Friday, April 28, 2017

UTSA faculty and staff share research and insight about education at SXSWedu Conference

UTSA faculty and staff share research and insight about education at SXSWedu Conference

Darrell Balderrama and Theodorea Berry, Ed.D., serve as panelists at the SXSWedu 2017 conference in Austin.


(March 10, 2017) -- Faculty and staff from the UTSA Institute for P-20 Initiatives, the Office of Information Technology, the Graduate School and the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, had the remarkable opportunity to represent the university at this year’s SXSWedu conference.

Darrell Balderrama, director of Retention Programs and Theodorea Berry, Ed.D., associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of Recruitment and Engagement, along with Vanessa Kenon, Ed.D., assistant vice provost for the Office of Information Technology, were selected to serve as speakers at the internationally-recognized education conference in Austin this week.

Prior to their selection, the UTSA team submitted proposals to the SXSWedu PanelPicker, a worldwide platform that allows members of the SXSWedu community to suggest engaging and innovative content for presentations, panels and summits.

Once submitted, proposals go through a two-fold voting process, which first includes crowdsourcing from the public, and then from SXSW staff and its advisory board. The UTSA team’s proposals were among more than 240 to be accepted out of the 1,300 submitted for this year’s event.

Balderrama and Berry’s panel entitled “Making the Transition: 1st Gen. to Graduate School,” explored research on various initiatives employed at higher education institutions to support underserved students in their graduate school pursuits. During the discussion, they highlighted TRIO Programs and the UTSA Institute for P-20 Initiatives, which are specially designed to provide students access to higher education.

Their session was part of a summit organized by Langston Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition which also included two other panel presentations moderated by representatives from other institutions.

Dr. Kenon served as a panelist for two sessions in which she presented research. The first was a was a special session entitled “Partnership and Collaboration- Institutional Perspectives of Scale.” The second session enabled her to deeply delve into innovative research regarding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grant and its effects in fostering student success and enhancing the role of advisors, faculty and staff.

She discussed different advising technologies including the degree auditing tool DegreeWorks and the Education Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative (EAB/SSC), which have been implemented in part by the support of this grant.

“I’m excited to see the great presence of UTSA faculty and staff presenting this year,” said Dr. Kenon. “They have represented UTSA so well.”

SXSWedu unites students and educational professionals from across the United States annually for a series of keynote addresses, summits, workshops and discussions focused on innovation in learning.

- Nicole Duff

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