Keynote Speakers:

Recovering Equilibrium for Student Engagement, Learning and Success

Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research and the NSSE Institute, Indiana University School of Education

Jillian Kinzie, Ph.D. is Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute, Indiana University School of Education. She conducts research and leads project activities on effective use of student engagement data to improve educational quality and issues of teaching and learning, and serves as senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) project.

She is co-author of Assessment in Student Affairs (2016); Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015); One Size Does not Fit All: Traditional and Innovative Models of Student Affairs Practice, Second Edition (2014), and Student Success in College (2005/2010). She is co-editor of New Directions in Higher Education, is on the editorial board of Innovative Higher Education and the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success, and serves on the boards of the Washington Internship Institute and the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. She is a peer reviewer for several accreditors and regularly consults with colleges and universities about assessment, effective educational practice, inclusive excellence, high-impact practices, and support for student success.

She is currently co-PI on the Lumina Foundation funded “Assessing Quality and Equity in HIPs”; a Strada Foundation study, “Learning about Undergraduates’ Preparation for Work and Careers” an assessment of college students career and workforce preparation, and an NSF supported project studying the implementation of scaffolded research-rich curriculum in STEM fields. She is excited about a co-edited book nearing completion titled, Delivering on the Promise of HIPs: Research and Models for Achieving Equity, Fidelity, Impact and Scale.

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Reimagining Sense of Belonging as Process and Product in the First-Year Experience

Jennifer Keup, Executive Director, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Jennifer Keup is the Executive Director of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, where she provides leadership for the operational, strategic, and scholarly activities in pursuit of its mission. In this role, she builds upon the Center’s history of excellence as the founder and leader of the first-year experience movement to develop pursue the Center’s efforts to serve a worldwide network of educators. During her time at the Center, Keup has spearheaded the Center’s national and international partnerships, thought leadership, advancement of professional development outlets, and grant acquisition. Keup also is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina, on the advisory council for the APLU Powered by Publics initiative; a member of the advisory board for the NASPA Center for First-generation Student Success; a research affiliate with the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education; and on several editorial boards for higher education journals in the United States and internationally.

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Campus Sessions:

It Is in the Syllabus … or Is It?: First Year Seminars and the Importance of Transparency

Timothy Dale, First-Year Seminar Coordinator and Professor of Political Science and Public Administration

Tim Dale is a Professor of political science at UW–La Crosse, and is the director of the First-Year Seminar program. He teaches in the area of political philosophy, and his research interests include democratic theory, civil society, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and student success. His publications include Political Thinking, Political Theory, and Civil Society (2021), Homer Simpson Marches on Washington: Dissent in American Popular Culture (2010), and he is currently co-editing Student Success and the Radical Reimagining of Higher Education (Stylus). 

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Vincent Lowery, Director of Student Success and Engagement, UW-Green Bay

Vincent’s duties include the oversight and development of the Gateways to Phoenix Success (GPS) program, the development of academic access opportunities for underrepresented students, the coordination of GPS and related programs with Student Affairs offices such as the MESA and the Pride Center, the coordination of GPS and related programs with Enrollment Services offices such as Admissions and Advising, collaborating with CATL to expand student success and professional development opportunities, developing greater opportunities for student engagement in high impact experiences, and oversight of First-Year Seminars.

Lowery has been engaged in this work for several years, first as an instructor in the GPS and for the past year as interim director of Gateways to Phoenix Success (GPS) program. In this role he has provided crucial leadership in student recruitment, program development, staff training and organizational management. Lowery will continue to teach First-Year Seminars and in the GPS and Peer Mentors programs.

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Engagement and Retention of Second Year Students

Mark Kueppers, Assistant Dean/Director for the Center for Leadership & Involvement, UW-Madison

Mark Kueppers serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of the Center for Leadership & Involvement at the UW-Madison. Mark completed his MA in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego (2006) following his BA in Broadcast Journalism from Arizona State University (2000). Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mark is a life-long learner who also consults with organizations in the Midwest on leadership and change management. Across a 20-year career in Student Affairs, he has held progressively responsible roles spanning leadership development, fraternity and sorority life, student activities, athletics, conduct, and more. Mark is committed to weaving leadership development research into curricular and co-curricular programming, as evidenced by the ongoing support of the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership and other research initiatives.

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Karen McLeer, Executive Director of Retention and Academic Support, UW-Platteville

Karen McLeer, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Retention and Academic Support at UW-Platteville where she has been leading efforts to promote student success and persistence since 2015.

Under her direction, the university has successfully launched a new advising model, created an academic intervention team to oversee the early alert system and provide proactive outreach for targeted student populations, implemented the Navigate student success platform, expanded student access to academic coaching, reimagined new student orientation, and developed a more comprehensive first year program.  She does her best work when in collaboration with others to remove barriers and make the student experience as positive as possible.

Prior to her work at UW-Platteville, Karen was a professor of English and Associate Dean at UW-Richland (a campus of the UW Colleges), where attention to the individual student was central to her teaching.

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Alicia Stuedemann, Coordinator of New Student & Family Programs, UW-Oshkosh

Alicia Stuedemann is the Coordinator of New Student and Family Programs at UW Oshkosh. Prior to her current role, Alicia worked in Career & Professional Development. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from UW Whitewater in Elementary Education with a sub-major in Urban Education and a minor in Coaching. After her first and only year in a 5th-grade classroom, she decided she wanted to work with adult learners. She loves the Fox-Valley area and moved to Oshkosh to receive her master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Now she is working her dream job in orientation and helping new students transition to campus life!

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Campus Cares: Returning to a Trauma Informed Campus

Scott Gronert, Dean of the College of Letters and Science and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UW-Milwaukee

Dr. Scott Gronert is the Dean of the College of Letters and Science as well as a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the UW-Milwaukee. He holds a B.S. degree from California State University at Long Beach and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado. He began his academic career at San Francisco State University in 1990 and rose to the rank of Professor in 1997. From 2007 until 2018 he was on the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and also served as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Humanities and Science from 2016-2018. In 2016, he was a Fulbright Scholar and spent eight months at the University of Lille (France). Dr. Gronert has also been a Wilsmore Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles as well as several book chapters. His research focuses on developing mass spectrometric tools for the investigation of problems in organic and biological chemistry.

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Adam Jussel, Dean of Students, UW-Milwaukee

Adam Jussel serves as the Dean of Students for UW-Milwaukee, where he helps assist with student advocacy and engagement, support resources, including basic needs, crisis management, and campus healing initiatives.  Before UWM, Adam was the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct at Washington State University. He previously represented WSU as an assistant attorney general, and has a certification in higher education law and policy from NASPA Adam served as a faculty member for the Foundations Track at the 2018 Gehring Academy, and has been fortunate to speak at a number of conferences about how to better serve students, including the National Conference on Law and Higher Education, University of Vermont Legal Issues Conference, the Higher Education Alcohol Other Drug & Wellness Summit, and the National Conference on Campus Sexual Assault and Violence. Adam was also a member of NASPA’s Culture of Respect CORE Constructs Advisory Board, advising NASPA on creating best practices regarding sex and gender-based violence.  Adam is also a faculty member for higher education law and policy at Marquette University.  Adam received his juris doctorate from Seattle University.

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Laura Pedrick, Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of UWM Online

Laura Pedrick is the Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of UWM Online, she oversees the UW-Milwaukee’s online and blended programs. She is the campus lead for UWM’s participation in the competency-based UW Flexible Option initiative.  She founded UWM’s peer-to-peer Online Program Council, directs the development of new online programs, and coordinates marketing and regulatory compliance of online programs. She has served as the chair of WCET’s Executive Council, and she also serves on the Competency-Based Education Network’s Collaboratory on Employer Partnerships. Currently, she is co-PI on a UW System grant from the Lumina Foundation on bridging non-credit-to-credit programming through prior learning assessment.

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Dimitri Topitzes, Professor of Social Work, UW-Milwaukee

Dimitri Topitzes, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Professor of Social Work at the UW-Milwaukee and also serves as the Director of Clinical Services for the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being. He conducts applied research, partnering with community-based agencies to implement and test innovative trauma-responsive programming.  He created the Trauma-Informed Care Graduate Certificate at UWM and teaches master’s courses in trauma counseling, mindfulness and community building.

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