Alex Wirth is an advocate for youth involvement in government, community service, and service-learning. Alex is a Fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment where he is leading the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council aimed at institutionalizing youth voice in government.
In March of 2012, Alex was appointed by Secretary Clinton to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, a federal advisory committee to the Department of State that supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice on issues of education, science, communications, and culture. He chairs the youth working group of the Commission. Independently of the National Commission, Alex led the team that launched a campaign to get the United States to #bethegoodguys and reinstate UNESCO funding.
In the fall of 2011, Alex founded the Youth Creating Action Network (YouthCAN) connecting over 650 outstanding high school and college leaders across the United States with each other and opportunities to get involved nationally. Text “youthcan” to 38383 to join.
Along with 29 other young people, Alex designs and implements a 5 million dollar a year service-learning grants program on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Alex also serves on the youth council’s of DoSomething.org, Youth Service America, the National Youth Association, and Democratic National Committee.
Currently, Alex is a sophomore at Harvard University studying government. He is actively involved in the Harvard Institute of Politics where he serves on the Special Events and Survey Committees. As a member of the Survey Committee, Alex helps to write and analyze the only nation wide poll of young people written by young people.
Alex was selected by Be The Change Inc as an Opportunity Nation Scholar and is involved with their campaign to increase economic opportunity in the United States. Alex has presented workshops and served as a moderator at Boston College, American University, Yale University, TedxCapital, The National Service Learning Conference, and the Department of Education’s first ever National Youth Summit.
Alex was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is a sixth generation New Mexican. In High School he was his school’s Student Council President, Chair of the Santa Fe Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, and a page for the U.S. Senate. In his free time, Alex enjoys being outdoors skiing, fishing, and backpacking with his friends. Follow him on twitter @amaliowirth.
John Saltmarsh is the Co-Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston as well as a faculty member in the Higher Education Administration Doctoral Program in the Department of Leadership in Education in the College of Education and Human Development. He leads the project in which NERCHE serves as the administrative partner with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for Carnegie’s elective Community Engagement Classification. He is the author, most recently, of an edited volume “To Serve a Larger Purpose:” Engagement for Democracy and the Transformation of Higher Education (2011) and a book with Edward Zlotkowski, Higher Education and Democracy: Essays on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (2011). He is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles on civic engagement, service-learning, and experiential education, and the co-author of the Democratic Engagement White Paper (NERCHE, 2009). He is an associate editor for the Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. He serves on the National Advisory Board of Imagining America, a member of Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) Coordinating Committee Members of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Action Network and has served as past chair and member of the board of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE), as an ex-officio member of the Board of The Democracy Imperative, and on AACU’s board of the Core Commitments Project. He is a member of the National Review Board for the Scholarship of Engagement, has served as a National Scholar with Imagining America’s Tenure Team Initiative, and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification. From 1998 through 2005, he directed the national Project on Integrating Service with Academic Study at Campus Compact. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Boston University and taught for over a decade at Northeastern University and as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Feinstein Institute for Public Service at Providence College.
Timothy K. Eatman is Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Director for Research of Imagining America at Syracuse University. He provides leadership for coordinated research within the consortium and among national collaborators having primary responsibility for the Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship (TTI). This major research group of the consortium produced a report on faculty rewards for engaged scholarship entitled Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University that Tim co-authored with founding IA director emerita Julie Ellison. The TTI research extends to a study of the aspirations and decisions of graduate students and early career scholars currently in progress.
Employing a sociological theoretical orientation and using survey research as his primary methodology, Tim conducts research that centers on equity issues in higher education by examining the relationship between institutional policies, programs and college student development in addition to the aforementioned IA centric research. A regular presenter at higher education workshops, institutes and conferences, Tim maintains an active research network to nurture eclectic interests which have been nurtured by several engaging posts inside and outside of academe. He has previously served as Program Coordinator for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Learning Technology Initiative, providing leadership for the implementation of an agenda focused on the uses of advanced technologies in Higher Education teaching and learning among the member institutions. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mt. Pleasant Christian Academy — a private (K-12) educational institution located in Harlem, New York; the Ann Arbor based non-profit, Michigan Reach Out — a K-16 campus-community mentoring initiative, College Unbound (Providence, RI) — a student-centered higher-education degree program in which students work with college faculty and community professionals in an active learning environment; and Friends of the Central Library (FOCL) located in Syracuse, NY. FOCL sponsors the Rosamond Gifford library speaker series, the largest of its kind in the in the United States. Tim is also a Fellow with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and a Visiting Fellow at the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE).
Tim has published in such venues as the Journal of Educational Finance, Readings on Equal Education, Diversity and Democracy, and has written several other book chapters and reports. He sits on the editorial board of Urban Education and reviews for several scholarly journals. He is recipient of the 2010 Early Career Research Award for the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).
Most recently he is working with the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein South Africa to review its service learning/community engagement enterprise. He also has been appointed to the steering committee and as senior research advisor to The American Commonwealth Project, a partnership among colleges and universities, the White House and other federal agencies, including the Department of Education. Together these groups will participate in events, meetings and conversations with students, faculty, administrators and community leaders to promote colleges and universities as agents of democracy and change.
Barbara Levin is a Professor at UNCG in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. Prior to attending UC-Berkeley and earning a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1993, she was a classroom teacher for 17 years. She was also the K-8 computer teacher in her district for three years. Her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Levin’s research focuses on teachers, especially understanding how teachers’ beliefs and their pedagogical understanding develop across their careers. Other research interests include case-based pedagogy, problem-based learning, and teaching and learning with technology. Dr. Levin has published more than 30 articles in well-respected journals. She has recently co-authored three books with Lynne Schrum about leadership in technology-rich schools including: Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement (2009, Corwin Press), Leading Technology-Rich Schools: Award Winning Models for Success (2012, Teachers College Press), and Evidence-Based Strategies for Leading 21st Century Schools (2012, Corwin Press). Dr. Levin was an Associate Editor of Teacher Education Quarterly for eight years and has authored or co-authored four more books, including Who Learns What From Cases and How? The Research Base on Teaching With Cases (1999, Lawrence Erlbaum), Energizing Teacher Education and Professional Development With Problem-Based Learning (2001, ASCD), and Case Studies of Teacher Development: An In-Depth Look at How Thinking About Pedagogy Develops Over Time (2003, Lawrence Erlbaum), and Developing Critical Cultural Competence: A Guide for 21st Century Educators (2011, Corwin Press).
Dr. LaTasha Jones
Teach For America
After realizing that she had been mistracked in middle school due to the predominant race and class of her elementary school, Dr. LaTasha Jones vowed to be a voice for the voiceless in the fight towards ending educational inequity. She hails from Columbus, Georgia where she served on many leadership roles and won several awards for her scholarship and community involvement. In 1996, she moved to Atlanta, GA to attend Spelman College. While at Spelman, she served in the student government as the senior class president and several other service and academic organizations. After graduating from Spelman College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Religion, she taught middle grades Reading, Language Arts, and Math with the Atlanta Public Schools as a Teach For America (TFA) Atlanta Charter corps member. As a middle grades teacher she served in the role of team leader, department chair, and school improvement member. While teaching middle school she earned a M.Ed in Education from Cambridge College's National Institute for Teaching Excellence. Under her leadership, 100% of her homeroom students passed the state standardized test in the subject she taught and 96% of the entire eighth grade passed the state standardized writing test. After this amazing feat, Dr. Jones impacted the education of more children by pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Urban Education from the University of North Carolina- Charlotte (UNCC). While at UNCC Dr. Jones served as a research liaison between the Behavior and Reading Improvement Center at UNCC and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and trained teacher-cohorts in professional development schools to work with diverse student populations. Dr. Jones continued her work of ending educational inequity by working as a Curriculum Specialist, Curriculum Coordinator, and School Director with TFA's Summer Institute. While working with TFA, Dr. Jones ensured that thousands of new teachers [who would teach throughout the nation] would have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to eradicate the achievement gap in America's most under-resourced schools. Dr. Jones broadened her scope and experience in education by serving in tenure-tracked positions as an Assistant Professor for the University System of Georgia. As an assistant professor, Dr. Jones was named the Coordinator of Middle Grades Education where she managed faculty, staff, and students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Jones wanted to make a more direct impact on schools and served as the principal of the first single-gendered charter school in DeKalb County, Georgia. Dr. Jones incorporated research-based, best educational practices into her school from her national and international research that positively impacted the academic success of her elementary and middle school students. Currently, Dr. Jones serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor in Middle Level Education at Georgia State University where she coordinates the Master’s in Teaching Math and Science Program and the Math and Science Transition to Teaching Grant Program collaboration with the DeKalb County Schools. Dr. Jones continues to impact education through her educational consulting business- Dominion Education Consulting; is also a member of several advisory boards and professional organizations; and is starting a non-profit for educational equity. Through her service, Dr. LaTasha Jones echoes the cries of the voiceless and continues a relentless pursuit towards her life's mission: educational equity for all.