Screening Event — Vietnam Stories, Memories and Honor

Cochise College ESL and Video Production Students collaborate to produce a video documentary to honor Vietnam Veterans from our community.

How can storytelling become a central part of second language acquisition and video production? Two college instructors at Cochise College brought their students together to tackle an ambitious community project this semester that highlights the oral histories of Vietnam Veterans in Douglas, AZ.

For ESL instructor Margarita Ramirez-Loya, storytelling has been part of her curriculum development since 2011 when her students began interviewing elders of the community and retelling their stories as a way to practice English. These experiences have turned into digital stories and publications co-authored by instructors and students and presented at important international conferences.

Digital Media Arts instructor, Mary Jenea Sanchez, wants her students to experience every aspect of the highly creative process of video production through her student-led approach. Students are provided the skills to take on creative and leadership roles in the decision making process of video production from storyboarding to editing.

Students and instructors, with the goal of capturing and preserve the stories of Vietnam Veterans from the community, collaboratively created the curriculum and trajectory of the project. Together, Ramirez-Loya, Sanchez, and their students embarked on an inspiring learning experience that gathered students and elders to share space in conversation about war, honor, loss, and hope. The documentary highlights emotional stories by war veterans, Juan ‘Johnny’ Perez, Don Jordan, Yolanda Gastelum Nora, Frank V. Palma, Hector Leon, Joe Bono, and family member Hector Salinas, plus a special interview with Ginny Jordan, founder of the Wall of Faces Museum in Douglas.

On January 23, “Vietnam Stories, Memories and Honor” will be screened at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas. The event is free and open to the general public.

Cochise College Instructors: Margarita Ramirez-Loya and Mary Jenea Sanchez
ESL Students: Ismail Pontiac, Evgenii Korliakov, Sheries Poleth Rosales, Cendy Abril, Nicole Laborin, and Adilene Velasquez
Video Production Students: Wyatt Hershberger, Claudia Peralta, Javier Lafon, Angel Vazquez, Jose Chavez, Sebastian Medina, Daniela Salas, Stephanie Adams,, Diego Vazquez John Tanner, Xavier Aguirre, and Reyes Lopez.