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Cubberley Lecture Series Presents, 2019

Photo of Ron Suskind
The Neurodiversity Challenge: 
How Passion Drives Learning for All Students
An evening with
Ron Suskind

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and father

Wednesday, March 6
Reception 5:00 p.m.
Lecture 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Hauck Auditorium,
David & Joan Traitel Building

435 Lasuen Mall - Stanford University

This event is sold out. 

Ticket holders: see below for ticket details, parking info, etc.
CHILDREN SELF-NOURISH THEIR CURIOSITIES from the earliest ages, arriving at school with affinity-based identities of "what I love is who I am!"  The transition from this bottom-up bliss into a traditional classroom works for some but not all students, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For them, passion is the primary pathway and often a telescope into heightened abilities that, when recognized and fed, support self-esteem, skill migration and acceptance of the designation "differently-abled." Suskind will share an emerging view in the neurodiversity movement about these and all special needs children, with a message to meet them where they are, celebrate them as they are, and think differently about the nature of individualized education, achievement, and a meaningful life for us all.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind is the author of six best-selling books, including A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, and Confidence Men—considered the definitive work on the Obama presidency and the 2008 financial crisis. Suskind’s works are characterized by his passion for giving a voice to the voiceless. Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated documentary and recently won three News and Documentary Emmys tells the story of his youngest son, Owen, who, after being diagnosed with autism, found a way to reengage with the world around him. Suskind lectures about narrative and justice at Harvard and is founder of The Affinity Project (TAP), which has developed technologies to support neurodiversity. He holds an MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Keynote followed by a conversation with:
HEIDI M. FELDMAN, MD, Ballinger-Swindells Professor in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine

She earned a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MD at the University of California, San Diego. After residency at UCSD, she completed fellowship training at Children’s Hospital Boston. Her research has focused on language and reading in children with conditions that put development at risk, including deafness, persistent ear infections, and prematurity. Her book, Redesigning Health Care for Children with Disabilities: Strengthening Inclusion, Contribution and Health, argues for new priorities in health care for children with disabilities.

ZINA JAWADI, BS ’18, MS ’19, Co-chair, Stanford Disability Initiative; President, Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association

She is passionate about hearing loss science and advocacy. Jawadi helped launch the Abilities Hub at Stanford and founded the Stanford Disability Initiative. She currently serves as the president of the Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association and has received numerous awards, including the Stanford Award of Excellence, a Top Ten (#3) Most Influential Undergrad, and the James Lyons Award for Service. Jawadi received her BS in biology from Stanford University and is working towards her co-terminal master’s degree in bioengineering with a concentration in medical devices, also at Stanford University.

BILL KOSKI, PhD '03 - Administration and Policy AnalysisEric and Nancy Wright Professor of Clinical Education and Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

He directs the Youth & Education Law Project, a legal clinic that advocates for equality of educational opportunity for disadvantaged youth. Koski has represented hundreds of children in special education, student discipline, and other education rights matters and has served as counsel in several complex school reform litigations. Koski has published articles on education rights, the role of the judiciary in education policy, and teacher employment policies. He received his JD cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, and his PhD from the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

ELIZABETH KOZLESKI, EdD, Dean’s Scholar for Teaching and Learning, Stanford Graduate School of Education

She engages systems change and research on equity and justice issues in inclusive education. Awards include the 2018 Budig Award for Teaching Excellence in Special Education at the University of Kansas, the 2017 Boeing-Allan Visiting Endowed Chair at Seattle University, the University of Kansas 2016 Woman of Distinction award, the 2013 Scholar of the Century award from the University of Northern Colorado, the 2011 TED-Merrill award for leadership in special education teacher preparation, and the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive International Research. Kozleski received her EdD from the University of Northern Colorado.

MARICELA MONTOY-WILSON, BA ’08, MA ’09 – Stanford Teacher Education Program; Principal, Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School

She has served as a mentor with the Stanford Teacher Education Program and Aspire Teacher Residency, and as a fellow with America Achieves and Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) at Stanford. As principal of Aspire, she is passionate about advocating for education and rights for young people, especially the underserved. Montoy-Wilson received her BA in Psychology from Stanford University and her MA in the Stanford Teacher Education Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

Seating/Tickets: As of February 19, the event is completely sold-out with no stand-by line or wait list. Tickets are required for this free event (each guest was allowed to request up to two tickets.) You must bring your e-ticket(s) with you to be scanned at the Traitel Building entrance facing Lasuen Mall.  If you plan to show your ticket(s) on your phone, please be sure to maximize your screen brightness and zoom in on the barcode as you prepare to enter Traitel.  Seating is general admission, first-come, first-served and subject to availability. Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m. If you ordered tickets and can no longer attend, please email the Stanford Ticket Office at to release your seat(s). 
Parking: We recommend parking in the Galvez Lot at the corner of Galvez Street and Campus Drive, or most "A" and "C" spaces after 4:00 p.m. 
ADA Accommodations: If you would like to request a disability-related accommodation, please contact Sheila Sanchez in the Diversity & Access Office at (650) 725-0326, or Requests should be made by February 25. An American Sign Language interpreter has been engaged. Hauck Auditorium has a looped assistive listening system for those with t-coil hearing aids. Guests without t-coil hearing aids can check out receivers from a Stanford Event Services technician.

General Conditions Regarding Event:

  • Guests will be prompted to turn off all cell phones, pagers and alarms.
  • All persons and bags are subject to search.
  • No signs, flyers, banners or posters allowed inside the venue.
  • No weapons or projectiles allowed inside the venue.
  • No blow horns, noise makers, or amplified sound allowed inside the venue.
  • No unauthorized photography or audio/video recording.
  • Entry and re-entry at the discretion of event management.
  • This event will be photographed and videotaped.
  • Attendee voluntarily agrees that Stanford University, its agents, officers, directors, employees, faculty, students, and volunteers are released by attendee from any claims incidental to the event.
  • Entering the venue shall be deemed consenting to all the above conditions and any other conditions set by Stanford University at its events.
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