Suellyn Henke

suellynhenke_bigAssistant Professor of Education

226 Olin


My goal as a teacher educator is to maximize the potential of my students to be conscious, ethical actors who promote democratic ideals and work productively in the public sphere. My strong belief in the power of teachers as leaders who make a difference in the lives of young people is grounded in my experiences as a high school teacher. I taught English in Cincinnati Public Schools and helped create a multidisciplinary school-within-a-school to improve ninth graders academic achievement and motivation to stay in school. With the appropriate knowledge base, disposition and ability to communicate and work with others, I believe teachers can transform lives and positively impact communities.

As I finished up my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (Curriculum) at Miami University, I was fortunate to spend a year as a visiting instructor there teaching courses in curriculum, multicultural education and sociocultural studies of education to masters and undergraduate students. Desiring to learn more about multicultural education, I accepted a position as an assistant professor of Education at the University of Hawai'i Hilo. I gained great respect for the various cultural heritages and traditions of the islands and became fascinated by the development of curriculum and schools shaped around native Hawaiian perspectives and values. In August of 2000 I said goodbye to fresh sushi and humpback whales and accepted a position in the Education Department of Albion College. (And in answer to your inevitable question—who leaves Hawaii for Michigan: I left Hawaii for Michigan because my family lives nearby and I really wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college). I enjoy being part of a small, cohesive program that helps prospective teachers think critically about their work. I cherish the relationships I have formed with students and the many occasions I have for creativity in my teaching. For example, as part of my courses, students have designed classes and learning opportunities for students in the Albion community and have attended professional conferences.

My recent publications have focused upon urban education and media representations of race and class. Currently I am working on a manuscript about service learning and community engagement. However, I have a wide range of interests and would be happy to work with students on FURSCA or other projects in any of the following areas: literacy; cultural studies; multicultural and intercultural education; curriculum theory and development; contexts of education; teacher leadership; school reform; and secondary education.