College of

Distinguished Lecture Series

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Iacocca Hall, Wood Dining Hall

The Leaders of Practice Lecture Series brings national and international experts to the Lehigh Valley to discuss the critical issues facing public education, corporate training, and maximizing human potential. The 2020 lecture was cancelled during to COVID-19. 


Distinguished Lecture Series Postponed

Due to COVID-19, we have postponed the 2020 lecture series.

Frequently Asked Questions: 
About the Lecture Series

The Leaders of Practice lectureship enhances the educational experience for our students and area professionals who regularly look to Lehigh University’s College of Education for professional development.

Our next speaker (date TBD) will be Sean Reardon, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology will be our Distinguished Lecturer and will present on "Inequality, schooling, and educational opportunity in America."

2022 Speaker - Dr. Sean Reardon

Dr. Sean Reardon

Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology
Director, Stanford Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis

Sean Reardon is the endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and is Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality, the effects of educational policy on educational and social inequality, and in applied statistical methods for educational research. Reardon is the developer of the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA). Based on 300 million standardized test scores, SEDA provides measures of educational opportunity, average test score performance, academic achievement gaps, and other information for every public school district in the US.

Professor Reardon received his doctorate in education in 1997 from Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, the National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

2019 Speaker - Dr. Dorothy L. Espelage

Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida.  She is the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science and the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, and is a Fellow of APS, APA, and AERA.  She was recently elected to the National Academy of Education.

She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997.  Over the last 22 years, she has authored over 190 peer- reviewed articles, six edited books, and 70 chapters on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, dating violence, and gang violence.

Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming and she has secured over twelve million dollars of external funding. She advises members of Congress and Senate on bully prevention legislation. She conducts regular webinars for CDC, NIH, and NIJ to disseminate research. She just completed a CDC-funded study that included a randomized clinical trial of a social emotional learning prevention program in 36 middle schools to reduce aggression. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is funding her to track these kids to examine whether these effects remain as kids navigate challenges of high school.

Please view the PowerPoint Presentation, video and images from the evening presentation. 

2017 Speaker - Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized authority in creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson is also one of the world’s leading speakers. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organization and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries.

Sir Ken works with governments in Europe, Asia and the US, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and leading cultural organizations. He led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government, was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, and was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for a strategy to become the creative hub of SE Asia.

Called “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, Sir Ken has received numerous awards and recognitions for his groundbreaking contributions. He was included in Thinkers50 list of the world’s leading business thinkers and has been named one of TIME/Fortune/CNN’s Principal Voices. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.

His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011.

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, was published by Viking in May 2013 and is also a New York Times best seller. His latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (Viking, 2015), written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style, includes groundbreaking research and tackles the critical issue of how to transform the nation’s troubled educational system.

2015 Fall Speaker - Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ)

On November 10, 2015, Mr.  Geoffrey Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), presented "The Promise of Charter Schools." The College has focused its effort on finding common ground in the school reform debate. Mr. Canda provided the private side education side of the debate.

2015 Spring Speaker - Dr. Diane Ravitch

Dr. Diane Ravitch, Research Professor at New York University and education historian

On February 10, 2015,  Dr. Diane Ravitch, Research Professor at New York University and education historian, presented "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools." The College has focused its effort on finding common ground in the school reform debate. Dr. Ravitch provided the pro public education side of the debate.

2013 Panel - Transforming STEM

Transforming STEM: From Global Agenda to Classroom Success

In 2013, local and national experts explored STEM through multiple perspectives. Teachers and parents learned how to engage STEM initiatives both at school and home. Speakers included Dr. Alexander Wiseman, Dr. Alec Bodzin, Dr. Christine Cunningham (Museum of Science, Boston), Dr. Sharon Lynch (George Washington University) and Dr. Thomas Hammond moderated.

2012 Panel - Learning Disorders

Learning Disorders: Interventions that Work

Our 2012 lecture brought us "Learning Disorders; Interventions that Work" where George Batsche, Mary Beth Calhoon, Daniel Reschly, and Edward Shapiro provided examples of where Response to Intervention is working. The session gave teachers and parents information to implement RTI through the sharing of techniques and advice.

2011 Panel - Challenging Behavior and Young Children
Challenging Behavior and Young Children: Preventative Strategies and Solutions

On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, five (George DuPaul, Edward Feil, Mary Louise Hemmeter, Phil Strain, and Breena Wood)  renowned childhood behavioral disorder experts provided a comprehensive overview in areas ranging from social skills and inclusion to communication and family supports. The evening presentation was moderated by Lehigh's Dr. Gary M. Sasso, Dean of the College of Education at Lehigh University. View the PowerPoint presentations for in-depth information.

2010 Panel - Urban Education
Urban Education: Leadership That Makes a Difference

In April of 2010 five urban education experts (George White, Richard Barth, Martin Blank, Floyd Beachum, and Karen Kolsky) provided an in-depth presentation on Urband Education and Leadership that Makes a Difference. View the PowerPoint presentations for in-depth information.

2009 Panel - Leaders of Practice in the Autism Spectrum

Leaders of Practice in the Autism Spectrum

On May 3rd, 2009 five autism spectrum experts (Jed Baker, Paula Kluth, Lynn Koegel, Robert Koegel, and Joyce Mauk) provided an overview in areas ranging from social skills and inclusion to communication and family supports. The afternoon presentation was moderated by Lehigh’s Dr. Linda Bambara, Professor of Special Education.

2008 Speaker - Dr. Sally K. Ride
Dr. Sally K. Ride, Reach for the Stars

In April of 2008 Dr. Ride discussed her rise through the NASA program and how she supports young women to pursue careers in math, science and technology. Dr. Ride is the President and CEO of Imaginary Lines, Inc. and a Professor Emerita of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. In her nine years with NASA, Dr. Ride worked in mission control on shuttle missions, flew on the space shuttle Challenger twice, and headed a study of NASA's mission options and future. 

2007 Speaker - Dr. Wangari Maathai
Dr. Wangari Maathai, Empowerment and Escape From Poverty

On February 1st, 2007 Dr. Wangari Maathai, was the honored guest for the College of Education's 2007 Lecture Series. Maathai, a leading international advocate for women's rights and environmental protection, was recognized with the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Greenbelt Movement. The grassroots movement promotes environmental responsibility as a way to alleviate poverty and war.

2005 Speaker - Gaston Caperton

In April of 2005, president of The College Board and former governor of West Virginia, Gaston Caperton made Lehigh his first appearance since the implementation of the new SAT test. In his talk, "Winning the Race," he discussed the need for the U.S. to build the world's best educational system if it is to continue as a global competitor. He explained how, as governor, he turned around the failing schools of West Virginia and laid out a plan that would improve schools throughout the country.

2004 Speaker - Thomas L. Friedman

Standing-room only audiences gathered to hear the inaugural speaker, New York Times foreign correspondent Thomas L. Friedman discuss "Thinking through the Post-9/11 World" in the spring of 2004. The three-time Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist spoke on the "war of ideas" which he said is the basis of the al-Qaeda threat against America. He compared the situation in the Middle East to the Cold War of the 1950s and explored the cultural differences between the two areas of the world, as they relate to conflict. 

Other Offerings

June 20, 2021 to June 25, 2021
June 24, 2021 to June 25, 2021