Blankley Endowed Chair:
Dr. Ellen Skilton-Sylvester
Dr. Ellen Skilton-Sylvester is professor of education and chair of the Department of Curriculum, Cultures, and Child/Youth Studies at Arcadia University. An educational anthropologist and applied linguist, Skilton-Sylvester designed Arcadia’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program, helped create and implement the Global Connections strand of the undergraduate curriculum, and has designed and taught multiplecourses at Arcadia that combine local and international experiences in schools. She is in her 10th year at Arcadia.
As recipient of The Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education, Skilton-Sylvester has proposed a three-year project, “Documenting and Creating Arts-Based Local/Global Civic Education,” which will use the arts and narrative analysis to expand and understand local/global civic education at Arcadia and across community and school contexts in the Philadelphia region, the Midwest, the South, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. It will develop new tools for globally focused teaching, learning, and scholarship that put imagination, creativity, and the arts (especially theater, storytelling, and creative writing) at the center.
Skilton-Sylvester has published widely in the areas of biliteracy, immigrant language-in-education policy, civic education, service learning, and TESOL, focusing particularly on Cambodian experiences in schools and communities in Philadelphia. She has lectured and presented in the United States, Sweden, South Korea, Barbados, and Japan and has led or helped facilitate grant projects that garnered more than $1 million in funding.
Skilton-Sylvester earned a bachelor’s degree in French at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., and a master’s degree in TESOL and a doctorate in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Arcadia, Skilton-Sylvester held a faculty position at Temple University, where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of Education.