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Keynote Speaker

Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Professor of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley Massachusetts

2018-2019 Faculty Fellow, LSA National Center for Institutional Diversity 

Dr. Becky Wai-Ling Packard is Professor of Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College where she is completing her twentieth year. Packard is an expert in the area of strategic mentoring and the persistence of students from diverse backgrounds in higher education, to include first-generation college students, community-college transfer students, nontraditional students, people of color, and women in technical fields. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and Google. In 2005, she was recognized by the White House with the Presidential early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the nation’s highest honor for early career scientists and engineers.

A translator of research into practice, Packard has visited more than 60 campuses to lead sessions on the power of mentoring and advising, including ways to navigate difficult conversations and leverage everyday interactions. As a campus leader, she has served as associate dean of faculty, founding director of teaching and learning, and director of leadership. In Spring 2018, Packard served as a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow-in-Residence at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to contribute to campus equity initiatives. During the 18-19 academic year, she is a faculty fellow at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor sponsored by the National Center for Institution Diversity, in collaboration with LSA and Engineering, where she is working on inclusive climate strategies in STEM departments.

Packard is the author of numerous articles focused on the advising experiences of first-generation, nontraditional, and community college transfer students. She is also the author of "Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students: A Research-Based Guide for Faculty and Administrators” published by Stylus. A multi-racial, first-generation college graduate, Packard attended public schools in the state of Michigan for K-12, before earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.