Invited Speakers

We are pleased to have the following individuals presenting during our two concurrent sessions:

Improving Holistic Admissions: The Crucial Role of Students’ Contexts
Michael Bastedo
Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

It is a well-established principle in social psychology that we are biased toward explanations of behavior that are embedded in individual personalities and dispositions rather than contexts or environments. Thus, we would expect an admissions officer to be inclined toward individual explanations for success or failure, particularly when information on high school or family contexts is ambiguous or incomplete. In this talk, Prof. Bastedo will discuss the results of three experiments with hundreds of practicing admissions officers that attempts to find mechanisms to better contextualize applicants and observe the effects on the probability of admitting underrepresented students.

Investing in the STEM Pipeline
Alison Bazil
Chassis Manager, Co-Lead for Ford STEAM Advisory Council and Ford FIRST Board Member, Ford Motor Company
Rob Self
Product Development Engineer and Ford FIRST Board Member, Ford Motor Company

Ensuring the future success and innovation of Ford Motor Company requires brilliant minds and passionate employees. This presentation will share methods Ford has identified to invest in students and STEAM programs around the country and find top-tier job applicants.

The Changes that Matter
John Burkhardt
Professor of Clinical Practice, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan

It has become almost axiomatic that we are surrounded by changing circumstances and vexing dilemmas that can be traced to our incomplete responses to long-standing challenges. We tend to notice sudden shifts, disruptions, and unexpected events. The accumulating effects of long-term social, cultural and economic changes, even those that should cause us to question our basic assumptions, sometimes are not recognized, become misinterpreted or are underestimated in terms of their impact. This presentation will examine trends of this second kind. There are changes, some dramatic and some subtle, that require that we revise or even discard some of the assumptions that have guided our efforts to promote access and participation in college for over twenty years. It is time that we identify and incorporate a changed, more complex and compelling reality into our thinking and our work.

Expanding College Access: Optimizing your Resources through Multiple Grant Partnerships and Connecting to Research
Erika Carr

Director Office of Pre-College Programming, Western Michigan University
Monica Liggins-Abrams
Associate Director for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education, Western Michigan University

Organizing pre-college efforts on your campus in order to maximize opportunities for youth outreach and college access is essential. Presenters will discuss how to utilize this organizational structure to: 1) Optimize grant resources through multiple grant partnerships, 2) More effectively advocate for college access programs, 3) Ensure policy compliance for all youth outreach efforts, and 4) Sustain your college access programs over time. The overall goal of this session is assist participants in identifying avenues of partnerships to expand college access opportunities on their campus. This includes the following learning outcomes: 1) Highlight one institution’s organizational structure for pre-college programs. 2) Identify strategies to stay connected to research and best practices in the pre-college field. 3) Review examples of effective partnerships with multiple grants and community organizations. 4) Improve the quality of services as well as the number of students served by building on the power of multiple partnerships.

MI Student Aid and MI GEAR UP: Working Hand in Hand to develop a College-Going Culture among Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP) youth
Ingrid Clover
MI Student Aid Outreach Coordinator, Michigan Department Treasury
Shelley Wolley
Dean of Student Life and Retention, Lake Superior State University

Learn first-hand how the State of Michigan partnered with Lake Superior State University (LSSU) MI GEAR UP to enhance college-going visioning among secondary youth in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP). Participants will learn about collaborative activities with EUP youth. Participants will receive an orientation on the nuts and bolts of Michigan’s Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) and how it can be used to leverage support for underrepresented students. Finally, participants will learn about supporting a paradigm-shifting vision for college going through college access outreach to students in a tri-county community with post-secondary degree attainment rates of less than 20%.

Renewing the Promise: Creating postsecondary access and opportunity for urban youth of color
Terry Flennaugh
Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

Access to education has been a hallmark of the “American narrative” since the nation’s inception. Endemic to this narrative has been the idea that educational opportunity, which is accessible to all, is an irreplaceable pillar in the pursuit of happiness, upward mobility, and self-actualization. What has been absent from this lofty and enduring narrative is the centuries-old struggle that many groups have engaged in to ensure that they could participate in the educative process. What remains clear today is that the same battles that continued for centuries around equity in and access to basic education for all groups remains entrenched in the pursuit for postsecondary education. Dr. Flennaugh’s presentation will discuss how some university-based programs that are designed to create pathways for urban youth to successfully navigate to and through institutions of higher education are making progress to right historical wrongs and to prepare all of us for the future.

Youth Engagement Initiatives: Community Driving Solutions
Brendan Gallagher
Opportunity Coordinator, Office of Metropolitan Impact, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Molly Manley
Assistant Director, Office of Metropolitan Impact, University of Michigan-Dearborn

In an effort to support and drive University of Michigan-Dearborn community engagement initiatives, the Office of Metropolitan Impact (OMI) is providing resources through its Community Engagement Collection, spaces, technologies and electronic resources for hundreds of community partners. In an effort to reflect community needs and engage members of the community in mutually beneficial partnerships, OMI employs Community Conversations to determine how to best serve the needs of community partners. This workshop will highlight and share examples of OMI’s current youth engagement projects and how Community Conversations have shaped those projects.

Beyond STEM: The Role of Humanities and Social Sciences in Creating Postsecondary Student Success
Dawn Hinton
Professor, Saginaw Valley State University
Kenneth Jolly
Professor, Saginaw Valley State University

Addressing the goal of expanding postsecondary attainment and addressing the urgency of college access, this presentation affirms the importance of social responsibility and meaningful community engagement in supporting postsecondary access and student success. Despite the current climate’s focus on STEM education, social sciences and the humanities must continue to provide students hands-on opportunities to explore our world and apply their knowledge in meaningful and impactful ways. This work can inspire youth to postsecondary education and transform our communities. This panel draws from specific classroom lessons, projects, and programs to emphasize the importance of social responsibility and community engagement in supporting postsecondary access and student success.

Building Relationships, Expanding Opportunity: Evidence from Detroit
Sarah Lenhoff
Assistant Professor, Wayne State University

Dr. Sarah Winchell Lenhoff will share her research on K-12 school choice, school organizational climate, and chronic absenteeism in Detroit. The connecting thread of this work is the primacy of strong, positive relationships in supporting student success. By showing how educational policy has created barriers to building and sustaining relationships between students and educators, this presentation provides evidence that policies have unintended implications for student achievement, opportunity, and access. Participants will share their own experiences of policy barriers to student relationships and collaborate on designing interventions to overcome these barriers.

How to Engineer an Engaging Robotics Program for Young Learners
Nina Mahmoudian
Associate Professor, Michigan Technological University

This talk provides an overview of the recent efforts in creating a theme-based and project-based robotics programs at Michigan Tech. The program stands on five foundational elements: platform, students, instructors, structure, and program evaluation. This plan intends to be an introduction to electronics, programming, robotics, production, and testing for pre-college students. Two robots are introduced an educational underwater glider called GUPPIE and a surface electromyography (sEMG)-controlled manipulator called Neu-pulator. These robots are easy and inexpensive to manufacture, with readily available lightweight and durable components. They are also modular to accommodate a variety of learning activities that help young students to learn crosscutting concepts and engineering practice. The evaluation results indicate that using a meaningful context – as in robots that help humans – in a hands-on project-based program that integrates different aspect of design, science, and technology is effective in increasing students’ enthusiasm and participation.

Linking Youth Programs into NSF’s Broader Impacts for Research, Learning, and Access
Laurie Van Egeren
Assistant Provost for University-Community Partnerships, Michigan State University

University-community partnerships and pre-college programs are a key way to facilitate societal impacts, including research processes, educational opportunities, and college interest and access. The National Science Foundation and many other funding agencies are encouraging investigators to consider the societal benefit of their work by ensuring that proposals incorporate “broader impacts” activities. Broader impacts activities may take the form of K-12 programs, community engagement and outreach activities, and strategies to increase the diversity of the scientific community by improving the pipeline for college access and success. This discussion will describe the NSF broader impacts criterion, its links to community-engaged scholarship, and strategies for investigators and university- and community-based youth programs to partner to develop successful collaborations.