2017 Spring Alumni Symposium
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Wheelock's Brookline Campus
43 Hawes Street
The Alumni Association Board held its annual Spring Alumni Symposium on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Wheelock's Brookline Campus (43 Hawes Street, Brookline, MA). This popular event always provides alumni and friends of the College with a thought-provoking day of professional development and networking. In addition to the opportunities listed below, a colleague from Wheelock's Office of Career Services will be present to answer questions and review resumes.
8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:45 a.m. Welcome & Wheelock Update
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Faculty and Alumni Presentations - Session I
Helping Military-Connected Students Thrive: Challenges and Opportunities
Shirley Malone-Fenner, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Director of the Center of Excellence for Military Children and Families, Wheelock College
The presentation examines aspects of military culture (family's beliefs, assumptions, and understandings about their military identity) and the unique challenges and opportunities facing military-connected children. The impact of multiple deployments on children's developmental functioning and school performance will also be discussed. Additionally, participants will get a snapshot of culturally sensitive strategies that work with military-connected children and families.
PAUSE: Taking Care of Your Emotional Self
Sarah Potty Hamelin '03, LICSW, Author and Psychotherapist
In our fast-paced culture, people are often emotional avoiders or emotional reactors, which both come with their own sets of challenges. The ultimate goal should not be to "overreact" or avoid emotions, but instead to become more in touch with emotions, and become better at managing them. In this session, Sarah will teach participants how to allow for healthy emotional reactions by using the "pause" technique.
Words on Fire: Teaching Young Authors the Power of Words
Heidi Paffard Simmons '68, Author and Literacy Educator
"The pen is mightier than the sword," but without words, the pen is useless. A child has a story and a desire to tell it but cannot without developing an appreciation and curiosity for the most basic tool of writing, which is the "right" word. As poetry is a child's natural language, it is the most relevant language to develop a young writer's wealth of word choice. Participants will become knowledgeable about Word Awareness Development's philosophy and participate in hands-on activities that explore Word Awareness Development through poetry.
11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Keynote Address: The Learning Differences Field: How far have we come in our understanding and treatment techniques?
David J. Chard, President, Wheelock College
Students with learning differences represent approximately half of all students served in special education in U.S. public schools. Some estimates suggest that this is a significant under-representation of the number of individuals who struggle with learning and attention issues. As chair of the Professional Advisory Board of the National Center on Learning Disabilities, Dr. Chard is well acquainted with the challenges in this important area of education. In this presentation, he will focus on the historical challenges in the field, critical advances that the field has experienced over the past half century, and the work that must be done to improve the lives of children and adults with learning and attention issues.
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Luncheon & Presentation of the Elizabeth Palmer Peabody Award
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Faculty and Alumni Presentations - Session II
Queer Stuff: How Do I Know What to Say?
Ellie Friedland, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Wheelock College
This is an interactive session focused on how we can learn and use LGBTQ+ inclusive language; recognize LGBTQ+ microaggressions; practice what to do when we inadvertently make a microaggression or use language that offends someone; and practice skills to confront and disrupt anti-LGBTQ+ comments in order to be an upstander rather than a bystander. We will begin by creating a safe and brave environment in which everyone can feel free to learn, question, express their ideas, make mistakes, and take risks. The session will include large-group discussion, small-group and pair dialogue, and practice scenarios.
Stem Education: Wheelock's WhaleNet as a Free Resource
J. Michael Williamson, Associate Professor of Science and Principal Investigator of WhaleNet, Wheelock College
WhaleNet (whale.wheelock.edu) is an interactive, award-winning website that offers real-time satellite data about whales, seals, and dolphins. Millions of people around the world, including researchers, educators, students, and everyday citizens, share a unique glimpse into the daily lives of marine scientists and the creatures they study through participatory technology, hands-on activities, scientific discoveries, and environmental awareness. Participants of this session will become familiar with the STEM resources for all ages available on WhaleNet by taking a tour of the website, conducting sample activities, seeing demonstrations, and brainstorming ideas for practical use in the classroom and beyond.
TEACHERS SPEAK OUT: How School Reform Mandates Are Failing Low-Income Young Children
Diane Levin '69MS, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Wheelock College
Current early childhood academic mandates are placing strong emphasis on the teaching of narrow academic skills at the expense of developmentally appropriate practice. Diane will share data she collected during her sabbatical (with Judy Van Hoorn) on how highly trained and experienced early childhood teachers think the mandates are affecting their ability to promote young children's optimal learning and development through quality play, with special focus on the challenges they face meeting the learning needs of children from low-income homes. Based on her findings, she will also make recommendations for action.
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Networking Reception Hosted by the Alumni Association Board