A.P.E.X. presents Kevin Gannon: Advocate for radical hope

Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X]. partnered with the Southern Utah University Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning to host Dr. Kevin Gannon on Jan. 20.

Gannon is the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a professor of history at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.

He is the author of “Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto,” published in April 2020 which he presented as the topic of his lecture.

Gannon began by exposing the truth of today’s reality, dropping the audience into the worst of the worst news the country has to offer. By reminding individuals about the harsh realities of COVID-19, social injustice and political unrest, he plunged the audience into the darkest of moods.

It was then that he informed the audience they must have a grasp on truth to have realistic hope. He continued to explain that institutions like Southern Utah University are an “agent of change.”

It is within institutions of higher education that hope, and subsequently change, is created. This hope and change can only be accomplished if universities take a step in the right direction.

“If students come into class hopeless, how much learning can really occur?” Gannon asked.

Students have been taught their entire lives that if they are unable to learn something a certain way, then they are unable to learn it at all. This fixed mentality pushes students to act out of fear rather than hope where then change is impossible.

Gannon stresses that when change feels impossible, hope feels just as unrealistic. Professors and students find themselves limited by the requirements and lectures of every day.

Their imagination then begins to fade, imagination required for a different and better future.

Gannon stresses that by becoming your own advocate you will be able to establish your values and respect the time that you have been given.

“The most precious resource you have is time,” Gannon said for his final push towards the radical hope he wants everyone to achieve.

More information on future A.P.E.X. events like this one can be found here.  


Article and Photo by: Audrey Gee