University of Pittsburgh
January 28, 2002

Pitt and Other Pa. Colleges and Universities Cosponsor 32nd Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education, Feb. 27–March 2 in Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

January 25, 2002

"New Century, New Strategies" features notable speakers

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania colleges and universities are cosponsoring the 32nd annual Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education (PBCOHE), "New Century, New Strategies," Feb. 27-March 2 at the Westin Convention Center, 1000 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh.

PBCOHE was founded in 1970 when the Honorable K. Leroy Irvis, then minority leader of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, convened a conference of African American college presidents, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, directors, teachers, and other political leaders and professionals to provide needed input in the formation of a master plan for higher education in Pennsylvania. PBCOHE's role was to ensure equal education for African Americans and other minorities in the Commonwealth.

Among notable speakers at this year's meeting are Joseph Graves, professor of evolutionary biology at Arizona State University West and author of "The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium" (Rutgers University Press, 2001); and Carol M. Swain, professor of law and professor of political science at Vanderbilt University Law School and author of the highly acclaimed book, "Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress" (Harvard University Press, 1993, 1995).

Graves will speak at the conference's scholarship luncheon at 12:15 p.m. March 1, and Swain will speak at 7 p.m. that day during the conference's awards banquet. John Thompson, superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, will be the guest speaker at the conference's regional awards luncheon at noon Feb. 28.

The four-day conference will include exhibits; an orientation for moderators and newcomers; a plenary session; workshops; a presidential forum; a legislative forum; and a "soulful gathering" and dance. Also part of the conference is Job Fair 2002, which will take place from 9:30 to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. March 1 and feature full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities at the following organizations: University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Children's Hospital, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Giant Eagle, Family Links, the FBI, Fed Ex, Mellon Bank, the Pittsburgh Board of Education, UPMC, USX Steel LLC, W.G. Tucker and Associates, and others.

Among the workshops are: "Using College Bridge Programs as a Retention Tool for Graduation Success," "Diversity in the Curriculum: A Model for Teaching and Developing Race/Culture Courses," "Curriculum Integration: Incorporating Diversity throughout a Traditional Course in Education Psychology," "Emotional Intelligence as a Derivation to Power Students Who Are At-Risk," "The Role of Higher Education in an Aging Society," "Preparing to Meet Five Challenges Facing African Americans During the 21st Century: Foresight from Hindsight," "Black Student Success–The Educator's Role," and "The State of Hate in PA . . . & the Good News."

Registration fees for the conference are $265 for professionals and $120 for students. Single-day registration and registration for individual events also are available. For Thursday, events and meals are $150; Friday events and meals are $180; and the Friday awards banquet alone is $50. For more information about registration, contact registration chair Brenda Sanders Dede, assistant vice president for academic affairs at Clarion University (814/393-2337 or

For more information about the conference, contact either of the conference co-chairs, Albertha Graham, special assistant to the provost at California University of Pennsylvania (412/565-2330 or or Francene Haymon, professor and counselor in student affairs at Slippery Rock University (724/738-2133 or