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MLA 2020 Virtual Featured Speakers

Opening Keynote With Beth Ziesenis

Beth Ziesenis

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
10:30 – 11:30am

About Beth Ziesenis:

Since her first Motorola RAZR flip phone, Beth has made a verb out of the word "nerd." She's here to help you filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for work and home. Although the only real trophy she ever won was for making perfect French fries at McDonald's in high school, Beth Z has been featured on Best Speaker lists by several organizations who write best speaker lists. She has written a whole shelf of books on apps and has spoken to more than 100 thousand audience members just like you. And if you're puzzling over why she goes by "Beth Z"... it's because she only finds about three people a year who can pronounce her last name.

 

Wednesday Afternoon Keynote With Dr. Michael Rice

Dr. Michael RiceWednesday, October 28, 2020
2:00 – 3:00pm

About Dr. Michael Rice:

On May 7, 2019, the Michigan State Board of Education voted to appoint Dr. Michael F. Rice Michigan superintendent of public instruction. Dr. Rice officially began his work as state superintendent on August 1. For the preceding 12 years, Rice had been superintendent of the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). Prior to serving as Kalamazoo superintendent, Rice served five years as superintendent of the Clifton Public Schools in Clifton, New Jersey.

Rice began his career in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French and founded and coached awarded-winning speech and debate programs.  He served as a cabinet-level administrator in the D.C. Public Schools, the Fort Wayne Community Schools, and the Lansing School District.  Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and a master’s degree and doctorate in public administration with honors from New York University.

Among his honors have been the presidency of Michigan’s urban schools association, the Middle Cities Education Association, in 2013-14; and the Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA) in 2016.

Wednesday Afternoon All-Conference Session With Alicia D. Williams

Alicia D. WilliamsWednesday, October 28, 2020
4:15 – 5:00pm

About Alicia D. Williams:

Alicia D. is a teacher in Charlotte, NC. She is the proud mother of a brilliant college student. Her love for education stems from conducting school residencies as a Master Teaching Artist of arts-integration. Alicia D infuses her love for drama, movement, and storytelling to inspire students to write. Alicia graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. She's performed in commercials, off-off Broadway, and even Charlotte's very own children's theater. And like other great storytellers, she made the leap into writing--and well, her story continues. Alicia D loves laughing, traveling, and Wonder Woman. She is the author of the 2020 Newberry Honor Award winning book, Genesis Begins Again

 

Thursday Morning Keynote With Dr. Ernest Morell

Dr. Ernest MorellThursday, October 29, 2020
10:00 – 11:00am

About Dr. Ernest Morell:

Ernest Morrell Is the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education and Director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame. Ernest has recently been named director of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) James R. Squire Office for Policy Research in the English Language Arts. He is an elected Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a past president of NCTE, and a co-convener of the African Diaspora International Research Network. From 2015-2019 Ernest has been annually ranked among the top 200 university-based education scholars in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings published by EdWeek. Ernest is also the recipient of the NCTE Distinguished Service Award, the Kent Williamson Leadership Award from the Conference on English Leadership, and the Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies . His scholarly interests include: literacy studies, the teaching of English, literature for children, critical media pedagogy, youth popular culture, and postcolonial literatures of the African Diaspora. 

Ernest has authored 90 articles, research briefs, and book chapters and ten books including Stories from Inequity to Justice in Literacy Education, New Directions in Teaching English, and Critical Media Pedagogy: Teaching for Achievement in City Schools, which was awarded Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine of the American Library Association. Ernest has earned numerous commendations for his university teaching including UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He received his Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of California, Berkeley where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation award in 2001. Ernest is chair of the Planning and Advisory Committee for the African Diaspora Consortium and he sits on the Executive Boards of LitWorld and the Education for Democracy Institute.

Thursday Closing Keynote With Wesley Stace

Wesley StaceThursday, October 29, 2020
3:45 – 4:45pm

About Wesley Stace:

Wesley Stace was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1965, and educated at the King’s School, Canterbury, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He released 17 albums under the name John Wesley Harding. His most recent album, Self-Titled, for which he returned to his given name, was released by Yep Roc in 2013. He has also published four novels. 

Stace has been joined onstage by Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash, Iggy Pop, John Prine, and Bruce Springsteen (with whom he recorded a duet on his album Awake), among many others. He appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His songs have featured in films (including High Fidelity) and TV (Transparent) and been covered by many other artists. 

His first novel, the international bestseller Misfortune, was published to great acclaim in 2004. It was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, listed as one of the books of the year in the Washington Post and the Boston Phoenix, and was one of Amazon’s Top Ten Novels of the Year. His second, By George, (2007) was one of the New York Public Library’s Books to Remember of 2007, and Booklist Editor’s Choice for books of the year. His third, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, (2010) was called “the most confident musical fiction I have read in years” (New Statesman), and an “Inventive black comedy unfolding with Nabokovian precision” (Financial Times). His fourth novel, Wonderkid, is being optioned by NBC/Universal to be developed as a sitcom. 

He has lived in America since 1991, and resides in Philadelphia with his wife Abbey, daughter Tilda, and son Wyn.

 


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