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Cheyney University President Leads Discussion Group in the United Kingdom

March 20, 2014

Cheyney University President Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital was recently in England to lead a discussion group in the Women's Round Table held at Oxford University's Oriel College.  Her trip to the United Kingdom came during Women's History month and followed the publication of several articles that she'd written on women in higher education.  It also came on the heels of Dr. Vital presenting her work on a panel of the American Council on Education's Women's Network in San Diego, CA.  "Also, for ACE, I am participating in the Spectrum program and mentoring two persons interested in the college presidency," Vital said. "These scholarly activities broaden my perspectives and enrich my world views helping me to better help others."

When asked to lead the discussion on women's issues, President Vital cleared her schedule which wasn't difficult since it coincided with Cheyney University's spring break week.  "I am not the first Cheyney University woman scholar to participate in the Women's Roundtable," she explained. "Other faculty have participated, including Professor Emeritus Dr. Beatrice Johnson.   I remember her speaking of her Oxford experience fondly. It is important for us all to continue to expand our horizons to present, publish, and engage in scholarly discourse that will not only broaden our own world views, but will also serve as examples to Cheyney University students and others. As a I sat looking out on the old and renowned City of Oxford, I knew that my trip would help me to encourage other students and faculty to contribute internationally. We are already planning to work with Brazilian students, and we have just signed an agreement with the Rwandan government that could result in an international online program."

Each year, Oxford holds several Round Table Discussions.  This year's conference, "Women and Education: An interdisciplinary perspective," which started on March 16, focused on a myriad of topics including how women can lead in a man's world, how women can develop a successful game plan, and the legacy of African American women in education.

At 9 am in Oxford, Vital said, "the city is bustling with students, tourists, bicyclists, joggers, and others walking some of the narrow and cobblestone streets that others have walked for centuries. Cars and double decker buses are driving on the other side of the street, immediately causing you to change your perspective when you cross the street--already expanding your worldview."

The President interacted with dozens of women across the pond, helping her "to understand different global perspectives.  I hope to possibly publish a paper on some of those views. I broadened my worldview by getting to know Oxford. I believe it added another dimension I can share with students to encourage them to expand their world views and explore a bit deeper internally and externally."