2014 Soka Education Conference

Date: 02.15.2014 - 02.17.2014

Time: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Location: Pauling Hall 216

The Soka Education Student Research Project (SESRP) invites you to the 10th Soka Education Conference!

"Education must foster people who intuitively understand and know--in their minds, in their hearts, with their entire being--the irreplaceable value of human beings and the natural world. I believe such education embodies the timeless struggle of human civilization to create an unerring path to peace."-Daisaku Ikeda


Soka Education Conference

Admission: Free






Saturday 2/15/14:  9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday 2/16/14:  12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Monday 2/17/14:  10:00 am - 1:40 pm

 Winston Langley

Keynote Speaker: Winston Langley currently serves as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Massachusetts, working to deepen the culture of research and the quality of a student-centered education. His fields of interest include human rights, international relations, religion, and international political power structures. Dr. Langley's publications on human rights have received numerous awards, including Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award and Gustavus Myers Center for the the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Award for Outstanding Book on Human Rights in North America.

Special Guest Speakers

Jim Garrison

Dr. Jim Garrison is Professor of Philosophy of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, Virginia Tech University. His awards include the Scholarly Achievement Award from the Institute of Oriental Philosophy, the John Dewey Society Outstanding Achievement Award, The DeGarmo award from the Society of Professors of Education, The Medal of Highest Honor from Soka University in Japan, and the Jim Merritt award for his scholarship in the philosophy of education. He is a past-president of the Philosophy of Education Society as well as the John Dewey Society and president-elect of the Society of Professors of Education. Garrison will be speaking with Dr. Larry Hickman about their series of dialogues with Soka University of America Founder, Daisaku Ikeda.

Larry Hickman

Dr. Larry Hickman is Director, Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Hickman has served as president of several national and international societies, including the Southwestern Philosophical Society, the Society for Philosophy and Technology, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, and the John Dewey Society. The recipient of many awards, he has also published multiple books and other educational materials on John Dewey. Hickman will be speaking with Dr. Jim Garrison about their series of dialogues with Soka University of America Founder Daisaku Ikeda.

Jason Goulah

Dr. Jason Goulah is Associate Professor and Director of Bilingual-Bicultural Education and the Director of World Languages Education at DePaul University. His research interests include transformative and sociocultural approaches to foreign/second language; Language, culture, identity, and multiple literacies; and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Daisaku Ikeda studies in education. 

We are also pleased to have Simon Hoffding (SUA class of 2008) and Gonzalo Obeilleiro (SUA class of 2005), two of the original founders of SESRP, give a presentation on the topic of value creation and creativity.

Simon HoffdingSimon is currently a PhD fellow at the University of Copenhagen studying the phenomenology of expert musicianship. His research focuses on a range of topics including philosophy, phenomenology, intentionality, and intelligence.

Gonzallo ObeilleiroGonzalo Obelleiro is a PhD fellow at Columbia University Teachers College. His research interests include education and philosophy. In his doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, he writes that his intent is "to introduce the perspective of Soka education into the already serious, dynamic, and diverse conversations on cosmopolitanism and education." Simon and Gonzalo will be giving joint presentations on their respective research at the conference, as both are great examples of how Soka Education has gradually been making its way into students' deeper inquiries of its humanistic nature as well as its real life applications.

Conference Coordinators: Renae Zelmar, Nikki Inamine, Sage Dunham, Carol Irving

SESRP Coordinators: Yoshiko Ogushi, Akiko Toya, Alexander Taniguchi

Study Leaders: Amelia Burnett, Stuart Adams, Howee Wu

For more information, please contact:,