UTSA Faculty and Staff Share Insight at the SXSWedu 2017 Conference

March 10, 2017


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

 by Nicole Duff, Communication Specialist

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. The internationally-recognized conference was held in Austin, Texas from March 6th-9th.

Darrell Balderama, 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 IT, were selected to serve as speakers at the education conference.

Prior to their selection, the UTSA team submitted proposals to the SXSWedu PanelPicker, a worldwide platform which allows members of the SXSWedu community to suggest engaging and innovative content for presentations, panels, summits, etc. to be featured at an upcoming convening.

Once submitted, proposals undergo a two-fold voting process which first entails crowdsourcing from the public, and then from SXSW staff and its Advisory Board. The UTSA team's proposals were among 240+ to be accepted out of the 1,300 submitted for this year's event.

Balderama and Dr. 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, the UTSA duo discussed programs such as the TRIO Programs and the 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 department of Kinesiology, Health, which also included two other panel presentations moderated by representatives from other institutions.


Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., serves on the iPASS panel.


Dr. Kenon served as a panelist for two sessions in which she presented research. The first 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.


To learn more about SXSWedu, please visit http://sxswedu.com/.