Faculty Conference Focused on Smart Strategies to Impact Students

This year’s Faculty Conference hosted by the Office of Academic Affairs was engaging, informative, and inspiring.

“Faculty were given a chance to hear and reflect on student voices – we had six students, ranging from undergraduate and graduate students to athletes, non-traditional, and honors students share their experiences,” said James Palmer, interim provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs. “We also invited faculty to reflect on university student data and examine Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) proposals and High Impact Practices (HIPs).”

An interactive keynote session from award-winning speaker Mark Taylor took the student session further by inspiring faculty to understand the differences between generations of students and how to help them.

“These newer generations aspire to change the world for the better, but they may not know how,” said Taylor. “We, as faculty members, can motivate them in their classes and toward their careers. They will choose careers based on if they can change the world. We’re the avenue that can help them.”

During the event’s luncheon, President Ruth Simmons addressed the attendees about faculty profile, equity, a promotion pools and the increase in tenure-tracked positions. She stated that she believes Prairie View has the capabilities to become one of the most acclaimed universities in the country, emphasizing, “We will achieve that not by thinking small or cultivation our individual self-interest, but by setting goals that improve our teaching, scholarship, and service to our community.”

“President Simmons’ remarks, as always, were important, informative, progressive, and forward-looking. I love having her encouraging us to dream big, have unconventional ideas, and ask questions. Sometimes other institutional structures discourage these activities, so it’s important for me, as a faculty member, to hear this from our president and encourage our students to do the same,” one faculty member said.

On the second day of the conference, Saundra McGuire, director emerita at Louisiana State University, delivered an exchange about teaching students how to learn based on her books, “Teach Students How to Learn” and “Teach Yourself How to Learn.”

“I have attended Dr. Sandra McGuire’s presentations in the past and always find them useful,” said one faculty member.

Following various faculty workshops and a new-faculty orientation, everyone headed to Main Event in Katy, for social interaction.

“The Main Event Fun Mixer was unconventional, but it was barrier-breaking and a lot of fun. I feel like we got to see and know each other as humans, as people with shared experiences, and people who have a common bond in the mission to help PVAMU be a place that is accepting and genuine, and fosters quality work relationships,” said a faculty member.

Another faculty member said, “The Faculty Conference was an outstanding way to commence the semester!

Author: Marchita Shilo