Highland Community College Cultural Series Discussing Technology and Social Justice Scheduled for November 5

published October 29, 2018Highland Community College Cultural Series Discussing Technology and Social Justice Scheduled for November 5

Highland Community College has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Humanities Kansas for a series of six interdisciplinary and cultural events focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). The series is titled, "Social Justice: Using STEAM to Revolutionize the World," and each event will feature discussions and presentations on how each of the STEAM fields influences areas of culture and social justice.


The second event in the free series takes place Monday, November 5 at 6 pm on the Highland Campus’ Jack D. Nutt Math and Science Building classroom number 1. The focus will be on access to technology and social justice surrounding that.


Presentations will be offered from Tom Esselman, CEO of Connecting for Good and Director of the Front Porch Alliance, and Dr. George Keodge, founder and CEO of Safe Use of Pesticides in Africa (SUPESTA) and instructor in Highland’s Precision Ag program.


Tom Esselman will focus on technological access for impoverished individuals in the United States, with advances that have begun to assist in the eradication of social disparities.


Tom is the CEO of Connecting for Good, a Kansas City-based non-profit dedicated to bridging the digital divide, providing computer skills, computers, and internet access to low-income communities. He is also the director of the Front Porch Alliance (FPA) collaborative leadership team. The FPA, tenant of the same Kansas City urban core campus as Connecting for Good, serves low income families with home visitation for early childhood and family support, as well as student mentoring and minor home repair programs. Both organizations are devoted to stabilization of the urban core family as the foundation for a life-improvement path out of poverty.


Tom spent 22 years as an executive at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, where he led the development of a variety of technology-enhanced products, including Song Cards and Recordables. He retired in 2012 to pursue non-profit leadership opportunities in Florida and Kansas City. He actively partners with his wife, Mary Esselman, who is the CEO of Operation Breakthrough, an urban core early learning center, in serving over 400 impoverished families and youth every day. Tom is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a Bachelor of Science in foreign affairs, and of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, at Northwestern University, with a Master of management. You may reach Tom at tom@connectingforgood.org.

Dr. Kegode will focus on agricultural technology in impoverished nations, with advances that have begun to assist in the eradication of social disparities.


Dr. Kegode was born and raised in Kenya, East Africa. After receiving a doctorate in agronomy and weed science from Iowa State University, he pursued a career in research and teaching at University of Minnesota, North Dakota State University, and Northwest Missouri State University. He is currently the Precision Agriculture Instructor at Highland Community College. You may reach Dr. Kegode at gkegode@highlandcc.edu.


“This event is a wonderful opportunity for students to be exposed to education outside of the traditional classroom setting, and we'd like to encourage not only their attendance but everyone in the area,” noted Stacy Freeman, event organizer and instructor of English at HCC.


Events have been scheduled for throughout the 2018-19 academic year and the public is encouraged to attend free of charge. Look for more information online at highlandcc.edu.


 Can't make it to the event? Live stream it here.

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