College Hosts Renowned Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

  • Friday, Apr 10, 2015

Madison, Wis. (April 10, 2015) – Edgewood College is honored to host Debra Chasnoff, a filmmaker and activist, as the 2015 Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Ms. Chasnoff will be on campus for a week in April.

Ms. Chasnoff is a nationally recognized champion of film as an organizing tool for social justice and a pioneering leader in the international movement to create safe schools and communities. Her highly acclaimed documentaries address youth and bias issues and are hailed by educators and advocates as an effective tool to encourage dialogue and activism around many of the most challenging issues affecting young people’s lives and school environments.

“We are honored to welcome such an important advocate for equity and, in particular, youth,” Dean of the School of Integrative Studies Kris Mickelson said. “It is especially significant that Ms. Chasnoff’s work supports our mission of inclusion and compassion. Our students will benefit from engaging with such an accomplished and distinguished activist who can help them think about their own commitments and place in the world.”

Ms. Chasnoff’s most recent film, “Straightlaced – How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up,” is about the gender and sexuality pressures that teens and young adults face today. In addition to dozens of film festival awards, Ms. Chasnoff is the recipient of the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation Fellowship for outstanding non-profit leadership and the first ever alumna achievement award in documentary filming from Wellesley College.

The public is invited to a special panel discussion, facilitated by Ms. Chasnoff, titled “Looking Back, Moving Forward:  Equity for LGBTQ+ Youth in Madison and Dane County Schools” from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Monday, April 20, 2015, in the Washburn Heritage Room on campus.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions. For over 35 years, Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community, and achievement. The Visiting Fellows program is available to all four-year colleges and universities. For more information, visit CIC’s website at

About the Council of Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of approximately 630 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions to improve the quality of education, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit