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Saint Vincent College Hosts Successful Heart of Teaching Conference

Submitted by Saint Vincent College

LATROBE, PA — More than 130 educators and undergraduate students from across the region convened at Saint Vincent College on March 20 for the Heart of Teaching conference.

The event was directed by Dr. Tracy McNelly, associate professor of education in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference was sponsored by Saint Vincent College and the Western Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and held at the Fred Rodgers Institute on campus.

“With hearts inspired, minds ignited and connections forged, the Heart of Teaching conference surpassed expectations,” Dr. McNelly said. “It marked a resounding success in fostering collaboration, growth and lasting impact.”

The conference featured 23 breakout sessions and 10 speed learning sessions focused on active learning of English language arts, social and emotional learning, curriculum, technology and general teaching concepts for grades 4-12. Session topics included “Fred Rogers and social emotional learning,” “Engaging students in Holocaust education through narrative” and “Using artificial intelligence writing tools in the classroom.”

Keynote Speaker Dr. Richard KochThe keynote speaker was Dr. Richard Koch of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of “The Mindful Writing Workshop: Teaching in the Age of Stress and Trauma,” as well as several journal articles on teaching.

Among the presenters at the conference were Mr. Dave Safin, associate professor of digital art and media at SVC; Dr. Sara Lindey, professor of English, chair of the English Department and director of the Saint Vincent College Writing Center; Dr. Laura Roop, retired professor at the University of Pittsburgh and former director of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project; and Dr. James Paharik, director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University.