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Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to The Netherlands to Research How to Teach Tolerance, Inclusion, and Community in Higher Education

By Loyola University on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 15:20

(New Orleans, La. – Sept. 19, 2019) Social justice is a key cornerstone of the mission at Loyola University New Orleans and the university is thrilled to report that Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to The Netherlands in social justice pedagogy.

Dr. Yavneh Klos, a professor of languages and cultures with deep research experience in history, sociology and social issues, will spend the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year in Zwolle, Netherlands, researching ways in which to ensure students from all backgrounds feel valued and included — and how to build and foster a culture of inclusive excellence.
 
“I feel this is a tremendous opportunity to explore social justice pedagogy and cultural attitudes in a different region of the world that has also experienced and is continuing to experience challenges that stem from cultural, ethnic, and faith-based issues,” said Dr. Yavneh Klos, pointing to current political issues pertaining to immigration, race and cross-cultural difference. “And I look forward to sharing my experiences here to the Netherlands and bringing new lessons home to the Loyola and New Orleans communities.”

Her research is especially valued at Loyola, which this year celebrates its most diverse class of first-year students ever and is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation for race/class relations in the Princeton Review. Loyola’s first-year class is comprised of 55 percent students of color and students from all over the world, and in keeping with Jesuit tradition, 32 percent are the first in their families to attend college. The university enjoys every aspect of diversity, from socioeconomic class to faith practices.

Such a range of backgrounds and perspectives both brings diversity of thought in the classroom and demands careful attention and cultivation, said Dr. Yavneh Klos, who is currently teaching first-year seminars on Community, Diversity and Faith, in which students address issues of leadership, explore differing faiths, identify one’s own biases, and use faith as a lens for collaboration and communicating across lines of faith. 
In these seminars, students will visit Touro Synagogue, a Hare Krishna worship service and feast, a mosque, and other centers of worship as they study Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Catholicism, the Baptist faith and Hare Krishna. The class also includes a heavy research and literacy component.

During her Fulbright year, Dr. Yavneh Klos, who served seven years as the director of the Loyola University New Orleans Honors program and is the immediate past president of the National Collegiate Honors Council, will serve as a research professor in Windesheim Honors College’s program in global change management, exploring the roles of creativity and risk-taking in creating an educational culture of inclusive excellence, and coaching students in addressing “wicked” global challenges, the Fulbright program reports.
 
She will also teach in an intensive, two-week program, in partnership with Windesheim University, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and the Westerbork Transit Camp Memorial, “Tolerance and Diversity: Contemporary Lessons from the Holocaust.” While abroad on her Fulbright year, Dr. Yavneh Klos also expects to work with the Anne Frank House.

In 2013, Loyola welcomed 43 honors faculty from the Netherlands scholars and since then Dr. Yavneh Klos has enjoyed a close collaboration with Windesheim University’s business honors college and taught summer courses at the university that have helped young people to apply lessons from the Holocaust to today.