On November 2, 2019, Silvia Bettez became president of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA). Silvia is a Professor in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department at the UNC Greensboro School of Education.
The AESA is a society that brings together faculty, graduate students, and other interested individuals (such as teachers, school leaders, independent scholars, and undergraduate students) who examine critical, normative, and interpretive perspectives on education. The AESA draws upon a variety of disciplines including sociology, history, philosophy, critical disability studies, comparative studies, curriculum studies, and cultural studies.
This is the third of a four-year leadership term for Silvia; she was elected as Vice-President by the AESA members in 2017 and in 2018-2019 served as President-Elect and Program Chair for the annual national conference, which was held in Baltimore, Maryland from October 30 to November 2, 2019. The theme she chose was: “El Pueblo Unido Jamás será Vencido!: Critical Community Building for Social Justice in Divisive Times.”
As program chair, Silvia worked with two UNC Greensboro graduate students, Cristina Dominguez and Chad Harris, to organize all the conference details including working with more than 80 volunteer proposal reviewers and organizing all the sessions for the 5-day conference. Silvia added a pre-conference unconference (a participant-driven meeting) this year that was attended by approximately 30 people who engaged in deep dialogues around the topic Critical Community Building for Social Justice in Education. Silvia co-facilitated the unconference with an AESA member, Mary Kay Delaney.
The AESA conference was one the most well-attended in at least the past six years with more than 500 people registered. As president, Silvia plans to continue her work building community with and among AESA members and hopes to strengthen and support AESA work.