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Guest Talk: Transformational Learning: Lessons from the Amazon Rain Forest, with Mariana Vergara

Mariana I. Vergara, Executive Director of BRIDGE, Model of Transformational Learning, will discuss her  work with indigenous South American communities and college students to protect the Rain Forest from destruction. Ms. Vergara is leading the World Dignity University's Amazon Rain Forest Initiative that aims to co-create sustainability in the Amazon with the Kichwa community.

Mariana Vergara is a Global Core Member of World Dignity University (WDU) which is part of a new cultural movement that envisages contributing to a vision of a future where the people of this world are indeed capable of cooperating for a better future. Mariana founded the Family Development Center in 2001, with the support of the WKBJ Foundation. BRIDGE was implemented at Morris Hills High School, positioning it to have in its 2010 NJ Report Card the highest scores for Latino immigrant students in New Jersey.

Ms. Vergara is a Doctoral Candidate at the AEGIS program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a Master of Arts degree in Management of not-for-profit institutions and Urban Policy Analysis from the New School University. She is drawn to the study of adult education and organizational learning at Columbia University because she sees these two streams of knowledge and technique informing the improvement of her professional practice as she facilitates transformational learning in adults.

In a recent interview in Quito, Ecuador by Dr. Evelin Lindner, Founding President of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies at World Dignity University, Mariana discusses her scholarly path.

For a video of Mariana's work in the Amazon, please see her July 6, 2012 discussion with students Tayler Mulcahy and Andrew McInnis of Washington and Jefferson College in Ruku Kausay.

Persons interested in attending may rsvp by Monday, October 22nd.

Where: 306 Russell


Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable accommodations including, but not limited to sign language interpretation, Braille or large print materials, and a campus map of accessible features. Address these requests to the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities at (212) 678-3689,, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at (212) 678-3853 V/TTY.


  • Jennifer Govan
  • 678-3022
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