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Academic Resilience: A "What Works" Showcase

Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26, 2021
11:00am – 5:00pm (Eastern)


This symposium highlights current work of ARC members promoting academic resilience throughout our institutions of higher education, in teaching and advising, student affairs, and health/wellness initiatives.

Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of inspiring and effective initiatives, meet leading thinkers and practitioners, and engage with their community of peers.  Each 2-hour session includes brief presentations and Q&A followed by small-group peer breakouts for discussion.  There is a 5-10 minute break between sessions.

The topic areas represented by the six sessions are not mutually exclusive – many of the presentations address more than one of these topics.  In addition, six themes that run across sessions/presentations are indicated by color coded initials, to assist attendees in determining which presentations might be of most interest to them

The format of the event is designed to provide a broad overview and sampling of student success initiatives, rather than a deep dive into specific programs or issues.  Participants are warmly invited to follow up with one another after the conference for further exploration and consultation.

NOTE:  The ARC is a community characterized by mutual respect and support around our shared mission to foster academic resilience in higher education. Event participants engage with one another in professional, respectful, and inclusive ways.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

SESSION 1. 11:00am-1:00pm
Proactive Outreach to At-Risk Students

SESSION 2. 1:00pm-3:00pm
Engagement and Personal Meaning

SESSION 3. 3:00pm-5:00pm 
Health/Wellness Initiatives

Friday, March 26, 2021

SESSION 4. 11:00am-1:00pm
Voices/Narratives of Resilience

SESSION 5. 1:00pm-3:00pm
Scaling Up Across Campus(es)

SESSION 6. 3:00pm-5:00pm
Faculty and Staff Support

Key to Themes

PP (Peer Programming)
Peer programs that are initiated or largely conducted by students

CP (Campus Partnerships)
Collaborations across campus divisions/offices or across multiple campuses.

UT (Use of Technology)
Programs that leverage technology (e.g. online contexts, texting, apps, etc.) to support academic resilience. 

Key to themes

SC (Scaling Up)
Successful pilot or seed programs that have been scaled up to expand their impact.

AS (At-risk Students)
Initiatives that address systemic/institutional barriers to student success and/or support students at high risk of academic failure or noncompletion.

GI (Great Idea)
Interventions with a big impact, and often for low cost. 

Thursday, March 25

SESSION 1.  11am - 1pm
Proactive Outreach to At-Risk Students

Spring Forward: A Model of Targeted Academic Preparation Between Semesters
Ellis Mimms, Xavier University of Louisiana

Thriving in Action (TiA): Flourishing for Credit
Deena Shaffer and Diana Brecher, Ryerson University

Resiliency Skills Training: Small Shifts Can Make a Big Impact
Jessica Gifford, Well Student

It’s Never Too Late and You Can Do It: Student Stories of Academic Failure and Resilience
Jenny Steiner, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

SESSION 2. 1:00pm-3:00pm
Engagement and Personal Meaning

Academic Resiliency Workshop: What it Is and Why It Matters
Amanda Montgomery, University of Texas at Dallas

Community Cultural Wealth: The Engagement Factor in Student Success, What We Can Learn from HBCUs
Shanique McCallister Nixon, Tennessee State University

AR=ProjectConnect: Building Connection as a Road to Resilience
Jessica Gifford, Well Student
PP  GI  

Career Exploration Challenge: Engaging GenZ Students
Soulyka Agana-Woodbine, Trinity Washington University,

SESSION 3.  3:00pm-5:00pm
Health/Wellness Initiatives

ResilientNU:  Enhancing Student Social and Emotional Wellness
Samantha Conway, Northwestern University
PP  GI  AS  

Student Wellness Hub: Building Resilience at McGill University
Dana Carsley, McGill University

Control What You Can (CWYC): An Online Stress Management Program for Students
Patricia Frazier, University of Minnesota

The Mental Health Coalition (MHC): Harnessing Student Voices
David Andrews, and Swathi Prabhu, Virginia Tech
PP   GI   CP


Friday, March 26

SESSION 4.  11:00am-1:00pm
Voices/Narratives of Resilience

Encouraging Academic Resilience Through Reflective Journals
Kay C. Dee, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Peer-Inspired Student Agency
Rashmi Kumar
and Ryan Miller, University of Pennsylvania

Putting Words into Action: Creating Pathways for Building Academic Resilience
Margaret N. Mbindyo, Millersville University of PA

Flipping Failure: MIT’s Collection of Student Stories of Resilience and Coping with Academic Challenges
Lourdes Alemán, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SESSION 5.  1:00pm-3:00pm
Scaling Up Across Campus or Campuses

Building First-Year Resilience Through Text-Message “Nudging” 
John Burdick and Emily Peeler, New York University

The FSU Student Resilience Project: Scaling Up An Online Wellness Program
Karen Ohme, Florida State University

Mason's Resilience Badge
Katie Clare, George Mason University

The Purdue Steps to Leaps Initiative: Supporting Resilience Inside and Outside of the Classroom
Carl Krieger, Purdue University

SESSION 6. 3:00pm-5:00pm
Faculty and Staff Support

Pause for Wellness: Fostering Advisor Resilience
Laura Johnson, Courtney Joly-Lowdermilk, and Taryn Andrea, Boston University

Resilient Teaching Online (RTO): The Impact of Communities for Faculty Resilience
Judit Torok and Maura Conley, Pratt Institute

Well-Being for Life and Learning: A Guidebook to Support the Whole Student
Megan Kennedy, University of Washington

The Radical Resilience Training Program: Nurturing Internal and Community Resilience Across Campus
Nikita Gupta and Gwynn Benner, University of California, Santa Cruz


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Dear ARC Friends and Colleagues,

All of us have been affected, personally and professionally, by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as the heightened awareness and activism emerging in the US and around the world in response to incidents of racism and violence. These are times that call for extraordinary resilience on the part of our students, ourselves, our institutions, and our society.

The Academic Resilience Consortium stands with Black Lives Matter to oppose systemic racism, to grieve for victims of racial violence and police brutality, and to achieve justice and equity.

We send you courage and hope as we all navigate these waters, engage our resilience, and create new ways to care for ourselves and others.

- Abigail, Adina, Myrna, and Nic
ARC Steering Committee