Wells College's gala 150th anniversary celebration weekend will kick off this Thursday, Oct. 18, with a panel discussion featuring Claudio Sanchez, renowned National Public Radio (NPR) education correspondent. The event will take place from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Phipps Auditorium, Macmillan Hall, on the Wells College campus. Admission is free and no tickets are required.
Sanchez, who regularly contributes to NPR's flagship programs — including "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" — will be interviewed on stage by Jonathan Gibralter, president of Wells College, and Cindy Speaker, provost and dean of the College. The discussion is expected to cover a wide range of topics, including the future of higher education in the United States, the impact of changing socioeconomic trends on students' ability to acquire an education, and how colleges and universities are adapting to widespread changes in the societal fabric. A Q&A session with the audience will follow the discussion.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have a journalist and educational expert of Claudio Sanchez's stature visit Wells College as part of our milestone 150th anniversary event," said President Jonathan Gibralter. "During our initial conversations together, it became immediately clear that he speaks eloquently and passionately about topics that are important to society, and does so in a nuanced, fascinating way. I am very much looking forward to our panel discussion," added President Gibralter.
In his role at National Public Radio, Claudio Sanchez focuses on the "three P's" of education reform: politics, policy, and pedagogy. His recent stories for NPR have included the challenges of reporting on mass shootings in schools; how some colleges that have scrapped SAT and ACT requirements have increased their levels of diversity; and a look at how teachers and students from Puerto Rico started over in the U.S. after last year's Hurricane Maria.
Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as producer for the Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service, based in El Paso, Texas that covers Latin America and the U.S.–Mexico border. Prior to that, from 1984 to 1988, he was the news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso.
In 2008, Sanchez won first prize in the Education Writers Association's National Awards for Education Reporting, for his series, "The Student Loan Crisis." He was named as a Class of 2007 Fellow by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 1985, Sanchez received one of broadcasting's top honors, the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Silver Baton, for a series he co-produced, "Sanctuary: The New Underground Railroad." In addition, he has won the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Best Spot News, the El Paso Press Club Award for Best Investigative Reporting, and was recognized for outstanding local news coverage by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Sanchez is a native of Nogales, Mexico and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The event takes place on the first day of Wells College's four-day 150th anniversary celebration. Throughout the weekend, the campus community will be joined by trustees, alumni, parents and other friends of the College for a series of events including academic open houses, the Young Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement ceremony, a keynote address by President Gibralter, presentations by faculty and alumni on the history of Wells, athletic games, and much more. The weekend culminates on Saturday night with an event featuring a performance by the Symphoria orchestra, followed by an outdoor fireworks display. More info at wells.edu/150.