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K-State Today

September 10, 2018

Fenwick to present keynote for Educational Research Lecture Series

By Patrice Scott

Leslie T. Fenwick

Leslie T. Fenwick, dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Education and tenured professor of educational policy and leadership, will deliver the keynote address for the College of Education's 2018 Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series.

A nationally known education policy and leadership scholar and former urban K-12 school teacher and administrator, Fenwick is regularly called upon to testify before an impressive and ever-growing list of national organizations concerning educational equity, college access and teacher quality. She will deliver her address "Looking Behind the Veil of School Reform" at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 18 in Town Hall of the Leadership Studies Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, said Fenwick offers a sweeping view of education reform and her presentation will be of great interest to K-State administrators, students, faculty and staff as well as area educators and parents, grandparents of children in K-12 schools.

"Dr. Fenwick is an advocate for education and uses her voice to clarify and amplify the concept that education is equity for all," Mercer said. "Dr. Fenwick has a remarkably broad research agenda, and we anxiously await the release of her latest book."

A former visiting scholar and visiting fellow at Harvard University, Fenwick is currently a senior fellow for the McDonald Character Leadership Program at West Point Academy. Additionally, she is a 2014 Salzburg Global fellow  — the cohort was convened in Salzburg, Austria, to examine globalization and leadership — and a member of the 1999 cohort of American university administrators invited to the University of Oxford  — Exeter College — to discuss ethics and leadership.

Fenwick is co-founder of the Howard University-American Association of School Administrators Urban Superintendents Academy and a past member of the Harvard University Principals Center Advisory Board. Notably, Fenwick served as an appointed member of the National Research Council committee that produced the National Academy of Sciences' first study about mayoral control of public schools.

Fenwick is regularly called upon to testify about educational equity, college access and teacher quality to the U.S. Senate, National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Urban League, Congressional Black Caucus, American Federation of Teachers, Education Writers Association, National Education Association, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Washington Policy Seminar. Additionally, she has been an invited speaker at the National Press Club where she discussed federal regulations affecting the nation's educator workforce.

Fenwick is the 2011 recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Award for Higher Education Leadership and a contributor to the best-selling book, "The Last Word: Controversy and Commentary in American Education" and the widely disseminated policy monograph, "Who Will Lead? Crisis in the Principal's Office." Her op-ed articles about education, the economy and urban development have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Education Week, The Huffington Post and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Her research on teacher diversity has been cited by The New York Times and the Center for American Progress. In keeping with her research about teacher quality, during her tenure as dean, Fenwick served as co-principal investigator for the Ready to Teach Program — a $2.1 million innovative teacher preparation program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and lauded as a national model by the U.S. secretary of education. Fenwick also managed an $11 million teacher pipeline initiative in seven southeastern states when she was a program officer at the Southern Education Foundation.

Presently, Fenwick is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was established by noted historian John Hope Franklin to set the museum's intellectual agenda. She also serves on the National Advisory Council for EduTopia and is a past member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education board of directors. A science enthusiast, Fenwick was appointed by NASA Administrator  — director — retired Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden to NASA's Education and Public Outreach Committee.

Fenwick earned a doctorate in educational policy and leadership from Ohio State University where she was a Flesher fellow and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Virginia.