Retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin addresses attendees at the Second International Conference on Learning Differences at the University of Sharjah.
SHARJAH, UAE — Beacon College President George J. Hagerty joined a Beacon delegation as participants last month for the Second International Conference on Learning Differences at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Hagerty delivered keynote remarks at the opening ceremony at the two-day conference October 16-17, joined by Her Excellency Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, the minister of community development for the United Arab Emirates, and Dr. Hamid M.K. Al-Naimiy, chancellor of the University of Sharjah, a leading Arab higher education institution.
Two years ago, Beacon College and the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services executed a Memorandum of Cooperation through which the two organizations would collaborate on mutually beneficial projects aimed at enhancing the delivery of services to students with learning and attention issues. Since then, the partnership has grown. The college, ranked No. 1 in the United States for students with learning disabilities by Peterson’s and BestValueSchools.com, provides support through pre-college preparatory programs, teacher training, university faculty workshops, and keynoting at professional conferences.
Beacon’s Dr. Bonni Boschee lectures in a workshop during the Second International Conference on Learning Differences at the University of Sharjah.
At the October conference, Alex Morris-Wood, assistant admissions director and pre-enrollment transition coordinator, Dr. Bonnie Boschee, an assistant professor and reading specialist, and Dr. Oksana Hagerty, assistant director of the Center for Student Success, led panels or workshops on topics such as creating skills-based home environments for students with learning and attention issues, reading strategies, and social and developmental challenges.
In addition, retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin and his wife, Ruth, accompanied the Beacon delegation as honored conference guests. Harkin, the principal sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act and a Beacon booster, served as the featured speaker.
President Hagerty confirmed the international collaboration would continue next spring with more faculty workshops and participation in the pre-college Project Discovery program.
“The entire Beacon delegation — including our guests, the Harkins — drew inspiration from the opportunity to interact with educators and advocates from the Middle East and the countries of North Africa,” he said.