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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Education to host inaugural symposium featuring national experts, state leaders

Several leaders in the field of education will speak about current trends and issues the profession is facing, along with the future of education, at New Mexico State University’s first landmark symposium, “Re-Imagining the Future of Learning.”


The symposium, hosted by the College of Education, will be Oct. 19-21 at O’Donnell Hall. Registration deadline is Oct. 1 and may be completed by visiting https://alliance.nmsu.edu/nmsu-college-of-education-symposium-2/.

The symposium will also feature a screening of the documentary, “Backpack Full of Cash,” narrated by actor Matt Damon. Filmmakers Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow will host a discussion following the film’s screening, which will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the NMSU Atkinson Music Recital Hall.

Among the symposium’s guest speakers and presenters are:

– Barbara Chamberlin, NMSU professor and director of the NMSU Learning Games Lab.

– Punya Mishra, associate dean of scholarship of innovation and professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

– Gever Tulley, founder of the Brightworks School and the Tinkering School in California.

– Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play.

– Monica Brown, an award-winning author and English professor at Northern Arizona University.

– Joe Martin, a nationally recognized motivational speaker who specializes in encouraging teacher retention.

The symposium will also feature a panel discussion, “Re-Imagining Schools,” from 8:45 to 10:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20. The discussion will be moderated by Kyle Miller, the senior program director for teacher development and evaluation at the Los Angeles-based ECMC Foundation, and features Tony Monfiletto, director of the New Mexico Center for School Leadership; Lisa Snyder, executive director of EdVisions Schools; Carlos Moreno, co-executive director of Big Picture Learning; and Matthew Wunder, CEO and co-founder of Da Vinci Schools.

NMSU College of Education Dean Don Pope-Davis said the symposium aims at addressing the challenges of impacting the lives of students and families, especially in New Mexico, which ranks near the bottom of the nation in education achievement due to widespread poverty, migrant populations and other cultural, social and economic issues.

“As our College of Education at NMSU moves forward in this new century, the prevailing perspective is that we must change if we are to remain relevant in an environment that is quickly embracing new modes of educational engagement,” Pope-Davis said. “Therefore, our perspective needs to be transformative, rather that incremental, thereby disrupting the status quo that continues to encourage a sense of compliancy. Our symposium is designed to have interactive conversations with national education experts who can help use think different about new possibilities.”

Pope-Davis said that “we hope to create a space that brings together a diverse group of participants as a way to broaden and deepen the discussion on new ways to serve our children, adult learners, school administrators, counselors and the families of our community.”

The symposium will reach out to pre K-20 educators, administrators and counselors, in addition to state legislators. Organizers hope the symposium will provide inspiration and rejuvenation to a workforce that feels devalued and underappreciated; tools to improve teaching and leadership practices; multiple teaching and learning lenses in which to support growth and change; and a renewed partnership between the NMSU College of Education and school districts statewide.

The symposium is sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Don and Sarrah Kidd, the NMSU College of Education, and the Alliance for Teaching and Learning. For more information, contact Debra Knapp, professor and College of Education Dean’s Fellow, at deknapp@nmsu.edu or 575-646-4079.