Featured Speakers

Heather Davidson is a postgraduate from Western Washington University, with a focus in adult education and experience in nonprofit development, grassroots community advocacy and fundraising, she uses civic engagement as a foundation for each of her multiple Communication Studies courses. In her first year at WWU she facilitated over 2,100 hours of service-learning connecting student teams to over 50 community and campus partners, and students in her Communication in Fundraising course developed an accessible philanthropy campaign which raised $9,000 in scholarship fund support in its inaugural pitch. The result is an annual award to be given to multiple students and funded through the student-driven initiative in her courses. She also serves as a Community Engagement Faculty Fellow with the Center for Service-Learning. This year she was recognized by the Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment’s Innovative Teaching Showcase for her use of empathy to infuse diverse perspectives in her curriculum. Her innovative thinking, interdisciplinary approach, and pursuit of meaningful learning experiences for her students have created and reinforced a number of fruitful, meaningful relationships for Western, for Whatcom County, and, most importantly, her students. Heather was recently published in WWU's Center for Instructional Innovation and Assesment's annual teaching showcase themed "Infusing Multicultural Perspectives into the Curriculum." In Septermber 2015, she received the Carl H. Simpson Briding Award for community building on and off campus. Heather is also a workshop facilitator for WWU's new, campus-wide Equity and Inclusion Forum.

Veronica Velez is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Education and Social Justice Minor at Western Washington University (WWU). Before joining WWU, Verónica worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and the Director of Public Programming at the Center for Latino Policy Research at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include Critical Race Theory and Latina/o Critical Theory in Education, the politics of parent engagement in educational reform, particularly for Latina/o (im)migrant families, participatory action and community-based models of research, and the use of GIS technologies to further a critical race research agenda on the study of space and educational (in)opportunity. Verónica presents workshops nationally on how to employ GIS critically in educational research and visual literacy projects seeking social and spatial justice. In addition to her scholarly work, Verónica serves as a consultant for several grassroots and non-profit organizations throughout California, building upon her work as a community organizer for over 15 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA with a specialization in race and ethnic studies. Verónica is the proud daughter of a Mexican (im)migrant mother and a Panamanian (im)migrant father, whose journey to provide her and her sister with a quality education fundamentally inspires Verónica’s work for social justice.

Angela Harwood teaches middle school courses as well as an undergraduate and graduate methods courses at Western Washington University. She serves as an adviser to the graduate program and the Service-Learning Coordinator for Woodring College at WWU.

Maria Timmons Flores is an ELL professor at Western Washington University. Her areas of emphasis include Bilingual/Multicultural Education, pathways to teaching for bilingual teachers, academic language and literacy development for English learners, teaching for social & environmental justice and supporting students from immigrant/migrant backgrounds. She is also the Program Director of SEED (Secondary Education for Equity & Diversity) as well as the Bridges project.

L.K. Langley is Manager of Equal Opportunity Programs in Western Washington University’s Equal Opportunity Office, working with faculty, staff, and students toward ensuring a campus environment that is diverse, inclusive, and free of discrimination and harassment.  Langley also serves on the board of directors of Northwest Youth Services, and is a member of the Board of Ambassadors of GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders.  After graduating from law school, Langley clerked in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and then practiced law in Boston, Massachusetts. A former member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association’s board of directors, Langley was founding chair of the Association’s Committee on Transgender Inclusion and a member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Legislative Committee.  Langley is a past recipient of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Award and the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association’s Kevin Larkin Memorial Award for Public Service.

Christina Winstead is a Program Associate for Outreach at the Washington Student Achievement Council. She has over 15 years’ experience in higher education. Christina graduated from The Evergreen State College with her B.A. and from Seton Hall University with her M.A. in counseling and her Ed.S in professional counseling.

Questions? Contact Jenny Ly at jenny.ly@wwu.edu or 360-650-7312