Main Stage Events

Keynote session: Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn


Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn, professor of higher education at Illinois State University, is nationally known for his academic study of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Named one of the country’s “Top Diversity Scholars” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, he has authored 11 books, including College Students’ Sense of Belonging, which explores how belonging differs based on students’ social identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or the conditions they encounter on campus. Belonging―with peers, in the classroom, or on campus―is a critical dimension of success at college. It can affect a student’s degree of academic adjustment, achievement, aspirations, or even whether a student stays in school.

“How do we craft environments, policies, and programs that foster belonging that leads to student success,” he said. “It is a crafting job because belonging doesn’t happen automatically.”

Learning objectives:
1 - Gain an understanding of the theory behind college students’ sense of belonging.
2 - Learn about best practices related to fostering a sense of belonging in classrooms, clubs, residence halls, and other contexts.
3 - Examine cultural navigation, academic spotting, and the "shared faith" element of belonging.


  (1 credit hour)

Two recent NACAC reports, “Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access” and “DEI Challenges in the College Admission Counseling Profession,” emphasize the urgency with which our profession must attend to persistent equity challenges. NACAC’s current Board chair and chair elect will conduct a conversation about diversifying the college admission counseling field, helping underrepresented professionals move into professional leadership roles, and leveraging NACAC as a source for professional education and advancement.

Learning objectives:
1- Learn about the diversification of the college admission counseling field
2- Learn how to move into professional leadership roles as an under-represented professional 
3- Leverage NACAC as a source for professional education and advancement


David Hawkins, Chief Education and Policy Officer, NACAC

Ffiona Rees, NACAC Board Chair, Deputy Director, University of California—Los Angeles
Vern Granger, NACAC Board Chair-Elect, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Connecticut

Less Talk, More Work: Operationalizing Equity in Enrollment
  (1 credit hour)

Since spring of 2020, higher education has been talking more and more about the challenges of equitable admissions practices and the sense of impending doom can often weigh down diversity practitioners. We spend too much time talking about the challenges and not enough time figuring out how to solve them. This session seeks to address 3 of the most pressing concerns of admissions practitioners and share actionable steps for enrollment leaders.

Learning objectives:
1- Test-Optional isn't the Battle, it's the Symptom: Inequitable Evaluation Systems
2- Bringing an Access Lens to all parts of enrollment: operations, marketing, and management
3- Clean up your shop and build your knowledge: The Looming Affirmative Action Cliff

Ashley Pallie, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, CalTech
Calvin Wise, Director of Recruitment, Johns Hopkins University, (MD)
Femi Ogundele, Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, University of California — Berkeley

Philadelphia College Access: 30 Years of All in this Together
  (1 credit hour)

Attendees will hear from 4 Philadelphia regional initiatives (Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable, Philly Goes 2 College, Graduate Philadelphia and The Octavius Catto Scholarship Program and their collective efforts supporting college access and success. The programs will speak to their collective success and continued efforts for a large urban city. The attendees of this session will propose obtainable solutions to college access and attainment goals for marginalized individuals. Additionally, session attendees will be offered to continue collaboration after the session/conference facilitated by the Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable.

Learning objectives:
1- On-going sustainable communication and engagement with college access programs
2- Assistance with collaborative data collection and sharing
3- Benchmarking student-driven outcomes

Moderator: Thomas Butler, Director, Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable

Kimberly Taylor-Benns, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, La Salle University
Rick Moses, Director, Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program & PhillyGoes2College, Philadelphia Education Fund
Kelly Staskel, Senior Program Manager, Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program & PhillyGoes2College, Philadelphia Education Fund
Sena Owereko, Vice President, Programming and Innovation, Graduate Philadelphia
April D. Voltz, Executive Director, Catto Scholarship, Community College of Philadelphia
Sarah HollisterDeputy Director of Education Policy, Mayor’s Office of Education

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