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AIESEP International Conference June 19-22, 2019

Keynote Speakers

Ramu Damodaran

Ramu Damodaran is Deputy Director for Partnerships and Public Engagement in the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Outreach Division and is chief of the United Nations Academic Impact initiative, which aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the objectives of the United Nations and the States and peoples who constitute it. He is also the current secretary of the United Nations Committee on Information. His earlier posts with the Organization have included the Departments of Peacekeeping and Special Political Questions, as well as the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Ramu Damodaran has been a member of the Indian Foreign Service, where he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador, and where he served as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister of India as well as in the diplomatic missions in Moscow and to the United Nations, and in a range of national governmental ministries. He has been actively involved in mass media in India, including print, radio and television, and was a recipient of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union award for the best radio documentary.

Paul Wright

Paul Wright earned his master’s and doctoral degrees under the supervision and mentorship of Don Hellison at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Wright is currently a Presidential Engagement Professor at Northern Illinois University as well as the EC Lane and MN Zimmerman Endowed Professor of Pedagogy in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He is internationally recognized as an expert on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) instructional model. His scholarship is very applied and relates to the fields such as positive youth development, social and emotional learning, and sport for development. Across a variety of settings, he is interested in best practices for teaching transferable personal and social skills to children and youth as well as helping teachers and coaches to integrate those practices into their work. His research also addresses policy and program evaluation as it relates to youth sport and physical activity. The impact and quality of his work has resulted in a Fulbright Research Award, an Erasmus Mundus European Union Visiting Scholar Award, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois, a SHAPE America Mentor of the Year Award, and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Edinburgh. His work has been funded by organizations including the U.S. Department of State, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Due to his reputation, he has been invited to advise on projects for UNESCO, the Laureus Foundation, the British Council, Active Schools U.S., and others. Currently, he is involved in international projects and collaborations in countries including Belize, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, and Sri Lanka.

Dr Olajide Williams

Dr. Olajide Williams obtained his medical degree at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a master’s degree from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY. He is Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. Dr Williams is also the Medical Director of New York Presbyterian’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, Columbia University campus, and Columbia University’s Wellness Center. His research is focused on community-based behavioral interventions with an emphasis on stroke disparities. He is an NIH-funded researcher, leading stroke expert, community health education innovator, and has authored numerous peer reviewed articles. Dr Williams is also the author of the book “Stroke Diaries”, and an editor of the book “Handbook of Neurological Therapeutics” both of which were published by Oxford University Press.  As Founder of Hip Hop Public Health, Dr Williams targets economically disadvantaged urban environments through music, multimedia, and entertainment based programming in collaboration with music industry experts and artists. He has received numerous local, regional, national and international honors for his public health work, his scholarly activities, teaching, and his patient care, including a European Stroke Research Foundation Investigator of the Year award, Congressional “Rising Leader” Citation, New York State Proclamation, Columbia University Distinguished Teacher Award, American Heart Association’s Trailblazer award, American Heart Association’s Community Conscience award, and a National Humanism in Medicine award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr Williams has been named on Fast Company Magazine’s 100 Most Creative People list, Root 100’s most influential Blacks in America list, and New York Magazine’s Best Doctors list for consecutive years since 2015. He is a member of the American Heart Association’s Founders Affiliate Board and the board of directors of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a bipartisan organization whose honorary chair is former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Katie Fitzpatrick

Katie Fitzpatrick is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research and teaching are focused on issues of health education, physical education and sexuality, as well as critical ethnographic, participatory and poetic research methods. She is particularly concerned with the experiences of diverse youth in schools at the intersection of health, physicality, ethnicity, place, social class and gender/sexuality. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, as well as policy documents and school-based resources. Her sole authored book (Critical pedagogy, physical education and urban schooling, Peter Lang, NY, 2013) won the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport outstanding book award in 2013. She co-edited an international collection on health education in schools with Prof. Richard Tinning (Health Education: Critical Perspectives, Routledge, UK, 2014) and is co-editor of a new book series on Critical Studies in Health and Education  (Routledge; with Dr Deana Leahy, Prof. Jan Wright and Dr Michael Gard). Katie is currently a recipient of a 5-year Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Carla Luguetti

Carla Luguetti is a Lecturer in Physical Education and Health in the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University, Australia with specific expertise in Sport Pedagogy and Social Justice. Over the past seven years she has focused in understanding activist approaches within sporting contexts. Specifically, her line of research aims at co-creating a pedagogical model for working with youth from socially vulnerable backgrounds in sport context. The intent is to use sport as a vehicle for assisting youth to become critically aware of their communities’ social issues. Although she is an early career researcher, she has a significant publication track record in collaboration with researchers from all over the globe (US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and South America).

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