In 2006, an assignment for Dana Stuchul’s Curriculum Instruction course (CI295) at Penn State was Michelle’s invitation into the work of World in Conversation. She attended a dialogue with a prompt focused on race and remembered feeling activated and relieved. Until that point, she felt as though most discussions about race with her peers were surface level conversations that felt dismissive rather than engaging. “I think that was why at the end of the conversation I asked the facilitators how I could ‘do what they do,’” she recalls.
This one-time dialogue grew into her career.
Now, as Operations Manager for World in Conversation, she works daily with students and staff to design and administer systems and protocols that permit the center to manage tens of thousands of exchanges involving people, schedules, and organizations around the world. Together they study the needs of in-person and online dialogues, develop registration applications, support recruitment and development, and organize facilitation training tools.
Her role requires regular analysis of communication efforts and platforms. WinC’s website, end of year report, educational archives, and alumni communication undergo weekly refinement within the teams she leads and supports.
Michelle lives in Lancaster, PA. She graduated from Penn State in May 2009 with a degree in Secondary Education. While teaching at Krieger Schechter Day School in Baltimore, MD, she earned Facing History and Ourselves’ Margot Stern Strom’s Innovation Grant to offer facilitation training to educators. Her time spent in Penn State’s Professional Development School learning under Allison Becker was the catalyst to her becoming an educator intentionally positioned within both current practice and reform. Her years with WinC allow her to be and do just that.