We live in a constantly evolving world.
It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the persistent, multi-model onslaught of news, facts and information pumped at modern, 21st- century Americans. This peculiar situation oftentimes makes social change in our world seem impossible to achieve. The hardest part, sometimes, is simply figuring out where and how to get started. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a spark.
What are the most important changes for our society to strive toward? How might we begin to realize these necessary changes? How might we spark others into action to solve these problems?
Sparking Change is one classroom’s attempt to venture answers to important questions such as these. Our talented collection of writers has prepared final research papers presenting a wide variety of answers to questions centering around Sparking Change’s central premise: a better world is attainable if we can articulate, communicate, and learn to appreciate our differences.
- Abbey, Maria, Stephanie, Elizabeth, Alex and Morgan outline Sparking Environmental Change. Abbey’s research highlights how climate change skeptics harm the environment and what can be done to fix our approach, overlapping with Maria’s essay “The Change We Need to Make,” which also concerns itself climate change denial. Stephanie’s paper “Save the Earth” gives examples of how climate change is affecting the planet, how it will affect our descendants, and how we, as humans, can help prevent further damage. Similarly, Elizabeth’s “Heating Up” focuses on climate change as a result of global warming. She outlines the causes, effects, and the change that should be made. Finally, Alex’s outlines the different types of renewable energy sources that can replace fossil fuels in the future in order to prevent an increase in CO2 emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Sarah, Kevin, Chris and Yasser outline Sparking Social Change. Yasser’s paper “Sports, Helping To Build… Racism” tackles the problems of racism in professional sports while Kevin’s paper “No Justice, No Peace” deals with conflicts between law enforcement and peoples of color in recent years. Chris’ paper “People With Disabilities” focuses on the hardships that many disabled people deal with. Similarly, Sarah’s “Sparking A Change Within LGBTQ+ Communities in Schools” details the bullying and harassment that LGBTQ+ students face in the public education system. All four of these papers go into detail about social conflicts that exist in our society.
- McClean, Emma Kay, Nick and Meghan outline Sparking Media Change. Emma Kay covers how social media helps people to feel connected while simultaneously desensitizing them to global issues taking place everyday. Meghan’s research focuses on how social media creates a problematic image of what people should own and how people should physically look, especially women. Lastly, McClean’s research reveals how social media can create misleading information that influences people’s opinions.
- Mallory, Jake and RJ outline Sparking Educational Change. Education has always been at the forefront of the United States’ success and will continue to be the most important asset for the growth of the country. Educating today’s youth is an important part in striving for success in the United States. In R.J.’s paper, “Today’s Students are Tomorrow’s Future,” he talks about the importance of STEM education in the curriculum of young students. Jake’s essay, “The Positive and Negative Effects of Youth Sports,” explores the flawed system of youth sports programs in today’s society and how outside influences are taking away from the educational opportunities they offer. Connecting to Nick’s essay “The Dangers of Youth Sport Specialization,” this research shows how outside influences are taking away from important experiences that today’s youth can have by striving for young athletes to play one sport. Mallory stresses the importance of teaching equality to children in her essay, “A Fine Line Divide in Society”.
- Mariah, Nicole, Allyson, Hannah and Loren outline Sparking Communication Change. Allyson’s and Mariah’s essays “The Effects of Technology” and “A Teen’s Addiction: Electronic Devices” explore the effects that technology has on human health. Following that, the group’s research converges on technology’s effects on social skills and how it affects communication among people. Both Hannah’s and Loren’s essays argue that technology use in schools positively enhances the learning experience, but outside of school many negatively impact students if not understood and critically examined.
Special thanks to our amazing web design specialist Loren Leonard, to the SUNY Cortland English department, as well as to the dedicated and hardworking young scholars of CPN-101. Without the collaboration and combined efforts of a diverse array of SUNY Cortland community members, Sparking Change would never have been possible.
We welcome you to share the visions we’ve laid out in Sparking Change.
CPN-101-21 (Instructor- J.D. Richter)
SUNY Cortland, Spring 2017
View our sister site, CPN-101-43’s version of Sparking Change.