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Renowned Author, Poet, and Educator Challenges Students to Persevere and to Make the Most of Their College and Life Experiences

Dr. Shelly Weeks-Channel

April 21, 2013

Renowned author, poet and educator Toni Ellis lectures to Cheyney University students about life, love, relationships, and self-esteem

Renowned author, poet and educator Toni Ellis lectures to Cheyney University students about life, love, relationships, and self-esteem

On Tuesday, April 18, 2013, the Nu Theta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education hosted an afternoon lecture with renowned author, poet, and educator, Ms. Toni Ellis. In addition to the 50 undergraduate students in attendance, Dr. S. Jean Wilson, Chairperson of Cheyney University's Department of Education and Leadership Studies also attended the event, which could only be described as educational and entertaining. Dr. Shelly Weeks-Channel, Associate Professor of Education and Leadership Studies and Nu Theta Chapter Advisor was instrumental in bringing her to campus. This lecture was the first in a series that the Nu Theta Chapter plans to continue as a service to the campus community.

Ms. Ellis, who came to campus from Las Vegas, NV, shared wisdom about life, love, relationships, and self-esteem. In her one and one-half hour lecture, Ellis told the audience about her parents, daughter, and ex-husband who, after years of subjecting her to physical and psychological abuse, she has made peace with and now considers a friend. 

Ellis chronicled her experiences in a children’s literature book she authored entitled, Baby Girl’s Mirror. In the book, Baby Girl, the main character, spends her time looking into a mirror and doing what girls like to do—dance. As she dances, she does not like what she sees, but the conversation she has with her mother, quickly changes her mind. To obtain your own copy of the book, visit: http://tonitellis.com/home/babygirlsmirror/.

Ms. Ellis challenged the audience to persevere through every situation or circumstance that comes their way in life. She charged them to make the most of their Cheyney University experience and use this as a foundation to the success they can achieve throughout the course of their lives. 

“Ms. Ellis’ lecture really opened my eyes; it made me realize that if she could make it through everything she went through, unbroken, then so could I,” said Tyrik Thorn, a senior Early Childhood Education major and Nu Theta Chapter Vice President.