March 27, 2019
K-State First faculty and staff present at two national conferences
In February, several members of the K-State First team, as well as various K-State faculty and students, traveled to the 38th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience in Las Vegas to present to and learn from leaders in the field of first-year experience programs. Mariya Vaughan, K-State First assistant director, also presented at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association 40th Annual Conference in Albuquerque.
Each year, the Conference on The First-Year Experience provides opportunities for educators and administrators in higher education to plan, implement and refine programs, such as K-State First, that are designed to enhance students' first-year experience. While there, attendees are part of an engaging community that explores a diverse range of ideas and various resources. Those traveling from K-State shared their expertise and learned new and exciting ways to continue making the first-year experience program at K-State one of the best in the nation.
The attendees from K-State included K-State First staff Gregory Eiselein, Vaughan and Brent Weaver; graduate assistant Mackenzie Sleigh; several faculty colleagues, Tara Coleman, Donald Saucier and Jared Meitler; and undergraduate students in the program, Bri Jackson, Reid Thornburg, Haley Weinberg, Madi Sawyer and Brian Mota. Everyone had the chance to participate in a wide range of sessions based around first-year programs. These sessions and workshops focused on best practices for living-learning communities, mentorship programs, first-year experience courses, common reading programs, and a diverse range of ideas on how to implement and expand them.
Eiselein, Saucier and Association of College and University Educators partner Carmen Macharaschwili presented "Re-Imagining Faculty Development: Comprehensive Approaches for First-Year Experiences." Weaver, Sleigh and several students presented "Embedding Returning Staff into Your Peer Mentor Training Program." Jared Meitler shared his experiences managing students' major and career exploration needs with highly motivated peer advisors in "Your Peer Advisors Do What?". Coleman and Weaver facilitated several scenarios with student volunteers in "Situation Critical: Responding to Difficult Situations Through Role-Play."
Vaughan traveled directly from Las Vegas to Albuquerque to present on her Muggle Studies: How "Harry Potter" Shaped the World CAT Community experiences in "Becoming Dumbledore’s Army: Academic and Social Engagement in Living-Learning Communities" at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association 40th Annual Conference.