Petrzela to deliver Maxwell Rafferty Global Leadership Lecture at Troy University on Nov. 18


Dr. Natalia M. Petrzela, associate professor of history at The New School in New York City, will discuss the legacy of writer, educator and politician Dr. Maxwell Rafferty and the impact it has for education in the 21st century on Nov. 18 at Troy University.

The lecture, “Education at the Crossroads: Understanding Max Rafferty and his Legacy for 21st Century Education, is part of the TROY College of Education’s Maxwell Rafferty Global Leadership Lecture Series and is supported by a grant from The Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The lecture will begin at 10 a.m. in Hawkins Hall room 122 on the Troy Campus, and is free and open to the public.

Rafferty served as Troy University’s Dean of Education from 1971-1981. Before coming to TROY, Rafferty served two terms as California State Superintendent of Public Instruction and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1968. Shortly before his death in 1982, Rafferty was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to a national advisory board on the financing of elementary and secondary education. He was the author of several books on educational philosophy and his newspaper column was syndicated nationally.  

“This is an exciting time as we honor the legacy of the first named dean of TROY’s College of Education, and launch the College of Education’s first doctoral program in Global Leadership,” said Dr. Dionne Rosser-Mims, Dean. “We welcome Dr. Pertzela to TROY and look forward to hearing her remarks on Dr. Rafferty’s educational philosophy in the context of global leadership.”

Dr. Natalia M. Petrzela

In her lecture, Dr. Petrzela will explain Rafferty’s philosophy and its relevance to education, particularly at Troy University. The lecture will include excerpts from her book “Classroom Wars,” published by the Oxford University Press in 2015, and her scholarly article, “Revisiting the Rightward Turn: Max Rafferty, Education and Modern American Politics.”

Dr. Petrzela studies the politics and culture of the modern United States, including issues of gender, race, class and identity and is currently researching Rafferty’s life and work. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate and The Huffington Post, and she is a Well+Good’s fitness historian. She is a co-host of the “Past Present” podcast.

Dr. Petrzela received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in history.

A roundtable discussion will follow Dr. Petrzela’s presentation, providing the public the opportunity to engage in dialogue.