Towson University Educators Summit

Educators Summit 2024

Bridges to Student Success and Well-Being: High-Impact Practices Inside and Outside the Classroom

January 24, 2024, 8:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
University Union Ballrooms

Thank you for a great summit!

January 24, 2024, 8:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
University Union Ballroom

President Mark R. Ginsberg will kick off the event, followed by our dynamic keynote speaker, Dr. Timothy Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community at Rutgers University. Dr. Eatman is a renowned expert on high-impact practices in education.

This year's summit will be more interactive, featuring engaging sessions and a featured panel on "De-escalating in the Classroom: Conflict Resolution Guidance." Plus, there'll be presentations from faculty, student affairs staff, and more.


Time Title
8:15-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.   Greetings from President Mark R. Ginsberg 
9:15 – 10:00 a.m.  Keynote; Impact Variance: Beware the Shrinking Imagination,
Dr. Timothy Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community, Rutgers University
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.   Break 
10:15 – 10:55 a.m. Concurrent sessions 1
10:55 – 11:10 a.m. Break
11:10 – 11:50 a.m. Concurrent sessions 2
11:50 – 12:05 p.m.  Break  
12:05 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Concurrent sessions 3
12:45 – 1:00 p.m.  Begin lunch/Break
1:00 – 1:45 p.m.     Lunchtime panel: De-escalating in the Classroom: Conflict Resolution Guidance

Session Descriptions

Concurrent Session 1 -  10:15 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Ballroom A - 🔵 Cross-unit, interdepartmental, interdisciplinary collaboration track

Lorie Logan-Bennett, Assistant Vice President, Career Services
Laura Knox, Assistant Director Campus Student Employment, Career Center

High Impact Practices (HIPs) have a positive impact on retention and student success. Fittingly, expanding opportunities to ensure every student engages in multiple HIPs is included in TU’s Strategic Plan. Framing the student employment experience as a high impact educational practice could positively impact the thousands of TU students employed on campus. Using the framework of HIPs quality dimensions to rethink student employee roles, we will explore how managers can create meaningful learning experiences for TU’s student employees.
Attendees will:
- Receive an overview of student employment at TU
- Understand the quality dimensions that make any student experience “high impact”
- Learn tangible examples of student roles where HIP quality dimensions are operationalized
- Discover lessons learned from managers of student employees who have or are in the process of designing student employment roles as high impact practices
- Review and work through a template to assist with transitioning a student role to a high impact practice

Ballroom C - 🟡 Pedagogy Track

Ashley Todd-Diaz, Assistant University Librarian for Special Collections and University Archives
Christian J. Koot, Chair and Professor of History
Felicity Knox, Assistant University Archivist, Cook Library

A primary focus of this presentation is to encourage faculty to consider how they can incorporate SCUA into their own courses by partnering with archivists to develop custom learning experiences. Student research is one of the key markers of successful students and enhances graduation rates. When faculty partner with SCUA, their resources can serve as a laboratory for research and students benefit from hands-on experience conducting research. Although many of the materials held by SCUA are historic, they do not only pertain to history students. There are collecting areas focused in performing arts, Jewish studies, World War II, and education, in addition to historic materials about Towson. This session will give participants a chance to experience a modified version of a key lesson: working with archival documents to understand the founding of the Black Student Union at TU. This case study touches on broadly relevant themes of student experience, student leadership, activism, DEIJ, and methods of communication. This experience will directly show the value of hands-on research in the archives and how Todd-Diaz, Knox, and Koot blend primary source analysis, framing historical questions, and collaboration in this TSEM.

  • Attendees will identify SCUA as a multidisciplinary, adaptive resource and lab space that supports student research.
  • Attendees will appreciate new ways that Cook Library and SCUA can enhance instruction.
  • Attendees will understand how TSEM fosters active learning and critical thinking.

Ballroom D - 🟠 Research Track

Kelly Elkins, Professor of Chemistry
Sam Clevenger, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology
Katie McDougal, Clinical Assistant Professor, Biology
Courtney Thomas, Clinical Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Many faculty arrive at universities well-skilled in disciplinary research methods and journals or opportunities for disseminating their work. However, more than half of the job responsibility of faculty at TU is classroom teaching. Many faculty identify course needs to make content and programming more accessible and and design approaches to make course content easier for students to learn. Most faculty lack experience in evaluating and disseminating course innovations and improvements and publishing such work. The goal of the presentation and panel will be to educate faculty about the scholarship of teaching and learning and assessing innovative teaching and learning in the classroom, laboratory or stage.

Participants will learn how to identify SoTL from examples from the literature and a TU faculty panel. Participants will learn how to plan a SoTL project, identify data that they could collect and methods for analysis, and where they could disseminate such work. Participants will also learn about FACET and USM support for SoTL in the form of fellowships and mini-grants.

UU 0325 A/B - 🟢 Student Well-being track

Zachary Runge, Program Specialist and Adjunct Professor, Communication Studies
Zack Hitchens, Psychotherapist / Substance Abuse Services, Counseling Center

This interactive presentation explores the vital role faculty can play in supporting students in recovery from substance use disorder (SUDs). Given the increasing amount of fatal substance overdoses and the party culture often associated with college life, it is imperative that faculty know how to support recovery efforts. The presenter will share insightful facts and figures as well as various ways to incorporate allyship into the classroom before moving into the discussion. As faculty members are uniquely positioned to become recovery allies, the discussion will focus on the transformative power of a recovery-friendly classroom that addresses student needs, dismantles stigma, and promotes inclusivity.

Attendees will be able to:

1) Identify the impact of substance use on college students' academic performance and well-being.
2) Develop strategies to create a recovery-friendly classroom environment, fostering support and allyship for students in recovery from substance use.
3) Apply collaborative problem-solving techniques to address real-life student scenarios and incorporate recovery allyship techniques into curriculum effectively.

Concurrent Session 2 - 11:10 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Ballroom A - 🔵 Cross-unit, interdepartmental, interdisciplinary collaboration track

Romy Hübler, Director, Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, Charis Lawson, Coordinator for Civic Engagement; Heather Polonsky, Assistant Director for Civic Engagement

Towson University’s Strategic Plan and the Student Affairs Roadmap call for the expansion of high-impact practices (HIPs) to advance a holistic student success strategy. The Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility (CESR) transformed several programs into HIPs. In this session, CESR staff will explain the development process, provide information about one of these programs, offer insights into successes and challenges, and guide attendees in transforming their initiatives into HIPs.  

By participating in this session, attendees will:

- Develop a working knowledge of High-Impact Practices (HIPs)
- Gain an understanding of the benefits of HIPs
- Recognize the equity impacts of HIPs on student learning and success
- Understand the eight quality dimensions of HIPs
- Become familiar with a HIP program at TU
- Learn how to transition programs/initiatives/courses into HIPs

Ballroom B - 🔵 Cross-unit, interdepartmental, interdisciplinary collaboration track

Jennifer Potter, Professor and Chair, Communication Studies, Melanie Morris (she/her/hers), Lecturer and Public Speaking Course Director, Communication Studies

Our project arose from a vision to use an OER textbook and create customized supplemental resources that will bring the content to life through active learning. This presentation is designed to offer participants an opportunity to learn about multiple approaches to working alongside undergraduate students in the course content creation process. After a short explanation of our process and future plans, we will provide participants with a mapping activity, where we will give them time to reflect on their own courses and consider ways they might consider adding undergraduate students to learn with them in new ways. Then, we will share out, as a way to get ideas from all participants.

Attendees will:
• Learn about building relationships with students that transcend the traditional roles of teaching and learning.
• Explore ideas for involving advanced undergraduate students in the undergraduate course experience.
• Consider ways to embed students in the course content creation process.

Ballroom C - 🟡 Pedagogy Track 

Brittni Ballard, Learning Technologies Librarian

This interactive presentation is an initial exploration into how Cook Library can best support educators with digital reading and annotation. Technology continues to enhance and evolve academic reading, writing, and research such that helping students adopt and adapt requires we experiment and model the technology ourselves. Come learn about two of your Learning Technologies Librarian’s favorite and free edtech, then follow up after to discuss ongoing teaching applications and collaboration!

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• Compare benefits of digital reading and annotation with print reading and annotation
• Select a tool for reading, annotating, citing, and managing PDFs
• Summarize one strategy for reading, annotating, managing, and creating outlines with web resources (including Kindle!)
• Integrate digital reading and annotation into student instruction and personal research

UU 325 A/B - 🟡 Pedagogy Track 

Chelsea McClure, Lecturer & Assistant Professor

The Emerging Technology: 3D printing in the Teacher Education Classroom project was an interdepartmental collaboration to engage teacher candidates in 3D printing experiences. Through engaging in 3D printing, we are able to provide hands-on experiences with emerging technology to promote application in teacher candidates' future content classrooms.

By attending the session, attendees will be able to:

-  See examples of application of 3D technology to teacher education courses

- Learn of 3d printing and user-friendly 3D design program TinkerCad

Ballrooms D&E - 🟢 Student Well-being track

Iona Ringgold, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
Kanika Jackson, Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies
Bethany Rice, Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary Education
Luciana Zuest, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

TU Diversity & Inclusion Faculty Fellows (DIFF) program supports projects focused on infusing equity, access, diversity, and inclusion across our campus. This session will provide information on obtaining a fellowship and highlight the work of 3 DIFF alumni. Faculty will describe a course redesign in Communication Studies, research on an intervention for fitness professionals, and research on the development of an inclusive reading assessment. Participants will receive reflective prompts and tips for developing DIFF projects. 

Concurrent Session 3 - 12:05 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Ballroom A - 🔵 Cross-unit, interdepartmental, interdisciplinary collaboration track

Katie White, Associate Director, Campus Recreation

This project is an attempt to bridge the gap between curricular and co-curricular offerings at Towson University, fostering opportunity to develop high impact practices. It will encourage attendees to embrace alternative methods of teaching subject matter, with a heightened focus on well-being and experiential learning. 

As a result of participating in the presentation, attendees will gain an understanding of:
1) the breadth and depth of the operations of Campus Recreation
2) ways in which Campus Rec can support experiential learning & activities
3) topics that professional staff could present on in the classroom
4) resources for supporting the well-being and success of both students and faculty 

Ballroom B - 🟢 Student Well-being track

Kelly Rogan, Assistant Director, Accessibility and Disability Services
Jennifer Walsh, Senior Disability Coordinator, Accessibility and Disability Services 

A nationwide trend in requests for flexibility with attendance and assignment due dates is actively evolving in higher education and something that is impacting our practices at TU. Our project seeks to have participants dive into this trend, develop awareness of why we need to consider these requests, and then provide a platform for exploring solutions that are student-centered, discipline focused, and easy to navigate for professors by using the ADS office as a resource. 

Participants will:

  • develop awareness of current trends in accommodation requests  
  • learn ways to build in flexibility that incorporate accessibility from a student-centered approach 
  • understand the significance of the “interactive process” and how/when to request support from ADS based on the expectations set by the Office of Civil Rights  

Ballroom C - 🟢 Student Well-being track

Mubina Kirmani, Professor Emeritus, Barbara Steele & Mahnaz Moallem, College of Education

The project aims to support the social and emotional wellbeing of students by nurturing their spiritual dimension to aid them in managing their daily human and academic struggles, along with coping with the growing societal and world crises resulting from natural and human made disasters. Attendees will be provided terminology, time, space, and techniques to reflect on their own spirituality and tap it as an inner resource to seek answers and interconnect with others with sympathy, compassion, love and peace for a better world.

Participants will develop: 

  • an awareness of personal spirituality and become familiar with terminology to define and describe it and see it as an inner and authentic resource of knowing, seeking, resilience and enlightenment.
  • techniques such as breathing to manage strong emotions such as anger and frustration to avoid violent behavior.
  • techniques through guided meditation using silence, sounds, images of personal choice for sustained periods of inner calm and coping daily and during difficult times.

Ballroom D - 🟡 Pedagogy Track 

Samuel Gerald Collins (Professor, FACET Fellow)
Cody Sandifer (Professor, FACET Fellow)

Proponents of Generative AI like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion have predicted that it will transform higher education. While that transformative potential is still speculative, we can nevertheless utilize Generative AI in ways that make our teaching more effective and responsive. In this hands-on workshop, participants will develop Generative AI prompts for teaching and teaching-focused scholarship. Along the way, we will explore ethical concerns and best practices. Participants should bring a device (e.g., computers, smartphones, tablets). 

As a result of participating in the presentation, attendees will gain an understanding of:

  • A series of exercises that participants can incorporate into their classrooms and scholarship. 
  • Insight into the possibilities of Generative AI for teaching.
  • Critical reflections on the ethical problems of Generative AI. 

UU 325 A/B - 🟡 Pedagogy Track 

Matthew Hemm, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Dr. Laura Gough, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Dr. Alexei Kolesnikov, Professor, Department of Mathematics

Extensive research has shown that students who participate in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) have higher retention rates in their majors and are more likely to develop their identity as a practitioner in their field, making these classes a high-impact practice in undergraduate education.  However, numerous technical and institutional challenges exist for faculty to develop a new CURE class, including a common misconception that CUREs must be in a STEM discipline.  For the last six years the TU Research Enhancement Program (TU REP), funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has provided professional development (PD) to more than 30 TU faculty in both CURE class development and implicit bias training. Faculty learned how to develop and teach CUREs that engage students with diverse backgrounds in research activities within their classrooms. Now that the TU REP grant has ended, we are working to institutionalize professional development opportunities for new faculty to explore creating CURE classes.  During our presentation we will work with participants to consider how they could create their own discipline-specific CURE and provide a review of both internal and external resources available to faculty to facilitate the development of their example class.

Participants will have a greater understanding of what defines a CURE class, how CURE classes can be developed in diverse fields, and will have an opportunity to brainstorm potential CURE classes that they could themselves develop.

Lunchtime panel: De-escalating in the Classroom: Conflict Resolution Guidance - 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. 

UU Ballrooms D+E

Anthony Skevakis, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, moderator


Mollie Herman, Matthew Lenno, Iona Ringgold, Danielle Woody, Briana Snyder

The TU Educators Summit, sponsored by FACET and the Office of the Provost, is designed to promote student learning, retention, success, and well-being through faculty and staff collaborations across Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and other units.