Demmert Lecture Series showcases academic work in education and cultural competency

Submitted by gallagm7 on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 3:11pm

Woodring College of Education hosted the second annual Honoring Dr. William G. Demmert, Jr. Lecture Series in May, bringing to campus guest speakers who share the late Dr. Demmert's committment to international indigenous education through language immersion and culturally based education.

Speakers included

  • Rosemary A. Christensen, professor emerita of Humanistic Studies and First Nations Studies a the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who spoke on "Commitment to the Next Generation: How We Honor Those Who Have Gone Before."
  • Stephanie Fryberg, director of Cultural Competency and Learning Improvement in the Marysville School District and Tulalip Tribes and associate professor at University of Arizona, who spoke on "Social Psychology in the Classroom: Using Growth Mindset and Culture Relevance to Foster Identity Safety for Native American Students."

Dr. Demmert, a retired Professor of Education, died Jan. 19, 2010. Of Oglalla Sioux and Tlingit heritage, Demmert  received his doctorate in Education from Harvard in 1973. While attending the university, he worked in the U.S. Senate for Senators Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale on the original Indian Education Act.

Over his career, Demmert has made extensive contributions in the areas of higher education, research and policy, advancing public understanding of issues related to Indigenous education and his extensive research into indigenous languages.

Among his many roles, he was one of the original founders of the National Indian Education Association; served as the first U.S. Deputy Commissioner of Education for the U.S. Office of Indian Education, in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; served as the director of Education for the Bureau of Indian Affairs; held the position of Commissioner of Education for the State of Alaska; and served as a member of Clinton/Gore Council of Education Advisors, and member of the President-elect Transition Team.

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