Coffee & Community Conversation


Coffee & Community Conversation | Preparing our community for civic engagement and civil unrest

Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 9am - 10am
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As a community college, we have a responsibility to engage our students and our community in productive conversations regarding current events. This Thursday, we will host our first coffee and community conversation | preparing our students for civic engagement and civil unrest.

Event Panel:

Tramaine Anderson:
Tramaine Anderson—a native West Texan, Tramaine was born and raised in the Permian Basin. As a young child, Tramaine would often spend time with her Dad, discussing history and current events with others at a local truck stop in Big Spring, Texas and those experiences ignited a flame to pursue two degrees in History. She is a proud graduate of Big Spring High School, “Class of 1998”. Tramaine went on to pursue her education at Howard College—Big Spring, receiving her Associate of Arts degree, and then transferred to the University of North Texas in Denton, where she completed a B.A. in U.S. History. Tramaine went on to study African American at Howard University in Washington, D.C. for a year and half. During that time, she had the opportunity to serve as an Intern for the Museum of American History and work with several historians on public history projects. Tramaine returned to West Texas to finish her graduate degree at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, receiving her M.A. in History. After finishing her Master’s, Tramaine spent a little over a decade teaching U.S. History at two community colleges in Dallas and Ft. Worth. Tramaine Anderson, has a Doctor of Education degree from Capella University and is currently the Vice President for Instruction at Odessa College.

Context: I am joining today’s conversation simply because of my passion for U.S. History and my background for engaging students and the community seeing the bigger picture of why it is important to understand our past, and to use to use that past to make decisions about the present and how we can move forward with defining our future. As a former instructor and now as an administrator, I feel that it is important to engage our students and the community on more than just names, dates, people and events. It is time for us to dig a bit deeper to find meaning and learn from the past.

James J. Bolton, PhD:
James J. Bolton, PhD was born in Chicago, IL and raised by his mother, Claudia Bolton. Although he is the third of five children, he would often be found by himself attempting to build things. He had a childhood dream of ‘inventing a device to understand the minds of babies’. Dr. Bolton graduated from Wiley College in Marshall, TX #3 in his class with a BS in Biology. He was the first student from his alma mater to study abroad in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Bolton attended medical school and later obtained an MS in Genetics. At the time of completing his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Molecular Biology, Dr. Bolton was the only Black person in the country to obtain that degree in an 8 year period. After completing his tenure at Cornell University, he was employed as a Forensic Biologist with the government. He has been invited to serve on the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a panelist for STEM education. Dr. Bolton is currently the Department Chair of Pre-health Sciences at Odessa College, and was recently inducted into Who’s Who in Science and Education. Dr. Bolton a member of many civic organizations, and serves as a monthly mentor to several incarcerated men. He is the Assistant Pastor of All People Worship Center, a multicultural and multi-ethnic congregation in northeast Odessa. As a lad, Dr. Bolton trills that he was unable to build anything worthwhile, but as a man he works to build better relationships among individuals with diverse backgrounds.

Mireya Jacuinde:
Mireya Jacuinde is the proud daughter of two immigrant parents from Mexico. Her father was a migrant farm worker, working the fields of California, Idaho, and Washington. Growing up, Mireya and her family moved around following the harvest. Opportunity to work in a meat packing plant brought her family to the state of Texas, where her family settled in the Panhandle. She graduated from Hereford High School in 2012 and started her undergraduate career at West Texas A&M University, where she was awarded the College Assistance Migrant Program Scholarship. Her passion for advocacy lead her to social work, helping her realize the importance of empowering others. Upon her graduation, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship, a program dedicated towards shaping global citizens and strengthening international connections. She was placed in Madrid, Spain where she worked as an English Teaching Assistant and led the Model UN project at her institution. When she moved back to the states, she was hired as the Recruiter for the CAMP Scholarship Program at West Texas A&M University, recruiting migrant students throughout the state of Texas. She recently received her Master’s degree in Communication Studies and currently serves as an Academic Success Coach for the School of Liberal Arts & Education at Odessa College.

Context: I am here today because I believe in the power of the people to advocate for change. It is fundamentally important for young, education individuals to amplify the voices of the voiceless in the midst of civil unrest. The actions we take today will define our tomorrow, which is why I believe community engagement is necessary, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Dr. Don Wood:
Dr. Wood was born and raised in Seattle. On his 13th birthday, October 4, 1957, an event occurred that not only changed the world as he knew it, but also re-shaped the trajectory of his education: Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite was launched into orbit by Russia. Funding for science education soared and when John F. Kennedy in July 1963 made his famous speech that the US was going to the moon in that decade. Dr. Wood had begun his first year in college at the University of Washington as a science major. Then, just 4 months later, while walking across campus a fellow student ran up with a transistor radio in-hand shouting, “have you heard, the president has been assassinated?” For the rest of the decade, Dr. Wood’s generation were engulfed in grand visions and great tragedies. He marched for civil rights and argued for an end to the Viet Nam war. He was an activist who believed the spirit of those times: “if you weren’t part of the solution, then you were part of the problem”.

Context: He is joining our conversation this morning because he sees the possibility of grand vision emerging from the great tragedies unfolding in the events of today.