Student Success Summit Schedule for Monday, Feb 1


AAU STEM Network Mini-Grant to Improve Coordination and Alignment of Introductory STEM Curriculum

Summit Theme(s): Graduation, Collaboration


  • Eleanor Vandegrift, Program Director, Global Science Education Initiatives, Global Studies Institute, Division of Global Engagement
  • Ron Bramhall, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost
  • Dean Livelybrooks, Associate Department Head, Director of Graduate Studies, Physics
  • Jenefer Husman, Professor, Education Studies
  • Samantha Hopkins, Professor, Honors College and Earth Sciences

About the session:

UO natural sciences faculty have recognized that because STEM majors’ curricula are determined at departmental levels there has been little coordination between departments. We received a two-year grant from AAU STEM Network to focus on ways improved curricular consistency and coordination could: improve mobility between STEM majors, increase persistence, reduce entry barriers into STEM majors, improve student scaffolding of key learning outcomes, and improve student success (e.g., DFW rates, degree progress, and higher retention rates). 

In Fall 2019, we convened 72 natural sciences faculty, administrators, curriculum coordinators, advisors, and department heads for a two-day workshop exploring institutional barriers to student success. Participants identified four areas: 

  1. Seamless, integrated and navigable curricular: alignment across introductory courses; 
  2. Pathways to career readiness: improved opportunities for students to make career connections to their education; 
  3. Inclusion, belonging, community, diversity, and equity: across our university academic and student success programs; 
  4. Evidence-based instructional programs: evidence-based teaching practice implementation. 

We focused on “Curricular alignment across introductory courses” by convening a multi-disciplinary faculty working group. We have identified topics taught in natural science introductory courses that serve as prerequisites or requirements for another major. Reviewing topics together allowed faculty to discuss common expectations for students to develop competencies (e.g., laboratory report writing) and conceptual understanding in key introductory courses (e.g., chemistry). Through conversation, we realized that there was an opportunity to focus on providing students a standardized road map for cross-cutting concepts and, potentially, transdisciplinary practices. We have examined best-practices and literature on science standards and curriculum reform. We are in the process of creating our own schema for identifying transdisciplinary-crossing-critical-concepts that can be linked across courses legible for both faculty and students. In this panel, we will share details about what we have learned about curricular alignment and plans for future directions.

Developing Leadership for Sustainability and Fostering Student Connection...At a Distance

Summit Theme(s): Social responsibility, COVID


  • Sarah Stoeckl, Program Manager and Community Director, Environmental Leaders ARC, Office of Sustainability and Environmental Studies
  • Grace Honeywell, Global Engagement Program Coordinator, Division of Global Engagement

​​​​​​About the session:

We will present on two long-standing student education and success initiatives that had to pivot due to COVID-19: the Environmental Leaders Academic Residential Community (ARC) and the Global Leadership Challenge. Both programs have relied on in-person interaction to meet student success goals including a strong education, career readiness, social responsibility, and students having had a positive experience. During this presentation, Grace and Sarah will describe how they modified their programs to sustain student learning and leadership development as well as, crucially, fostering community building as a key component to student success. 

The Environmental Leaders ARC begins each year with a series of camping orientation trips before segueing into life and learning in the residence halls. This year, Sarah completely revisioned the experience for an online format but maintained student leaders who provided peer-to-peer guidance and a student welcome to UO. Further, new co-curricular opportunities and a class constructed to foster community have helped to fill the social gap, for students living both on-campus and off, that data show is so crucial to first-year student success. 

Global Leadership Challenges (GLC) are short term, fast-paced, experiential learning programs designed for students around the world to engage in high impact educational practices, cross-cultural collaboration, and applied leadership. The UO program was designed as an in-person summertime program hosted by the UO’s Division of Global Engagement, with participation from UO students, international students, local community partners, and UO faculty. This summer, Grace and her team redesigned the program to adapt to remote learning and were successful in connecting 31 students across eight different time zones to tackle sustainability challenges presented by community partners. The 2020 program combined asynchronous and synchronous learning strategies, intentional community building, professional development and an authentic opportunity to rise to the challenge of leading and collaborating in our current world.

Supporting Student Food Security at the University of Oregon

Summit Theme(s): Positive experience, Collaboration, Equity


  • Taylor McHolm, Director, Student Sustainability Center, EMU Student Union Programs, Division of Student Life; Co-Director, Food Security Task Force 
  • Marcus Langford, Associate Dean of Students, Dean of Students, Division of Student Life; Co-Director, Food Security Task Force

​​​​​​About the session:

The Food Security Task Force created Feed the Flock to ensure that all students at the UO have access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food. At UO, roughly 1 in 3 students will experience food insecurity, and those numbers are far higher among students from marginalized communities. Come hear how about the issue of food security at UO, how Feed the Flock is addressing the issue, and how you can help.


Building Student Success through the Spanish Heritage Language Program

Summit Theme(s): Well educated, Equity


  • Kelley Leon Howarth, Coordinator of the Spanish Heritage Language Program, Spanish Career Faculty, Romance Languages
  • Sergio Loza, Director of Spanish Heritage Language Program, Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics, Romance Languages

​​​​​​About the session:

How does the Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) Program contribute to student success at the UO? In this session, we will present various aspects of our program, including pedagogical approaches, mentoring, student support, and campus-wide connections that lead to increased student confidence, engagement, and a sense of community. We will also discuss our new SHL Student Leadership Program, as well as how students can get started in our program.

Data-Driven Student Success with IDR Cognos

Summit Theme(s): Graduation


  • Travis Shea, Business Intelligence Manager, Information Services
  • Teresa Owen, Business Intelligence Analyst, Information Services
  • Paulo Cobbe, Business Intelligence Analyst, Information Services

​​​​​​About the session:

Helping students succeed takes passion, heart, and good data. We can help with the last part. Meet the team that support the IDR service and the Cognos Analytics tool, and see how it can help you achieve your goals. The #1 Cognos report, Student Data, will be thoroughly demonstrated. This report offers a unique prompt page which allows the user to customize the data returned.This report meets the needs for most student data from majors/minors to hours earned/GPA to student emails/addresses. Open discussion is encouraged and we will run and demonstrate other reports based on the discussion. 

Hundreds of Ways to Be Wrong: Everyday Opportunities to Learn Cultural Humility (and Maybe Some Cultural Agility) at Work

Summit Theme(s): Positive experience, Equity


  • Sonja Rasmussen, Director, Mills International Center
  • Sara Clark, Intercultural Education Coordinator, Mills International Center

​​​​​​About the session:

As seasoned professionals, we can unwittingly block students’ access to opportunities particularly when we are stuck in certainty about and/or unaware of our own beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations. One antidote is the practice of cultural agility. Cultural agility is about knowing oneself, opening to others, adapting when you can, explaining when you can’t, and understanding how power dynamics affect who adapts when. Cultural agility means openly walking into the awkward territory of not-knowing. In this interactive session, Sonja and Sara will 1) explore how being willing to be wrong (humility) is a crucial first step for knowing others, and 2) show how ongoing conversations at work about workplace norms (our own and those of others) can open up pathways for student success, by sidestepping the narrow scope of our own assumptions and norms (behaviors viewed as “good/right/normal” in norms of US business culture). Woven throughout the workshop -- via our own stories of being wrong about students -- we will illustrate ways bias and exclusion can show up in the workplace, and share strategies on what we’ve learned to do differently. We will provide a tool for participants to use to reflect on and engage their own stories.