Jolita Benson Education Lecture

Carmela Full of Wishes book cover.

My Journey From Reluctant Reader to Author

7-8 p.m. | April 22, 2019 | Chris Knutzen Hall, Anderson University Center

Matt de la Peña’s presentation centers around his journey from reluctant reader to published author, and the transformative power of literature. “I didn’t fall for books until I was in college — I got there on a basketball scholarship — but once I did, it changed my life,” says de la Peña.

About the speaker

Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and The Living) and four picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is used for planning purposes.

Matt de la Peña
Event Details:

Free and open to the public

Previous Lectures

Looking in the Mirror
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In this interactive lecture, science education presenter Kirk Robbins guided participants through a learning experience to consider each individual’s role in improving the learning of science in the K-12 education system. Participants uncovered and shared their personal “science stories” and used those stories to define the K-12 system of science education both in and outside of school. Participants then used an equity and diversity lens to identify opportunities to change and disrupt the K-12 science education system in order to maximize student learning outcomes for students.

Robbins is a science education consultant and adjunct lecturer (University of Washington, Western Washington University, Central Washington University) in the Puget Sound Region. Robbins has a background as a lab technician with a degree in molecular biology and extensive experience in many levels of the education system. He has worked as a classroom teacher, regional science coordinator, district office science coordinator, supervisor of student interns, consultant, instructional coach, and advocate for science education reform.

Robbins shares science education resources through his blog, and he has developed a reputation as an engaging and effective presenter and professional development provider. Robbins is currently partnering with multiple school districts, Educational Service Districts, Pacific Education Institute, and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative to assist with implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.

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Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Willingham’s current research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. Dr. Willingham is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and Raising Kids Who Read (forthcoming).

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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Zhao, addressed issues of globalization and technology in a dramatically changing world. He addressed questions including:

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Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education

Dr. Wendy Gardiner

Dr. Wendy Gardiner is the current Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education at PLU. Her scholarship focuses on literacy teacher education and new teacher mentoring. Dr. Gardiner’s scholarship and service also addresses the need for high quality, diversity responsive children’s and young adult literature. Dr. Gardiner publishes and presents nationally on these topics. She is on the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Book Award Committee, honoring high quality fiction and nonfiction published by emerging authors and illustrators.

Dr. Leon Reisberg

Dr. Leon Reisberg is the first recipient of the Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education at PLU. His current research includes the uses of technology with students with reading and other learning disabilities and the state of technology in regional school districts. Reisberg is involved in collaborative research projects with other faculty throughout the Department of Instructional Development and Leadership and serves on the board of several community educational organizations.