Plenary Speakers

Morning Plenary - 9-10:30AM, Michigan League Ballroom

The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color
Panel Discussion Sponsored by the College Board

In order to regain the nation's once-preeminent international position in the percentage of young adults with postsecondary credentials, we must begin to matriculate and graduate populations of American students who traditionally have been underrepresented at the postsecondary level. The educational achievement of young men of color demands significant dialogue; currently, just 26 percent of African Americans, 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, and 18 percent of Hispanic Americans have at least an associate degree. In addition, in each racial and ethnic group young women are outperforming young men with respect to the attainment of high school diplomas, with even more pronounced disparities at the postsecondary level. The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color initiative seeks to identify existing - and needed - research around this issue, understand the "why" and provide an overview of the legal landscape within which solutions must be developed.

This panel of distinguished scholars from across the United States will discuss their research, and what they have found to be solutions to meeting the educational needs of young men of color.


Dr. Ron Williams, Moderator - Ronald Williams is a vice president of the College Board. Among several leadership roles, Williams is responsible for strengthening the relationship between the College Board and community colleges throughout the United States. He also provides leadership to a cluster of initiatives dealing with students’ access to, and persistence in, college. Williams joined the College Board in 2007 from Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., where he had served as president since 1999, capping an extensive career with community colleges. Williams is a member of the board of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Analysis Advisory Committee. Williams attended Lehigh University, where he earned a doctorate in literature, a master’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in History and English. A writer, Williams has published two novels, Four Saints and an Angel and A Death in Panama.

Dr. Lee Bitsóí, Harvard University - Lee Bitsóí currently serves as the Minority Action Plan (MAP) Program Director in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, where he directs a recruitment plan for under-represented minority students in genomic sciences at the undergraduate and post-doc levels.  In addition, he serves as an Education Strategy Consultant for the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC. Dr. Bitsóí has devoted his career to enhancing opportunities for under-represented minority students to become scientists, science educators and scientifically-informed community members. Dr. Bitsóí earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (2007) where his research focused on the conditions that encourage and discourage American Indians from pursuing higher education, a subject upon which he has published.

Dr. Julie López Figueroa, California State University, Sacramento - Julie López Figueroa is currently an Associate Professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Areas of scholarly interest include access and retention in higher education, and teaching and learning in a cultural context. Her research takes a sociocultural perspective on Latino males in higher education to examine their perspectives and practices with regards to academic success. Dr. Figueroa holds faculty affiliation with the Doctoral Educational Leadership Program at Sacramento State. Recently, Dr. Figueroa along with co-editors, Drs. Margarita Berta-Avila and Anita Tijerina-Revilla, published, Marching Students: Chicana and Chicano Activism in Education, 1968 to the Present in February 2011. Dr. Figueroa completed her doctoral studies in Education from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, completed a M.A. in Education in 1995 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her B.A. in Sociology and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Bryant Marks, Morehouse College - Bryant T. Marks is an assistant professor of psychology at Morehouse College and director of the Morehouse Male Initiative, whose mission is to identify factors that foster the affirmative personal and academic development of black males. He holds a B.A. in psychology and a minor in economics from Morehouse College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan. Marks was an assistant professor of psychology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago from 2000 to 2004. In addition to being a faculty member at Morehouse, he is also a faculty associate with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Marks is also an associate minister at Thankful Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, GA.

Dr. Robert Teranishi, New York University - Robert Teranishi is Associate Professor of Higher Education at New York University and Principal Investigator for The National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education, a project funded by the College Board and USA Funds. He is also a faculty affiliate with The Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy and a consultant for the Ford Foundation's "Advancing Higher Education Access and Success" initiative. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Teranishi was a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Teranishi's research is broadly focused on race, ethnicity, and the stratification of college opportunity. His work has been influential to federal, state, and institution policy related to college access and affordabiity.

Luncheon Plenary - 12-1:30PM, Michigan League Ballroom

Forging Common Spaces for K-12/College Partnerships
Panel Discussion Featuring School of Education Deans

This session will focus on the ways in which colleges of education across the state are taking leadership roles in preparing students to be college ready and training the workforce of the future. During this session, school of education deans from across the state will address issues such as:

This panel of distinguished scholars and leaders from across the state of Michigan will discuss their work and vision for addressing the critical challenges facing our state in regard to educational achievement and college readiness.

Dr. Deborah Loewenberg Ball , Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan, Panel Moderator - Deborah Loewenberg Ball currently serves as Dean of the University of Michigan School of Education, where she is also the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Her work draws on her many years of experience as an elementary classroom teacher. Ball's research focuses on mathematics instruction, and on interventions designed to improve its quality and effectiveness. She is an expert on teacher education, with a particular interest in how professional training and experience combine to equip beginning teachers with the skills and knowledge needed for effective practice. Ball has served on several national and international commissions and panels focused on policy initiatives and the improvement of education, including the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (appointed by President George W. Bush) and the National Board for Education Sciences (appointed by President Barack Obama).

Dr. Jann Joseph, Dean, College of Education, Eastern Michigan University - Jann Joseph is Dean of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University. She is responsible for providing dynamic leadership, serving as the college spokesperson, and collaboratively identifying and facilitating the strategic direction of the college. A member of the Academic Affairs leadership team at EMU, her insights and contributions support the mission of the university. She is especially interested in initiatives that advance the professional development of the university's faculty and staff. A successful grant writer, Dr. Joseph has been the PI for more than $1.6 million of external grants including funding from the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. She is passionate about teacher preparation in the sciences. Before joining EMU she was a faculty member and Associate Dean at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). She was the founding coordinator of the Integrated Science program at GVSU where she led a team of faculty to develop the curriculum and obtain state approval for a unique major that seamlessly blends science content with pedagogy. Her commitment to teacher preparation extends beyond the campus and she is a certified reviewer for the National Science Teachers Association's Science Program Improvement Review (SPIR). Dr. Joseph has made numerous presentations at regional, national, and international conferences and is an advocate and change agent for science teacher preparation in Michigan.

Dr. Carolyn M. Shields, Dean, College of Education, Wayne State University - Carolyn M. Shields was appointed Dean of the College of Education at Wayne State University in July, 2011. Prior to her assuming the deanship, she has been a professor of educational leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, at the University of British Columbia, and the University of Utah. Dr. Shields' obtained her bachelor's degree in French and English and her master's degree in French from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She earned her doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. Her teaching and research focus on leadership for academic excellence and social justice, including the creation of environments in which democratic organizations can effectively prepare students for participation, engagement and citizenship in a pluralistic civil society and global community.

Dr. Edward A. Silver, Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan-Dearborn - Edward A. Silver is Dean of the School of Education at University of Michigan-Dearborn.  He is also the William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor of Education and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he has previously served as Chair of the Educational Studies Program and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  His scholarly interests include the study of mathematical thinking, especially mathematical problem solving and problem posing; the design and analysis of intellectually engaging and equitable mathematics instruction for students; innovative methods of assessing and reporting mathematics achievement; and effective models for enhancing the knowledge of teachers of mathematics.  He has published numerous articles, chapters, and books on these topics. He served as editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education from 2000-2004, and as co-editor of The Elementary School Journal from 2008-2010. He was the 2004 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions of Educational Research to Practice from the American Educational Research Association, the 2007 recipient of the Iris Carl Memorial Leadership and Equity Award from TODOS, and the 2009 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.