Education Faculty News: Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe

February 20, 2012 Susan Gettlin

In October 2011, Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Graduate Special Education and Certification Program, attended the Family Matters Conference at Widener University in Chester, PA, where she presented on “What is “normal” anyway? A conversation with LGBTQ parents to create Welcoming Schools for their families.” At the Human Rights Campaign, HRC of Greater Philadelphia, Family Day, at Plymouth Meeting Friends School in Plymouth Meeting, PA, she presented the Keynote Address, “Is this the Right School for our Family? A conversation with LGBTQ parents to create Welcoming Schools for their families.”

In November 2011, Dr. Slesaransky-Poe was inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society in recognition of achievements as an international scholar. During the same month, she presented with Dr. Kathy Trainor and student, Angela McGowan ‘12 at the PEAC First Inclusion Conference in Philadelphia. The presentation, was titled,“Beyond the Classroom: Pre-Service Teachers Explore the Family Perspective.” At the same conference, Dr. Slesaransky-Poe also presented on “Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation: Children and Youth with and without Disabilities” and facilitated the session “Asking the difficult question: What should we know about healthy sexual development and expression of our kids with disabilities?,” with Rachael Jones ’12.

In February 2012, Dr. Slesaransky-Poe led a professional development session in a religious preschool entitled, “Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools for Transgender Individuals and their Families.”  In this program, she educated the community about what being transgender is and how to talk about that topic with preschoolers.  Dr. Slesaransky-Poe started this session by using a Buddhist Teaching that states: "In times of difficulty, take refuge in compassion and truth." Her audience took this advice to heart.  The preschool teachers who attended this workshop remarked in their program evaluations that they appreciated Dr. Slesaransky-Poe’s handling of the topic.  Attendees commented positively on  "Graciela's honesty and comfort with the topic" and on "the openness and honesty brought forth and the amazing knowledge of the presenter.” One participant concluded: "  This presentation was superior!"

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