One Busy Spring | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

One Busy Spring

TC's second annual Academic Festival tops the a long list of big events at the College coming up in the next couple of months
Mark your calendar now: On Saturday, April 24, TC will host its second annual Academic Festival, this year themed “Defining the Next Decade.”

The day-long program will focus on work by TC faculty that could shape the national debates in education, health and psychology in the years ahead. And Academic Festival, in turn, caps a winter and spring packed with other compelling events. These include the College’s fifth annual Symposium on Educational Equity (February 8th and 9th in Cowin Conference Center), which this year will focus on the impact of federal stimulus money for education; “Healthier Students Are Better Learners,” an Equity Forum in which Charles Basch, TC’s Richard March Hoe Professor of Psychology and Education, will discuss six major health risks that disproportionately affect poorer students and students of color (tentatively scheduled for March 9th); the annual education conference of the National Conference of State Legislators, which TC will host on its campus (March 12-14); the College’s Tisch lecture, which will be delivered this year by Visiting Professor Robert Siegler, the Theresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and a pioneering researcher in the area of children’s mathematical and scientific thinking; and, on April 8th, the Sixth Annual Morton Deutsch Awards for Distinguished Contributions to Social Justice, which this year will be given to Claude Steele, the eminent social psychologist and Provost of Columbia University.
At Academic Festival, Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College, will present the Teachers College Koming Medal to TC alumnus, His Excellency Nahas Angula, Prime Minister of Namibia, who will deliver the keynote address. In 1973, Angula was assigned by the South West Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO) to establish a school for Namibian exiles in Zambia, the start of the SWAPO education system in exile which eventually extended to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. When apartheid ended in Namibia, Angula became the first Minister of Education under the new government, and he created a system of schools that for the first time brought education to all of the nation’s young people, using inexpensive technology to bridge Namibia’s vast distances and harsh terrain.
The Koming medal will also be presented to Ulysses Byas, who was a pioneering principal at an all-black school in the segregated American South of the 1950s. Byas, who earned his master’s degree at TC in Educational Administration, became principal of the all-black Fair Street High School in Gainesville, Georgia, in 1957. There he exposed the shocking lack or resources of this supposedly top black institution to a responsive white public. Byas is now the subject of Hello Professor: A Black Principal and Professional Leadership in the Segregated South by Vanessa Siddle Walker, a professor at Emory University.
The midday lunch will celebrate TC’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. The honorees this year are the Reverend Lesley George Anderson ’87, President, United Theological Seminary of the West Indies, Raphael M. Ortiz ’82, co-founder of Museo Del Barrio; Viola Vaughn ’84, founder of 10,000 Girls; and Vivian Ota Wang ’94, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agency Representative of the National Science and Technology Council. Luis Rios, Jr. ’01, Education Consultant, California Department of Education, will receive the Early Career Award.
For the complete Academic Festival schedule and to register please go to: Or contact Marlene Tucker, Alumni Relations Liaison, 212-678-3790 or

Published Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010