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Nadia De Leon
Nadia De Leon

Community Engagement Coordinator, ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships; Part-Time Adjunct Faculty, Department of Folklore and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University.

Education: Currently pursuing an EdD in Educational Leadership at Western Kentucky University (WKU); MA Folk Studies, Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, BA in Arts Education (emphasis in Dance), all from WKU.. Teaching experience: K-12, Hispanic arts & culture; undergraduate courses in cultural diversity, social justice, and women’s studies, WKU; graduate course in dance anthropology, University of Panama. Service to AFS: Convener, Dance and Movement Analysis Section; Co-Convener, Latino/a, Caribeño/a Section (2010-2011). Honors: Women of Achievement Award in the Arts, Bowling Green Human Rights Commission (2011); International Reach Award, WKU (2010); 2009 Fellow at the Latino Museum Studies Program, Smithsonian Institution; Esther Fund Scholarship Award for demonstrated commitment to improving women’s lives through scholarship, service, and advocacy, WKU (2009); Archie Green Student Travel Stipend, AFS Public Programs Section (2009); Artist Enhancement Grant (2009) and Art Meets Activism Grant (2006), Kentucky Foundation for Women. Publications: newsletter and online articles; contributor to "Proyecto Folklore” series and educational materialspublished by the Panamanian newspaper, La Prensa (2011); multiple entries to be published in the Latino Folklore Encyclopedia.

I am an educator at heart, and I enjoy the kind of hands-on work that addresses the needs of people, not just their traditions, and helps bring about positive social change. I work to coordinate multicultural services, engaged scholarship opportunities, and community development efforts. My job and many personal endeavors keep me connected to the arts and non-profit worlds, as well as to the needs and assets of diverse communities – particularly immigrants and refugees. Being a public folklorist helps me frame my work and existence. I am interested in researching and understanding folklore, but also invested in finding ways in which a community’s traditions can help sustain or improve its quality of life. As a member of the Board, I would be happy to represent a generation of young folklorists. Our generation grew up in a globalized world in which the interdependence of all human beings is tangibly evident; and yet, our biggest and most pressing challenge seems to be tolerance (let alone cross-cultural understanding). As AFS moves towards building a strategic vision, I would be honored to contribute my time, energy, and abilities. I would work to promote diversity within our discipline, as well as international dialogue and collaborations. It is important that AFS work to serve and represent folklorists, and that it functions as a bridge to the outside world in order to find opportunities and funding. However, I would also advocate for a field that continues to build interdisciplinary and cross-sectional relationships, and to search for ways in which folklorists can be useful to others and continue helping to make the world a better place.


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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
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