Spirit of Social Justice Takes DU Professor to Africa
For 17 years, Dr. Lisa Lopez Levers, a professor in Duquesne University's School of Education has conducted research and field experiences in New Orleans, Wyoming, Russia, and the African countries of Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. In these experiences, Levers has focused her efforts on those affected by violence, foster children, people affected by HIV/AIDS, children with emotional and behavioral disturbances and people with disabilities.
"I was raised with a strong sense of social justice and can't walk away from those in need," said Levers. "I have worked with individuals in large cities and rural areas, and the needs of low-resource people are no less extreme, regardless of where they live."
In July 2010, Levers received the inaugural Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Spirit Award at the Sizemore Conference on Urban Education. She was recognized because of her research and service in urban settings and with low income populations, and her desire to create educational opportunities for marginalized and less privileged individuals. She integrates these issues into the master's and doctoral level courses she teaches.
"Through her work, Dr. Levers serves as an example of Duquesne University's mission to serve God by serving students," said Dr. Arnetha Ball, visiting professor and Barbara A. Sizemore Distinguished Professor in Urban Education, who created the award. "Her work stood out as one of the outstanding examples of the exciting work that is being done by the School of Education faculty."
The award is named after Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore, whose 57-year career as teacher, principal, district superintendent, dean, and educational researcher focused on giving African-American students and those from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to achieve the highest academic levels. The award's goal is to continue to carry out Sizemore's legacy of producing educational leaders who believe all children can learn, especially those children who are educated in urban settings.