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Fifth annual education forum, Nov. 15, to feature keynote speech by Whitworth professor

November 12, 2012
Forum also to include panels, workshops by Spokane-area educators

In honor of International Education Week Nov. 12-16, the Whitworth School of Education, in conjunction with several other departments on campus and Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute, will sponsor a forum, "Global Citizenship: Leading Courageously in a Diverse World," featuring a keynote speech by Associate Professor of Psychology Adrian Teo. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. in Whitworth University’s Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Teo’s lecture will take place at 6:15 p.m. in the same location. The forum also will feature workshops led by local educators and community members. Admission to the forum is free; the event is open to the public. For more information, call (509) 777-3228.

In his lecture, “Living with Purpose, Leading with Courage” Teo will share his personal story, spanning his time in Singapore to his move to the U.S. Drawing from his experiences, Teo, who has taught at Whitworth since 1997, will discuss why he believes that people can’t lead with courage and conviction if they lack purpose. His areas of expertise include developmental and school psychology; child development; and school achievement and conduct problems.

“The growing diversity in Spokane, as a refugee resettlement city, is just a microcosm of the changes that are taking place in the United States as a whole,” says Roberta Wilburn, associate dean of graduate studies in education and diversity initiatives at Whitworth. “Subsequently, it is important for all of us to learn about diverse cultures in order to be effective global citizens.”

Wilburn continues, “Whitworth’s 5th Annual International Education Forum is one way that we are endeavoring to actualize our commitment to diversity while providing a wonderful venue for members of the community to join our students, faculty and staff in learning about and celebrating the variety of cultures that are present in our city.”

The education forum is designed to promote a greater understanding of international issues related to teacher education and the appreciation of other cultures. A panel discussion, “A Life of Courageous Leadership” will be led by Lawrence Burnley, Whitworth’s assistant vice president for diversity and intercultural relations. Panelists include Adrian Teo; Nathan Ruff, a senior at Mead High School; Elliot Wilde, a fifth-grade teacher in Spokane Public Schools and former participant in a Japanese teacher exchange program; and Whitworth junior Audrey Evans, co-founder of ASWU’s UNITE core team, which was created to fight human trafficking.

Workshops will include “A Day in the Life of a Japanese Student” by Mukogawa Women’s University students; “Leadership and Critical Race Theory,” by Landon Crecelius, Whitworth’s student success advocate; and “Leadership from Diverse Cultural Perspectives,” presented by Whitworth international students from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The group Spokane Taiko will perform Japanese drumming in the 15 minutes leading up to the event.

The education forum is a collaboration between Whitworth’s School of Education; Whitworth’s College of Arts and Sciences; Atsumi McCauley, Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute; and Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute of Spokane. The forum was made possible in part by a grant from Whitworth’s Strategic Initiative Fund.

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the purpose of International Education Week, which is endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and State, is to build international understanding, to encourage programs that prepare Americans for life in a global environment, and to attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States. The week is celebrated by more than 100 countries worldwide.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Sarah Kelly, program assistant for the School of Education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3228 or

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or