Speakers

As the recipient of the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award, Professor Peter Shaw will serve as the Winter Commencement speaker. His bio is below:

Peter Shaw, Professor of Pedagogical Magic

Since giving up my post as Director of Intensive ESL Programs at the Monterey Institute in 1989, I’ve never stopped teaching English. Besides teaching my language education graduate students, I’ve most recently taught Public Speaking and Academic Writing for international Fulbright scholars and “Quantum-based English Instruction” for a group of physics professors from Russia in partnership with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

My classes are “immersive experiences,” although I’m not sure that phrase captures exactly what I mean. You will work collaboratively within a small team to create solutions for real world issues. Projects are brought to our class by stakeholders such as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal or a World Teach program in Ecuador. You will learn by working.

I’ve learned a few lessons as a teacher over the years, and I hope to share them with you. As a sneak peak into my pedagogy, it’s important to listen. With my MIIS colleagues, we’ve developed a framework called Speaker/Understander to give you tools to fine-tune the art of listening and becoming a “warm human mirror.” Second, there is no such thing as a perfect syllabus. We shouldn’t fall all over ourselves trying to design one.

Every morning I look forward to coming to work because I know I will learn something new from my students, who bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds with them to our classroom. I am here to empower my students and celebrate their work.

This year (2012) I was fortunate to be the recipient of the Dr. Leslie Ellison Teacher of Excellence Award. I feel very honored.

Expertise: Teaching teachers, co-operative learning, curriculum design, content-based instruction, teaching with technology

Education: PhD, Linguistics, University of Southern California; MA, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Oxford University; MA, Linguistics, University of Reading, England

Student speaker: Maria Luisa Olavarria (IPS)

María Luisa Olavarría was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Having begun her Bachelor’s degree at the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, she transferred in 2010 to the Monterey Institute of International Studies to attend the BA/MA program. Maria Luisa received her MIIS Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations this past May, and is graduating with a Master of Arts in International Policy Studies this December.  Her academic concentration has been in the fields of Human Security & Development, and Conflict Resolution. She has acquired specialized knowledge in the areas of armed violence, peacebuilding initiatives, and disarmament and nonproliferation issues. During her time at MIIS, she has served as the President for the Conflict Resolution Association, attended a J-Term Peacebuilding Course in Nepal, and completed two internships at the United Nations in New York City, including serving as a political advisor to the Venezuelan Delegation.

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