in global understanding and peace, IYLEP has created a cadre of future leaders of Iraq.

It is clear this program benefits both American and Iraqi students alike. Together, it prepares them to become global leaders- to learn global empathy, compassion, and humility. They learn leadership skills- such as working with people from diverse backgrounds, problem solving, teamwork, dialogue, and self confidence. From this experience, students are prepared to be successful in our global and diverse society and be empowered to make a positive difference in our community and communities around the world.

“We hope to continue this program on an annual basis, so I encourage local students to apply!” said Hencke.

 

GET INVOLVED

Apply for next year’s program! (students ages 15-17) 

Become a host family

Learn more about the AC Center for Global Engagement

*IYLEP is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by World Learning.

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Posted in: Global Engagement, Highlights, Partnerships

Host Families Needed for Authentic Cultural Experience

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Looking for an authentic cultural experience?

The AC Center for Global Engagement and Rochester Global Connections is looking for host families for two weeks in August! From August 5th – 19th, AC Global Connections Leadership Academy will have 13 Iraqi students on campus to work with our students on leadership and civic engagement. These Iraqi teenagers have been selected by World Vision and the US Department of State as being the most promising future leaders of their country. They will be in the Leadership Academy weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and our wish is that, during the evenings and weekends, the host student gains an authentic cultural experience by participating in family activities. While this is a volunteer experience, it is an extremely enriching multi-cultural opportunity for both your family and the host student and creates a life-long friendship. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in finding out more information about your family hosting a student, please contact hospitality@rocglobal.org or abaerharper@allendalecolumbia.org

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Posted in: Global Engagement, Partnerships

Discovery, Collaboration, and Community in the 2018 May Term

Posted on June 1st, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Every year at the end of the spring semester, Middle and Upper School students at Allendale Columbia complete their usual curriculum and begin May Term. May Term exists to provide educational opportunities outside of the normal structures of the school year to support intellectual discovery, encourage collaboration, and foster community involvement.

Here are some May Term highlights so far this year:

  • Students learned about honey bees, built a beehive, planted flora that bees love, and installed a starter colony of bees at the school garden in the “Buds and Bees” course led by Mrs. Guzzetta and Mr. Costanzo. Students will continue to monitor the hive and harvest honey in the fall.
  • A panel of judges from the AC Kitchen and maintenance evaluated student culinary creations in a Master Chef-type competition, with students presenting the science behind the creation of those food items in the “Science of Cooking” course led by Ms. Crosby and senior Gio Martino.
  • In “Human Impacts on the Environment”, AC students worked with students from the World of Inquiry School 58 at a Water Quality Summit in Rochester to understand the Genesee River ecosystem, which was featured on WROC and WXXI. Mrs. Lisi and Mr. Godkin led this session.
  • In “Life Underwater”, students explored the flora and fauna in Corbett’s Glen with Mrs. Guzzetta.
         
  • Students visited the Women’s Rights Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls as part of “Nevertheless, She Persisted” (above) with Mr. Neeley

Other topics included:

  • Positive Psychology
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Console Wars: The History of Video Gaming
  • Be Here Now: Mindfulness as a Practice
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What would Susan and Frederick Think? The Legacy of Rochester’s Agitators
  • Muse: Making a Magazine
  • Bilingual Theatre
  • Building, flying and using drones for media production
  • Nicaragua
  • Music with Kids
  • Confidence & Courage: Dare to Show Up, Be Seen, & Be Brave
  • Wheelin’ Through Rochester’s History
  • Stigma and Mental Health: Issues and Interventions
  • Ornithology Science and Art
  • Ableism
  • Exhibition Night Planning
  • Grow Your Own Food
  • Social Impact Filmmaking
  • Day Trading and Cryptocurrency Lab
  • Making Community Service a Way of Life
  • 2019 College Workshop
  • The AC Genome Project
  • Innocence and Guilt: Learning about the Law

We’ll have additional updates as May Term progresses. Everyone is also welcome to participate in an interactive May Term Exhibition Night where students will discuss their projects on Thursday, May 7th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Seniors Present Research at SJFC Symposium

Posted on May 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Students at Allendale Columbia engage in original research and presents papers and talks for review. Just last month, five AC students in the Science Writing & Research class participated in a symposium at St. John Fisher College in conjunction with SJFC’s symposium on student research and scholarship. These seniors presented their papers before a panel of judges and other observers.

  • Aditi Seshadri: Determining the Relationship Between the Fundamental Properties of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles and their Cytotoxicity to E. coli through Self Organizing Maps (SOMs)
  • Rui (Tony) Zhou: A Deep Convolutional Neural Network for Lung Nodule Segmentation using Mask R-CNN and DenseNet
  • Anjana Seshadri: The Relationship Between Various Chemical Parameters and the Phototoxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: An Analysis Using Self-Organizing Maps
  • Jason (JT) Coupal: The Psychological and Physiological Benefits of Virtual Environments
  • Tingyan (David) Deng: Using Finite Element Analysis to Determine the Structural Integrity of Allens Creek Bridge

Two others will be presenting their research papers at the May Term Exhibition Night in June.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Invent, Partnerships, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Social Entrepreneurship Class Collaborates on Blended Burger Project

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

By Fiona Lutz and Indiia Maring

Students in the Making the Impact: Social Entrepreneurship class are working with Headwater Food Hub to research and market their Blended Burger Project submissions. The Blended Burger is a combination of ground beef, onions, and mushrooms, and its mission is to reimagine the iconic burger in a sustainable and healthier way that is more accessible for everyone.

The students have split into two groups to tackle their objectives more efficiently. The research team is working to collect data about the quality and taste of the Blended Burger in order to see how it would work for the Allendale community and Rochester community. They sponsored a taste survey during school lunches last week. The marketing team is collaborating with Ryn Adkins, manager of the Blended Burger project, to create advertisement material to use with Headwater’s partners.

Kristin Cocquyt

Fiona Lutz

Fiona Lutz is a sophomore at Allendale Columbia. She plays tennis for HAC and loves being involved with programs at school such as the global engagement and ambassador programs.
Kristin Cocquyt

Indiia Maring

Indy Maring, Co-chair of the Social Inclusivity Club, is a senior at AC. Indy has been a member of SIC for 3 years, and this is their first year as chair. They enjoy throwing discus, learning about cults, and playing with their cousin Riley. Next year, Indy plans on studying Political Science at the University of Rochester.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Closing Reception for Honors and Seminar Art Exhibitions May 4th

Posted on April 30th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
This Friday, May 4th, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., is the final chance to view the spring art exhibition for 18 of Allendale Columbia School’s Upper School students. Created as part of the Honors and Portfolio Seminar classes, their work ranges from drawing and painting, to video and photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, and food art.
Their show is in photographer Richard Margolis’ expansive and beautiful studio, located on the fourth floor of the Anderson Alley Artist Studios building next door to Village Gate at 250 North Goodman Street # 4-9 (upstairs from Fabrics and Findings and Good Luck Restaurant).
This exhibition reception is part of Rochester’s First Friday event, a monthly citywide gallery night on the first Friday of each month that opens art spaces and museums to the Rochester public from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. We’d love to see you!
See also: Honors and Portfolio Seminar Art Exhibit Opens April 14th
Kristin Cocquyt

Lori Wun

Lori has 18 years of experience as an educator and has been an art teacher at AC for 14 of those years. She has taught grades 9-12, elementary and middle school students, as well as university undergraduates. Lori is a practicing artist with bachelor's degrees in fine arts and art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the College of William and Mary, where she focused on drawing, painting, and modern art history. She earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she concentrated on photography and video.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Partnerships, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Blood Drive and Bake Sale Help Red Cross

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

A Red Cross blood drive hosted by Allendale Columbia’s Community Service Club helped save lives on April 25th, surpassing the goal of 21 units of blood with 28 donors and 24 units collected. Several students became blood donors for the first time.

Students in Middle School were too young to give blood, so their Student Council held a bake sale that morning for the Greater Rochester Red Cross, raising $177.75. The money is designated for Comfort Kits provided to victims requiring shelter following disasters that displace them from their homes.

Many thanks to all who participated, including Allendale alumnus Leal Smith ’63, who was assisting on the Red Cross team. Also of note, AC alumna Diana Clarkson ’99 serves as the Chair of the Greater Rochester Chapter’s Board of Directors.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

AC Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus Team Up with Spectrum Creative Arts for “Together We ROC!”

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Gabe Costanzo

When music therapist Molly Phillips approached us a couple of years ago and brought up the possibility of having our students collaborate with some of the students in the music ensembles at Spectrum Creative Arts, we really didn’t know what that kind of team effort would look like. After a couple of meetings and brainstorming sessions, we found a way to merge that idea with one of our goals, which was to get our students out in front of public audiences as a way to show off their talents and give them a real and authentic performance experience.

This year, instead of having an in-house “spring concert” performance for Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus, our ensembles are going to perform “Together We ROC!” on Saturday afternoon, May 5th, at a public venue. Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, for those who have not visited the venue yet, is a music-friendly venue with great food at Park Point, on the campus of RIT. Doors open at 1:00 p.m., with a suggested $5 donation; the show runs 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Here is the listing on the Lovin’ Cup events calendar for May 5th:

Crossroads and Chrome, two inclusive ensembles from Spectrum Creative Arts, are teaming up with students in the Select Choir and Jazz Ensemble at Allendale Columbia for an awesome afternoon of music at Lovin’ Cup! Come enjoy some delicious food and great tunes!

Spectrum Creative Arts strives to provide the highest quality music, art, and theatre instruction services, along with a host of creative arts therapies, for members of the Rochester community. They pride themselves on utilizing a person-centered, strength-based approach with all of our services, and seek to inspire and empower all of their students through engagement in the arts.

On May 17th, the partnership with Spectrum Creative Arts continues as their class “Prep for Performance” performs at AC during Assembly Block at 9:25 a.m. At Spectrum Creative Arts, the class “Prep for Performance” teaches students with IDDs (intellectual and developmental disabilities) the basics of music performance. The students in this class will perform in collaboration with AC students in Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Gabriel Costanzo

As an instrumental music teacher at Allendale Columbia School, Gabe teaches 4th Grade Band, 5th Grade Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Music Theory. He held the David M. Pynchon Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts from 2008 - 2013 and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He earned bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Music Composition from SUNY College at Fredonia and a master's degree in Music Composition from Bowling Green State University. You can also find him on horn and vocals for the local band The Buddhahood.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches