All posts by Donna Tanner-Harold

Black Student SUCCESS: Emotional Intelligence

The term emotional Intelligence describes the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to identify feelings and label them appropriately, and to use that information to guide thinking and behavior.  High or successful emotional intelligence is critical in decision making, in developing and maintaining relationships, and in job performance.

In a Black Student SUCCESS Project workshop late last month, Parkland counselor Joe Omo-Osagie led students in a series of assessments designed to test their emotional self-awareness.  While there weren’t necessarily right or wrong answers, the questions definitely challenged students’ ways of thinking and highlighted areas where they might want to consider making changes.

The most sensitive, enlightened, and self-aware person among us can always use a boost of higher emotional intelligence. Take the short quiz below as an introductory guide to evaluating your own level of emotional intelligence. If you can honestly answer “True” to each statement, you can feel good about having a high degree of emotional intelligence. If you cannot, you might want to consider developing those skills. The payoff lasts a lifetime!

EI QUIZ

  1. I can usually let go of problems, hurt feelings, and anger and move on (self-control):  True or False
  2. I can usually engage in a conversation with someone and interpret that person’s body language signals (empathy):  True or False
  3. I can usually identify my emotions at any given moment  (self-awareness):  True or False
  4. I try to look at situations in a positive light (motivation):  True or False
  5. I can usually deal calmly and sensitively to the emotional displays of others, even if I don’t know all the details  (social competency):  True or False
  6. I can fairly easily admit mistakes and apologize (self-confidence):  True or False

[Donna Tanner-Harold is a counselor in Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center and coordinates Black Student Success Project activities.]

 

Police-Student Dialog on Relations to Continue

Talk show hosts, news anchors, politicians, community leaders, and law enforcement officers routinely call for “honest, open dialogue” on police and community relations. There are valid reasons why these conversations don’t often happen or if they do, they tend to end in shouting matches. The subject is emotionally charged, and the exchange can be difficult and uncomfortable.

Building and strengthening relationships requires effort, acknowledging the need for change, and everyone being committed to accept some responsibility. Difficult? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

The Black Student SUCCESS Project sponsored a workshop on Sept. 23 that afforded Parkland students the opportunity to engage with Parkland police officers.  Student questions were unflinching and hard-hitting.  Honest.  Skeptical.

Chief William Colbrook and Sgt. Matt Kopmann responded with respect and care and were outstanding presenters. Both leaders exhibited a genuine pride in their jobs, carefully described their roles and duties as police officers, and demonstrated a genuine understanding of concerns.

Our students stated they had more questions and wanted more time. Part two will be scheduled at a later date to continue this important conversation. Stay tuned.

[Donna Tanner-Harold is a counselor in Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center and coordinates Black Student Success Project activities.]

Keys to Persistence: Black Student SUCCESS Project

I founded The Black Student SUCCESS Project in 2008 with a goal of increasing the retention and graduation rates of Black students at Parkland College.  I drew heavily from Dr. Vincent Tinto’s Departure Theory, which states that academic integration and social integration are keys to persistence for college students, particularly students of color.

BSSPThe idea for this project is to provide interesting and relevant activities and programs designed to create opportunities for students to learn, engage, connect, and dare I say it?  Have fun!  We have talked about academic topics: Test Anxiety, Gen Eds, and Career planning. We’ve discussed tough social issues: AIDS and the Black Community, Domestic Violence, and Race Relations.  We also have addressed Emotional Intelligence and Healthy Relationships, and every spring, we enjoy the University of Illinois Black Chorus.

Black Student SUCCESS Project workshops have become the best-attended on campus, and all students all welcome.  Look for our posters and flyers around campus and drop by.

***Our next workshop is this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1-2 p.m. in Room U140.   Chief Bill Colbrook will share on keeping safe, underage drinking, and how to interact with the police.  It should be a good one.***

Stop by. We’d love to have you.

[Donna Tanner-Harold is a counselor in Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center and coordinates Black Student Success Project activities.]