2015 Conference Speakers




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Improving Outcomes:
360° Perspectives on Educational Access

Philadelphia, PA – April 16-17, 2015

We were thrilled to welcome the following confirmed keynote speakers to NPEA’s 7th annual NPEA conference on April 16-17, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.

JoshuaAronsonSalome Thomas-EL headshot

Pictured (top, left to right): Joshua Aronson, Salome Thomas-EL
Pictured (bottom, left to right): Wil Haygood, Laura Perna

Joshua Aronson
, Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University. Dr. Aronson is an expert on stereotype threat and race and gender gaps in educational achievement and standardized test performance. Dr. Aronson has authored numerous publications, including several with Claude Steele, and has received a number of awards for his research and contributions to the field. Learn more about Joshua Aronson.

Salome Thomas-EL, Author and Principal, Thomas Edison Charter School. Salome Thomas-EL is a national education expert and consultant. He was a teacher and principal with the Philadelphia School District from 1987-2009. He received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Principal EL is the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay, about his Vaux Middle School experience, and The Immortality of Influence, which stresses the importance of mentoring, parenting and service to others. Learn more about Salome Thomas-EL.

Wil Haygood*, Author, The Butler: A Witness to History. Wil Haygood is a first generation college graduate, former Washington Post journalist, and author of The Butler: A Witness to History. Through his book and the recent award-winning movie, Mr. Haygood tells the story of Eugene Allen, a butler who worked in the White House for eight presidents. Mr. Haygood was raised in a single parent household, was the first in his family to graduate from college, and through perseverance and opportunities such as Upward Bound, was able to successfully navigate the college path. Learn more about Wil Haygood.
*Note: Unfortunately, Wil Haygood was unable to attend this year’s conference due to illness.

Laura Perna, James S. Riepe Professor and founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (Penn AHEAD), University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the ways that social structures, educational practices, and public policies promote and limit college access and success, particularly for individuals from lower-income families and racial/ethnic minority groups. The central focus of Dr. Perna’s scholarship is to understand the forces that limit educational attainment, despite these considerable efforts, and the ways to promote educational attainment, particularly for students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Learn more about Laura Perna.

View the full conference agenda.


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