Ma Purdy is an Instructor of Education in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University. In her current courses (Social Foundations of Education & Multicultural Curriculum and Instruction) she focuses on how power, privilege, and difference impact a teacher’s critical pedagogy, and issues surrounding equity and access in our education system. Ma has also previously taught courses which focused on critical dialogues about diversity and gender, justice and society.
Ma grew up on a farm in Iowa, where she grew to understand the importance of community. Her desire to build strong supportive communities has been in evident over 20 years of experience in higher education including Women’s Resource Center, Residence Life, and Intercultural Affairs.
Additionally over the years, Ma has understood the importance of “Ally” as a verb, even more appropriately when used as a noun “Accomplice.” She has advocated for LGBTQ inclusion throughout her career serving on Iowa State University’s LGBT Advisory Board, Co-Coordinator of Go Ed for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), and a member of the Board of Directors for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Services. She was appointed to Iowa State University’s President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and has supported a variety of initiatives including the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity, ACPA’s Prism Initiative, Iowa Pride Network Climate survey, and as a trainer for Stop the Hate. She became involved with Campus Pride Leadership Camp in July 2008 and has been a faculty every following summer.
Ma Purdy has presented on college campuses across the country, most notably on engaging the heterosexual community in activism for LGBTQ rights and inclusion. Her approach in engaging the audience lends credence to the message. She has a passion when it comes to identity development and offers training on moving from the single story. Her training and workshops on identity development are soul searching, requiring participants to recognize how they may be using the single story as their weapon.