PACE students group photosThe PACE (Proficiency in American Culture and English) Learning Community held its annual End-of-the-Year Celebration on May 17 in the Multicultural Center. Three cohorts of PACE students and faculty as well as their families gathered to celebrate their accomplishments and commemorate the people who have supported them in their educational journeys.

The hit of the evening was the potluck of foods from around the world, featuring dishes such as Brazilian coxinhas (shredded chicken meat covered in dough), Mexican tamales, and Kyrgaz chak chak (a traditional sweet). The MC for the evening, PACE student Gisela Garcia, began the evening with a warm welcome. Faculty and students then gave speeches about their experiences learning and being part of the PACE Community. Lucas Cunha, from Brazil, spoke about his journey of becoming educated and the difficulties of balancing school, work, and home life. Sonun Owen, from Kygystan, shared how education has empowered her, especially being the only girl in a single parent family. PACE graduates and transfer students were also honored at this event and given the red, gold, and white PACE graduation cord as a token of their participation in the learning community. The evening concluded with a slideshow to music curated by PACE student Radni Pireh Abdollah Kandi.

This event was a celebration of the diversity that makes our learning community and campus special. The co-coordinators of PACE, Erinn Struss and Serena Chu-Mraz, would like to thank all those who have supported PACE and have made this event possible.

The PACE Learning Community brings together English language learners and dedicated faculty and staff in a four-semester series of linked classes starting with ESOL 840 and culminating in ENGL 110.

Article by Serena Chu-Mraz and Erinn Struss

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