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2017 Conference Guest Speakers



Ashley Rondini, PhD

Ashley C. Rondini is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Franklin and Marshall College. She earned a BA in Sociology from Clark University, an MA in Women's Studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, an MA in Social Policy from Brandeis University, and a joint PhD in Social Policy and Sociology from Brandeis University.  Her research and teaching interests integrate qualitative analyses of social justice and social policy issues with critical, intersectional inquiry along lines of race, gender, socioeconomic class, and other dimensions of social identity. 

Dr. Rondini was the 2010 recipient of the American Sociological Association's (ASA) Sydney S. Spivack Post-Doctoral Congressional Fellowship, through which she worked with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor as well as the Congressional Research Service Higher Education Division of Social Policy.  She was also the 2013 awardee of an ASA Carla B. Howery Teaching Grant. 

Dr. Rondini is the editor of the Race, Gender, and Class section of the ASA's online Teaching Research And Innovations Library In Sociology (TRAILS), and she is a member of the Teaching Sociology Editorial Board. Her work has been published in Sociological ForumSociology CompassThe DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race, and Teaching Sociology. She is a co-editor of a forthcoming book titled Clearing the Path for First Generation College Students: Intersectional Examinations of Educational Mobility, which will be available in 2018 through the Lexington Books division of Rowman and Littlefield.



Chancelier "xero" Skidmore

An Executive Director with over 15 years experience as a trained teaching-artist, facilitator, curriculum writer, and youth worker.

As a spoken word artist, Chancelier has been ranked twice among the top five slam poets in the United States and in October of 2013 he ranked 1st at the Individual World Poetry Slam Festival. You can find his work published in the anthology, Spoken Word Revolution Redux by Sourcebooks mediaFusion and the Spring 2010 volume of the New Delta Review by LSU Press. Xero recently self-published a manuscript called upBEAT DOWNbeat, a collection of poetry based on his life as a professional percussionist.

In late 2011, he and some staff left Big Buddy to start Forward Arts, Inc., a spoken word-based arts non-profit designed to serve much of Southeast Louisiana. With Anna having moved on to further her education, Chancelier was aksed by the advisory board to serve as ED. Under his direction a board of directors was formed, non-profit status with the IRS was applied for and granted, plus the organzation extended their reach beyond middle and high schools to lead workshps for elementary students, as well as adults.





Roland Mitchell, PHD

Jo Ellen Levy Yates Endowed Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Academic Services in the College of Human Sciences and Education at Louisiana State University. He teaches courses that focus on the history of higher education and college teaching and his research interests include theorizing the impact of historical and communal knowledge on pedagogy. Roland has authored five coedited books and numerous other scholarly works that have appeared in leading educational journals. He is the Co-Editor of The Crisis of Campus Sexual Violence, which was awarded a 2016 Outstanding Academic Titles (OAT) award and highlighted on the Top 25 Favorites list of the Choice editors. He is Co-Editor of the Lexington Press of Rowman and Littlefield book series Race and Education in the 21st Century, and Higher Education section editor of the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing.


Maureen Hoyer


Arnold Mitchem, PHD

The Council is a nonprofit organization that advocates for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities who aspire to enter and graduate from college. The Council also provides professional development, program improvement services and research for the educators and institutions that serve these young people and adults.


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