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College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

The Mary E. Hensley Lecture Series

Established in 1998, this lecture series is in honor of Mary E. Vass Hensley. Mary E. Vass Hensley, 1906-1966, was an educator, involved citizen, and mainstay of her family. Mrs. Hensley had five children: Lela Hensley, Boston B. Hensley, William E. Hensley, Robert B. Hensley, and Dora Mae Hensley Bruce.

Mrs. Hensley’s educational career spanned thirty-nine years. In Clay County, Kentucky, she was “teacher, janitor, superintendent, and coach” at a one-room school for grades 1-8. In 1943, the family moved to Hart County, where Mary taught English and History until her death.

In 1952, Mary received her bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky State College. She was awarded her Master of Arts Degree from Western Kentucky State College in 1958, the same year her son Bobby received his M.A.E. degree.

The Mary E. Hensley Lecture Series has been established through an endowment that was created by a generous gift from Robert B. Hensley.

Speakers for the Hensley Lecture Series have included national and internationally known names such as:

"Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" – Rafe Esquith, one of America's most celebrated school teachers, has taught fifth-graders at Hobart Elementary School in an inner-city classroom in Los Angeles for over 25 years. Simply known as Room 56, his classroom has evolved into a true Shakespeare company, The Hobart Shakespeareans. Internationally renowned, the Hobart Shakespeareans perform all over the country. In addition to Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, Esquith authored There Are No Shortcuts and Lighting Their Fires. His fourth book, Real Talk for Real Teachers, will be published in 2012.

Erin Gruwell, President of the Freedom Writers Foundation, discussing The Freedom Writers Diary, How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them. The amazing true story of strength, courage, and achievement in the face of adversity – students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, CA, who were dubbed by the administration as “unteachable, at-risk” teenagers.

Rachel Simmons, a national expert on aggression in girls, authored the first book to explore the phenomenon of bullying between girls, The New York Times bestseller Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Rachel works internationally with girls, parents, and teachers to develop strategies to address bullying and empower girls. She also authored Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy. In 1998, Simmons won a Rhodes Scholarship from New York and attended Oxford University, where she began her studies in female aggression.

“The Power of Mindsets: Nurturing Motivation and Resilience in Students” - Clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Brooks, nationally known speaker on topics on resilience, self esteem, motivation, and family relationships, and author of several books including The Self Esteem Teacher

Dr. Daniel Goleman, psychologist, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, and best selling author of Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Nationally recognized classroom teacher Ron Clark, author of The Essential 55, an award-winning educator's rules for discovering the successful student in every child, and The Excellent 11

Sportswriter, nationally syndicated radio host, columnist, and television network sports commentator Mitch Albom, best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven

“The Real Heroes” - Dave Pelzer, best-selling author of A Child Called ‘It,’The Lost Boy, A Man Named Dave, and Help Yourself

Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, psychiatrist and bestselling author of five books, including The Overscheduled Child and Hyper-Parenting

Dr. Sylvia Rimm, author of 1999 New York Times bestseller See Jane Win: The Rimm Report on How 1000 Girls Became Successful Women

Successful Intelligenceand 15 Keys to Enhancing CreativityDr. Robert Sternberg, well-known professor of psychology in the field of intelligence and creativity, and author of several books, including Beyond IQ, Metaphors of Mind, Defying the Crowd, and Successful Intelligence

Three Beliefs that Foster Creativity and Achievementand Three Beliefs that Undermine Them – Internationally acclaimed professor of psychology Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Caution: Praise Can Be Dangerous along with numerous other articles and books on motivation, personality, and development

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 Last Modified 9/25/14