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Dr. Cheryl Desmond Receives “Keepers of the Flame” Award

Dr. Cheryl Desmond receives second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Keepers of the Flame Award.

Retired professor Dr. Cheryl Desmond is Millersville University’s recipient of the second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Keepers of the Flame Award from Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

The award recognizes an individual from each of the 14 State System university campuses for their contributions to creating and promoting diverse, equitable and inclusive environments that cultivate a sense of belonging. The award recipients were announced during PASSHE’s annual DEI Summit held at Shippensburg University.

“Each recipient of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s “Keepers of the Flame” award embodies the best in humanity – demonstrating a commitment to raising awareness about important issues and advocating for ‘doing the right thing,’” said Dr. Denise Pearson, vice chancellor and chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer at the Office of the Chancellor. “PASSHE university communities have long understood the intersection between academic excellence, DEI and student success. This year, we are truly pleased to celebrate the contributions of Dr. Desmond and the other recipients, and we lift them up as role models to emulate. It is a privilege to honor them.”

An educator, researcher and advocate for public education, Dr. Desmond became a tenured professor at Millersville in the Department of Educational Foundations and Educational Leadership in 1990 and retired as professor emerita in 2013. Desmond began her career in education as a teacher and principal in Kentucky, New York and Pennsylvania. After earning a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in cultural foundations of education and educational leadership, she taught at Dartmouth College, Stevens College and Dickinson College before arriving at Millersville.

A noted scholar, Desmond’s research in international education and the culture of schooling has been published in books and more than 30 articles. Along with Dr. Laurie Hanich, a Millersville professor in the Education Foundations department, she recently completed “Wellness Works in Schools: The practice and research of a mindfulness program in urban middle schools,” a chapter in the “Handbook of Mindfulness-Based Programs.”

Additionally, Desmond served as a program chair for the American Educational Research Association biennial conference and chair of the Biographical and Documentary Research Special Interest Group.

Desmond shares her commitment to DEI in the Lancaster community, serving as an elected member of the School District of Lancaster school board and on its equity committee.

 

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