May 2, 2018

“Re-visioning” Adult Higher Education Webinar Series Takes Place in June

Series to Focus on Underrepresented Adult Students

Adult students learning in front of a laptop computer.

“Re-visioning Adult Higher Education, Underrepresented Adults: Power and Identity in American Higher Education,” a four-part webinar series with internationally recognized presenters, takes place this June.

Sponsors SUNY Empire State College Center for Mentoring, Learning and Academic Innovation and the Office of the College Professor of Adult Learning and Mentoring invite the national and international higher education communities to participate in these free webinars.

The SUNY Empire sponsors welcome and encourage conversation around key issues, challenges and possibilities for adult higher education today and in the future.

Underrepresented Adults: Power and Identity in American Higher Education

What are the social and economic forces that affect underrepresented adult students who want and need to learn? What are the challenges and barriers these students face in their pursuit of a college education? How can institutions become responsive to the identities, experiences and knowledge of African-American, Native American, Latino and formerly incarcerated students? What are the consequences of these students’ invisibility in higher education? How can underrepresented adult learners become central to our thinking and practices as adult educators?

Adult educators and analysts who have grappled with the realities of underrepresented students will focus on these vital questions, presenting their ideas, research and recommendations regarding the power of exclusion and the possibilities of inclusion in adult higher education.

All sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m., EST, and be offered in Blackboard Collaborate:

  • Monday, June 4, “Negotiating Polyrhythms: Moving Toward a Praxis of Inclusive Adult Education,” Lisa Merriweather, associate professor of adult education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • Webinar description: Merriweather posits that people live in a shrinking world, where technology seemingly closed the gulf between global societies. But lived realities tell a story of emotional, as well as spatial, distanciation from “the other,” which creates an environment ripe for benign neglect in the form of exclusionary practice and pedagogy in adult education spaces. In this presentation, Merriweather will offer a conceptual grounding for practice through the development of polyrhythmic sensibilities. The goal is for listeners to gain a greater appreciation of the role cultural polyrhythms play in increasing social interdependence and the inherent pedagogy of inclusion that it engenders.
  • Presenter bio: Merriweather is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her doctorate in Adult Education, with a graduate certificate in qualitative inquiry, from the University of Georgia in 2004. Her research focuses on issues of equity and social justice within the historical discourse of adult education, informal education and doctoral education. She explores anti-black racism through the prism of a critical philosophy and sociology of race lens and employs Africana Philosophy, Critical Race Theory and qualitative and historical methodology to investigate topics found at the nexus of race and adult education.
  • Tuesday, June 12, “Considering the Adult Learner at Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” Becky Klein-Collins, The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning.
  • Wednesday, June 20, “Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens,” Joni Schwartz and John Chaney, LaGuardia Community College, the City University of New York.
  • Monday, June 25, “A Holistic Approach to Support Adult Indigenous Students,” Stephanie Waterman, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Additional details and the link to the webinars will be provided in the coming weeks. The webinars are free and no registration is required.

Inquiries about the series may be directed to Alan Mandell,, Shantih Clemans,, or Karen LaBarge

News from Around the College by Year

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.