Higher education expert, URI alumnus to address URI honors colloquium Oct. 22

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KINGSTON, R.I. – October 15, 2013 – The vice president for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress and a former assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education will speak Tuesday, Oct. 22 as part of the University of Rhode Island’s semester-long honors colloquium.

David Bergeron, a 1978 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, will address The Future of Higher Education at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus. All of the lectures are streamed live at URI Live!., where the complete schedule of events is also listed.

Bergeron will speak as part of the 51st annual URI honors colloquium titled, Great Public Schools, Everyone’s Right? Everyone’s Responsibility?

Note to media, for most of the lectures, speakers will be available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing and Communications, 401-874-5862.

Bergeron brings his expertise in education, higher education, student financial aid, teacher preparation, and postsecondary access and success to the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as President Teddy Roosevelt and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., its work addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care.

Before his work at the center, Bergeron served as the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education. In this position, David acted as the education secretary’s chief advisor on higher education issues and administered more than 60 grant and loan programs that provide nearly $3 billion annually to institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The Education Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education, supports higher education programs through financial support to eligible institutions, recruits, and prepares disadvantaged students for successful completion of college, promotes the study of foreign languages and international affairs, and supports international educational research and exchange activities. Notable among its programs are the institutional development programs for minority institutions, teacher development programs, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The Office of Postsecondary Education runs the well-known Byrd, Fulbright, Javits, and McNair programs and certifies all regional and national accreditation agencies, so they, in turn, may qualify institutions to receive federal financial aid including Pell Grants.

Bergeron also served as the deputy assistant secretary for policy, planning, and innovation for the Office of Postsecondary Education.

This year’s honors colloquium is coordinated by David Byrd and Diane Kern of the URI School of Education and is supported by:

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

Major Sponsor: URI Honors Program

Sponsors: URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, as well as the following URI colleges, departments and offices, College of Human Science and Services, Talent Development, Multicultural Center, University College, WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, College of Arts and Sciences, The Harrington School of Communications and Media, John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, Department of Gender and Women Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Marketing and Communications, Department of Publications and Creative Services, and Instructional Technology and Media Services. Rhode Island Public Radio is also a sponsor.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401.874.2381 or dgardiner@mail.uri.edu.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact URI Professor Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Program director, at 401.874. 4732. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401.874.2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 800.745.5555.