Olathe Master Teacher Dana Patterson Nelson has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Short-Term grant and will spend six weeks this summer teaching in Colombia, South America. She is one of nine U.S. citizens selected to receive this distinguished Fulbright Award for the 2016/17 award cycle.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Under her Award, Nelson will work at the Binational Center in Medellin, Colombia, a facility known nationally for its contributions to cultural exchange and its quality in English language teaching. Nelson will primarily help teachers understand some common learning disabilities like attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, autism and language processing disorder, among others, which impact foreign language acquisition, how these disabilities and “at-risk” factors can be identified in the classroom, and share teaching strategies and to meet unique student needs.

“The BNC and Fulbright Organization actively sought an ‘out of the box’ thinker for this highly specialized, distinguished teacher grant. “After I reviewed the program requirements and desired outcomes, I knew this opportunity was perfect fit for my educational training, experience and interest,” said Nelson.

Nelson’s educational focus is on Special Education. She holds two Master’s Degrees, one from Vanderbilt University in Special Education and a second from Park Universities in Educational Leadership. Her educational and teaching career have taken her across the world including living in Qatar in the Middle East.

“I’ve travelled the world and trained teachers in many countries; but this will be my first opportunity to train in a Spanish-speaking nation,” continued Nelson. “I look forward to sharing my expertise and also learning from educators in Colombia.”

Nelson previously served as the Dean of Academic Compliance at the African-Centered Education Collegiate Campus (PK-14) in KCMO. She was the first African American Instructional Resource Teacher in the Olathe School District where she currently works as a master teacher.

A multifaceted woman, Nelson serves as associate minister, alongside her husband Rev. Kevin Nelson, at Second Baptist Church in KCMO, she’s also active in the community as a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Links, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Johnson County and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., to name just a few.

“Rev. Dana’ values family fun and self-care time. She and her husband lovingly parent their three children: Joshua, Jacob and Gabrielle.

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