Curtis Institute brings national speakers to campus Sept. 21-22

Nationally recognized STEM educator and renowned author of the Black experience to share insights with campus community during talks this month

September 18, 2023

Luis Leyva, assistant professor of mathematics education and STEM at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development, and Chad L. Williams, award-winning historian of the Black experience in the U.S., will visit Albion College in September as part of events hosted by the James L. Curtis Institute for Race and Belonging.

Leyva, the 2022 “Out to Innovate LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year,” will visit campus Thursday, Sept. 21 to share his perspectives on STEM education during two sessions, 12:50-2:15 p.m. in Bobbitt Auditorium and 4:30-6:15 p.m. in Norris 102. A free lunch with Leyva will be offered at 2:30 p.m. in the Briton Room of the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Albion.

Leyva’s significant impact on STEM students through teaching, counseling, advocacy and role modeling earned him the educator of the year honor from Out to Innovate, a professional society for LGBTQ+ people working in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

His research explores narratives of oppression and resistance from historically marginalized student populations in undergraduate STEM across intersections of racial, gender and sexual identities. Through his work, Leyva aims to inform educational practices that promote equitable learning opportunities and underrepresented populations’ persistence in STEM.

Williams, the Augusta Spector Professor of History and African American Studies at Brandeis University, will speak about his new book, “The Wounded World” Friday, Sept. 22 from 2:15-4 p.m. at Bobbitt Auditorium.

An nationally known author, Williams is an expert on W.E.B. Du Bois, African Americans and World War I.

In his book, “The Wounded World,” Williams examines the struggles of scholar-activist W.E.B. Du Bois to complete a book about Black troops’ experiences during World War I.

His first book, “Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era,” was published in 2010 and won the 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians. Williams has published articles and book reviews in numerous leading academic journals and collections and his writings and op-eds have also appeared in major newspapers and magazines.

The James L. Curtis Institute for Race and Belonging provides transformative experiential learning opportunities that nurture the cultural, academic, and civic development of its members and fosters lifelong confidence and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

For more information and other events, visit the Curtis Institute website.