By Yanfen Li

The ADVANCE Office of Faculty Equity cordially invites you to our upcoming 50/50 Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall Lounge. Refreshments will be available starting at 11 a.m.

We are thrilled to welcome our esteemed guest speaker, Meghan Burke, Professor of special Education at the Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Her presentation is titled “Using Lived Experience and Research to Strengthen Family-Professional partnerships.”

Burke’s research interests include family advocacy, families (i.e., parents and siblings) of individuals with disabilities, and disability policy. She examines how families advocate for services for their family members with disabilities as well as how siblings of individuals with disabilities transition to caregiving roles. Burke has developed and tested advocacy programs to educate and empower parents of individuals with disabilities to access services, not only for their own offspring but also for other families and for systemic change. To date, her advocacy programs have been replicated in seven states and has been offered in English, Korean, and Spanish to families of individuals with disabilities.

Burke’s lecture is hosted by UML Assistant Professor Robai Werunga from the School of Education in the College of Fine Arts. The 50/50 Lecture Series is a unique format geared at both promoting a notable scientist’s work and highlighting the varied paths that lead to successful careers. Half of the speaker’s time will be allotted to their technical, educational, and research interests, and the other half will be devoted to their career path, detailing, for example, challenges overcome or the influence of mentors. The 50/50 lectures are designed to inspire established and emerging UML professionals to persevere not only by considering the example set by leaders in their field but by looking at their own career holistically. Graduate students are welcome!