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29th Ann Ferren Conference:
Reimagining the Educator for the 21st Century

Institutions of higher education are facing unprecedented challenges driven by internal and external forces that question the role and responsibility of educators, the value proposition of a college degree, access and inclusion, social justice and education, and political climate. In light of these forces, the 29th Ann Ferren Conference will focus on "Reimagining the Educator for the 21st century." CTRL, in collaboration with the School of Education and Office of Campus Life, will have faculty and staff present on the following topics:


a. Changing Pedagogical Paradigms

This topic recognizes that higher education (HE) today calls for faculty to reexamine and address accepted pedagogical norms. Central to a paradigm shift is the fundamental question of 'who is the educator' and what values drive choices and approaches to teaching-learning. We welcome innovative proposals including those that examine

  • inclusive and critical pedagogies;
  • self-reflexivity as an engine for innovation and renewal;
  • implications of intergenerational differences among educators; and
  • the purpose and meaning of educating the current generation of students in contrast to previous ones.


b. Importance of Mentorship

This topic recognizes that HE must be intentional in building structures to facilitate and nurture networks of relationships. Such structures promote retention; sense of belonging; and personal and professional growth. We welcome innovative proposals including those that examine

  • institutional structures needed to foster successful mentorship throughout the academic life trajectory of faculty and students;
  • benefits of mentorship at the individual and institutional levels;
  • institutionalizing a culture of mentorship (and measuring impact) among faculty, and between faculty and students; and
  • faculty-staff collaboration in mentoring students.


c. Education as Civic Engagement

This topic recognizes that institutions of HE increasingly are asked to account for the value and relevance of knowledge generated and disseminated. Given changing faculty and student demographics amid an appetite for translational research, we welcome innovative proposals including those that examine

  • strategies for bringing the community in the classroom and the classroom into the community;
  • intent versus impact related to civic/community engagement;
  • the purpose and meaning of research that can inform policy and practice;
  • engaged scholarship;
  • interdisciplinary teaching-learning viz critical issues of the day; and
  • community partners as educators.

d. Technological Innovations

This topic recognizes that HE increasingly must contend with rapid technological innovations and their implications for teaching-learning. Technology is viewed as an enabling tool of, or conversely an insurmountable barrier to teaching-learning processes. We welcome innovative proposals including those that examine

  • private sector driven innovations and reshaping of the educator’s role;
  • intercultural competence;
  • e-pedagogy and the training/retraining of educators;
  • harnessing e-learning to build communities of practice; and
  • opportunities and challenges of applying knowledge gained from online courses to face-to-face instruction and vice versa.

Session Types

Panel Presentations

A formal presentation by a panel of presenters. We strongly suggest having no more than 4 panelists, limiting the presentation to 50 minutes, and ensuring at least 20 minutes of Q&A. Presenters are strongly encouraged to bring handouts and/or provide online resources.

Panel presentations should be structured to foreground a variety of perspectives, cases, or examples on the topic.

Interactive Sessions

These sessions are primarily centered on discussion. They are facilitated by a single moderator, who will give a very brief, contextualizing introduction on the topic (5-10 minutes), with the majority of the session devoted to discussion by participants and the audience.

Interactive sessions offer attendees a chance to share and discuss their experiences, their approaches to solving problems, or their new ideas on a specific topic.

Hands-On Workshops

These workshops teach hands-on skills that can include an overview of a new skill or technique followed by an opportunity to practice using those skills. Attendees should expect an interactive experience.

We suggest that all hands-on workshops include handouts and/or step-by-step guides for attendees to take with them after the session, and that you allow ample time for participants to try out the skill or tool you are teaching.


Important Dates:

Proposals due September 25, 2017
Notification of acceptance November 15, 2017
Registration opens December 1, 2017
Conference date
January 12, 2018

Proposal Guidelines:

Sessions are one hour and fifteen minutes long. Please allow for at least 20 minutes for Q & A. We encourage innovative modes of delivery, and as much discussion as possible. 

In the online session proposal form, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • The proposed title of your session;

  • The session type you have chosen for your session;

  • The topic area(s) that best (fit(s) the theme of your proposed session;
  • The names, affiliations, and contact information of all presenters

  • The goal, content, and main takeaways of your session; and

  • A short description of your session (50-60 words), which will appear in both the online and the printed conference program.



CTRL is committed to providing services to all faculty and staff regardless of disability and we will coordinate ways to bring services to an accessible location. Request an accessible meeting (x2117).