STLR Film Premiere Anniversary – The Panelists Speak

by Maiana Wise — 

August 27, 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of release and premiere of our STLR short film titled, “More Than A Degree: UCO’s Student Transformative Learning Record.” This student-produced project, funded by UCO’s Student Transformative Learning Record, was created to convey the importance and innovation of Transformative Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).

Both the “local” premiere and a later international premiere took place on Zoom, due to COVID, but provided rich perspectives by including panelists for discussions afterwards. Panelists brought diverse perspectives both from UCO and other institutions around the globe who benefited from or are interested in adopting a STLR-like program for their campuses.

Local premiere panelists included a UCO department chair, Dr. Luis Montes, an Oklahoma employer and STLR Advisory Board member, Tamara Steele, and former UCO student and then staff member, Thalia Rodriguez. They each presented a perspective about how UCO’s STLR impacted both their areas and themselves personally. For instance, Rodriguez highlighted the how STLR is integrated into campus culture:

“It just really creates an environment where students can grow in ways that I don’t think they anticipate to, or expect, or even necessarily want when they first enter into college, but have no choice but to immerse themselves in something where they have to learn and transform and just grow.”

Each international panelist – Sandra Thompson from Technological University of Dublin, Dr. Jeanette Brunstein from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, and Dr. Corin Slown from California State Monterey Bay – shared their perspectives and enthusiasm for learning more about or adopting and adapting STLR for their respective universities. Thompson, leading up one of STLR’s biggest adoptions at another institution, described the reason for their interest:

“STLR will give them [students] the skills so that they can really reflect on what they’ve learned within the curriculum, but will also give them the skills so that they can pair those lifelong learning skills into the workforce.”

Brunstein emphasized the important theoretical foundations of STLR, by stating, “There is scientific validation about the importance of transformative learning to transform a mindset.”

Videos of panelists from both sessions are now being release for this one-year anniversary, so we hope you’ll take the time to view them at the links below!

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