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Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series

Providing meaningful scholarship for the future of Illinois

The College of Education engages faculty and students with leading scholars in various fields of educational scholarship.

Dean's Diversity Lecture Series

The College of Education provides rich opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to hear from internationally renowned scholars who address important issues of diversity. To broaden these efforts, the College sponsors the Dean's Diversity Lecture Series which encourages ongoing introspection on timely issues of equity and diversity. These talks offer a space for productive dialogue about concerns such as perceived inequities, biases, and microaggressions that impact our campus community.

This academic year, the College has invited speakers whose expertise encompasses a unique set of topics. Speakers were chosen based on feedback from last year's attendees. The lectures provide action oriented strategies for concrete institutional change. Attendees walk away with new ideas on how to support each other as a campus community while also working towards healing in the face of injustice. Each of the distinguished scholars will deliver a lecture that is open to the campus community at the Illini Union. Also, there are a number of ways to access the lecture series via a video of each speaker's talk featured on this website, or a podcast interview of the speaker followed by a blog, which are made available by the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL).

Joy Gaston-Gayles Headshot 2

Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles


Date, time and
Location TBD

Racial Realities and Gendered Games: Navigating Career Advancement for Women and People of Color in Academia

Black women make up less than 2% of full professors nationally, a sobering reality. This is problematic, considering that full professor is the highest faculty rank achievable in one's career, yet many women and people of color are not represented. Furthermore, there is little to no support for mid-career faculty who want to advance their careers. In this talk, Dr. Gayles will share her experiences that are rooted in the double-bind of race and gender, as well as lessons learned for career advancement toward full professor.

Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles, Professor of Higher Education and Programs Coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University, recently received the Zenobia L. Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award. She is nationally recognized through her service as a member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), the largest center for faculty development in the country. Dr. Gayles' research focuses on how college impacts student learning and personal development, primarily with student-athletes and women and underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

This lecture is sponsored by the College of Education and the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). The College wishes to express gratitude and appreciation to our co-sponsor for this lecture, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost.

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