Population Education, September 2023

Written by Pamela Wasserman, Senior Vice President for Education | Published: September 11, 2023

2023 Summer Leadership Institutes

Preparing New PopEd Trainers to Facilitate Their Own Workshops

New Orleans and Seattle played host to back-to-back Population Education Leadership Institutes this summer. These weekend events brought together educators (K–12 teachers, university education faculty, and nonformal educators) who are interested in becoming local facilitators of workshops using PopEd curricula. A third event is planned for St. Louis in late September.

These Institutes help to reinvigorate our trainers program with new recruits who will take PopEd back to their school districts, university campuses, and professional associations. Much of our time together is spent working through some of our most popular hands-on activities. Participants also learn about PopEd’s successful workshop model and ways to identify training opportunities in their regions.

The first of this summer’s Institutes was held at the Loews New Orleans Hotel from July 14–15 for 15 trainers from throughout Louisiana and Mississippi (plus a few from points further afield). This was considered a “regional” event to boost our representation in the Gulf Coast area.

Institute participants at the Loews New Orleans, July 15, 2023
Carol Bliese facilitates the migration activity “People on the Move” in New Orleans

The following weekend, July 21–23, we were at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle for our annual national Institute. This included 25 new trainers from across the U.S. and Canada—sweeping from Burlington, Vermont, to Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Institute participants at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, July 22, 2023
Karen Marshall and others simulate population sampling at the Seattle Institute
Teresa Razo and Angie Wood investigate the population growth trends of different species for the activity “Pop Ecology Files” in Seattle

Our team is now working with these new trainers on coordinating workshops they will facilitate during the 2023–2024 school year.

Quotes from participants at the two Leadership Institutes:

  • “This was an amazing experience. I really feel like you invested in us this weekend. I am heavily motivated to pay it forward.”
  • “What a wonderful workshop! You outdid yourselves in the best possible balance of enrichment and nourishment of professional vision and personal meaning. Thank you!”
  • “You all have done a phenomenal job of planning and accomplishing this two-day professional development event. I feel so grateful for being part of this.”
  • “Easily the most engaging conference I’ve been to, and I left with an exact plan to enact!”