From Training to Action

From Training to Action

April 3, 2019 Reflections from Changemakers 44

Over your time in the program you will participate in many trainings and programs that focus on topics such social justice issues, community development, and professional development. It is important to remember the skills taught in each of these and take them outside of the program to service sites and professional settings.

  • What was your favorite training thus far as a Bonner?
  • What made this training so memorable/impactful?
  • How can you bring what you learned from this into your service and academic work?
  • What training(s) would you like to have moving forward?


44 Responses

  1. Yom Ruhl says:

    I think my most memorable Bonner meeting was Dr. J’s last meeting my Freshman year. At this meeting we were all asked a series of questions, and at the end of it we found ourselves in a line with the most privileged at the front and the least privileged at the back. This Bonner meeting was really the first time I had ever really confronted my privilege or even really noticed it at all. This was a major realization for me and had a huge impact on my service throughout my four years. A training I would like to have moving forward is commencement.

  2. ecli Vazquez says:

    For me, the best training has been the one last week. We spoke about education and how it affects the students and teachers. Also that the system sometimes does not work for the community. I loved the way everyone spoke about it and how it brought everyone together. Have more awareness and also speak out on it. As well teach everyone different ways.

  3. Hayley Pij says:

    My favorite training so far as a Bonner was when we discussed the opioid crisis. I really liked how we were able to incorporate the health promotion office, Albany College of Pharmacy as well as a personal Bonner connection. By uniting all of these resources, we had a very informative training that also kept the Bonner focus. I really enjoyed Jamie’s personal testimony, as well as the help of Kate Kaufman Burns. I would like to have trainings like this in the future that involve similar collaboration! I think it is important to bring work like this into our Bonner placement, because there is an opioid epidemic and it does affect many people who come to our office for services.

  4. Liliana Sanchez Adames says:

    My favorite training as a bonner thus far has been the one on opioid abuse. I liked this training because I was able to bring my service and academic life together and be part of a conversation where I was able to put an interesting input on. At my job, this is one of the many topics spoke between providers and nurses and it was really interesting to see how Bonners reacted to such issue on a service perspective and how doctors think about this in a medical perspective. I have definitely shared my opinion about it at work coming from a community service perspective and how this impacts the community in not only a health aspect but also how opioids effect one’s emotional, social and economical balance.

  5. Meghan Conboy says:

    My favorite Bonner training thus far was the workshop on Restorative Justice. This training combined a lot of my different interest areas – education, school psych, at-risk populations, and helped us practice a skill that can be applied to a lot of different domains. I also liked how so many students, professors, alum, and community members were involved in the training. Like I said above, this training was applicable to a lot of my interest areas, and it applies well to my Bonner site and career goals. I enjoy practicing restorative justice-oriented skills with the kids I work with and watching my site team use restorative justice skills with the CMA youth. In the future, I would like to see more workshops related to education and youth development.

  6. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    My favorite training so far as a Bonner was the meeting where we learned about micro-aggressions using Zootopia. This training was impactful because by using a movie from pop culture, it made the training easier to understand. I can bring what I learned from this training into my service by realizing when micro-aggressions occur, and trying to stop them immediately. I really liked using pop culture in this training and I would like to see more of these! It was very interesting.

  7. Sydney Maughan says:

    My favorite training this year as a bonner would be when we attended guest speakers and listened to their stories. In particular I enjoyed Saul Flores and when the UN Panel people came and spoke. I find this such an impactful experience because I find it so inspiring and eye opening to hear someone else’s story right from them. To learn how they got to where they are and everything that happened along the way. I bring what I’ve learned from these trainings to my service site and to Siena by being as optimistic as possible and making sure I stand up for anyone if needed. Being optimistic definitely rubs off on the people around you and it’s very important to me to be as positive as I can during any situation. Moving forward, I think attending or watching videos of people telling their stories is important because it really keeps you engaged. When I hear real life examples of the problems we discuss at bonner they become even more important to me and inspire me to address the issues.

  8. Skylar Nijhawan says:

    My favorite training thus far was during summer gear up with the chains regarding stereotypes and stigmas. I liked this training and think it was memorable because of how easy it was for us to come up with stereotypes and other stigmas and words regarding the identity. I think this can be brought into the service world as a way that we have to remember that our words have consequences and everyone can react differently to them and you never truly know what someone is going through. I would like to have more mental health stigma trainings moving forward.

  9. Lulama says:

    One of the most important training we’ve had thus far has been the training on civic engagement. It’s importance to me lies in it’s versatility. It is applicable throughout every stage of our lives. During this training we went over the strategies and ways to approach topics which were sometimes controversial and sensitive, issues that are centred around civic engagement. Serving with the different communities we face at our sites, it is imperative that we be able to communicate with them effectively and convey our message in a manner that is respectful and unthreatening, especially when we disagree with what is being said. This training is also useful inside the classroom where people from different backgrounds come together and have to convene in a space with strong-minded and often very verbal individuals. The application of this training goes beyond our time in school; further into our lives we may encounter people who are less open-minded in our neighbourhoods or places of employment. By implementing the skills taught by this workshop, open and healthy discussions can take place without creating a hostile living and working environment.

    Moving forward I would like to have more trainings similar to this one. Trainings which carry us through our time as Bonners and beyond.

  10. Kenia says:

    One of my favorite trainings/ talks I have had through Bonner was Dean Bean. Dean talked about ethical coffee harvesting and the importance of fair trade products. This made me think about the impact I have as a consumer and my responsibility to be aware of ethics in consumerism.

  11. Taylor Disco says:

    What was your favorite training thus far as a Bonner?

    My favorite training as a Bonner would have to be the game of life. I believe the first time I experienced this was during winter retreat my first experience going into the program late. I truly was impressed by it, and how it seemed to unite the program. Even experiencing an intense training didn’t prevent Bonners from engaging and tackling difficult conversations. It taught me to always go head first into what matters most and advocate no matter what. In my future service and academic work I would like to constantly think back to that point and make sure I hold myself accountable to it no matter where I end up.

  12. Julia says:

    My favorite training this year was the discussion about immigration with Saul Flores. I thought it was really cool to hear about his experience traveling through Latin America replicating the journey an immigrant would take to the United States. I thought his story did an amazing job of bringing this heated political issue to one about real people and their struggles. At my service site and life in general I will always try to see past the number or statistic and recognize that these figures represent people dealing with the obstacles of life. In the future I hope to attend more speakers like Saul!

  13. Nia Colon says:

    My favorite training as a Bonner has to be the one from summer gear up where we put chains on peoples neck for the different stereotypes. I think this trading was so impactful because it we came up with words so easily. I can bring this into my service by avoiding stereotypes and making sure I give everyone an equal chance. I am not sure what trainings I would like to have moving forward, but I’d be open to anything.

  14. Kiara Woodward says:

    My favorite Bonner training so far has been the game of life. This training was memorable for me because it allowed participants to go through life with different traits and see how it impacted their journey. The systemic issues that individuals face were modeled in the game of life. I can bring my awareness of the different journeys that people go through into my service and life in general. I think this training would be beneficial for every Bonner to experience. It is a fun way to introduce a conversation about “the game of life” and how different people face different hardships and vice versa.

  15. A'Livija Mullins-Richard says:

    My favorite training so far as a bonner was the training during summer gear up where we had to put chains around people’s necks to represent the stereotype we deem true for that type of person they were representing. This training was so memorable because I remember two of the cards were “incarcerated” and “single mother”. With each chain/stereotype/thought that was said for these two cards hurt me to my core because my father is incarcerated and my mom is a single mom so I knew the things said weren’t true. It made me understand how harmful stereotypes can be. I can bring this into me service and my academics by making a conscious effort not to judge people until it becomes an unconscious thing. In the future, I’d like to see trainings on how to discuss social issues with confidence as well as some grant writing trainings.

  16. Aedan Raleigh says:

    One of my favorite trainings so far as a Bonner was one of our individual class meetings Freshmen year when we completed a self-assessment to group into different leadership styles based on the compass directions. It was so interesting to see how everyone in my Bonner class fell into these categories, and see how much it made sense with our group’s dynamic. We were also given an opportunity to see these skills play out in real problem solving scenarios, which allowed me to see the leadership skills that all of my classmates possessed aside from just the more obvious forms of leadership. It was also very helpful to see where my own strengths and weaknesses lie. I have been able to incorporate this training into everything I do from working in group projects for class or CPI, both as participant and a group leader. I would love to do this training again to see how my Bonner class has changed over the past few years!

  17. Alyssa Lofaro says:

    Throughout my four years as a Bonner, I have enjoyed many of the training we’ve done. However, one of my favorites was the “Breaking the Chains” training from summer gear up! I think this training was very memorable because it wasn’t like anything we had done before. I believe it was impactful because stereotypes are something that we face in society daily and it shows that it is happening. I believe that we should teach others who haven’t participated in this training how we should not be stereotyping others.
    Even though I will not be here, I think we should be having more hands-on training and not just lectures. I think hands-on training keep people more engaged.

  18. Erin Spence says:

    I have not been to many trainings as a Bonner yet, but one of the most impactful and memorable events that I have attended was the Women’s Brunch. At this event, we were able to listen to stories told by Diane Cameron, an empowered writer. She shared with us her story of the journey she has been on to become the woman and writer that she is today. We were also able to have meaningful and insightful conversation with a mentor that we were seated with. As a group, we asked them questions about the path they chose to take throughout their personal and professional growth. One of the biggest things I took away from this event was the 10 Pearls of Wisdom that we were came up with as a group throughout brunch. The one that stood out to me the most was to be patient with the process of self-development because it lasts a lifetime. This was one of the overarching themes of this event and I think it is something that is important for everyone, especially college students, to remember. It may feel sometimes like we need to have a plan for the rest of our lives, but this was a good reminder that we are always developing and changing and this process takes a lot of time. I bring this into my service and academic work because I know that I can never be perfect. There are always times that you may feel like people are expecting perfection from you, but this is a good reminder for me that there is always room for growth and that I am never done learning. Moving forward, I would really like there to be more trainings like this one. I was a very relaxing and impactful experience and I think we should have events like this that are not only open to women, but to the whole Siena community.

  19. Rayan Omer says:

    My favorite training was the training about how Native Americans were being treated poorly and are not given the respect they deserve. What made this training so impactful was when I was a freshman in high school, my English class and I read a book about this Native American boy and how he retold the story of his life. He described the living conditions his family and others were facing in their reservation, how scare food was, the drinking and smoking issues, voting issues, and how poor the education system was. At the time I was really interested about this issue because I had no idea that they were facing issues like this to this day, so when that was the topic for that training I was really interested about it and learn if there was any progress in helping them fix the situation they were in. I can use this information to inform others who are unaware about this situation and hopefully they can pass along this information. The training(s) I’d like to see moving on out are more about social justice issues and useful ways to combat it.

  20. Andraya Perez says:

    So far my favorite Bonner meeting we have had was the talk we went to that the women’s center organized. The keynote speaker at this meeting was Saul Flores. I thought his story was so impactful and a story that everyone should hear. He talked about his journey on the immigration trail along central America to across the board to America. His parents were immigrants and he wanted to understand the process they went through to get here. He started off in Ecuador and walked all the way up to America. I think his story shows resilience, courage, compassion, and bravery. This is why this was my favorite bonner meeting thus far.

  21. Alexee seifert says:

    My favorite bonner training was during one of the gear ups we did small groups to discuss and have them to talk about personal events and things going on in Our lives. I really like this idea because often we get so wrapped on life and the pre judgements we have on people and we don’t get to actually learn about the person ok a different level then just everyday life. This activity is memorable because it gave me a chance to change me set judements and assumptions about people in bonner . This program allowed me to grow as an individual and allow myself to put aside pre-judgments and accept others for who they truthfully are. This also was memnorable because everyone that was in my group will always have a place in my heart because we were able to have a deep conversation and connect with eachother. I can bring this in my service and acedemic work by remembering to keep clear of judging others and making assumptions that can effect further interactions with people. This can also help me by allowing me to build skills on how to get to know the person who i am uncertain of. Moving forward i woudl like to see more personal development meetings and trainings because i feel that they are very impactful.

  22. Shayla Encarnacion says:

    My favorite training as a Bonner was the privilege training my freshmen year with. This training was personally impactful to me because it brings to light the fact that privilege is not solely about race. I know many other Bonners felt uncomfortable with said training, but our motto is to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I think it is important for all Bonners to be fully aware of all of the privilege they have from race, education, income, etc. How can we possibly enter different areas of the marginalized without fully understanding the power we hold over them in such a systematic world? I bring the privilege I learned about myself through that training everywhere. I make sure that I am fully aware of it when I enter these spaces because those who I am helping will be aware of it. I believe this training needs to be brought back into Bonner because Bonner, and ACE in general, has a tendency to sugar coat a lot of the problems and issue occurring in the real world.


  23. Dana Wakeman says:

    One of my favorite trainings of this year was the Tim Wise speech for MLK week. He not only discussed current events, but he connected them to the history of racial relations in the U.S. As a result, he was able to prove that since we made it through the history, that we can also make it through the current problems. I want to bring this idea into my service and academic work because current issues can at times seems insurmountable, but they can be overcame. In the future, I want to continue to attend on-campus events as well because they offer additional perspectives to current issues.

  24. Madison Kousoulas says:

    My favorite training so far has been the lego one during Winter Gear Up. This training was so much fun because everyone was just enjoying the competition and laughing. It was also memorable because of how challenging it was; you would never think trying to describe an object made out of legos would be so hard! As the describer, I had to really figure out the best way to communicate with my team the most important things in the most effective way. This training really focuses on communication in the ways of how we talk to each other as well as our active listening skills. At School 2, there can be a lot going on at one time but I can bring in some of the skills learned from this training like really focusing on what is being asked of me, giving all the detail that I can, and just being a team player. I really want to try this training again while taking a different role in the whole process of recreating the lego object.

  25. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    I think my favorite training is our training on service that we do each year in which we read “What we don’t talk about when we talk about service.” Although we read this multiple times, it is always a nice refresher to have in my mind going into each year. I enjoy the conversation that occurs afterwards between all the Bonners. It allows us to really think about what our service means in this community, and keeps us aware of the things that often get overlooked in regard to service. This comes up in my service while I’m at my site in that I tend to think about what I’m doing and how it is for others, not for my own self praise. It allows me to focus on my service and not on myself. I often think about why it is that I am doing what I am doing. I also really enjoyed the breaking the chain training (I think that’s what it’s called). I like that it opens up a conversation about our words and actions in the community and how much power words hold. In the future, I’d love to see more trainings on mental health issues.

  26. Jamie del Rosario says:

    My favorite training in Bonner thus far was the homelessness training we did my freshman year. It was facilitated by Jordan and we were split up into small groups to discuss how we view homelessness. We were challenged to draw our vision of the stereotypical homeless person, and then talked about why we have these preconceived ideas and what they look like in reality. We then came together as a large group and had a really great conversation about the issue. I used this discussion to propel a lot of the work that I did at Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, and still take some of the lessons with me in my classes as the topic arises. Moving forward I would love to see some of the seniors facilitating trainings next semester on some of their areas of passion!

  27. Samantha Gisleson says:

    My favorite Bonner training so far has been the one in which we stood in two circles, with people in the inner circle facing those in the outer circle, and wrote down a few things that describe us. Each time the circles rotated we had to cross off a characteristic and explain to the person in from of us why we chose to cross off that characteristic and keep the others. I do not remember exactly what this training was called, but we did it during Summer Gear-Up and I really enjoyed it. This training helped me to understand how I see myself and how others may see me. It also helped me to get a better understanding of who I am and what it is that I am passionate about. As a freshman, I am still not completely sure what I want the rest of my life to hold, but this training helped me to get a slightly better idea of where I want to be heading. I can use what I learned about myself in these trainings to challenge myself at my service site and in positions that I may hold in the future. Moving forward I would like to participate in more trainings that build upon this one and help us to get a better understanding of ourselves and how we can use our strongest traits to benefit ourselves as individuals, the Siena community, and the larger communities in which we are serving.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      You don’t have to know what the rest of your life holds quite yet, I’m a junior and I still don’t most of the time. That’s the beauty of college and growing up! This training is definitely a good challenge to see where you place important in your life and identities and what you are most passionate about. And don’t worry, there will be plenty more trainings to learn about yourself in your time here yet to come!!

  28. Kylie Gilbride says:

    One of my favorite Bonner trainings is the Head, Heart, and Hustle workshop that Katie facilitated. This is such a beneficial training for an Bonner to complete because it helps to find common ground for what is found in each person’s head, their heart, and at the end of the day, what makes them hustle. This training also allows for authentic career possibilities to come to mind and to really help one to see into their own future. This is such an exciting training that can really give a Bonner motivation when it is lacking.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      This training definitely helped with my Junior year “real life is approaching quickly” fears. Sometimes it’s good to reset and remember why we do what we love and where the middle ground might be. Almost forgot about this one, so it’s really cool that you mention it.

  29. Marlie Frisco says:

    My favorite training in Bonner thus far has been the “Break the Chains” Damietta Advocate training. I think this training was so impactful because they used literal chains to place them on the individual to reflect the weight of words and how detrimental stereotypes are to marginalized populations. This training is relevant to all facets of life, including academic and service work. In the current climate, it is important to be able to understand where people are coming from and how destructive stereotypes are. Moving forward, I would like to participate in trainings that involve alumni who are in various fields that can tell us about their experiences.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      LOVE THIS TRAINING! I had done it before for one of my management classes sophomore year, and honestly the impact never quite changes. Bringing in alumni definitely seems to be a popular idea, so hopefully we will see it happen in the future.

  30. Gregory Winkelstern says:

    I think that my favorite training so far as a Bonner was on social media presence back during Summer Gear Up. With social media being so big and only getting bigger it is huge to be educated and aware about your presence online because we are all growing up and entering the work force and professional world eventually. It usually isn’t too fun to worry about things down the road that we can’t even see or predict but I believe that it is super important to think about those things now every day so that you don’t ruin an opportunity or opportunities in your future.
    What made this training so impactful for me was the presenter, George. He made the session as lively and funny as can be. I think that the session went so well because of the open discussion that we had too. As a group, we were able to take the discussion wherever we wanted within reason and this allowed us to tap into questions and points that many of us probably hadn’t thought of before.
    This can be implemented into my service and academic work in everything I do or post online. Usually this type of work is positive and will only benefit my online presence which is what we want!
    A training I would like to see moving forward would be one on what recruiters/companies take note of, both positively and negatively, when looking at people online.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      George has always been a wonderful facilitator! It’s extremely important to be aware of what we do on social media, especially with job recruitment now. It would be interesting to see what some companies might say about this from the hiring perspective.

  31. Emma Henderschedt says:

    One of my favorite training that I have done in Bonner was the privilege walk training that we did our freshman year. This training had us take steps forward and backwards depending on privileges in our lives. While uncomfortable to compare ourselves to our classmates, I felt as though this training was important because in order to serve people effectively and empathetically, you must be aware of your own privilege.
    Since my time at Siena is coming to a close, there are not many trainings that I would like to see, however I plan on bringing all that I learned into my service and all that I do after graduation.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      I wasn’t there for this privilege walk, but I always remember how impactful the different privilege circles/squares we have done in Summer Gear-Ups have been. I’m glad to hear you’ll be bringing your Bonner lessons out into the real world, you can do so much good with them!

  32. Monique Lawrence says:

    My favorite training as a Bonner was the Restorative Justice Forum. During this meeting, we were able to talk to some alums and people who practice these skills in their schools. This meeting was able to help me get more into the education field of Bonner and allow for some people at my past site to think about the way that they have conversations with the students in order to create better connections in the school. This meeting was also able to impact my capstone since some of the concepts and ideas that are placed into the manual that will be the outcome of my research. I think that this training would be great to bring back as well as having some alum come back or FaceTime for a meeting in order to talk about what they are doing in their postgrad career and some of the things that they have taken away from their experiences.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      This meeting was really cool because we got to meet some of the Siena faculty that work to implement restorative justice in their own classrooms and lives. I remember my group was led by an economic professor and I was really surprised to hear how community engaged she was. Plus any circle with a talking piece is always set-up for an awesome meeting!

  33. Michael Averill says:

    My favorite training thus far as a Bonner came in October of my first semester. The UN Women’s Panel on Migration was one of the most influential talks I have ever attended. This training allowed students to develop a better understanding of a social justice issue that is at the forefront of every news cycle, immigration. I was grateful for the opportunity to hear about the current status of migrants today from professionals who work in the field. My personal academic interests in International Relations and Spanish have inspired me to look at immigration in more depth, especially when it comes to migration on the United States’ southern border. The UN Women’s Panel was very informative, as three professionals in the field discussed what factors contribute to the migration of people across borders, and what dangers they face on their journeys. The panel consisted of a woman working with Franciscan services on immediate migrant needs, a man who works for the United Nations on international migration conflicts, and a woman who is a human rights attorney and advocates for migrants and asylum seekers. The wealth of knowledge that these three people brought to Siena College and the Bonners was very impactful for me, as a student who is very interested in studying immigration. Moving forward, I would love to see Siena College and ACE continue to bring in guest speakers who have experience in the fields of social justice issues. From the experiences of others, we can gain a greater understanding of community development.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      I always love when we have professionals straight from the field that come in to speak. It gives a fresh perspective and definitely a lot of great information. I’m sure there will be more trainings like this to come in the future!

  34. Amelia Butler says:

    The most memorable training that I have done as a Bonner was the trainings we did involving the opioid epidemic. I liked these trainings because they were educational, and they also gave us an opportunity to discuss what we were learning. I think this training was more impactful than others because it was an issue that I have a personal connection to. This was also a very easy seminar to connect with the community and campus. I think it would be interesting to do trainings regarding other issues being faced by the college community. I think these types of discussions are often overlooked but extremely important.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      I totally agree that discussing topics that touch this campus are super important. It would be great if you could find one you are passionate about and propose a training next year to facilitate!

  35. Abby Hoekman says:

    One of my favorite trainings thus far as a Bonner has been the training regarding colorism last year. This training was memorable and impactful because we were able to watch a documentary, followed by a structured discussion regarding people’s individual experiences and biases/stereotypes that they hold against their own and/or a differing race. This was particularly impactful because it allowed a very prominent issue in our society to be discussed openly and in a safe space where we could all share our thoughts and experiences respectfully. This particular training sparked my interest in the academic course Race and Identities which I am taking this semester and have thoroughly enjoyed. This class has allowed me to dive much deeper into societal issues regarding race and how we identify as individuals and as a larger group of people. I have brought my new experiences from this class to my service site which has allowed me to connect more easily with clients of all backgrounds, and thus has enabled me to serve more efficiently and effectively. Moving forward I would like to have a training regarding white privilege. Although this can be a difficult topic for some, I believe it would spark a lot of interest for students to learn more about themselves and others.

    • Jamie del Rosario says:

      I remember this training as well and really enjoyed it. I’m really glad you continued the conversation in class the next semester!

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