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Midwest First Year Student Champion Award


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Midwest First-Year Conference

September 23, 2016

2016 Keynote Speaker

Photo of Jennifer KeupJennifer Keup is the Director of The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition where she provides leadership for all operational, strategic, and scholarly activities of the Center in pursuit of its mission "to support and advance efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education." Her primary responsibilities include short and long range planning; oversight of program development and implementation; supervising a professional and graduate student staff of 17 people; policy, personnel, and budget management; and serving as a liaison and representative of the National Resource Center to the Center’s constituents and the higher education community at large. In this capacity, she leads a team of professionals who coordinate the Center’s conferences and continuing education, publications, research and assessment activities, public relations, and resource development. Jennifer also serves as an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches graduate courses, advises students, and serves on thesis and dissertation committees.

Before joining the staff of the National Resource Center, Jennifer served as the Director of the Student Affairs Information and Research Office (SAIRO) at UCLA and was the Director of Follow-Up Surveys at the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). She also was an instructor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA where she taught courses on student development, education research, scholarly writing, and assessment.

Jennifer’s research interests focus on two complementary areas of scholarship: 1) the first-year experience and students in transition and 2) high-impact practices and institutional interventions. Under the umbrella of this agenda, she has engaged in scholarly work, teaching, and service on many topics such as college student characteristics; the impact of college on students; student access, development, learning, and success; curriculum and student services; peer leadership; community college and transfer issues; leadership and institutional effectiveness; student performance, adjustment, and attainment; and higher education assessment. Her professional experience has yielded several presentations, keynote addresses, and scholarly publications; terms on the editorial boards of The Journal of Peer Learning,Learning Communities Research and PracticeJournal of College Student Development, and Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition; and a leadership positions with the ACPA Commission for Admission, Orientation, and First-Year Experience and the 2013 ACPA Convention Committee.

2016 Plenary Speaker

Dra. Aurora Chang

Dra. Aurora Chang

Assistant Professor

Once an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala and raised in Richmond, California in a family of eight, Dra. (Doctora) Aurora Chang is now an assistant professor in Teaching and Learning at Loyola University’s School of Education, where she teaches coursework on multicultural education, school reform, undocumented students and urban schooling.  Chang’s research focuses on the intersection of education, identity and agency within traditionally marginalized communities. Currently, she focuses on undocumented students' paths of educational survival, resistance and persistence, how these experiences affect the "American" sociopolitical landscape and what educators can do to support them.