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2019 Advising Conference

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, LSA Student Academic Affairs will host the annual Conference on Undergraduate Academic Advising. The conference provides colleagues across the campuses, including both UM−Dearborn and UM−Flint, an opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest. Advisors, faculty, and administrators from all units of the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please join us as we learn more about advising practices and available campus resources to help students, staff, and faculty connect in inclusive and engaged ways.

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.

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

7:45 a.m.-4:25 p.m.

The Michigan League


7:45-8:25 a.m. Breakfast

8:25-8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks 

8:30-9:30 a.m. Keynote: Dr. Becky Wai-Ling Packard

9:40-10:50 a.m. Concurrent Session I

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Plenary: Undergraduate Education in the Third Century Task Force

12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00-2:10 p.m. Concurrent Session II

2:20-3:30 p.m. Concurrent Session III

3:40-4:25 p.m. Facilitated Conversations

Conference Sessions

Concurrent Session I

Introducing Ourselves: Considering Personal Backgrounds in the Context of Advising

This roundtable will gather a diverse group of advisors for a conversation around the question: How do our backgrounds matter for our advising practices? Certainly, there is the matter of influence: How do our life experiences, education, work history, and similar factors impact how we work with students? In the context of a changing student population, we can also consider the value of these factors: Do students benefit when we are deliberate about folding our backgrounds into advising? Are there limits on how we can or should share our stories? Finally, we can consider this topic in terms of professional development: What meaningful opportunities do we as advisors have to build on our backgrounds? Participants will be invited to share their perspectives as we generate ideas around our shared mission of student support.

Bryan Abma, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Alyssa Cozad, Academic Advisor, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design

Heather Gabbard, Academic Advisor, Comprehensive Studies Program

Jill Hoppenjans, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Sarah Kucemba, Academic Advisor, Comprehensive Studies Program

Huy Nguyen, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Richard Pierre, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Mark Robbins, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Kate Silbert, Coach, LSA Opportunity Hub

Ky Taylor, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center


Incoming Exchange Students: Unique Considerations and Support

Non-degree international students attending U-M for a single semester or year face distinctive challenges regarding academic and social integration. Hear from exchange and academic advisors from three colleges as they discuss how they support a student demographic that must navigate a higher education landscape much different from that of their home university. We will discuss challenges fostered not only by differences in language and classroom culture, but also by department specific procedures for class enrollment. We will also discuss a variety of approaches to supporting students as they navigate campus for the first time and work to integrate socially with their peers. The session will conclude with a collaborative audience discussion of best practices.

Maren Haas, International Programs Advisor/Coordinator, International Programs in Engineering

Clara Kawanishi, Academic Advisor and Coordinator, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Sarah Pauling, Senior Intercultural Programs Advisor, Center for Global and Intercultural Study

Jenni Patterson, Global Education Experience Manager, Stephen M. Ross School of Business


Designing and Implementing 1st Gen Engin

In this session, participants will learn about the challenges that first-generation college students at U-M face and ways to empower them. We will discuss a new program that was launched in 2018 for first-generation students in the College of Engineering: 1st Gen Engin. We will share how it began, what we have done so far (launch party, mentoring event, advisory boards, workshops, etc.), and what we hope to do in the future. We will be joined by 1st Gen students from the advisory board who will assist in the presentation, share their stories as a first-gen student, give advisors insight on how to positively interact with first-gens, and also take questions from the audience.

Leonora Lucaj, Academic Advisor, Engineering Advising Center

First-Gen Engineering Students


Education for Empowerment: Centering Social Justice, Engaged Practice, and the Systematic Study of Social Problems

This session focuses on levers for empowering undergraduates by challenging them and providing supported opportunities for ambitious learning. The session will detail and feature practical examples of the importance of: centering social justice; pairing social justice commitments with systematic study of social problems and solutions; and practicing engaged pedagogy and engaged learning. The session will feature tangible examples that participants can pick up and use in their own professional work with undergraduates, including the use of video and audio stories that illustrate and elaborate social justice mandates as well as instructional designs that feature engaged practice, both in the “field” as well as problems of practice that have genuine and authentic warrants.

Simona Goldin Director of Instructional Design for Seminars and Special Programs, School of Education


O Brave New World! Imagination and National Scholarships

What would you do with two free years at Oxford? If you could spend a year with a community anywhere in the world, where would you go? What would you do? How will you be a “change-agent” in your future career? National scholarship advising invites students to imagine new worlds and new conceptions of themselves. The mission of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF) is to bring the benefits of this process to a new generation of students who may not have heard of these opportunities or thought of themselves as potential candidates. Focusing on the role of imagination in advising, we will discuss some of the specific techniques used to help students think through new possibilities in more concrete detail. ONSF opportunities will serve as illustrations, but the techniques are applicable to a wide variety of advising conversations.

Henry Dyson, Director, Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships


Do This Not That: Helping Students Choose the Best Academic Resources

As students transition from high school to college, they often bring with them study and learning strategies developed from habit and not based on research or long-term benefits. These strategies are often focused on memorization and cannot be used effectively in college courses that demand knowledge application and other higher-order thinking skills. For all those who work with undergraduates, including faculty, advisors, and other professional staff, knowing how to direct students to more effective learning strategies and resources is critical. Examining recent research about effective long-term learning, this session will explore some lesser known learning strategies that students should try as well as common techniques that research suggests should be abandoned.

Joe Salvatore, Director of the Science Learning Center


Concurrent Session II

Teaching Film Analysis, Or: How We Learned to Stop Assigning Papers and Love the Audiovisual Essay

The introductory course in the Department of Film, Television, and Media is being transformed through use of audiovisual pedagogies to teach essential skills of media literacy and audiovisual analysis while enhancing diversity and fostering greater engagement with course material. This transformation is occurring through initiatives that include use of audiovisual essays in place of written assessments, creation of an audiovisual lexicon that will "flip" the lecture classroom, and a forthcoming three-dimensional animation of a classic film scene in virtual reality for active embodied lessons about film style. Faculty, staff, and students involved will reflect on lessons learned while discussing some of the possibilities of audiovisual essays, streaming video, and virtual reality for more engaging, more diverse, and more public-facing course outcomes for students.

Shawn Jackson, Instructional Video Consultant, Instructional Support Services

Vincent Longo, Doctoral Candidate, Sweetland Fellow, Film, Television, and Media

Matthew Solomon, Associate Professor, Film, Television, and Media


Virtual Advising: MEETing Our Students Where They’re At

In an effort to make academic advising as accessible as possible, our team has developed a virtual advising model using the Google Meet video chat platform, making advising appointments available to students at days, times, and locations most convenient for them. In this presentation, we will review our development process for this pilot program, how to efficiently train advisors and students to use Google Meet, as well as our plans for assessing student and advisor satisfaction of this program.

Gwen Higgins, Academic Advisor, START Office, U-M Dearborn

Mary Ruelle, Academic Advisor, START Office, U-M Dearborn

Jocelyn Young-Huinder, Academic Advisor, College of Engineering and Computer Science, U-M Dearborn


Human-Centered Design: A Creative Strategy to Enhance Student Experiences

Human-centered design or design thinking is a strategy to deeply understand your “user” (students!) and build your way forward to unleash creativity and launch new ideas to enhance student experiences. We will go over what design-thinking is, present a real-life example from the University Career Center, and give you space and resources to begin to try some of these techniques out.

Don Beckwith, Career Coach and Coordinator at the University Career Center


Empowering Students through Engaged Learning: Preparing Information Professionals to Be Active Citizens

The Office of Professional and Community Engagement (OPCE) at the School of Information (UMSI) empowers students through transformational engaged learning experiences. As UMSI’s student population continues to evolve, so does the way that we offer short- and long-term engaged learning opportunities and how we guide students through these experiences. The school has made a commitment to educating students through curricular and co-curricular opportunities that provoke deeper learning outcomes and prepare students to be able to navigate change, persevere in ambiguity, and work more successfully in diverse teams. A panel of students will share their experiences in OPCE programs and how they see themselves as engaged and empowered students. Panelists will reflect upon how participating in engaged learning opportunities has prepared them to be socially-conscious change agents as information professionals and active citizens overall.

Jill Coughlin, Intercultural and Global Engagement Program Manager, School of Information

Alissa Talley-Pixley, Assistant Director, Office of Professional and Community Engagement, School of Information


GenZ on Campus: Building Your (Digital) Community

In the summer of 2016, the LSA Honors Program began participating in a two-year pilot project incorporating an online experience into summer orientation. The initial goal was to develop interactive online materials that would explore digital citizenship. In developing content, and observing enthusiastic student engagement, we discovered that the project gave us the opportunity to accomplish a number of broader goals relevant to advising students. This presentation addresses using the topic of digital citizenship to promote self-reflection and facilitate the transition to college. We focus on the ways in which this online opportunity builds community and professionalism and works to level the playing field among students with varying degrees of preparedness. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on how they might leverage online interactive resources as they connect and advise their student populations.

Denise Guillot, Academic Advisor, LSA Honors Program

Jeri Preston, Communications and Event Coordinator, LSA Honors Program

In collaboration with Angela Dillard, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Literature, Science and the Arts


Representation Matters: Marketing and Outreach for Underrepresented Identities

You may have resources to help learners engage in on- and off-campus opportunities, but how do you reach students of underrepresented identities who might not see themselves as having access to certain activities, such as student organizations, education abroad, athletics, research, and internships? This highly interactive session will outline how a group of diverse individuals across many schools, colleges, and departments collaborated to increase representation in marketing materials and assist underrepresented students in utilizing existing resources more effectively. We will share our experiences as marketers and communicators within the education abroad context and provide a simple five-step marketing framework that can be applied in a multitude of contexts and help you achieve your outreach goals.

Stephen Gonzalez, Communications Specialist, Center for Global and Intercultural Study

Asinda Sirignano, Project Manager, Global Engagement Team, Office of the Provost

Katie Wiggins-Gawlik, Global Education Advisor and Interim Global Student Experiences Manager, Global Initiatives of Stephen M. Ross School of Business


Concurrent Session III

Slow Advising: Empowering Advisors and a Changing Student Population to Succeed at U-M and Beyond

What would it mean to be a “Slow Advisor” or to engage in “slow advising”? How might individual advisors and institutional advising units at U-M challenge increasing workloads, the never-ending acceleration of pace, and the instrumentalism of intellectual life on campus? This session will begin with a quick overview of various slow movements (food, counseling, parenting), as well several key texts advocating slow principles: The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy (2016) and In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed (2004). For the majority of the session, attendees will work in small and large groups to identify and discuss individual advising practices and organizational norms crucial to helping both advisors and a changing student population succeed despite cultures of instant gratification and corporatization that have permeated higher education.

Trevor Kilgore, Coordinator for Department Advising, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center


Through the Looking Glass: Political Perspectives

This interactive, dialogue-based session will focus on understanding what shapes our interpretations of political topics. Participants will examine the role their identities and lived experiences play in their beliefs, while learning about the views of fellow attendees. We will address pressing current events directly, and through civil discourse. The goal of this session is to provide space for learning, understanding, and the consideration of multiple views around the same topics. Polarization has become a popular word in reference to U.S. politics, though through dialogue and critical self-reflection, you may discover a surprising level of commonality across the ideological spectrum.

Erin Byrnes, Lead for Democratic Engagement, Edward Ginsberg Center


What Are We Supposed to Tell Them? (Pre-Health Advising for Everybody)

In any given year, there are roughly 6,000 undergraduates on the U-M campus with a pre-health interest. U-M applicant totals to MD schools, alone, annually list among the three to five largest in the country. Advising this diverse and vibrant population of students presents a wide range of opportunities and challenges that can impact each of us in different ways. Join a panel of pre-health advisors to learn more about the resources and colleagues available to help you advise “your” pre-health students well and to contribute to a discussion of what we as a campus might want in order to do this work better than we already do. This facilitated discussion will encourage everyone to ask questions and make suggestions based on their experiences.

Julie Berson-Grand, Pre-Health Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising

David Brawn, Pre-Health Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising

Stephanie Chervin, Honors Pre-Health Academic Advisor, LSA Honors Program

Mariella Mecozzi, Senior Assistant Director, Pre-Professional Services, University Career Center

Joyce Sutton, Coordinator of Pre-Professional Advising, Health Science Scholars Program


Creating an Advisor Training Curriculum at U-M: Best Practices, Gaps, and What’s Next

Engaging and advising a changing student population requires advisors be prepared to meet arising needs and challenges. The ACUM Advisor Training Committee is developing a curriculum that provides central and accessible training and resources that will provide new and experienced advisors with the knowledge and tools necessary for effective advising, applying and refining their skills, and fostering cross-campus collaboration and mentorship

In this interactive session, we will share our findings on existing advisor training programs (on campus and at peer institutions) and identify best practices and gaps. We will then invite attendees to share their own experiences of onboarding and training, and engage in discussion around core competencies for effective advising and advisor training. The discussion will provide key information for the Advisor Training Committee’s development of the new advisor training curriculum.

Michael Goldberg, Student Services Coordinator, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

Linh Huynh, Academic Advisor, School of Information

Jaime Langdon, Academic Advisor, LSA/SEAS Program in the Environment


Ready or Not, Here They Come: The Growing Transfer Student Population and How We Can Better Support Their Transition

The number of transfer students coming to Michigan has grown by over 30% in the past five years. This trend will only continue as units devote more resources to the recruitment and admission of transfer students. As their numbers increase, the demand to meet their unique needs will increase. But because these students just want to blend in, their needs often go unrecognized and unmet. How can advisors better understand and serve this changing student population?

We will share student survey data that outlines the distinctive needs and challenges of transfer students. We will present two campus programs that support these students and their transition. Two transfer students will share their experiences and insights, with time for Q&A and discussion. Participants will then draft concrete next steps for further learning and action items.

Shawn Salata, Academic Advisor, Engineering Advising Center

Ayeza Siddiqi, Assistant Director, Office of New Student Programs


How Are We Using Technology in Advising and Student Success, and Where Should We Go in the Future?

We all care about students being successful at U-M. One of the ways our work influences student success is through the technology tools we use or that we provide for students. Bring your ideas to influence the future of these technologies at U-M! Representatives from ITS Teaching and Learning and partners will discuss research and current trends in technology for advising across higher education and how technology can positively or negatively impact student success. You will have the opportunity to share your own stories of how you have used technology for advising and learn about ITS technologies used by advisors and students, such as Student Explorer and My Learning Analytics. The presenters will then facilitate a group discussion around the future of advising and student success technologies at U-M and gather your ideas.

Maggie Davidson, Service Manager for Advising, ITS Teaching and Learning


Best Practices Facilitated Topics

Reflection in Advising

Come and share how you engage students in reflection and how this impacts your advising philosophy.

Richard Pierre, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising


Advising Students on Probation

Do you work with students on probation? How do you empower this population? Come and discuss best practices, tools and debate a few case studies.

Toni Morales, Assistant Director of the Academic Standards Board, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center

Nick Gupta, Academic Advisor of the Academic Standards Board, Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center


Advising Students beyond the Classroom

This conversation will be around student opportunities, co-curriculars and how advisors discuss, promote, and connect the academic advising with the co-curricular.

Julie Berson-Grand, Pre-Health Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising

Ky Taylor, Academic Advisor, Newnan LSA Academic Advising

Plenary Session

On January 10, 2018, Martin A. Philbert, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Michigan, charged and convened a task force of university faculty, students, and staff to address fundamental questions pertaining to “Undergraduate Education in the Third Century.” Over the course of a year, the task force convened to establish a set of shared values, research and benchmark best practices, and ultimately challenge the university to build upon our strong undergraduate experience in ways that further our shared values.

This plenary session will have two goals: (1) to share highlights of the report and (2) to allow participants to contribute to the discourse by discussing in small table groups and reporting out. This presents a special opportunity for those of us in the student facing areas to provide feedback on the recommendations of the task force. This input will be summarized and shared with the Provost. 

This plenary session will feature the co-chairs of the Third Century Task Force: Anne Curzan, Associate Dean for the Humanities and Mark Moldwin, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, who will briefly summarize the process and share the key recommendations.