CONWAY, Ark. (September 8,
2017) – Hendrix College will welcome alumna Jessica Pettitt to campus to give
the inaugural Senate Jennings Lecture on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 11:10
a.m. in Staples Auditorium.
Pettitt, a 1996 Hendrix
graduate, earned a master’s degree in higher education administration from the
University of South Carolina, and has become a renowned speaker on diversity issues
and other difficult topics. She is a member of the National Speakers
Association and is a Certified Speaking Professional – a designation held by fewer
than 800 people worldwide. She will present “Conversations that Matter” in her
Thursday morning session.
With a background in
stand-up comedy, Pettitt has become known as a presenter who uses humor to
challenge listeners’ assumptions and encourage them to become change-makers. “No
matter the person or topic, you are your best tool for conversations that
matter,” she says. “Once you know who and how you are, you are having better
conversations and fuller relationships with those around you.” Her time on
campus also includes a gathering specifically for faculty, which will focus on
a justice-centered approach to guiding
diverse students to success.
By framing even difficult
subjects in an engaging and welcoming way, Pettitt encourages audiences to
embrace that they can make the changes they seek – which is the foundation of
her new book, Good Enough Now: How Doing
the Best We Can with What We Have is Better than Nothing” (Sound Wisdom,
2017). The book’s dedication and acknowledgements both reference Pettitt’s
mentor, Hendrix College education professor Dr. James Jennings, who passed away unexpectedly in 2015.
Pettitt’s visit to campus is
sponsored by Senate Jennings Lecture Series and coordinated by the College’s Office
for Diversity and Inclusion. For details, contact Amber Jackson at 501-505-2951
the Senate Jennings Lecture Series
At the time of his death, Dr.
James M. Jennings was the Cynthia Cook Sandefur Odyssey Professor of Education
and History at Hendrix College. Following his passing in October of 2015, the
Hendrix Student Senate moved to establish an endowed fund for a lecture series
with the sole purpose of providing lectures and training opportunities on
topics of diversity. The Student Senate desires for students and student
leaders to discuss diversity issues and develop potential solutions, and expects
that the lecture series and its trainings will foster leadership development,
community building, and engagement in conversations that matter to the broader
Hendrix community. By bringing experts to campus, the Student Senate hopes to
encourage proactive, meaningful conversations that result in action for the
betterment of student associations and the community as a whole.
A private liberal arts
college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as
one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That
Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.