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Patton College of Education hosts inaugural Ed Talks

Presentations allow faculty to share their ‘Big Ideas’

The Ohio University Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education hosted the first of what it hopes will be many Ed Talks this past summer on July 14.

The free event, which took place in Baker University Center 240-242, featured presentations by three Patton College faculty members, followed by a complimentary lunch.

Ed Talks, which are the brainchild of Patton College Dean Dr. Renée Middleton, are Patton College's version of the popular TED Talks where speakers deliver short presentations of "ideas worth sharing."

Dr. Connie Patterson, Patton College assistant dean for academic engagement and outreach, said Ed Talks give the faculty a chance to explain what they do to a broader audience.

“Dean Middleton and I wanted to find ways to get our faculty outside of the academic bubble. In the fall, we put out a call for proposals and asked faculty what their big idea was and why should people care,” Dr. Patterson said. “They submitted a one-page sheet to answer those questions and we vetted them and made sure they were solid ideas that could be communicated to a wider audience in non-academic jargon.”

After being selected, the three presenters attended a pre-meeting with OHIO’s Chief Marketing Officer and Ed Talks coach Renea Morris to make sure they understood what they would be asked to do. They then were asked to read Marybeth Gasman’s book, “Academics Going Public,” which outlined many ways to get their message out in the public beyond academic journals.

“What we asked these faculty members to do is to essentially learn a new language,” Morris said. “We asked them to talk about exciting, interesting and thought-provoking topics, but not in the way they are used to doing it. Passion, hard work and commitment are things we saw during the week of practice from these three speakers.”

Dr. Patterson said the more the speakers can advance their big ideas, the more the public can appreciate the importance of their work.

“We hosted this first one as a pilot run. Our college’s motto is ‘CALLED to LEAD.’ We believe we are leading the way with this new and exciting endeavor,” Dr. Patterson said.

Morris talked a bit about preparation for the Ed Talks followed by each of the faculty members giving their speeches, which were each about seven minutes long.

To see what the Ed Talks are about, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHAfdA1ZLHM&t=8s

Renea Morris

Renea Morris

The three Ed Talks speakers are:

Dr. Tamarine Foreman, assistant professor of counseling and higher education, presented, “Changing How We Talk about Trauma.”

During her talk, she explained why labeling trauma sufferers as victims is not the best idea for their recovery because it makes them a hostage to their past. Dr. Foreman said the “victim” label has the potential to stop these people from seeking help, which can increase their risk for mental and physical illness.

You can access her Ed Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iUM0HcbqgM

Tamarine Foreman

Dr. Tamarine Foreman

Dr. Theda Gibbs Grey, assistant professor of teacher education, presented, “Training Teachers to Disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline.”

She said teachers can be empowered to find and implement solutions to the problem of black boys and girls being funneled from school into the criminal justice system. Dr. Gibbs also said this can be done by developing the students’ critical consciousness and affirming and strengthening their literacies.

You can access her Ed Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl5yscwaLns

Theda Gibbs Grey

Dr. Theda Gibbs Grey

Dr. Mike Kopish, assistant professor of teacher education, presented, “Democratic Citizenship Education for Teacher Candidates.”

He told the audience that future teachers need to be prepared to meet the demands of their profession and sustain the next generation of students for our democracy. Dr. Kopish said that since schools can reach all young people, teachers need to be equipped to foster the development of democratic citizens.

You can access his Ed Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM8K7Up3MZE&t=1s

Mike Kopish

Dr. Mike Kopish

Newly appointed OHIO President M. Duane Nellis attended the event and said the topics discussed are all important national issues.

“The structure of the Ed Talks creates a forum where the speakers can share this information more effectively and broadly, and I hope this becomes a regular activity at Ohio University,” Dr. Nellis said. “Nationally, one of our challenges in higher education is telling our stories effectively. Sometimes as academics we get so caught up publishing in journals and presenting papers at professional meetings, we don’t relate our research of national importance to the general public so that they understand it. That was what today’s event was about.”

Athens City Mayor Steve Patterson also expressed his approval for the first Ed Talks.

“I’m a huge fan of TED Talks, and this event rivals it,” Mayor Patterson said. “Having been a professor at Ohio University for 18 years, I know how difficult it can be to translate your line of research so that a larger audience who isn’t in your field of study can understand you. Watching the faculty bring it to the level where anyone can understand is stellar. I hope the Ed Talks continue on in the future.”

Patton College Assistant Professor LaWanda Ward said the presentations were compelling and engaging.

“I think this is a great initiative that will continue because when we share our research it’s usually only for our peers,” Dr. Ward said. “Ed Talks provides the opportunity for a layperson to understand what the researcher is advocating for and why they are passionate about it, which is important.”

Adrienne Erby, a lecturer in the Patton College’s Counseling and Higher Education program, said the Ed Talks were amazing.

“It was so cool that our faculty who are doing impressive work in the classroom and in the community were able to showcase their research to a larger audience,” Dr. Erby said. “There are lots of opportunities for growth in the program so we’ll see who jumps in next time.”

The next Ed Talks program will be held in the fall of 2019. Faculty at the Patton College will receive a call for proposals next fall. For more information about Ed Talks, contact Dr. Connie Patterson at patterc1@ohio.edu or 740-593-0084.