Loyola University Maryland

Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE)

Documentary Screening

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Wide Angle Youth MediaOn Wednesday, April 22, 2015, from 6:30—8:30 p.m., CIUE will host a screening of Second Chances: Reducing Suspensions in Maryland, a documentary short by Wide Angle Youth Media, a non-profit that provides media education to Baltimore youth through documentary production. The film explores how schools around Maryland are working to find alternatives to suspension. The event is free, however registration is required. Space is limited to the first 190 persons that register. A free reception will precede the film screening at 6 p.m. outside of the venue.

The screening will be held in Knott Hall, room B03 on Loyola's Evegreen campus. A panel discussion will follow the film. Panelists include Karen Webber Ndour, executive director of the office of student support and safety for Baltimore City Public Schools; Ali Smith, co-founder of Holistic Life Foundation, Inc.; Rosalind Akpaidem, M.A. ’14, Baltimore City Public Schools teacher; Dante de Tablan, executive director of the Ben Franklin Center for Community Schools; Laurell Glen, senior at Digital Harbor High School and Wide Angle Youth Media intern; and Rob Helfenbein, Ph.D., associate dean of Loyola’s School of Education. Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D., associate professor of education specialties and interim director of CIUE, will moderate. 

The panelists will be moderated by Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Curriculum and Instruction program at Loyola University Maryland. She is currently serving as interim director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education. Rob Helfenbein, Ph.D., associate dean of the Loyola University Maryland School of Education, will serve as lead panelist.

  • Rosalind Akpaidem, M.A. '14, is a teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools and a graduate of Loyola's Curriculum and Instruction master's program.
  • Dante de Tablan is the executive director of the Ben Franklin Center for Community Schools.
  • Laurell Glenn is a senior at Digital Harbor High School and current intern at Wide Angle Youth Media.
  • Ali Smith is co-founder and executive director of the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc.
  • Karen Webber-Ndour, J.D., is executive director of the Office of Student Support and Safety for Baltimore City Public Schools.

Speaker Bios

Rosalind Akpaidem, M.A. ’14 (panelist)

Rosalind AkpaidemRosalind is currently a Baltimore City Public School teacher. Since 2010, she has been highly influential in the development of two innovative charter schools. She obtained a B.A in Education Studies and Psychology from Guilford College in North Carolina and an M.A in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University in Maryland. Her educational research has extended to an experience in West Africa where she studied the disparity in educational accessibility.

Most recently, Rosalind examined the inequitable disciplinary actions towards African American males in comparison to other races. Rosalind conducted research to highlight the importance of cultural competency in teachers to reduce unfair discipline practices. Her capstone findings also shed light on the need for restructuring teacher preparation programs. Rosalind intends to influence this paradigm by developing policies that will promote cultural sensitivity towards students and educators of color.

Dante de Tablan, (panelist)

Dante de TablanDante de Tablan is executive director of the Ben Franklin Center for  Community Schools, whose mission is to design, implement, and evaluate  the community schools strategy of wraparound services for students and  families in urban settings. With Ben Franklin High School in Baltimore  as proof of concept, de Tablan hopes to provide private, public and social sector leaders a dynamic resource in transforming other schools  and neighborhoods. De Tablan received a Master of Social Welfare from  the University of California, Berkeley and is pursuing a PhD in Social  Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  He serves on the Family  League of Baltimore City’s Community and School Engagement Steering  Committee and the National Coalition for Community School’s Research  Affinity Group.

Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D., (moderator)

Stephanie Flores-Koulish is an associate professor and director of the Curriculum and Instruction program at Loyola University Maryland. She is currently serving as interim director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education. Her primary area of expertise and research is Critical Media Literacy Education, an emerging education field in the U.S. whereby students learn to become critical viewers, consumers and creators of media, from television to radio to the internet. She also has research interests in identity and adoption, education policy, creativity, spirituality, and critical multicultural education. Her research provides her with many opportunities to practice engaged scholarship in and around Baltimore City. Flores-Koulish is also an alumna of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).

Laurell Glenn, (panelist)Laurell Glenn

‚ÄčLaurell Glenn is a senior at Digital Harbor High School and current intern at Wide Angle Youth Media. Laurell works collect stories and insights from other students to help share a variety of youth perspectives.

Rob Helfenbein, Ph.D., (lead panelist)

Rob Helfenbein earned his Ph.D. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Helfenbein has offered courses in Teaching Secondary Social Studies, Middle School Methods, and graduate level courses in curriculum theory, qualitative research methods, social foundations, and urban education. Dr. Helfenbein has published and edited numerous research articles and book chapters about contemporary education analysis in urban contexts in journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Educational Studies, The Urban Review, the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, and co-edited the books Unsettling Beliefs: Teaching Theory to Teachers (2008) and Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context (2012).  In 2008, Dr. Helfenbein served as the Section Chair for Critical Perspectives and Practices of AERA Division B-Curriculum Studies followed by serving as overall Program Chair for Division B in 2009 and was nominated into the Professors of Curriculum at AERA 2011. He is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and organizer of the annual Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice in Dayton, Ohio. His current research interests include curriculum theorizing in urban contexts, ethics and international education work, cultural studies of education, and the impact of globalization on the lived experience of schools.

Ali Smith, (panelist)

Ali SmithAli Smith co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the Friends School of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a Biodiversity specialization.

Ali has over 13 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work at the Holistic Life Foundation, he has developed and taught yoga and mindfulness programs to at-risk youth at drug treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, alternative high schools, mental crisis facilities, and in many other underserved communities.

For the past four years, he has partnered with The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and Penn State University's Prevention Research Center on a federally funded study analyzing the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness on urban youth in Baltimore City Public Schools. Ali has authored a series of children's books, and co-authored several yoga and mindfulness-based curricula, as well as numerous workshops and trainings. He is a certified yoga instructor and a Commissioner on Baltimore City's Commission on Sustainability.

Karen Webber-Ndour, J.D., (panelist)

Karen Webber NdourKaren Webber-Ndour is a lawyer and advocate by training. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Student Support and Safety for Baltimore City Public Schools. In this capacity Karen focuses her efforts on helping schools create and maintain school climates that are safe, welcoming and conducive to teaching and learning. A focal point of Karen’s work is providing alternatives to suspensions and engaging student voice in student disciplinary matters. Other areas of focus include school police training, health care access, student choice and alternative school options programming.  Before taking on her current role, Karen served as the principal of the National Academy Foundation School, which is a 6-12 Baltimore City Public school that became a flagship school under her leadership.