(Posted February 5, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Cynthia Merriwether-DeVries, associate professor of sociology at Juniata College, will give a lecture, "Teaching Multiculturalism in a Predominately White Collegiate Context: Investing in Our Collective Future," at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14 in Neff Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.
The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the Bookend Seminar Series, which features monthly lectures by Juniata faculty.
De Vries' talk will center on her teaching experiences at Juniata, specifically a course titled Minority Experience. She will discuss a variety of techniques she has found effective for promoting inter-racial communication, both in the classroom and on the campus at large.
One of the most effective methods she has employed in the course is to focus every student on exploring their own racial, ethnic heritage in order to understand the range of experiences all minorities face. By focusing on personal and family history, students can see cultural and ethnic differences much more clearly.
Merriwether-De Vries came to Juniata in 2001 after earning a doctorate in human development and family studies in 2000 from Penn State University. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree, both from Penn State in human development and family studies, in 1990 and 1994, respectively.
At Juniata, she has taught such courses as Introduction to Sociology, Minorities, The American Family and Social Welfare Policy and Services. Before coming to Juniata she was a lecturer in the sociology department at Penn State from 1994 to 2000. Merriwether-deVries' doctoral research focused on how African-American adolescent mothers adjust to the role of motherhood. Her research has been published in such journals as Generations and Marriage and Family Review.
Before returning to college to complete her education, Merriwether-deVries worked as children's program coordinator at the Centre County Women\'s Resource Center from 1985 to 1988. From 1983 to 1985, she was assistant director of the First Steps and Kinderhouse Group Day Care Homes operated by the Child Development Council of Centre County. In 1983, she worked as an assistant teacher at the State College Children\'s House Montessori School.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.