Jay Labov and Richard Katskee will speak publicly, and conduct classes and workshops, at The University of Findlay this month as part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program.
Both will participate in an open forum at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 in Shafer Library’s Learning Commons on the first floor. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19 in Davis Street Building’s Room 102, Labov and Katskee will address the topic, “Teaching Evolution in the Sciences.” These public events will be free.
Labov, an organismal biologist by training, is a senior advisor for education and communication for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. He has directed or contributed to 24 National Academies reports focusing on kindergarten through undergraduate educational topics such as effective use of technology in the classroom and innovative teaching practices, and now oversees the Academy’s efforts to confront challenges to teaching evolution in the nation’s public schools. He served as deputy director for the Council’s Center for Education.
Labov also directed a committee of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine that authored “Science, Evolution and Creationism” (2008). He was the co-principal investigator for a multiyear grant from the National Science Foundation to the Center for Education to offer workshops to grantees of the foundation’s Math/Science Partnership Initiative.
He had also been a Colby College Department of Biology faculty member. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Miami, and a Master of Science in Zoology and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island. He was elected a Fellow in Education of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005.
Labov’s specialties include confronting challenges to the teaching of evolution in public school science courses, the critical role of higher education, the roles of introductory science courses in the 21st century, and educating scientists for the 21st century.
Katskee is a member of the Supreme Court and Appellate practice at Mayer Brown LLP in Washington, D.C., where he litigates constitutional cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and in federal and state appellate courts across the country. He is a nationally recognized First Amendment expert, with extensive experience in civil rights law and education law.
Katskee previously served as Deputy Director of the Program Legal Group in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where he led the development of policy initiatives to implement federal antidiscrimination laws in the nation’s schools, colleges and universities. Before that, he served as the assistant legal director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where he litigated constitutional challenges to proselytization and religious instruction in public schools, religious displays on public property, government funding of faith-based organizations, and school voucher programs. He was one of the principal attorneys for the parents who successfully challenged the inclusion of intelligent design creationism in the biology curriculum at a Dover, Pennsylvania high school.
Katskee earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest distinction and high honors from the University of Michigan; his Master of Arts degree in political science from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow; and his Juris Doctor from the Yale Law School. He also served as a Eugene P. Beard Graduate Fellow in Ethics at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics; and he taught professional and political ethics at the John F. Kenney School of Government and Harvard College.
Katskee’s specialties include intelligent design creationism and other contemporary controversies over religion in the public schools; religious discrimination in the military; consideration of race in college admissions; bullying, discriminatory harassment and sexual violence on campus; legal ethics; and civil rights lawyering.
The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures and informal discussions. For 35 years, the Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. The Visiting Fellows program is available to all four-year colleges and universities. For more information, visit CIC’s website at www.cic.edu/visitingfellows.
The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 640 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society.