Global Studies Program

Pearson Scholars

The Pearson Scholars for Leadership and Engagement in Global Society are available to students in the Global Studies program at CLU. During a 10-12 week intensive summer program, Pearson Scholars will participate in experiential learning opportunities--"domestic immersion" projects--that serve two purposes: 1) expose students to global issues and diverse communities in Los Angeles (and possibly other global cities); and 2) to give students the opportunity to be agents of change in society through civic engagement. Historically, CLU and the community of Thousand Oaks, despite geographic proximity, have been politically, socially and culturally removed from adjacent global and diverse areas like greater Los Angeles. "Domestic immersion" projects offered through the summer research program allow students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems via projects developed in conjunction with external organizations addressing global issues. Pearson Scholars are generally selected from those who produced the best projects in a capstone course.

CLU strives to prepare students to succeed in an increasingly diverse world by educating them "to be leaders in a global society." Students must be prepared and equipped to work, live and thrive in environments of demographic and cultural diversity. Our students will be more competitive if they can effectively interact with communities and populations that reflect global diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status and gender differences. Domestic immersion projects will occur in the Los Angeles area where students will primarily work with agencies that serve diverse populations including immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented and underserved groups.

Working in close conjunction with a faculty member, each student in the summer research program will develop a project that addresses global issues or affects global populations in L.A., establish social and political networks, and observe/participate in relevant civic engagement activities such as public meetings, community forums, etc. The Pearson Scholars program was made possible by a generous gift by the late Alma Pearson of Santa Barbara in 2008. Since then, the Pearson Scholars produced excellent scholarship and presented their work at professional and/or undergraduate research conferences.

Pearson Scholars in summer 2009

Kayla Barnett "Environmental Activism and Minority Youth in Los Angeles"
Paul Dilger "Immigration Policy and Gangs: Los Angeles and Special Order 40"
Sergio Salazar "Los Angeles High School Workouts 2006"

Pearson Scholars in summer 2010

Lulit Bereda "1.5 Generation Ethiopian Immigrants: Educational Achievements and Assimilation"
Kelly Fry "A Comparison of Civic Engagement: Thai and Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles"
Tricia Johnson "Analyzing Day Laborer within: A Case Study of Day Labor Centers in Los Angeles"
Jessica Weaver "Korean Language Schools and Korean Dual-Language Programs Investigations"

Pearson Scholars in summer 2011

Erin Boettcher "Refugees and Access to Higher Education: A Case Study of Iraqis in Los Angeles"
Christine Behymer "Muslim Women in Los Angeles: A Study on the relationship between their cultural retention and their lives in the workplace"
Nikki Mills "Christianity in the Lives of Chinese Immigrants"

Global Studies Major
Class of 2009

"The past three months I have worked with Million Trees in LA on numerous projects. I have been exposed to how a nonprofit/government program is run, from the good to the bad. I have gained skills about the professional world that will carry me into the future. This experience has been one of challenges and triumphs. I have learned about trees, Los Angeles and myself. Most importantly I was able to make a difference with a program that is bringing a change to Los Angeles."

Global Studies Major
Class of 2010

"It is very easy to be complacent with one's personal community, ignoring the diversity that does truly exist in close proximity. I did not have to go but 10 minutes to Westlake Village to visit and experience an authentically Korean community setting in which the adults were by and large immigrants who spoke Korean and were sharing a mealtime together eating traditional dishes. Had it not been for my research project, I would not have been exposed to this different culture and seen firsthand the cultural workings and interactions language maintains."

Global Studies Major
Class of 2011

"After finishing my project, I also got the opportunity to participate in the Pacific Sociological Association conference. The conference is a platform where students get to present their research projects amongst well recognized professors and researchers. I was apprehensive of presenting my research but with the guidance of my professor I was able to gain the confidence in my work and present it to the public. I also got the opportunity to hear other research projects that inspired me. Overall, I am happy to say that the Pearson scholar program has given me the opportunity to discover my passion for research and new perspectives in life."

Abstracts of Pearson Scholars

Los Angeles High School Walkouts in 2006

In March 2006, many high school students in Los Angeles participated in walkouts against the passage of an anti-immigration bill (HR 4437). The 1968 walkouts in East Los Angeles were connected with the broader Chicano Movement. Literature on the 1968 walkouts suggest that a lack of educational opportunities, poor school conditions, and the Anglo-centered school curriculum and/or racial inequalities in education faced by Chicanos caused many youths to walkout. This project explores factors that facilitated the 2006 walkouts by comparing it with the 1968 walkouts. This research project uses newspaper articles and 10 in-depth interviews for data to identify common trends and themes in the 2006 high school walkouts. The research identified the lack of immigration discussions in school, no forum available to discuss social issues, school experiences, the students' perception that their ethnicity was under attack as a potential facilitator for walking out.

Analyzing Day Labor from Within: A Case Study of Day Labor Centers in Los Angeles

Traditionally, day labor centers give workers their own space, effectively getting them off the street while giving them access to a system that will support them and advocate for them. Despite the primarily good intentions of the centers, there is often a gap between the needs of the workers and the greater purpose of the centers. This ethnographic study conducted at a day labor center in Los Angeles, found that the priorities of the day laborers themselves are rarely addressed. While organizing in this community is needed, it is a luxury many cannot afford as they need steady, reliable employment. The centers need an infusion of new and creative ideas, to bridge the gap between organizers and workers and create a space where employment can be found and important services can be accessed.

A Comparison of Civic Engagement: Thai and Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles

Using in-depth interviews of seven Thai or Korean immigrants as a form of data collection, this study explores what influences the engagement of 1.5 and second generation immigrants. This study look into the similarities and differences between the two immigrant groups, in what ways, and why, the Thais and Koreans are civically engaged, and how to encourage further engagement. Several factors were identified including catastrophic events bringing on ethnic group together, educational opportunities leading to social awareness, and embracing or rejecting ethnic identity. One factor identified for the groups as a whole was the disconnect between the first and second generation. More interactions between the older and younger generations, as well as promotion of civic engagement at a young age are recommended to help improve civic engagement among second generation immigrants.

1.5 Generation Ethiopian Immigrants: Educational Achievements and Assimilation

This study explores the assimilation processes and educational achievements of 1.5 generation Ethiopian immigrants, who came to the United States while they were still children. I examined their unique assimilation processes by comparing and contrasting them with those of the first and second generation Ethiopian immigrants reported in the literature. The data for this study come from qualitative interviews I conducted with six 1.5-generation Ethiopian immigrants in Los Angeles. The study found that age at the time of migration, parents' financial status, cultural values and expectations, and race all shape the educational achievements of 1.5 generation Ethiopian immigrants. In addition, the size of an Ethiopian community in a destination city affects the assimilation processes. Overall, the assimilation processes of 1.5 Ethiopian immigrants are complex and multilayered and result in diverse educational outcomes.