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News Release

Sept. 12, 2020

Ploghoft lecturer to discuss ‘Education and Equity in Evolving Times’

Sean Nevills, a state leader in teaching diverse populations and director of a COVID-19 project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will discuss “Education and Equity in Evolving times” when he visits Northwest Missouri State University to present its fall Ploghoft Diversity Lecture.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. Nevills will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on issues of race in educational institutions.

The presentation is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 40 people. Attendees will be required to adhere to Northwest’s COVID-19 mitigation measures, which include wearing a face covering and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals. The lecture also will be accessible virtually on Zoom at

“Mr. Nevills is an innovative leader in the field of education,” Sarah Creason, a senior instructor of psychology at Northwest and a member of the Ploghoft Diversity Lecture Committee, said. “His ability to navigate change and work collaboratively while pressing forward creates progress and positive impact. Mr. Nevills is skilled at creating inclusive environments both at an administrative level and in the physical education classroom.”

As a COVD-19 project director for SHAPE America, a society of health and physical educators, Nevills supports the implementation of CDC guidance for schools and promotes effective physical education, health education and physical activity. His decade in education includes time as director of health and physical education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; a physical education teacher in Columbia and Springfield, Missouri, schools; and a football coach, winning a state championship in 2014 as an assistant coach with Battle High School in Columbia.

Born and raised in St. Louis County, Nevills earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Missouri State University in Springfield. The university also has recognized him for his accomplishments in the field of health and physical education.

Additionally, Nevills is active in community programs, volunteering for organizations such as the NAACP, Minorities in Business, and the Teachers of Color Support Network of Mid-Missouri.

Northwest’s Ploghoft Diversity Lecture series features speakers and activities that broaden the educational perspectives of Northwest teacher candidates and inform all students about the issues facing the education of students from diverse environments.

The lecture series is funded through the generosity of Dr. Milton Ploghoft and his wife, Zella. Dr. Ploghoft, a 1949 Northwest alumnus who died in 2018, was professor emeritus at Ohio University. Zella, who passed away in 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.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215