Office of Student Success and Experiential Learning Center

North Foundation Hall Rm 157
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4480
Fax: (248) 370-4485

Past Conferences

2016 Michigan Student Success Conference
Hosted by Oakland University
February 10-12, 2016
Marriott | Troy, Michigan

The theme of the 2016 conference is Collaborating for Student Success in its broadest terms, with a particular interest in ways in which engagement can enhance and broaden student learning and success. The conference welcomes proposals for sessions on all forms of collaboration whether internal between university offices and divisions or with external government, education, foundation, community, or business and industry partners in the interest of providing opportunities for students to grow and succeed. We want to hear about all the great things that your institution is doing to promote student success! 

Conference Theme


Today’s higher education institutions can sometimes operate in silos with student affairs, academic affairs and other divisions working separately on challenging issues that affect entire institutions. Additionally, public and private universities, community colleges, K-12 school districts, and other educational agencies don’t always combine forces to address the issues of education across the state. However, the opportunities through collaboration for strengthening community engagement and for teaching and learning the positive impact of social responsibility are considerable. 

For this reason, the 2016 Michigan Student Success Conference is focusing on Collaborating for Student Success, in its many guises - with a particular interest in the ways in which we can enhance not just the individual learning experience but the civic and social worlds in which we live through our active engagement with those around us. 

The conference will include presentations on cross-institutional collaborations and collaborations with business and industry. There will be sessions on collaborations with public sector agencies and government entities. It will feature presentations focusing on greater opportunities for students – whether through institutional synergies, or through town-and-gown collaborations.

We heartily welcome you to join us at the 2016 Michigan Student Success Conference!

David DiRamio
David DiRamioDavid DiRamio is an associate professor of higher education administration at Auburn University. Since his first article, “From Combat to Campus,” was published in 2008, Dr. DiRamio has emerged as a nationally known researcher and speaker reporting on the emerging population of student veterans in college. David and his colleagues recently completed a yearlong, multi-campus study of female student veterans, with findings to be reported in higher education journals in 2014. His scholarly works include the book “Veterans in Higher Education (2011),” which applies well-known theories and models of college student development to the contemporary phenomenon of the student veteran, and “Creating a Veteran-Friendly Campus (2009),” detailing best practices and how campus leaders can help student-veterans succeed. Dr. DiRamio received both B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. David is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Richard Guarasci
Dr. Richard Guarasci is currently chairman of the board for Campus Compact and president of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and a member of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. His is immediate past chairman of the New American Colleges & Universities and a former chairman of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation 

Time Magazine selected Dr. Guarasci as a National Undergraduate Educator. He is the 18th President of Wagner College, where he was previously the Provost and Senior Vice President. At Wagner, Dr. Guarasci founded the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, the four-year curriculum for all undergraduates, that draws together a substantive liberal arts core into a series of learning communities and experiential learning tutorials. 

Richard Guarasci is a Fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education and a PEW Foundation Fellow with the Washington Center for Learning in building natural leadership in Learning Communities. He is a co-author of ‘‘Democratic Education in the Age of Difference: Redefining Citizenship in Higher Education” (Jossey-Bass, 1997) and of numerous other publications. On May 19, 2015 the Huffington Post published Dr. Guarasci's essay entitled ‘‘Civic Engagement: Matching Students' Wants With Communities' Needs”.

Daniel J. Hurley
Daniel J. Hurley is the CEO of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. Hurley was previously associate vice president for government relations and state policy with the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). In that position he researched, analyzed and help advance into public policy a variety of issues affecting higher education, including financing of higher education, financial aid, student success, governance and institutional best practices. Prior to joining AASCU, Hurley was director of university relations and administrative services at PCSUM. He has also served as an administrative assistant to the president at Ferris State University. Hurley has a Ph.D. in public administration from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in career and technical education from Ferris State University and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University.

James Jacobs
James Jacobs assumed the presidency of Macomb Community College on July 1, 2008. Prior to his appointment, he concurrently served as director for the Center for Workforce Development and Policy at the college, and as associate director, Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University, where he currently serves as a member of its board of directors.

Jacobs earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and has more than 40 years experience at Macomb. He is a past president of the National Council for Workforce Education, a national post-secondary organization of occupational education and workforce development specialists, and a member of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education. He is also a member of the Community College Advisory Panel to the Educational Testing Service in Princeton New Jersey.

Jacobs is currently serving on the Governor’s Talent Investment Board, which advises Michigan’s governor on job creation, and talent development and retention. He is widely known for the Macomb County Economic Forecast, which he has presented annually for 29 years for the coalition of county’s chambers of commerce. Jacobs serves on a number of local boards, including the Center for Automotive Research, Metropolitan Affairs Council and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

William F.L. Moses
William F. L. Moses serves as managing director for The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, which supports postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The key architect of Kresge’s education programming, Bill leads the team’s continuum of domestic and international grant activities from developing program strategy, reviewing preliminary ideas, and helping grantees develop proposals or initiatives, to awarding funding and monitoring existing grants. Since his arrival at Kresge, Bill has served as a program officer and senior program officer, was instrumental in developing Kresge’s Green Building Initiative and has spearheaded the foundation’s grant making in South Africa.

Before joining Kresge, Bill served as executive director of The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in Rhode Island and as a senior analyst at the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a research officer at TechnoServe and held various administrative positions in Alaska’s state legislature and the federal government, including the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa.

A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Bill holds a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University. He is the author of “A Guide to American State and Local Laws on South Africa” and co-author of “Corporate Responsibility in a Changing South Africa.” He was the co-chair of the seven-foundation Partnership for Higher Education in Africa and serves on the steering committee of the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, an organization he co-founded. He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of The College Promise Campaign.

Carol Geary Schneider
Carol Geary Schneider is president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). With nearly 1,350 member institutions, half public and half private, drawn from the entire higher education community, AAC&U is the leading national organization devoted to the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.

During the course of her tenure at AAC&U, first as executive vice president, and then as president, Dr. Schneider has developed and led a series of national initiatives, including Liberal Education and America’s Promise, or LEAP, a public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a college education for the twenty-first century. The LEAP initiative builds on AAC&U’s major effort, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College, a multi-year initiative designed to articulate the aims of a twenty-first century liberal education and to identify comprehensive, innovative models that improve learning for all undergraduate students. Dr. Schneider also led, in the 1990s, AAC&U's national initiative on higher education and pluralism, American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy and Liberal Learning.

Dr. Schneider is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor's degree in history (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). She studied at the University of London's Institute for Historical Research and earned the Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. She holds thirteen honorary degrees and has taught at Boston University, Chicago State University, The University of Chicago and DePaul University.

Click the links below to view PDFs of Dr. Schneider's student success initiatives:
The LEAP Challenge Brochure
Bringing Quality and Equity Together: AAC&U’s Centennial Exploration of Liberal Education and the Equity Imperative
Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning
Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success: Selected Findings from Online Surveys of Employers and College Students
Student Achievement Research

Dierdre Waterman
Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman is a committed public servant with decades of professional expertise, public service and philanthropic endeavors. She was elected mayor by the citizens of Pontiac in 2013, becoming the first woman to ever be elected to the position.

An ophthalmologist by profession, Dr. Waterman is a longtime business owner and operated her practice, Holloway Eye Care, in Pontiac for over thirty years. She was the first African-American female ophthalmologist in the state of Michigan. Many Pontiac residents have been patients in her practice.

She served as Chairwoman of the National Medical Association, Region IV, as well as two terms as Finance Chair for that organization. She was also President of the Associated Healthcare Providers and is listed in the first edition of Vital Signs: Michigan, citing African-American achievement in healthcare.

Further, Dr. Waterman served as Vice Chair of the then-North Oakland Medical Center and served as Finance Chair during its transition to Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan, helping ensure hundreds of jobs remained in the city of Pontiac.
She is a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in Biology and Political Science, as well as Meharry Medical College. She completed her residency at the Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State University.

M. Roy Wilson
M. Roy WilsonDr. M. Roy Wilson became the 12th president of Wayne State University on August 1, 2013. Since assuming leadership, President Wilson has realigned the university’s numerous research divisions to emphasize team science and cluster hiring of scientists. This effort was reflected in the $90 million IBio multidisciplinary research facility, which opened in 2015. He also developed a strategy to improve the pipeline of underrepresented students toward science careers. As part of this strategy, he formed a coalition of Detroit-based universities and colleges to launch the NIH-funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Program at the university in 2015.

Enhancing the student experience has been high on President Wilson’s agenda. Campus beautification efforts have included the $26.5 million renovation of the Student Center Building and the redesigned green space surrounding Fountain Court. Plans have been made to expand student housing in order to accommodate a growing demand for on- campus housing as part of the Midtown neighborhood’s revitalization.

As part of a plan to increase the diversity of Wayne State’s campus, President Wilson created the position of Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer in 2014. He also created the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement to provide an inclusive environment and promote awareness initiatives that encourage academic success for underrepresented minorities and historically marginalized students.

Prior to joining Wayne State, President Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.

Previously, he was dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for health sciences at Creighton University, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and concurrently, chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver and chair of the Board of Directors of University of Colorado Hospital. President Wilson also chaired the Board of Directors of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and was acting president during part of that time.

President Wilson’s research has focused on glaucoma and blindness in populations from the Caribbean to West Africa. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Allegheny College, an M.S. in epidemiology from UCLA, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Wednesday, February 10
TimeEvent Venue 
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.RegistrationRegistration Desk
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.Pre-Conference WorkshopMain Room
Pre-Conference Workshop (Additional Fee of $75)
Who are our Student Veterans and are we Veteran-Friendly?
David DiRamio, Ph.D. | Auburn University
With nearly one million Post-9/11 veterans currently pursuing postsecondary education and an additional one million likely to do so by the end of the decade, institutions of higher learning in all educational sectors are grappling with the challenge to truly support their student veterans and to become legitimately veteran-friendly.
In this interactive workshop, which includes the use of audience response polling technology, participants will engage in a discussion of what it means to be veteran-friendly, be briefed on the latest about working with veterans in the classroom, and go beyond stereotypes to develop an understanding of several unique populations within the veteran community, including women, students with disabilities, and dependent children using educational benefits. 

Thursday, February 11
TimeEvent Venue 
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.RegistrationRegistration Desk 
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Networking Continental BreakfastMain Room
8:30 – 8:45 a.m.Welcome and OpeningMain Room
8:45 – 9:45 a.m.Keynote AddressMain Room
9:45 – 10:00 a.m.Transition 
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.Concurrent Sessions IBreakout Rooms 
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.Transition 
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.Concurrent Sessions IIBreakout Rooms
12:15 – 2:00 p.m. LunchMain Room
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.Plenary PanelMain Room
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.Transition 
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.Concurrent Sessions IIIBreakout Rooms
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.Showcase/ReceptionMediterranean Room

Friday, February 12
TimeEvent Venue 
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.RegistrationRegistration Desk 
8:00 – 8:45 a.m.Continental BreakfastMain Room 
8:45 – 9:45 a.m.KeynoteMain Room 
9:45 – 10:00 a.m.Transition 
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.Concurrent Sessions IVBreakout Rooms 
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.Transition 
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.Concurrent Sessions VBreakout Rooms 
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.LunchMain Room 
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.KeynoteMain Room 
2:15 p.m.Closing RemarksMain Room  

Concurrent Sessions 1

  • Avanzando Juntos: How Community Engagement Benefits All
  • STAR Program: A Proven Model of Helping At-Risk Students Persist and Succeed
  • Providing Greater Access to Career and Education Planning
  • Collaborating for Student Success: Developing Strong Students Through Community Partnerships
  • SOS for Non-Academic Financial Support
  • Conversations with keynote speaker: Richard Guarasci
  • Got Muda? How We Used Lean Principles to Effect Campus-wide Change
  • Conference Sponsor Session: The Obvious Benefits of Timetabling and Some That Are Not So Obvious

Concurrent Sessions 2

  • The Cardinal Coaching Program: Envisioning Student Success with Cross-Campus Collaboration
  • Reading is a Team Sport
  • Bridge Programs: Developing a Sense of Belonging through Campus Connections
  • Bridging Access to Success
  • Leveraging momentum from a student success event at Western Michigan University with Dr. Paul Hernandez
  • Nurturing Social Responsibility Through Self-Awareness
  • Collaboration with Campus Partners for Greater Success
  • Conference Sponsor Session: Improve Student Services and Success: How Student Schedule Planning Benefits the Entire Institution

Concurrent Sessions 3

  • Gateways to Completion
  • Decision Tree Analysis of Transfer Student Performance at a Public 4 Year Institution
  • Warriors Helping Warriors – One Institution’s Approach to Targeted Veteran Academic Support Services
  • Together we can. Together we will: Collaborating to meet the needs of At Risk, Conditionally Admitted Students
  • Collaborating to Provide Equal Access to U3 Students
  • It Takes a University to Support Students: Complexity Leadership Theory as a Lens for Student Success Program Implementation
  • Conference Sponsor Session: What Every Leader Needs to Know About Student Success Analytics

Concurrent Sessions 4

  • Collaboration: A Key Factor in Assistive Technology Services and Access for Students
  • Breaking Down Silos with Cross-Unit/University Collaboration
  • Collaborative Happiness: Advisor Training for Transformative Customer Service
  • Increasing Success for Students from Foster Care
  • Experiential Learning: Service Learning in the Classroom
  • Conference Sponsor Session: Skyfactor Mapworks Student Retention System

Concurrent Sessions 5

  • Career Collaborations: A Strategy that Works!
  • Drilling Down! Assessing Developmental Mathematics Course Outcomes
  • The Significance of Student Resources and Networking
  • Fostering Success in Michigan: A Collaborative Approach to Success for Students from Foster Care
  • It Takes a Village: Leveraging Cross Functional Collaborations 
  • Second Year Experience: The Ultimate Collaboration for Student Retention
  • Enhancing Teaching and Research Practice through Informal Faculty Collaborations