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Conference 2023 Educational Session Applications open soon!

In the meantime, please enjoy reading about past conference sessions to view what a typical conference experience is like! 

Educational Sessions – Block 1: 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Block 1 l Room 106

Supporting Student Financial Wellness in an Economic Crisis

McKayla Marois, Program Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin

Financial wellness is indicative of student retention and institutional success. When finances create barriers, self efficacy as a metric toward student success suffers. Come learn how financial knowledge intertwines with mental wellness and how to support students navigating their financial health.

Block 1 l Room 107

Developing an Equity Ethic in STEM Undergraduates through the DEI Concentration

Tonia Guida, Assistant Professor of Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin

As a faculty member, with a Ph.D. in education, who oversees the DEI concentration, I am able to bring my non-STEM expertise and knowledge about equity issues in higher education and social justice education to our stem undergraduates. In this panel presentation, I will briefly highlight what the DEI concentration is, how students develop an equity ethic (McGee, 2020) & some key lessons learned.

Block 1 l Room 115

Educational attainment and policy advocacy through community cultural wealth: Narratives of Latino U.S. Congressmen

Florencio Aranda, III, Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Texas Christian University

Community cultural wealth is prominent in the narratives of Latinxs who succeed in higher education, but research overlooks how this college completion experience impacts those who can influence education policy. This lecture will focus on the role of community cultural wealth in college completion and how that experience impacts the education policy advocacy of three Latino U.S. Congressmen.  

Block 1 l Room 116

Nothing Was the Same: Recruitment for Health Science Students in 2022

Trevor McCray, Career Consultant, Texas Woman's University; Brookelyn Bush, Texas Woman's University, Interim Associate Director Employer Relations; Olivia Hayes, Career Services Coordinator, Alvin Community College

Career fairs have always been the law of the land in college and employer recruitment. However, due to unforeseen global pandemics, employer recruitment has drastically changed, and student demands on employer recruitment have challenged the dominant structure. Here at Texas Woman's University (TWU), our health science students on the Dallas and Houston campus challenged us to think beyond the standard recruitment model. During this session, we will share our think tank ideas, new recruiting structure, stakeholder conversations, data points, and success and struggles as we reimagine health science recruitment in this new era of employer recruitment on college campuses.   

Block 1 l Room SZB 3.22

Integrating Work and Personal Life: The Impact of Communication Technology  

Brianna Dobson, Coordinator, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, The University of Texas at Austin

Like many other industries, student affairs and higher education have been impacted by changes in technology, such as video-conferencing, wireless networks, electronic devices, and more. This has impacted how professionals engage in their day-to-day work, including communication patterns, when and where work is completed, and policies regarding technology use. It is easier than ever for people to accomplish work outside of the office and to communicate from multiple devices throughout the entire day; communication with colleagues and clients is no longer during normal operating hours while people are at the office. With the ability to communicate at any time and access work from innumerable locations, student affairs professionals must consider how integrated or segmented their work should be with their personal lives. Researchers have been studying the impact communication technology can have on employees? ability to integrate their professional and personal lives, and how their lives are subsequently affected. This presentation will review findings from these studies and provide recommendations to student affairs practitioners to maintain balanced integration and segmentation between personal and professional lives.  

Block 1 l Room Ziotnik 1

Lucky Winner: Using a Lottery System to Hire Student Staff

Amanda Vaughn, Assistant Director of Talent Management, University of North Texas, Tomas Sanchez; he/him/his; University of North Texas; Director of Residence Life; Julie Townley; University of North Texas; Community Director; James Pyon; University of North Texas; Assistant Community Director

In an effort to provide better access and equitable opportunities to student staff applicants, the department implemented a lottery process to select and place residential student staff. This lecture-style presentation will cover reasoning, methods, and assessment of the lottery process.

Block 1 l Room Ziotnik 2

Were You Caught Or Were We Heard?: Understanding How Universities Navigate Racial Incidents & DEI Work

Shawntal Brown, Senior Outreach Program Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin

In this session, the presenter reflects on her experience as a Black student during a campus racial incident, and how it informs her current experiences as a DEI practitioner and doctoral student. Analyzing crisis management and university preparedness, the presenter questions: Do universities really care about DEI work?

Block 1 l Room Ziotnik 6

Trans Allyship: Indigenous Knowledge and Intersectionality

Joffrey Niessen, Complex Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin

This session will provide professionals with working frameworks off of which to better their roles as Trans Allys. Featuring a combination of lecture and discussion presentation styles, the presenter and audience will work together to establish a learning space with reciprocal knowledge being shared to better our understandings of definitions, community resources, pronouns, and intervention techniques. 

Educational Sessions – Block 2: 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Block 2 l Room 106

The Transition Experiences of Collegiate Student Athletes

Brinn Strenger, Graduate Assistant, The University of Texas at Austin

Based on a literature review of Schlossberg?s transition theory and collegiate athletics, this presentation will overview the diversity of student athlete transition experiences and present effective programming designed to aid students in transitions both in and out of collegiate athletics.

Block 2 l Room 107

Maintaining Day to Day Operations Amidst Change and Turnover

Paige Brassart, Associate Director, Student Union and Conference Services, Texas Woman's University,

In this lecture, we will discuss challenges and solutions to maintaining operational continuity at the department level amidst turnover and change.  Learn about knowledge management best practices, practical solutions, and successful examples implemented by other higher education professionals.

Block 2 l Room 115

Queer to There: Panel Discussion on LGBTQIA Identity and Leadership

Corey Benson, Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students, The University of Texas Permian Basin; Iliana Melendez, Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Houston-Clear Lake; Ericka Roland, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Arlington; Michael A. Goodman, Assistant Professor of Practice, The University of Texas at Austin

In this panel-style discussion, we explore personal and professional experiences with higher education leadership and LGBTQIA+ identities. As a result of this session, attendees will gain unique perspectives on queer identities and leadership -  learning from openly queer scholars and practitioners. Attendees will discuss strategies to identify and remove the structural and systemic barriers that exist for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff on campus.

Block 2 l Room 116

Student Programming & Accessibility

Nadaya Cross, Assistant Director of Disability Services, Texas Woman's University

Do you know how to make your event accessible for any student that shows up? I'll help you plan proactively to have a great, accessible event. We will discuss physical and digital aspects of your program, disability-friendly language, and what laws are applicable to our work.

Block 2 l Room SZB 3.22

HESA Program Coordinator Roundtable  

Krista Bailey, Clinical Associate Professor, Texas A&M University; Peggy Holzweiss, Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University

Do you coordinate a graduate program? Join fellow HESA Program Coordinators for a discussion on current trends, issues, and successes in the coordination of higher education and student affairs graduate programs.  

Block 2 l Room Ziotnik 1

Utilizing Digital Platforms to Enhance Your Work

Shelby Hearn, Leadership and Service Specialist for Student Activities, Texas A&M University

Come learn from the Director of Marketing for TACUSPA how you can utilize a variety of digital tools and platforms to enhance your marketing materials, increasing student engagement by developing content, and learn a new skill to increase your effectiveness in your role! Bring your laptop to work on a Canva design you can take back to your campus!  

Block 2 l Room Ziotnik 2

Student Conduct & Student Emergency Services: A Partnership

Katie McGee, Executive Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, University of Texas at Austin; Kelly Soucy, Director Student Emergency Services, University of Texas at Austin

Student Conduct and Student Emergency Services support students in unique ways. This session will explore how both units encourage student success and illuminate their underlying processes for campus partners. The units will highlight effective practices through an interactive presentation.  

Block 2 l Room Ziotnik 6

Connect Coaching: An Early Intervention Strategy to Improve Student Success and Engagement Outcomes at West Texas A&M University

Amber Black, AVP-Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success, West Texas A&M Universitu; Amanda Lawson, Assistant Director, New Student and Transfer Orientation; Sami Thompson, Assistant Director, Family and Extended Orientation

During the summer of 2022, staff from across campus served as Connect Coaches to have one-on-one conversations with each incoming freshmen student (and their family members) at New Student Orientation. During this lecture style presentation, we will share the theory behind the program, explain how we developed our process, and discuss the ways we gained support from various departments and recruited over 80 coaches to serve. Attendees will also leave with materials we used during our coaching sessions, information on the four parts of the Connect Coaching conversation (Start Strong, Get Connected, Ask for Help, and Gain Relevant Experience while in College), and lessons learned after our first year.


Educational Sessions – Block 3: 11:00 a.m. - Noon

Block 3 l Room 106

Quien Tu Eres? Unapologetically affirming Latinidad as a path for student success

Marcos Villarreal, Assistant Director-Latinx Initiatives, University of North Texas

As institutions declare diversity and inclusivity as core values, they are often negligent in demonstrating these qualities to their campus communities.  While campuses continue to emphasize their enrollment to reach and maintain Hispanic Serving and Minority Serving Institution statuses, that energy may not always transition to keeping those students enrolled. The presenters of this session will suggest strategies to better retain these students and ensure Latinx identities are represented and reflected in multiple dimensions across campus. Established Sept. 2021, the inaugural Latinx Student Experience (LSE) was planned and created in response to our rapidly going Hispanic/Latinx population in the UNT community and to our designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Presenters will discuss challenges and strategies for navigating the establishment of a first-year, identity-based program. In this session, the presenters utilize multiple frameworks to provide a roadmap of how programs such as the Latinx Student Experience retreat cultivate the identity and leadership development of Hispanic/Latinx students. This session will particularly benefit participants who are interested in the success and retention of students in marginalized communities with an emphasis on identity-based mentorship and leadership initiatives.    

Block 3 l Room 107

Asian American Women Underrepresented in Academic Leadership

Savneet Bains, PhD student, The University of Texas at Austin

Women are overrepresented in higher education and underrepresented in leadership roles. This lecture discovers the intersection of gender, race, and leadership within US higher education institutions, with a focus on challenges faced by Asian American women while navigating academic leadership.

Block 3 l Room 115

The Struggle is Real: Managing academic and professional environments with generation diversity

Derek Bell, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Investigator, UT Health San Antonio; Ellyse, Sanchez, UT Health San Antonio, Senior Program Coordinator; John, Kaulfus, UT Health San Antonio, Chief Student Affairs Officer and Title IX Director;, Le'Keisha, Johnson, UT Health San Antonio, Director of Student Life

When people from different generations interact in different environments it can be the impetus for intergenerational tension. This engaging lecture and discussion style presentation identifies and addresses the challenges of generational diversity at an academic health center.    

Block 3 l Room 116

Delivering Excellence: Hosting a One-Day Professional Development Event

Cassandra Rincones, Hispanic Serving Institution Director, Office for Diversity, Texas A&M University; Michelle Cantu-Wilson; San Jacinto College, Director, Teaching and Learning Initiatives and Special Projects;  Rebecca Saiz, Sam Houston State University, Director of Accreditation & Accountability


As we enter our third academic year with Covid-19 still looming over us, colleges and universities across the state are dealing with a myriad of challenges, including low faculty and staff morale and significant budget cuts. In addition, because many institutions of higher education face significant budget restrictions, administrators have been forced to be creative and innovative with professional development opportunities. These strict budget and travel restrictions have made it challenging for staff, faculty, and administrators to travel far, and traveling for several days has become increasingly difficult. To combat some of these challenges, the Gulf Coast Chapter for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, or TACHE, have put on a Professional Development Day for the past few years that are intended to help educators in higher education reconnect, re-engage, rediscover, and reignite and be reminded of why we are in higher education. Committee members for the professional development day will share lessons learned, suggestions, and insights into putting on a professional development day on your campus open to local colleges in your region on a tight budget and limited resources.


Block 3 l Room SZB 3.22

Best Practices in Teaching Roundtable  

Krista Bailey, Clinical Associate Professor, Texas A&M University; Peggy Holzweiss, Sam Houston State University, Associate Professor

Are you a faculty member? Do you teach a class? Are you looking to connect with others who teach and talk about best practices?  This program will provide a space to engage with others who teach and discuss successful strategies they use in their teaching practice.  

Block 3 l Room Ziotnik 1

Re-engaging African American communities: Insights from black community leaders  

Dave Louis, Associate Professor, Higher Education, University of Houston; Kenzalia Bryant-Scott, Research Assistant, University of Houston; Teranda Donatto, Research Assistant, University of Houston

Although Black populations historically possessed a reverence for education and regarded education as a pathway to full citizenship and freedom (Lovett, 2015), the town-gown relationships between universities and Black communities have been marked by tension, conflict, and racism (Kahler & Harrison, 2020; Taylor et al., 2018). At the same time, universities bring many benefits to communities, such as providing jobs and boosting the economy (Ehlenz & Mawhorter, 2022, p. 420). The presenters of this session will discuss their mixed methods study on town-gown relationships as perceived by 38 Black community leaders from across the nation. This study gives insight into how student affairs professionals can create more meaningful engagement with Black communities that incorporates their interests.  In the first part of this session, the presenters will discuss the findings of their study. Although many participants believed the relationship between the community and university was non-existent and ingenuine, they desired holistic engagement with university partners that would enhance the social, educational, professional, and community-sustaining skills of community members. Particularly, these leaders wanted to see universities engage youth and schools through programs, mentorship, trips, and courses that would help youth to navigate post-secondary pathways. Some leaders wanted universities to provide educational opportunities, career preparation, and practical life skills for adults as well. Overall, these leaders wanted colleges and universities to be thoroughly immersed in the community and not be on the periphery, thus becoming a constant, reliable, and integrated presence and positive influence on the community’s students at all levels. Based on these findings, presenters will use the second part of the session to discuss what student affairs practitioners can do in order re-engage the Black communities surrounding their institutions.

Block 3 l Room Ziotnik 2

Case Studies in College Student Governance and Involvement

Michael A. Goodman, Assistant Professor of Practice, The University of Texas at Austin; Farhat Bhuiyan, Student Employee Training & Development Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Jamie Coughlin, Technology and Testing Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Gloria Pe¤a-Spener, Graduate Student; The University of Texas at Austin

In this round-table session, participants will engage in three case studies on matters concerning college student governance and involvement. Participants will consider each scenario, and the different ways students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members are impacted/involved.

Block 3 l Room Ziotnik 6

Engaging Graduate and Professional Students to Support Student Success

Corey Benson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, The University of Texas Permian Basin; Phumara Cox, Director of Graduate Studies, The University of Texas Permian Basin; Michael Frawley, Dean of Student Success and Associate Professor of History, The University of Texas Permian Basin

In this session, we will discuss research and promising practices around engaging graduate and professional students to support retention and student success. We will also discuss strategies for best supporting graduate and professional students with particular focus on developing cross-functional partnerships to support this work.

Educational Sessions – Block 4: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Block 4 l Room 106

Re-engage and Re-ignite: Facilitating a successful return  

Cathie Jean Varlack, Student Program Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; April Barnes, Directo, The University of Texas at Austin; Jorge Rodriguez, Program Manager, The University of Texas at Austin

After two years in isolation, students returned to campus. We revised programming to ensure a successful transition and reintegration for students. This lecture style presentation focuses on steps to build a community on/off campus and encourage students to actively engage in their own education.  

Block 4 l Room 107

Walk The Walk: An equitable & inclusive recruitment process

Gerard Smithwrick, Assistant Director for Residence Life, The University of Texas at Austin; Etinosa Ogbevoen, Community Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Amber Stultz, Manager for Student Leadership and Advising, The University of Texas at Austin; Savneet Bains, PhD student, The University of Texas at Austin

This workshop is designed for personnel who directly hire staff (i.e. supervisors) and staff who coordinate or execute recruitment initiatives (i.e. recruitment committees) to ensure future selection processes are successful. We live and work in a global world and in order for us to talk-the-talk of diversity, equity and inclusion, we must walk-the-walk in our everyday work. The presenters will present practical strategies that professionals employ immediately into their everyday selection processes, to ensure that their commitment to DEI is evident both in promotionally and systematically.  

Block 4 l Room 115

History, Culture, and Future of Latine Greek Organizations

Alex Satterfield, Academic Advisor, The University of Texas at Austin | Director of Collegiate Affairs, Sigma Delta Lambda Sorority, Inc.

Latine Greek-Life Organizations (LGLOs) are simultaneously growing and faltering. This presentation will help you understand their history, organizational culture, and their future. Being familiar with this background information will help you effectively work with LGLOs at your institution.

Block 4 l Room 116

I didn’t understand the assignment - Lessons Learned by First-Time Supervisors of Pro-Staff

Neil Golemo, Director of Campus Living & Learning, Texas A&M University at Galveston; Rafael Almanzar, Director for Peer Mentoring & First Gen Student Success, Texas State University; Danny Roe, Associate Director of Student Intercultural Learning and Engagement, Texas A&M University at Galveston

No one tells us about the giant jump from working a professional staff job and supervising. The skills that make one a great entry-level professional differ significantly from those who make great managers. Grad programs aimed at preparing one for the first job do not cover leadership skills. Furthermore, depending on the institution and leadership, the onboarding process can be minimal, which leaves new supervising professional staff with a trial and error experience. Two colleagues, one with 13+ years of supervisory experience and another finishing their 1st, will share perspectives on what they wish they had known -with plenty of help from the audience.

Block 4 l Room SZB 3.22

The State of Higher Education Graduate Programs in the U.S.

Peggy Holzweiss, Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University; Corbin Franklin, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University

Researchers have identified weaknesses with higher education graduate programs, but their conclusions rely on inaccurate data from national directories. This session shares a new study that exhaustively identified programs, documented required curriculum, and analyzed adherence to field standards.

Block 4 l Room Ziotnik 1

Uncertainties Faced by International Students during COVID

Hongjie Ping, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Newman Wong, Research Associate, Del Mar College

This presentation shares the personal experiences of a doctoral student from China during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., xenophobia, immigration status, financial stress, and online learning) and intends to raise the awareness of international students? experiences among student affairs professionals.

Block 4 l Room Ziotnik 2

Teaching LGBTQ+ Identities, Context, & History: A Discussion

Sarah Simi Cohen, Doctoral Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Michael A. Goodman, Assistant Professor of Practice, The University of Texas at Austin

Teaching about Queer and Trans identities, contexts, and histories is Texas is an important endeavor. In this presentation, we overview our path to creating and teaching this course, and outline steps and possible pathways for attendees to create their own type of class such as this on their campus.

Block 4 l Room Ziotnik 6

Parents Aren't a Pain: Rediscovering Parent Engagement

Cameron Long, Coordinator for Parent & Family Programs, The University of Texas at Tyler

Rediscover and rethink parental involvement and the role a parent plays in student development. Using current research regarding higher ed parent engagement and psychology, we will learn to overcome and out-grow the fears, myths, assumptions, and outdated terminology around higher ed parents.

Educational Sessions – Block 5: 3:45 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.

Block 5 l Room 106

Utilizing An Academic Integrity Working Group to Create Scholarly Expectations and Implement a Support System to Prevent Academic Misconduct

Katie McGee, Executive Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Charlotte Canning, Tenured Faculty, The University of Texas at Austin;  Carol Longoria, Deputy for the Vice President of Student Affairs, UT Austin

Some estimates state that more than 60% of college students freely admit to cheating at least once during their undergraduate years. The University of Texas at Austin is not immune to this trend, and despite implementation of several safeguards to monitor student submissions, UT Austin faces challenges with academic misconduct. In response to these challenges, the campus created an Academic Integrity Working Group- comprised of staff from student affairs, academic affairs, faculty and legal, along with students- to evaluate the current challenges, assess national best practice, review data and develop a comprehensive plan to build a culture of scholarship that prioritizes academic integrity.

This round table session will focus on how to construct this type of campus-wide working group and convert its recommendations into practices that support the work of academic integrity across campus with varied stakeholders.  We will share resources, data models and on-going efforts to ensure fidelity of implementation of developed plans. These will include best practices for syllabuses, assignments, and exams that discourage dishonesty; revising university communications, policies, and procedures; and ensuring that principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion underlie all practices.

Block 5 l Room 107

The Reciprocal Power of Experiential Learning

Jacob Croasdale, Associate Director for Experiential Learning, University of Texas at Arlingto; Molly Albart, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington

Bold decision-making, powerful collaboration, and the empowerment of staff & faculty through student transformation.  UTA made Maverick moves to implement an experiential learning initiative 4 years ago.  Now, we want to explore lessons-learned in a unique and personal way with you.

Block 5 l Room 115

You Have it In You - So Go Ahead and TAPn2You!

Tabitha Walker, Senior Coordinator for Fraternity & Sorority Life - Dean of Students, Texas State University

Bringing together Higher Education colleagues from various different backgrounds, professional levels and expertise can be risky - however the TAP is necessary when it involves you! In this facilitated session, participants will have the opportunity to join a candid, ?closed door? conversation about their experiences. The ideas and thoughts they held them back from pursing a new role, new position, grad school or serving on a committee. Participants will come away with specific action items on how to EVICT the "Imposter Syndrome", reflect on the skills they possess and see themselves as an asset. You have it in you - So go ahead, quit waiting and TAPn2You!

Block 5 l Room 116

Living the Longhorn Life?: the Evolution of Reimaging our Identity

Heather Miller, Director of Development, The University of Texas at Austi;, Alma Garcia, Assistant Director of Development, Vice President for Student Affairs office, UT Austin; Brooke Bulow, Director of Communications, Vice President for Student Affairs office, UT Austin; Jess Cybulski, Director of Communication Operations, Vice President for Student Affairs office, UT Austin

We had a challenge. The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin needed to stand out and tell our story. As a non-academic unit, we are uniquely positioned to positively impact the lives of every Longhorn by offering co-curricular opportunities that help UT students unlock their full potential. The Division wanted the ability to connect with students while empowering them to express their individuality and understand the integral role they have in creating the UT Austin culture and family. Through this lens, an identity was developed: Living the Longhorn Life?. This identity expressed to each of our students that the Division was an available resource to support them throughout and beyond their education, while they uniquely and individually navigate their college pathways. This presentation encompasses the evolution of this identity and the methods, processes and practices that were taken to create, grow and build it into what it is today. In this presentation, learn how to kickstart your plan to create and evolve your identity.    

Block 5 l Room Ziotnik 1

More Than Just A Token: Black & Inclusive Workplace Culture

Gerard Smithwrick, Assistant Director for Residence Life, The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Brandon Jones, Associate Director for Student Learning and Development, The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Delcenia Collins, Manager for Living Learning Communities & Academic Initiatives, The University of Texas at Austin; Amber Stultz, Manager for Student Leadership & Advising, The University of Texas at Austin; Paige Hicks, Assistant Director for Residence Life, The University of Texas at Austin; Jordan Drake, Complex Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Jodi McDougal, Complex Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Se Veyon Willis-Hill, Complex Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin; Etinosa Ogbevoen, Community Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin

In the age of the great resignation, recruiting and retaining good talent is critical for our institutional success, and the recruitment and retention of Black professional staff especially so. This panel workshop session is directed towards professionals who either identify as Black or as an ally to Black people regardless of position or status. The panel is inclusive of Black graduate, entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level administrators at The University of Texas at Austin, focused on providing strategies for attendees create an inclusive workplace environment to best recruit and retain Black professionals regardless of institutional status.  

Block 5 l Room Ziotnik 2

Open pathway to student success through a ?shared student model? vs. ?transfer student model?. The true partnership between Victoria  College and University of Houston ? Victoria

Dr. Teresa Simpson, Director, Institutional Research and Effectiveness, University of Houston-Victoria;    Dr. Ederl Stoneham, Vice President for Student Services, Victoria College; Dr. Jose Cantu, Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Houston-Victoria; Dr. Beverly Tomek, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Student Achievement, University of Houston-Victoria

Together Victoria College and University of Houston-Victoria are working on an innovative way to create a shared student experience that will increase the overall percent of the student population served by both institutions in an open pathway model. After finding that many students did not simply complete two years at the community college and then transfer to the university, but rather more typically spent 2-3 years at the college, 2-3 years at both institutions, and then a final year at the university, the partners began to reinvision their relationship. Together, they are aligning students’ work and their own success initiatives in new ways that reduce time to completion for students while meeting the demands of a quality workforce in the Crossroads region. Through enhanced teamwork efforts, the institutions are building the types of support services that allow the students who are VC+UHV students at the same time to thrive and complete. By sharing in retention and success throughout the students’ journey, VC and UHV are showing what’s possible through strengthened collaborations and innovative partnerships.

Together through their innovative partnership the institutions are: Exploring Persistence Rates, Unnecessary Obstacles, Transfer Maps/GPS, Time to Completion. In their first phase of reevaluating their partnership they have together created: Student Life Collaborations, Enrollment and Retention Collaborations further developing a since of Care, Friendliness, Engagement and stronger Since of Belonging for their shared students. Together they seek to share their model to assist other two year and four year partners the power of innovative partnerships.

Educational Sessions – Block 6: 4:55 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Block 6 l Room 106

Crip Theory 101: The Erasure of (dis)Ability

Marc Pereira, Assistant Director, Texas Leadership Education and Development, The University of Texas at Austin 

Have you ever tried to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Sprint across the 40 Acres? Write a paper at the last minute? Find a usable bathroom? Those students who are (dis)abled may need assistance opening the door to the building, could not navigate any part of campus without a wheelchair, need extended time for assignments, and are objects of disdain in many bathrooms. Welcome to UT for students with disabilities. Based on our research with students, we discuss how students are not just marginalized but erased from the 40 Acres. Only the striving, upwardly bound (using steps, of course) are worthy. Monuments are built to titans of philanthropy or sports, rather than Jenny who graduated in 8 years with multiple (dis)abilities. In this roundtable presentation, we explain Crip theory and discuss the legal and moral obligations of student services professionals to advocate for the (dis)abled students on campus and celebrate diversity.

Block 6 l Room 107

The (non)functioning of the two-year to the four-year college transfer system in Texas

Fay Lee, Doctoral Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin

Many students begin their higher education journey at an affordable, nearby two-year college. The universities and the state of Texas tout that they can transfer to a four-college. Families are happy to save money. However, the reality is that the TRANSFER SYSTEM IS BROKEN, for everyone but especially for the student. We researched the extant transfer legislation, which we will present and critique. We interviewed advisors and administrators from 4 universities about transfer. They recognized that the policies needed improvement. We end the panel with recommendations for institutions of higher education. (IHE) leaders and policymakers and present a very happy ending for one student with whom we worked. The key is to success is in centering the process on the students.

Block 6 l Room 115

Level Up: Preparing for the Next Level as a Black Professional

Paige Hicks, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Gerard Smithwrick, Jodi McDougal, Jordan Drake, Rico Hamrick, Se,Veyon Willis-Hill, University of Texas at Austin

During this interactive session, facilitators will explore Adria Belk?s dissertation titled, “Perceptions of Career Advancement Factors Held by Black Student Affairs Administrators.” Belk’s research highlights how gender impacts perceptions of opportunity and shares eleven factors that Black Professionals perceive to have a large impact on career advancement. This panel workshop is designed for professionals who are interested in learning strategies to advance their career.

Block 6 l Room 116

When "We Do It For The Students" Isn't Enough: A Discussion on Toxicity in the Workplace within Student Affairs

Carrie Rowland, Assistant Director of Housing Operations, Texas A&M University Galveston Campus; Shelby Hearn, Leadership and Service Specialist for Student Activities, Texas A&M University; Danny Roe, Associate Director of Student Intercultural Learning and Engagement, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Can I love my students AND set healthy boundaries? This session is designed to discuss the dangerous impact of a toxic student affairs workplace, where advocacy for positive change for employees may be met with accusations of not being student-centered. Discussion points will include the role of student affairs culture on this issue, as well how to identify and combat toxicity and when to know to seek a new opportunity.

Block 6 l Room Ziotnik 1

Restorative Practices in Higher Education

Kia Hill, Assistant Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, The University of Texas at Austin; Sherri Castillo, Doctoral Student, The University of Texas at Austin

Restorative practices (RP) is an emerging social science that traces its roots to both indigenous communities and restorative work in the criminal justice system. RP focuses on the science of relationships and communities and serves as both an alternative to traditional discipline proceedings as well as a proactive tool for conflict resolution and behavior management (IIRP). The implementation of RP in student conduct and academic integrity seeks to repair communities harmed by individual behaviors with a focus on educational development and not punitive outcomes. Higher education spaces benefit from a strong sense of community and reparative measures in the face of challenging situations. This roundtable discussion allows University of Texas at Austin representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students to share their restorative practices work and open dialogue with other institutions with similar goals.

Block 6 l Room Ziotnik 2

Memorializing Culture: Guiding Student Organizations through Leadership Change

Rick Garza, Senior Assistant Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, The University of Texas at Austin

Student Organizations are in a constant state of flux, with large portions of their membership, their leaders and, at times, their identity turning over every 12 months.  This can leave student organizations unprepared or ill-equipped to fill the resultant vacuums, and may saddle student organization Presidents and Executive Boards with the simultaneous tasks of learning how to lead while also having to identify what kind of leader they want to be.  So, how can we, as student affairs professionals, help walk student organizations over this threshold so that their leaders might govern more effectively, more efficiently, and with more time to accomplish their goals?  This presentation will (1) discuss the unique challenges student organizations and their leaders face as their leadership turns over and (2) provide case studies assessing best practices in supporting organizational growth, identity, advocacy, and leadership development through change.

Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators

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