Old Girl and special education scholar Dr. Beth Harry will join gender equality activist Dr. Anita Hill to receive honorary doctorates from Lesley University and deliver the commencement addresses for the university’s Class of 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
There will be two commencement ceremonies at different times on May 18. Dr. Harry will address graduates of our Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. Dr Hill will address graduates of Lesley’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Art and Design.
Dr. Harry is a Fulbright recipient and a professor of special education at the University of Miami, whose research has focused on a wide range of cultural groups, including black and Puerto Rican children and families. Born in Jamaica, she entered the special education field as a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, an experience she chronicled in her memoir, “Melanie, Bird with a Broken Wing: A Mother’s Story.”
Dr. Harry founded a school for children with disabilities in Trinidad in 1978; the school is still operating today. In 2002, she served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ panel to study the disproportionate placement of minority students in special education. Her research and publications include, “Why are so many minority students in special education?” and “Case Studies of Minority Student Placement in Special Education,” published by Teachers College Press.
Dr. Harry earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Toronto, Canada, and her Ph.D. at Syracuse University.