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Three Duquesne Education Scholars, Activists Honored at Sizemore Conference

Three Duquesne University scholars were selected for recognition at the second annual Barbara A. Sizemore Conference, hosted by the School of Education earlier this month.

Dr. Susan Munson, associate dean for teacher education, Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education, received the Barbara A. Sizemore Spirit Award. The award is given to a faculty member whose research and/or teaching have significantly impacted urban communities.

The inaugural Sizemore Legacy Awards were presented to Dr. Judith Griggs, director of the Michael P. Weber Learning Skills Center and the Spiritan Division of Academic Programs, and Dr. Emma Mosley, assistant professor, Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education.

The Legacy Awards recognize Duquesne faculty members who have served urban and marginalized communities for 20 years or longer. The awards honor the recipients’ commitment and dedication to those in underserved communities.

Dr. Susan Munson, Wilkins Township, was recognized for her exemplary efforts to establish the Urban Education Strand of the Leading Teacher Program in the School of Education, stated Melissa Price, coordinator of the school’s Sizemore Urban Education Initiative.

Examples of Munson’s leadership include facilitating interactions between the pilot cohort of School of Education urban educators and children and teachers at the Kelly Elementary School in the Wilkinsburg School District. As a result of these meetings, a sixth-grade class and the principal from Kelly Elementary School were invited to experience Duquesne University in a daylong event planned by the urban education cohort students. The visit introduced the sixth graders to activities aimed at helping them to envision themselves as future college students. To commemorate the occasion, each sixth-grader produced a “memory book” outlining a “dream” for attending college.

She was also critical in arranging a visit from aspiring teachers in the urban education program to the Boys and Girls Club Afterschool Program in the city of Duquesne that allowed students to learn, first-hand, about the value of community-based programs in urban settings.

Griggs, a Homewood resident, has championed equality and diversity in education since she started her career 39 years ago at Duquesne in the counseling and learning department for black students. Besides her current leadership positions with the learning skills center and the Spiritan Division, she serves as the University’s affirmative action officer.

With her knowledge of secondary education, English, curriculum and supervision, Griggs has helped to decrease the attrition rate among African-American students. Her work on campus dovetails with efforts in the larger community, and Griggs was cited at the city’s 2010 DiverseCity 365 Inclusion Series event for solidifying regulations for Act 101 regarding discrimination and equality in education; she acquired funding for more than 30 programs that enabled minority students to achieve quality, advanced education.

Mosley, Highland Park, a nationally certified counselor, a secondary school counselor and  a member of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, the NAACP and the Institute for Intercultural Communication, teaches multiculturalism in counseling graduate-level courses, participates in cultural diversity programs for students living on campus, and volunteers with the East Liberty Presbyterian Church Homeless Shelter and the Pittsburgh Conroy Early Childhood Center.

She strives to help people develop knowledge of specific cultural group characteristics and an understanding of differences within groups. By virtue of her African-American and Native American cultural heritage and her extensive experiences working with marginalized communities, she helps students to gain respect for cultural differences and guides their understanding of the ethics and standards of practice related to diverse populations.

The Barbara A. Sizemore Summer Conference and the Spirit and Legacy Awards honor the 57-year scholarship and teaching career of Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore. As a teacher, principal, district superintendent, dean and educational researcher, her work focused on advancing the highest levels of educational equity for African- American students and for others from low-income and marginalized populations.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.