WVSU Welcomes Oprah’s All-time Favorite Guest To April 27 Communications Media Summit


WVSU Welcomes Oprah’s All-time Favorite Guest To April 27 Communications Media Summit

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Dr. Tererai Trent, a senior consultant from Zimbabwe with more than 18 years of international experience in professional Program & Policy Evaluation, will be the keynote speaker for the WVSU Communications Media Summit on April 27 at 11 a.m. in the Davis Fine Arts Center.

Her work has taken her to five continents, including her work for a major global humanitarian organization, Heifer International as a Deputy Director for Planning and Evaluation. Her message is compelling because it is enriched by her experiences of growing up in rural Africa. Her humble eloquence and authenticity leave audiences with a lasting impression of what it means to overcome humble beginnings and to achieve one’s dreams.            

Dr. Trent, a Zimbabwean woman who was "not allowed to have an education," was married at 11, had three children by 18, and whose husband beat her every day. Trent wrote down her dreams on a piece of paper: to move to America and earn a bachelor's and a master's degree, as well as a PhD. She did every one of those things, and first appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show in 2009. As Oprah recently welcomed her back to the show, she exclaimed, "My favorite! Of all time!"  

"Tererai Trent broke the vicious cycle of poverty by educating herself and by building schools for  others. As a keynote speaker, she engages the audience with a provocative storytelling style. She weaves her own educational experiences, her work as a program evaluator, and her desire to end poverty into one of the best keynotes I have attended in 20 years,” said Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D. Research Director, the Clifton Strengths School, Omaha, Nebraska

After years of hard work earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while raising a family, despite an abusive relationship, Trent has achieved each of her buried dreams, and now hopes to improve life for others through her work as a program evaluator, public speaking, and with Oprah’s recent assistance hopes to build a school in her home village in Zimbabwe so that many other children have the opportunity to get an education.            

Dr. Trent now holds a doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Evaluation from Western Michigan University. Her story is a true look into one’s future and how determination and achievement brings about success. Dr. Trent overcame relentless persecution as a young woman in Zimbabwe. Her story of achievement made her the person she is today. She has and continues to inspire many young girls in her native land and throughout the world to strive for their educational aspirations. 

The WVSU Media Summit will be held in the Davis Fine Arts Building on Friday, April 27 starting at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. Trent launching the day’s event. Students will reconvene in the Wilson Student Union Conference Room after the opening keynote address in the Davis Fine Arts Center, room 103. This Summit is open to the public, and community participation is encouraged.

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