Course is life-changing

Before coming to Fulton-Montgomery Community College as a human service instructor, I worked for almost 20 years in the field of child welfare.

My role and the agency that I worked for changed throughout that time, but my commitment to the provision of high-quality trauma-informed child advocacy and care has never changed. I had some tremendous experiences of working directly with children who suffered horrific trauma to educating attorneys on the impact of trauma to implementing systems change. Each day brought new challenges and experiences so I was well prepared for my role at FM.

During the spring 2017 semester I taught HUS 214, Family Violence, for the first time and began to look over the course learning objectives as I developed my syllabus. One objective stood out to me, which was “Develop an appreciation for human diversity accompanied by the understanding that we share more than we differ. This information is intended to have students reexamine stereotypes and reflect on personal value systems.”

Wow, that sounded like a challenge.

Throughout the semester, I found ways to incorporate discussions of difference, diversity, stereotypes and personal value systems as they related to issues of family violence.

My students never cease to amaze me and as I read my student’s assignments, it became clear that this objective was clearly met.

Following is a portion of one of Marie Insogna’s assignments which she has agreed to share. I believe this demonstrates the impact this class has made in her life and provides an example of the impact on other students.

“Have you ever caught yourself judging a person or situation without really knowing any relevant facts? Family Violence class has provided the opportunity for research and discussion of family violence issues, which certainly deepened my understanding of those who are affected by it. My studies in school confirm what I have always known, that we can make a difference when we care about everyone equally.

My value system has been both challenged and strengthened while taking the course in Family Violence. There were days when I seriously questioned my faith in humanity. However, such feelings are part of an ongoing process of helping and self-care. I use my pain and sadness to build strength for others who need it, as it was done for me when I was a bird with more than just a broken wing, I also had a broken spirit. People helped me, and taught me to help myself, love myself, and begin a new cycle. Not a cycle of violence, but a one of caring, education, and support in the community. My spirit is intact and my broken wing is repaired. Now there is nowhere to fly but up. I believe I can pass this on to others who have not yet learned to fly.”

Please join me and another group of students as we learn together in HUS 214 Family Violence which will meet Tuesday and Thursdays 9:30 to 11 a.m. during the spring 2019 semester.

For more information, call the Office of Admission at (518) 736-3622, Ext. 8301.

Julie Lindh is an instructor in the Human Services Program at FMCC.