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UMPI’s Distinguished Lecturer Series presents author, national poverty expert Dr. Donna M. Beegle

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is pleased to present Dr. Donna M. Beegle, a nationally renowned public speaker, author, and national poverty expert as the last speaker in its 2016-2017 Distinguished Lecturer Series. Her talk, which will also serve as the keynote address for UMPI’s 16th Annual University Day, focuses on nationwide poverty and her experiences with the issue. This event will take place on Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m., in the Campus Center. This event is free and the public is invited to be a part of this special evening.

Beegle is the Co-Founder and President of Communication Across Barriers. The mission of this Oregon-based company, established in 1989 with her mentor Dr. Bob Fulford, is to help communities “fight poverty, not those who live in it.”

The theme of this year’s University Day and the 2016-2017 Distinguished Lecturer Series is Meet in the Middle. For the past 27 years, Dr. Beegle has worked to connect educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, and other organizations who want to help make a difference for those living in poverty.

Beegle has also written a book, See Poverty…Be the Difference, which is used all over the country as a resource that provides a foundation for understanding poverty and its impacts. The book is designed to shatter stereotypes surrounding poverty and to provide concrete tools for creating programs and systems to respond to the needs of people living in poverty.

Beegle has gone through hardships in her life. She is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated, and grew up in generational migrant labor poverty. She left school when she was 15 to get married, had two children, and continued to struggle with poverty. She found herself at the age of 25 with no husband, little education, and no job skills. What followed were self-confidence and a focus on her education. She earned her G.E.D., then went on to receive an Associate’s degree in Journalism, a Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in Communications, a Master’s degree in Communication with a minor in Gender Studies (with honors), and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Her inspiring story and work have been featured on television and in newspapers across the nation.

Beegle’s talk serves as the kick-off for University Day, with a full day of events following on Wednesday, April 12. From about 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., about 130 students are expected to offer talks and presentations on their research and community service. A complete schedule of University Day activities can be found at www.umpi.edu/uday.

The University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series was established in 1999. Each year, the UDLS Committee sponsors four to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. While the emphasis tends to be on featuring visiting academics, it is not exclusively so. The speakers typically spend two days at the University meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.

All are invited to attend Beegle’s April 11 talk and a book signing with Beegle immediately following her talk. Copies of her book See Poverty…Be the Difference will be available for sale at that time. For more information about this Distinguished Lecture or the 16th Annual University Day, please contact the University’s Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452 or email umpi@maine.edu.