Diane Gillespie is Emeritus Professor, Community Psychology, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) at the University of Washington, Bothell, and, on the Seattle campus, Emeritus Affiliate Professor of The Center for Multicultural Education. Over her career, she won numerous teaching awards, including the 1992 University of Nebraska All-University Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Activity Award and the 2010 University of Washington Bothell’s Distinguished Teaching Award. From 1999-2004, she was a consultant to The Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education on a state-wide diversity project entitled Critical Moments. Her research includes articles on case studies as tools for critical thinking about diversity, how conceptual metaphors shape diversity discussions, and the role values deliberations plays in educational approaches to grassroots development. She is now a full time volunteer for Tostan, an award-winning nonprofit that has brought nonformal human-rights based education to hundreds of communities in North and West Africa.
Diane's research includes a recently published book: Ben Cislaghi, Diane Gillespie, Gerry Mackie (2016) Values Deliberation and Collective Action: Community Empowerment in Rural Senegal. Palgrave MacMillan. The book partially focuses on how Tostan (Tostan.org) has used social norm theory as a guide for helping communities who have decided to end FGC and early child marriage since 1998. Specifically, it has integrated the concepts of "adopting a learner," "organized diffusion," "social mobilization," and "public declaration" into its nonformal education program, teaching communities about the value of collective deliberation about all practices, including harmful ones, and building in practice opportunities as they make decisions about fostering their own and their communities' wellbeing. Over the last four years, my role has been to train the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning staff on qualitative research methods, including those that might reveal the presence of social norms and how they might be changing.