On April 24, CCAS Education Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Susan Douglass, received the 2018 Paul S. Hanson Award from the Miami-Dade Council for the Social Studies (MDCSS), a chapter of the National Council for Social Studies. Each year, the MDCSS presents the Paul Hanson award to someone who has promoted and enriched the social sciences for the students of Miami-Dade Public Schools. The award is named after Paul Hanson, who has had a long and distinguished career in the Miami-Dade school district—first as a teacher, then as a principal, and finally as regional director—and was instrumental in bolstering social studies programming in public schools throughout the county.
Dr. Douglass received the Paul Hanson award in recognition of her contributions to the field of social studies and her fruitful collaborations with Miami-Dade County Social Studies teachers through MDCSS. Although she is based in Washington DC, Douglass has been very involved in the work of the Miami-Dade Council for the Social Studies for the past four years, leading sessions at MDCSS’ annual professional development workshop, which is attended by about 200 K-12 teachers each year. Douglass’ workshops on the foundations of Islam, Islam in current affairs, world history and world religions are attended by educators who teach a variety of subjects, including world history, American history, US government/civics and global studies, and provide attendees with resources and curriculum materials that they can use to incorporate related topics into their lessons. In addition to sharing her subject-matter expertise, Douglass coordinated efforts between MDCSS and Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding to secure funding for her transportation and accommodations, workshop materials, and donations for refreshments at the council’s annual conference. Dr. Douglass is currently developing a day-long professional development event that would give educators an opportunity to earn a certificate from Georgetown’s ACMCU.
As Education Outreach Coordinator at CCAS, part of the Georgetown University National Resource Center on the Middle East and North Africa (funded by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant), Dr. Douglass designs and conducts educational workshops for K-14 teachers on subjects related to history, religions, cultures, politics, arts, and economics of the Middle East and other Muslim regions of the world. Douglass has designed and developed a wide array of online teaching resources and has contributed to numerous curriculum projects related to global studies, world history, and world religions. Last year Douglass served on a development team, which was led by the Religious Freedom Institute in collaboration with the American Academy of Religion, to write a curriculum framework aligned with constitutional guidelines and current pedagogy for teaching about religion. The committee’s framework was adopted and published in 2017 by the National Council for Social Studies.
Douglass joined CCAS as Education Outreach Coordinator since 2014, but she has a much longer history with the center, having graduated from the MAAS program in 1993, speaking regularly at CCAS Education Outreach workshops, and conducting workshops nationally from 2007-2014 for Georgetown’s Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, a program that has resumed under the auspices of ACMCU’s Bridge Initiative. She received her PhD in world history at George Mason University in 2016.