School of Education to host lecture on 'Globalization, Race and Education' and add to alumni 'Wall of Fame' April 27

School of Education to host lecture on ‘Globalization, Race and Education’ and add to alumni ‘Wall of Fame’ April 27

An educator will examine concepts of globalization and race in U.S. education, and award-winning alumni will be honored at a University of St. Thomas School of Education event next week.

Dr. William H. Watkins, a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago, will deliver the University of St. Thomas School of Education’s fifth annual Julian Parker Lecture on issues and values in education. Watkins’ address, “Globalization, Race and Education,” begins 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in Thornton Auditorium of Terrence Murphy Hall on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus, 1000 LaSalle Ave.

Watkins, who was born in Harlem, was raised in Los Angeles and now lives on Chicago’s South Side, is a leading educator and researcher on the relationship of race and education in the United States. He is co-editor of Race and Education: The Roles of History and Society in Educating African American Students (Allyn & Bacon, 2000) and author of The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954 (Teachers College Press, 2001). A new book he has edited, Black Protest Thought and Education (Peter Lang Publishing, 2005), examines American public education as an institution that has reinforced social and racial inequality.

The UST School of Education’s Julian Parker Lecture Series is named for the longtime chair of the Education Department and dean of the graduate school at Xavier University in New Orleans. Parker was a national leader on urban education and race relations. In the 1960s, he was instrumental in dealing with issues of race and diversity when he worked at St. Thomas in an exchange program between the nation’s historically black colleges and Minnesota’s private colleges.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Make reservations online at or call (651) 962-4878.

The evening also features a presentation of scholarships by the Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators, and the School of Education will name the newest additions to its alumni Wall of Fame:

  • Morris Dukuly Sr., who received his master’s degree in special education from St. Thomas in 2001. Dukuly is a former Minnesota high school teacher who is now minister of state for presidential affairs and chief of staff for the new president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
  • Explorer and environmentalist Will Steger, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Thomas in 1966 and taught high school science while pursuing a master of arts in education, which he received from St. Thomas in 1969.
  • The late Ronald Voeller, who directed humanities programs for the children of U.S. military personnel overseas for 20 years. The Rugby, N.D., native earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1960 and his master’s degree in education from St. Thomas in 1964. Beginning his career as a music teacher, he taught in the U.S. Virgin Islands, then at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, then in Germany, where he became supervisor of music programs in the U.S. Defense Department’s European schools. In 1980 he moved to Alexandria, Va., and become supervisor of music, visual arts, humanities and gifted and talented programs for the department’s Dependents Schools (now Department of Defense Education Activity) in Arlington, Va. At its peak during Voeller’s tenure, the school system had 180,000 American students enrolled in U.S.-style schools throughout the world. He retired in 2000. His book, Full Glass Half Empty: Public School Education – An Inside Look, was published late last year by Ithaca Press. He died of a brain aneurysm Nov. 14, 2005.