Class of 2022 students, who were in fifth grade at the time of the birth of the Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) at Pace, are now serving the school as fellows in the new two-year global leadership program. The selected study topics for the program are Food Highways, Global Health (HIV and AIDS), the Five Freedoms and the Art of Urban Revitalization. Each section has around six students and two faculty advisors.
“The impetus for the program was really to reach a greater number of upper school students on a more consistent basis, in thinking around global issues and developing a global mindset,” said ICGL Director Tricia Anderson. “We really wanted to get a program in place that would attract more students and engage them more long term in thinking about global issues.”
History teacher Caitlin Terry is the advisor for the Food Highways group, along with new photography teacher Jennifer Wilson. “Food is a great way of expressing not only culture, but also care and empathy for other people,” said Mrs. Terry. She was clear that Food Highways is not solely focused on food. Instead, she aims “to start developing relationships with the communities on Buford Highway, and to also have a greater understanding of the food movement, as well as immigrant experiences in America right now.” Mrs. Terry plans on utilizing her historical background along with Mrs. Wilson’s background in visual narratives to maximize understanding for her students.
Upper school math teacher Kimberly Goodstadt as advisor of the Art of Urban Revitalization cohort has similar ideas for the coming year. “We are going to try and meet with as many local artists as we can to get to know their story and hopefully get involved in some local art as well, she said. “That way we can participate and also bring something to the Pace campus and get our community involved.” Ms. Goodstadt and her co-advisor, upper school painting teacher Donice Boodworth, will be partnering with Atlanta United this year to explore the connection between art and revitalization in the Atlanta area.
The new ICGL fellows had many reasons for joining, with some wanting to explore a leadership role and others eager to learn more about their chosen topic. This was the case for sophomore Laura Arenth. “I am really interested in disease, and I don’t know that much about AIDS and HIV, so I thought it would be a really interesting way to research more about it,” she said. Arenth has high hopes for the program, saying, “I want to be the messenger to the rest of the school, to communicate what we learn.”
The Five Freedoms group is focused on understanding the challenges that the Five Freedoms face today. The Five Freedoms of the First Amendment are freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to assembly, the right to petition and the freedom of the press, which the group is focusing on. The faculty advisors for the group are Dean of Students Alison Riley and English teacher Emily Washburn.
“My three big goals are excitement and interest, communicating, and actually measuring success,” said Ms. Anderson when speaking about the fellows’ inaugural year. She hopes the fellows are curious and passionate about their topics. Ms. Anderson is eager for the program to get going, and looks forward to the groups helping the student body learn more about global issues.