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Student Life Summit

The inaugural Student Life Summit was held on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. The summit is a conference-style opportunity for divisional staff to learn from each other and share new ideas and best practices.

Student Life Summit LogoThe inaugural Student Life Summit emerged out of the Student Life Assessment Team after a successful conference focused on assessment in January 2023. The summit aims to bring together staff to learn from each other and sharing some of the presentations and insights often only shared at conferences with an external audience.

The first summit immediately followed the Student Life divisional meeting in January 2024. 


Schedule at a Glance

The following schedule includes both the divisional meeting (required for all staff) and the Student Life Summit.

January 11, 2024 Schedule
Time Session
10 a.m. Divisional Meeting Keynote with Brent Shock (Armstrong Fritz Pavilion)
11 a.m. Brunch (Armstrong Fritz Pavilion)
11:45 a.m. Divisional Meeting Updates from Jayne Brownell (Armstrong Fritz Pavilion)
12:45 p.m. Breakout Session #1 (Armstrong Meeting Rooms)
1:40 p.m. Breakout Session #2 (Armstrong Meeting Rooms)
2:25 p.m. Snack 
2:45 p.m. Breakout Session #3 (Armstrong Meeting Rooms)
3:40 p.m. Closing (Joslin Senate Chamber)

Detailed Schedule

Breakout Session #1

12:45-1:30 p.m.

Being FAT in HigherEd and How You Can Make Space for EVERY BODY

Amanda Mientus, Office of Residence Life

This presentation will touch on my own personal experiences of being a Fat professional in HigherEd. Through this presentation I discuss some of the barriers Fat professionals face on a daily basis as well as ways that peers and departments can work to make space for Every Body. On-top of giving some ideas we will have time in the presentation to have an open discussion about eachothers experiences and see what we may all do to better to support our Fat peers. This presentation is open for all especially for those fellow Fat professionals that may learn ideas to take back to their departments for positive implementation.

Location: Armstrong 1080

MAP It Out: Planning Accessible Events

Hope Sweeney, Miller Center for Student Disability Services
Kailey Costible, Center for Student Engagement, Activities, and Leadership

Two years ago, the Student Life DEI Action Team began to look at ways to operationalize the values held by the division, we wanted to walk the walk. Two subcommittees later, an inclusive guide to event planning was finalized and adopted by the division. Each department contributed best practices and considerations specific to their area of expertise, culminating in a resource that students and staff can use to ensure all participant's needs are considered in the planning stages of any event rather than as an afterthought. Our goal is to introduce the document, ensure folks know where to find it and highlight some similar social justice resources from other divisions at Miami. When you know better, you do better. Because of our lens, this session will focus on planning with a culture of access in mind.

Location: Armstrong 1086

Student Success and Retention Initiatives at Miami

Jayne Brownell, Senior Vice President for Student Life
Amy Bergerson, Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Brent Shock, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

At a place as big as Miami, it can be hard to see how offices collaborate to increase the retention and persistence of our students. This session will outline the current retention efforts being coordinated across three divisions at Miami and how they have helped increase student success.

Location: Armstrong 1082

Breakout Session #2

1:40-2:25 p.m.

10 Ways to Support Underrepresented Students

Dasha Wood, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Adelaide Johnson-Ghartey, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
D. Ellis Rates, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Mathew Hall, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion

The CSDI exists to support underrepresented at Miami University. The goal of this session is to provide colleagues with tangible ways to help support our mission, Student Life's strategic commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, and the University's goal of inclusive excellence. We will provide tangible strategies for supporting students through their collegiate journey at a PWI.

Location: Armstrong 1082

Understanding our Students: Generations Current and Future

Liz Walsh-Treviño, Orientation and Transition Programs
Andrea Howard, Orientation and Transition Programs

Attend this session to engage in discussion and learning about the students currently on our campus (Generation Z) and the students headed our way in the coming years (Generation Alpha). How can we as leaders, supervisors, and mentors maximize the strengths of our students and provide student-ready services and opportunities? Session participants will have the opportunity to apply the material to their own functional area.

Location: Armstrong 1086

Climate Action Plan and You!

Kourtney Spaulding, Armstrong Student Center
Olivia Herron, Sustainability

In this session, presenters will briefly review the Miami University Climate Action Plan and discuss ways that it will effect the Division of Student Life. We will also discuss how Student Life will impact the outcomes of the plan (planning sustainable events, talking with students about climate change, encouraging students to engage in the CAP). 

Location: Armstrong 1080

Breakout Session #3

2:45-3:30 p.m.

Ableism, Inspiration Porn, and Microaggressions

Annastashia Blesi, Miller Center for Student Disability Services

This session will teach about everyday ableism and microaggressions that disabled people experience. We will deconstruct the types of ableism - systemic/institutional, interpersonal, and internalized to understand how students and colleagues may experience ableism in higher education. Participants will also learn about inspiration porn - the objectification of disabled people for existing in their bodies.

Location: Armstrong 1086

How Parents Identify with the Experience of Parenting: Developing Insights to Improve the Quality of Interactions

Joe Hawkins, Parent and Family Programs

In this session, we will explore research from the Pew Research Center about how parents understand their role, their experience of being a parent, and the goals they have for their students' education broken out by varying demographics. We will consider how parents show up in our offices and then spend time working together to develop insight into how to use this data to help parent interactions be more positive and productive.

Location: Armstrong 1080

Time, Place, Manner and the First Amendment at Miami

Scott Walter, Assistant Vice President for Student Life
Katie Wilson, Armstrong Student Center
Kim Vance, Center for Student Engagement, Activities, and Leadership

This session is focused on the state of Miami University's climate for freedom of expression. As student life staff, we frequently interact with students who are seeking to exercise their rights under the First Amendment and it's our responsibility to help them succeed within the framework of the law and university time, place, and manner policies. Meanwhile, we care about our students and the campus climate created by some of these events. If you have questions about how two these things are balanced, what the university policies are, or how we work with students in this area, this is the session for you.

Location: Armstrong 1082


Please reach out to a member of the planning committee with any questions.