This post is guest authored by Dr. Maureen Linker.
Dr. Imad’s Keynote was part of University of Michigan – Dearborn’s Digital Education Days put on in conjunction with University of Michigan – Flint and Henry Ford College.
It is a rare privilege as an educator to have first said the name of a student by reading it aloud from a class roster, and then, in the not so distant future, read that very name and introduce that very person, for their keynote presentation. Thank you to the Hub and Digital Education for giving me that rare gift, and most especially thank you to my former student and current keynote speaker, Dr. Mays Imad. There are so many lovely, brilliant, compassionate, and thoughtful things I would love to share about the undergraduate student Mays Imad, who demonstrated daily, both in class and then in long conversations during office hours, a depth of curiosity and a desire to synthesize philosophical logic with psychological and biological science. Mays was dedicated not just to theory but theory in practice and how reading, knowing, engaging and understanding philosophy from the ancient through the modern era, could inform a life and make meaning where it sometimes feels like there is none.
In this keynote presentation, Dr. Imad gives us a picture of the effects of stress on the brain and how these neurological processes impact our ability to convey and comprehend information in the classroom. Dr. Imad’s work centers the classroom as a sacred space for transformation and reminds us that the histories, traumas, joys, and sorrows we experience as humans need to be acknowledged and integrated into our quest for learning. Dr. Imad reminds us that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it is only together, in our dedication to education, that we can acknowledge what we have inherited and what we might bend toward justice through our work.
I can’t express how much it did my heart good to welcome back to UM-Dearborn, the brilliant, compassionate, and thoughtful, Dr. Mays Imad. I hope you gain as much from her presentation as I did.
About the guest Author
Maureen Linker received her Ph.D. in philosophy in from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. She has been teaching and researching at University of Michigan-Dearborn since 1997 and is Professor of Philosophy, Associate Provost & Director of the Mardigian Library. Maureen’s work focuses on the intersection of reason and knowledge and how each are conceptualized in science, law, and philosophy. She has published in a variety of journals and has a book with University of Michigan Press on Critical Thinking and Social Justice.
Featured Image Credit: Photograph – Calligraphy by Yassin Tawfeeq, inspired by Rumi “The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you”. Gift to the author from Dr. Mays Imad.