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Meet Professor Dilafruz Williams
Meet Professor Dilafruz Williams


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    Dilafruz Williams, PhD, is a professor of Leadership for Sustainability Education. Dilafruz joined Portland State University in 1990. With dozens of partners, she has designed, co-founded, and supported several cutting-edge initiatives such as: Learning Gardens Laboratory, Leadership for Sustainability Education master’s program, Sunnyside Environmental School in Portland Public School District, and an NSF-funded project: Science in the Learning Gardens: Factors that Support Ethnic and Racial Minority Students in Low-Income Schools. 

    A prolific scholar, she has given workshops and keynote addresses in South Africa, India, Nepal, Mexico, and the United States. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

    She was elected citywide and served on the Portland Public School Board from 2003-11.

    She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including: the Hoffman Award for Faculty Excellence; Ehrlich Award for Faculty Service-Learning; and is a Fulbright Senior Scholar. She has also written over six million dollars in successful competitive grants.

    She is frequently invited to give talks, seminars, and workshops, both nationally and internationally.

    Dilafruz is co-author of Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life (Routledge), and co-editor of Ecological Education in Action: On Weaving Education, Culture, and the Environment(SUNY) 

    She has authored over 50 chapters, journal articles, and curriculum resource guides and has given over 100 invited lectures, symposia, and/or conference papers. With graduate degrees from Bombay, Syracuse, and Harvard Universities in the sciences, public administration, and philosophy of education her areas of expertise are:

    • Sustainability Education; Environmental Education
    • Learning Gardens: Curriculum Design; Research; STEM
    • Strategic Partnerships
    • Service-learning; Civic Engagement

    Dilafruz Williams, PhD
    Portland State University
    College of Education
    Educational Leadership and Policy
    PO Box 751
    1900 SW 4th Avenue
    Room: 240L
    Portland, OR 97207-0751
    Phone: 503-725-4676
    Fax: 503-725-3200