Alumni Luke LaChac, Michael Catelli, and Dr. Jame Daly
The National Council for the Social Studies once again featured work done by Seton Hall alumni, undergraduate students, and faculty. For the past seven years Seton Hall students have presented their work (both by personally attending the annual conference, and through submitting their work to be presented by Dr. Daly). This year, presenting in the International Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies were alumni Michael Catelli, K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies, World Language, and ESL Somerset Hills School District) and Luke LaChac, teacher of social studies for the Bernardsville Middle School and national SEED trainer. Their work was titled "Informing Action: An International Collaboration Focused on Advocacy and Activism," and it was presented on Friday, November 22. The session addressed years of work between teachers and students in the elementary and middle school in their district and St. Patrick's School in Nigeria. The work was done with Sister John Bosco Awakwe of Seton Hall who although not able to attend the conference facilitated the project and communication between the schools. Jim Daly of the Educational Studies Department worked with this group throughout the past several years and presented with the SHU alumni.
Claudia J. Valverde
The work done here is part of a larger collaboration of schools and individuals focused on ways to give a voice to educators and community members committed to exploring diversity. This collaboration, Problems and Possibilities of Diversity Initiative (PPDI) is a project with the Educational Studies Department at Seton Hall, the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, and teachers and administrators form the Neve Shalom, Wahat a-Salam School in Israel. The international collaboration supported by the Initiative has provided Seton Hall undergraduates in the Educational Studies Department with opportunities to work with international scholars and activists working on aspects of diversity in a variety of global settings.
In addition to zoom sessions with international scholars and teachers, PPDI has provided opportunities for scholars to visit Seton Hall. Bob Mark, Ph.D, former teacher at Neve Shalom, Wahat al-Salam and a resident in that village, also a member of the initiative, served as a Scholar in Residence in the Spring 2019 semester. In addition to teaching classes for elementary and secondary education students, he worked with area schools and administrators. A Barcelona based social communicator is scheduled to work in the same capacity in the Spring 2020 semester.
Seton Hall undergraduates also shared their work at a session of the College and University Faculty Forum of the National Council for the Social Studies. Several students who have been actively involved in exploring ways in which schools (from pre-k through university) can better highlight and promote diversity were invited to reflect on their experiences. As seniors about to enter their final semester at the university the students prepared their thoughts on what has been done and what remains to be addressed. Their papers highlighted successes and remaining challenges facing the elementary and secondary education programs with respect to diversity. Their work also included their experiences within the larger university community – including their interactions with faculty, administrators, and other students. Although they were unable to attend in person, the session in which they participated was "Addressing Diversity in Small College and University Settings: Expanding Borders and Understandings of "Others." Professor Daly presented their work at the session. The students whose voices were heard through this effort included Amber M Ingram; James N. Lopez, Marya Mahmood, and Claudia J. Valverde.