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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition


Learn about featured speakers scheduled for the upcoming National Conference on Students in Transition.

Keynote Address

Tricia Seifert

Laurie Schreiner

Laurie Schreiner is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University in southern California, having spent 35 years in higher education as a psychology professor and associate academic dean after receiving her PhD in Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Co-author of The Student Satisfaction Inventory that is used on over 1600 campuses across the US and Canada, Dr. Schreiner is co-author of Helping Sophomores Succeed (2009), and Investigating Sophomore Success (2015), the latest research monograph on sophomore success. She also is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Christian Higher Education and serves on the editorial board of About Campus. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on positive psychology, engaged learning, sophomore success, retention, faculty development, strengths-based teaching, and academic advising. She also has consulted with over 150 colleges and universities on student success, retention, academic advising, student satisfaction, and effective teaching strategies. She has been principal investigator on two federal grants to promote student success and retention and has directed national projects on retention and student satisfaction. An award-winning teacher and researcher, her work on college student thriving has studied over 30,000 students from 150 universities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia and has led to numerous publications as well as the edited book entitled Thriving in Transitions: A Research-Based Approach to Student Success.

Plenary Panel

Jason Garvey Headshot

Jason Garvey

Dr. Jason C. Garvey (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration Program and also serves as a Faculty Associate for the Leadership and Social Change Undergraduate Learning Community, both at the University of Vermont. Dr. Garvey’s nationally recognized scholarship, teaching, and service are closely tied to his educational journey as a queer person. His research examines student affairs and college classroom contexts primarily using quantitative methods, with particular attention to uplifting queer and trans collegians. Prior to his faculty appointment, Dr. Garvey worked in student services across a variety of functional areas, including academic advising, LGBTQ student involvement and advocacy, undergraduate research, and student affairs assessment.

Will Sheppard Headshot

Will Sheppard

Dr. Will Sheppard is an Assistant Director in University Housing and Adjunct Faculty for the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies at Appalachian State University.  Dr.  Sheppard’s research areas involve helping all students from different backgrounds, particularly 1st generation and students of color with overall success attending institutions of higher education. Gaining experience in Housing, Athletics, Admissions, and personal experiences has provided him with the ability to understand what barriers students face going through the journey of obtaining a degree.

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