Skip to Content

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

Roslyn Artis headshot

Roslyn Clark Artis

Artis, Ph.D., was unanimously appointed as the 14th President of Benedict College in June 2017. She became the first-female president in the 147-year history of the college, which was founded in 1870 by Mrs. Bathsheba Benedict. Artis came to Benedict College from Florida Memorial University in Miami where she served for four years as the first female president in that university’s 138-year history.

At Benedict, Artis has led a remarkable institutional transformation that included lowering tuition, increasing academic standards, stabilizing the institution’s financial position, streamlining academic degree programs, and upgrading the institution’s technology infrastructure. These efforts resulted in Benedict College receiving the 2019 ACE/Fidelity Investments Institutional Transformation Award, which recognizes institutions who have met higher education challenges in a particularly innovative or creative way and realized positive results in a relatively short period of time. In August 2019, Benedict College was recognized as “HBCU of the Year” by HBCU Digest.

A prolific speaker, critical thinker, and fierce advocate for educational access, Artis has been recognized for her work locally and nationally and is frequently engaged as a mentor, lecturer, and catalyst for strategic transformation. In 2018, she was named Female HBCU President of the Year by HBCU Digest. Artis was also recognized as one of the 35 Women Leaders in Higher Education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Her passion for education, youth development, and service to the community is manifested through her work with numerous organizations including the United Way, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Links, Inc., and Jack & Jill of America.


Plenary Address

Sarah Whitley Headshot

Sarah Whitley

Sarah E. Whitley is NASPA's assistant vice president of the Center for First-generation Student Success. Prior to joining NASPA, Sarah earned a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education where her scholarly interests included issues of inequality, academic motivation and decision-making, and the success of first-generation and low-income students. From 2007 – 2013, Sarah served as director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs at Longwood University where she was responsible for orientation and welcome programs, peer mentoring, living-learning communities, first year seminars, transition programs, and community partnerships. Sarah holds an M.Ed. in college student personnel administration from James Madison University and is a 2010 graduate of the HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute.


Closing Session

Dallin Young headshot

Dallin George Young

Dallin George Young, PhD, is the Assistant Director for Research and Grants at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Dallin coordinates all the research endeavors of the National Resource Center and facilitates and disseminates three national surveys: the National Survey of First-Year Seminars, the National Survey on Sophomore-Year Initiatives, and the National Survey of Senior Seminars/Capstone Courses. He oversees a number of research collaborations and grant opportunities between the Center and the national and international higher education community as well as across the University of South Carolina (UofSC) campus. He coordinates the distribution of the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant, a competitive national honor that recognizes the development of research investigating the experiences of college students in transition.

Before joining the National Resource Center, Dallin worked in doctoral internships in the Office of the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at Georgia Gwinnett College and in the Department of Student Affairs Assessment at the University of Georgia. Prior to this, he held professional positions in student housing at Dixie State College of Utah, the University of South Carolina, and California College of the Arts.

To this point, Dallin's research agenda has focused on professional preparation for practice in student affairs, student transition programs, and peer leadership. His work coalesces around a line of inquiry that focuses on how novices are trained, socialized, and educated as they move from the periphery to full participation in academic communities of practice. More nascent areas of his research include using activity-based theoretical perspectives to interrogate student transitions into the academy; how graduate and professional students learn the rules, knowledge, and culture of their aspirational professional communities; and the impacts of educational structures on the success of these transitions, including investigating differential effects on student populations. Dallin’s research agenda has afforded him the opportunity to produce scholarly publications and presentations at national and international conferences. 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.