CSUMB alumni and lecturers train teachers in Salinas

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Mark Gomez has taught middle and high school history for 18 years, as well as teacher training programs at colleges and universities like Antioch University, UCLA, and CSU Monterey Bay where he majored in integrated studies, and is now a lecturer in the Service Learning Department.

Additionally, he works as a History and Social Studies Curriculum Specialist for the Salinas Union High School School District. In this capacity, he plans and facilitates the professional development of history and social studies teachers, including helping to coordinate and oversee the implementation of the Ethnic Studies degree requirement and integrating the civic learning.

It strives to empower students and teachers through authentic and participatory action research projects.

“At CSUMB, I was able to draw from a variety of disciplines, which only broadened and deepened my understanding of educational practices and how people learn,” he said. “One of the most impactful experiences was also the opportunity to do service-learning in the community.”

He reminds his teacher candidates that students are first and foremost human beings and that the relationship is as important as the transmission of knowledge.

“I think if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s a growing awareness of the depth of learning related to social and emotional processes,” he said.

He calls the intersection of environmental and racial justice “the work of our time” and reflects on climate change and its impact on “racialized communities.”

He is driven by his experiences as a youth navigating prejudice, as well as transformative experiences in nature.

“My own children are also now great motivators to continue doing this work despite all its difficulties,” he said.

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