Feb. 17, 2016 – A top-level administrator from America’s space agency will be the featured speaker for an upcoming conference at Fort Valley State University. Dr. Hortense Diggs, chief of education for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, is the keynote speaker for the fifth annual Middle Georgia Diversity Conference, cosponsored by Fort Valley State University and Georgia College and State University, on Friday, April 8, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the C. W. Pettigrew Center.
Dr. Edward Hill, dean of FVSU’s College of Education and conference founder said the event will help pre-service teachers learn about diversity, and how best to incorporate it inside the classroom.
“Particularly when you’re talking about the classroom and how do we change the world, it has to come from a teacher’s perspective,” Hill said. “When I was a faculty member at GCSU, I wanted students to examine issues of diversity and how to best incorporate them into the classroom.”
After becoming a dean at FVSU, Hill and Georgia College and State University have continued holding diversity training conferences for pre-service teachers to help them deal with the challenges of instructing students from different ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.
“The conversation about diversity was as important for our students as it was for theirs,” Hill said about partnering with GCSU. “I wanted them to get a better prospective of the students they are teaching inside classrooms.”
Dr. Rebecca McMullen, GCSU associate professor and mentor leader of the senior special cohort, said the two colleges alternately host the event each year.
“This is something we’ve been doing over time, but for the past five years we’ve been doing a collaborative diversity conference,” McMullen said. “It gives student teaching candidates in both colleges of education, a chance to implement the attributes of diversity. Many students are special ed, early childhood, middle grades and in other cohorts. We have various cohorts come together and they collaborate with the cohorts from FVSU, to come up with some of the best strategies that can be implemented in our k12 schools. One common goal is preparing our teachers to work in diverse classrooms in Georgia.”
According to Hill, the program is open to both faculty and students in any teacher preparation program within the state. Past participants have included Mercer University, Wesleyan College, and Georgia Southwestern University.
The conference will feature speakers from the Professional Standards Commission, school superintendents, students and teachers.
To view the proposal form, click here: https://gcsu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cZxSATLtENpC76l
Tickets for students are $25 and $30 for faculty. Breakfast and lunch is included. To purchase tickets for the conference, visit www.wildcatticketoffice.com.
For details, contact FVSU’s College of Education at (478) 825-6858.
To attend, registration is required.