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Speaker encourages students to hope

Anna Kate Delevan

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The UA College of Education hosted Shane Lopez for the 2011 James P. Curtis lecture on Thursday at 6 p.m. The lecture was held in the Woodis-McDonald Auditorium in Graves Hall.

Lopez is a creator of the Gallup Student Poll, which determines what drives student achievements. He also served as the research director for the Clifton Strengths School and is a licensed psychologist. Lopez has published more than 100 articles and chapters as well as seven books. Lopez’s research links hope, well-being and success.

According to Lopez, hope and well-being can be summed up in four words—“hope, laugh, sleep… repeat”

Lopez said hopeful people are more creative, productive and successful than people who have low hope, who are reactionary people. People without hope are too busy reacting to other people’s ideas to come up with original ideas.

“As a hopeful person you believe that the future will be better than the present, and you believe you have the power to make that so,” he said. “The reason you believe it is because of basic goal-directed thinking.

“Hopeful people do better at school, work and life than less hopeful people,” Lopez said. “We also know that we can teach people to be more hopeful.”

He also said that hopeful people live longer in addition to being healthier and more productive.

“Across our studies, we found hope matters because it helps you get to the six big life outcomes,” Lopez said. Showing up, productivity, health and longevity are a few of the six big life outcomes, he said.

Lopez also discussed how hope, well-being and success ties into the relationship between students and teachers in America.

“Here’s what I believe: public schools and colleges need to become American’s hope and well-being center,” he added.

He explained that if the students were not receiving the well-being practice at home, then they could receive it through the teacher.

Lopez also said students are more engaged than teachers and hope and IQ have no correlation.

The hopeful leader role makes followers excited about the future, he added.

Members of the board of directors of the Capstone Education Society attended.

“Usually you think [hope] comes from a set of circumstances that you’ve dealt with,” said Marian Loftin, member of the board of directors.

She said that she didn’t know you could actually create hope.

“Beyond being wonderful, he had some practical approaches that people can do to create hope,” said Mary Jolley, another member of the board.

The James P. Curtis Distinguished Lecture Series was created by the Board of Directors of the Capstone Education Society to bring an educator or public figure to speak about contemporary education issues. The series was named in honor of James P. Curtis, a faculty member for the College of Education for 23 years.


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Speaker encourages students to hope