VCCS New Horizons 2019

VCCS New Horizons 2019

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2019 Keynote Speakers

In keeping with this year’s theme, Building Bridges: Equity, Access & Opportunity, we are delighted to announce this year’s opening keynote speaker, noted author and lecturer known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab.

Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab

Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia, as well as the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. She is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the three largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream (University of Chicago, 2016), is an Amazon best-seller and a 2018 winner of the Grawemeyer Award, and has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls her “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” she is ranked 6th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week, and in April 2018 the Carnegie Corporation awarded her the Carnegie Fellowship.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab will sign copies of her latest book (available for sale onsite) immediately following her talk.

The conference will conclude on Friday, April 12, with a special address by Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President of Amarillo College, whose commitment to addressing the poverty concerns of his students has transformed lives and inspired millions around the country.

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, PhD, Amarillo College, President

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President for Amarillo College, was selected into the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a rigorous, executive leadership program focused on higher education reform led by the Aspen Institute and the Stanford University. His leadership on poverty and culture change was featured in The Atlantic (June 2018). Russell and is Amarillo College colleagues are focused on improving student success through systemic and cultural change. He was named the National Academic Leader of the Year for 2014. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio University; MA in from Texas Tech; and BS from West Texas A&M University.

While his calling is education reform, his passion is family.  His wife, Tara, sons Christopher and Campbell, daughter, Cadence, and dog, Sadie, fill his life with beauty and joy.