Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins to keynote MLK/Social Justice Legacy Lecture

Thursday, January 8, 2015 | 12:30– 1:45 PM
Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center
151 Goodman Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

This lecture is free and open to the public. To reserve your seat RSVP to Shay at (513) 487-1143 | shay.mcfarland@myunion.edu

Distinguished educator Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins will present the keynote Intersectionality and the King Legacy: The Complex Dynamics of Leadership and Social Justice at Union Institute & University’s eleventh Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Legacy Lecture. She is a professor of Clinical Practice in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and the Director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan. Dr. Overton-Adkins also serves on the Union Institute & University Board of Trustees.

Union offers the only Ph.D. program with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. studies in greater Cincinnati. Each January and July, during the Ph.D. residency, a prominent keynote speaker is invited to share Dr. King’s legacy with the Ph.D. students and community. The low residency Ph.D. program focuses on extending, expanding, challenging, and enhancing Dr. King’s legacy. MLK Studies students examine the intellectual, spiritual, moral, leadership, policy, and political issues addressed by Dr. King in his writing and political activities.

Dr. Overton-Adkins is professor of Clinical Practice in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and the Director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan. The National Forum works to encourage people to frame college education as not only an access point for a career, but also as a resource for the greater good of society. Under Dr. Overton-Adkins’ leadership, the Forum collaborates on projects including the development of a body of research specifically around student success and institutional effectiveness within minority-serving institutions.

Her shared passion for social relevance and academic programs that engage, enlighten and empower those interested in a lifetime of learning and service, brought her to Union Institute & University as a member of Union’s Board of Trustees.

Known as a visionary leader with a commitment to provide learning and mentorship opportunities in innovative environments, her extensive research with foundation programming in higher education has influenced historically black colleges and universities, Native American tribal colleges, Hispanic serving institutions and associations, and mainstream universities and colleges.

She has served as a faculty member and administrator at Fisk University, Tennessee State University, and Nashville State Technical Institute. She served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Clinton School for Public Service in Little Rock. She was dean of the graduate school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, overseeing more than 20 graduate programs and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She left academia to join the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as director of higher education programs, where her work included higher education projects in Africa, Latin America and the United States.

Prior to her current tenure at the University of Michigan, Dr. Overton-Adkins distinguished career includes serving as vice president for academic affairs at Spring Arbor University where she was responsible for all aspects of the graduate and undergraduate academic programs and faculty development, and also served as a professor of English.

Dr. Overton-Adkins has been a member of the Union Institute & University Board of Trustees since 2005, serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. Her other affiliations include numerous higher education professional and credentialing boards and committees, including the board of the American Association of Higher Education, and as a commissioner and director of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. She has served on the boards of the Council of Graduate Schools, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). She has written or co-authored numerous papers and articles.

Dr. Overton-Adkins earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees in English from Tennessee State University. In 1990 she attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, and returned to Harvard in 1996 as a visiting faculty fellow at the W.E.B. Dubois Research Institute. Her extensive community service roles include board member for the Quality Board of Foote Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, Sojourner House, Detroit; founder of Women of Color United Against Domestic Violence, Little Rock; governor’s appointee to the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority; and former national board member of Bread for the World.