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Sept. 24, 2014
By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant
Dr. Beth Swadener will be the featured speaker for Northwest Missouri State University’s fall Ploghoft Diversity Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.
Coordinated by the Department of Professional Education, the Ploghoft Diversity Lecture Series provides opportunities for nationally and internationally renowned lecturers to share their knowledge regarding overarching diversity issues within the field of education. The lectures offer audiences additional ways to explore how diversity issues may impact their environments.
Swadener is a professor of justice and social inquiry and associate director of the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on internationally comparative social policy with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, impacts of neoliberal policy on local communities, and children’s rights and voices.
Serving as the associate editor of the “American Educational Research Journal,” Swadener has also published 11 books, some of which include “Children’s Rights and Education,” “Power and Voice in Research with Children” and “Decolonizing Research in Cross-Cultural Context.”
A co-founder of the Jirani Project, which serves vulnerable children in Kenya, Swadener is active in several other social justice and child advocacy organizations including Children’s Action Alliance, the Association for Supportive Child Care and Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education, among others.
Swadener will focus her talk at Northwest on unlearning oppression and strengthening alliances in educational contexts.
“She impacts graduate and undergraduate students, people in leadership positions as well as the international community,” said Dr. Pradnya Patet, assistant professor of professional education. “Her active participation in several social justice and child advocacy organizations will inspire our students to re-construct their understanding of what it means to live in a diverse society. Her commitment to ‘living as an ally and building relationships across borders’ rather than just talking about it, is of central value to us in the Department of Professional Education.”
The Ploghoft Diversity Lecture Series is funded through the generosity of Dr. Milton Ploghoft of Athens, Ohio, and his late wife, Zella. Dr. Ploghoft, a 1949 Northwest alumnus, is professor emeritus at Ohio University. Mrs. Ploghoft, who passed away in June 2010, completed her elementary and secondary education at Horace Mann Laboratory School at Northwest. Dr. Ploghoft authored a number of textbooks in the social studies and lived abroad for many years, founding the College of Education in Kano, Nigeria, lecturing at Saigon University and leading the university's international programs in such disparate places as Chile, Cameroun, Botswana, the Yucatan, Swaziland and in what was then South Vietnam. In 1992, he became the founding editor of the African Education Research Network.
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