2018 National Conference Educational Sessions

Full List of AHEPPP Conference Presentations (listed by Programming Block)

Programming Block I

Strategies for Effective Onboarding, Supervision, and Coaching   
Julie Schultz, Carnegie Mellon University

Employee supervision is a key responsibility for many parent and family professionals, yet there are few opportunities for formal training in this area. This session will focus on best practices for developing a comprehensive onboarding and training program for new employees and supporting employees after their transition through coaching techniques.  

Keeping Up with the Joneses: How Peer Assessment Drives Change                      
Nicki Jenkins, University of Kentucky
Tess Gibson, Auburn University
Skylar Pritchard, University of South Carolina

You have assessed your programs and combed through spreadsheets and analytics; now what? Learn how some institutions are utilizing assessment data to drive change on their campuses. No matter your institutional type, size, athletic division, or demographics, this presentation will demonstrate the impact assessment can have on your family programs.

Programming Block II

Creating a Culture of Family Volunteerism to Support Your Office   
Paige Kegley, Clemson University
Laci Weeden, Georgia Institute of Technology

An institution can benefit greatly by utilizing families throughout the collegiate process! Come learn about how two institutions use families in volunteer roles from the admission process all the way through commencement to support the goals of an institution. In this session you will have the opportunity to learn about volunteering, in a board model as well as general volunteerism. You will also learn the benefits gained both for the institution, as well as the family!

Parents as Partners: Effective Strategies for Navigating College Transition             
Amy Baldwin, University of Central Arkansas
Laurie Hazard, Bryant University
Stephanie Carter, Bryant University

How can an institution guide parents’ involvement in ways that are helpful to all? This session will discuss valuable new parent resources, strategies for integrating these resources into parent engagement programming, and concrete suggestions for helping address the challenges of the college transition.

Campus Partnerships: Career Services and Parent & Family Programs
Chelsea Petree, Rochester Institute of Technology

The benefits of engaging parents as partners in students’ career development is explored in the context of global trends that connect students and parents more closely than before. Participants will gain confidence in working with parents by reviewing career and family theories, best practices, and examples from one institution partnership.  

Family Weekend Collaboration for Practical Results  
Rose M. Boulay, Ed.D, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Family Weekend coordination requires sustained collaboration among campus departments, community organizations, student organizations, and most importantly families. In this session, participants will learn about our signature events; how we forged some great partnerships with different entities to enhance the variety of events offered to families; and how we’ve improved over the years.  

Programming Block III

Shaping Our Future Locally: Host a Regional Conference!   
Kayla Albano, University of California, Los Angeles
Adrienne Kravitz, Hofstra University

Regional conferences provide an opportunity for professionals to network and share knowledge locally when national conference attendance is not always feasible. This session will address the value of hosting a regional conference, explore the planning and execution process, and provide tangible steps for attendees to forge their own path.  

Emerge, Engage, and Evolve: Strategies for the First-Year and New Parent Professionals
Katie Seccombe, University of Portland
Jess Tallant, Oregon State University

This presentation will help to provide you with information and guidance for success in either your new role as a parent and family programs professional or if you supervise a new PFP within your department or division. We hope that you can take away tangible strategies for formulating your capital in your new role, how to create partner buy-in, and how to balance the many responsibilities you may have as the only professional in your unit, division, and/or institution doing this work.  

Staff of One? Multiply your Impact with Parent Volunteers
Janice Nikkel, Trinity Western University

Most parent departments are run by an office of one, maybe two. Our mandate is huge, but our resources are slim. The purpose of this workshop is to offer ways to help you multiply your impact at your university by harnessing the power of parent volunteers.

Wearing Two Hats: Maximizing Opportunities in a Parent/Family Programs AND Role
Sarah Brice, Arizona State University
Brett Bruner, Fort Hays State University
Whitney White, University of Cincinnati

Some parent and family program professionals serve in roles that combine their parent & family program responsibilities with another functional area (marketing, assessment, orientation, conduct, etc.). This facilitated session will be guided by three parent/family program professionals who also have AND...responsibilities and will allow for discussion on strategy for balance, expectations, conflict, and personal growth in such a role.

Programming Block IV

Parent-College Student Conversations about Sexual Violence
Christine Self, Texas Tech University

The presenter will share her dissertation research related to the messages college parents send their students about sexual violence, the differences that exist in those messages based on gender, and the resources college parents find helpful in facilitating conversations about sexual violence with their students.

Expanding Your Reach: Utilizing E-Newsletters to Connect with Families                
Kayla Albano, University of California, Los Angeles

Whether you are building your program, looking to increase your digital footprint, or navigating increasing demands on a strict budget, an e-newsletter is a vital tool. This session will address the components of creating and sustaining a successful e-newsletter, and how to tailor this resource to meet your institution’s needs.

“Knock, Knock.  Who’s There? FERPA. FERPA Who?  I’m sorry I Can’t Tell You That.”
Maureen Hurley, Emerson College

Sometimes the fear of the FERPA privacy laws paralyze college and university staff and students when they are approached by family members.  This session will model an interactive workshop used to help our front line staff gain confidence in interacting positively with parents on the phone and in person.  

Unlock the Value of Parent & Family Relations: A Case Study of the Parent Insight & Experience Initiative at Gonzaga University
Amy Swank, Gonzaga University
Emily Parker, TorchStar Education, Inc.
Sally McMillan, TorchStar Education, Inc.

Gonzaga University has a well-established Office of Parent & Family Relations, nationally recognized programs and excellent relationships with offices across campus. Yet, there was still a need to gain valuable insights from the families served to strengthen the role of Parent and Family Relations. Gonzaga University launched the Parent Insight & Experience initiative to better understand parents as effective partners in student success and develop a strategic action plan to be implemented in 2019.

Programming Block V

Including Families in Career Education   
Adrienne Kravitz, Hofstra University
Darlene Johnson, Hofstra University
Leanne Zinn, Hofstra University

This presentation will educate attendees about the importance of family involvement in students’ career education and development, as well as offer strategies for future collaboration with campus partners to optimize success in hosting career events on their campuses.

Preparing Parents For Success Through Orientation Programming 
Lauren Lucas, Purdue University

Purdue University conducted a survey surrounding summer orientation to measure the following themes: parent expectations of orientation; anxiety level with academic pre-registration; knowledge of Purdue’s academic rigor, resources, and advising; comfort level in attending and independence that comes with college. This presentation will focus on the results of what we learned.

How to Launch a Family Program in Three Months
Stephanie Stiltner, University of Pikeville
Dr. Mathys Meyer, University of Pikeville

Establishing a family program is no easy feat. Hear how a professor-turned-administrator and communication professional came together to establish a family program on their campus. Driven by their passion to see students succeed, combined with support from campus partners, they launched UPIKE’s Office of Family Connections in three months.

Learning from Losing: Tips for building resilience, reflection and growth after challenges
Monica Ruppert, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stephanie Benson-Gonzales, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Have you ever hosted an event that didn't go as planned, dealt with an unintended PR crisis, or felt like you couldn't meet a parent's expectations? Come learn best practices for building resilience after instances of such "adversity" in our line of work.  

Programming Block VI

Parenting the Parents (and Families) of the Next Generation   
Meaghan Miller Thul, University of Minnesota
Cyndy Hill, Pennsylvania State University

As students from a new generation (Gen Z, iGen, GenWe) arrive on our campuses, we need to re-examine how our programs are meeting the needs of their families. These students (born between 1995 - 2010) have grown up in a diverse world that has faced an economic crisis, political uncertainties, pervasive technology and increased mental health challenges. Colleges and universities need to examine how to best support this new generation of students and families, who are now predominantly from Generation X and will soon include increasing numbers of Millennials. This can be especially challenging for colleges and universities where change can be slow. This session will examine our newest generation of students; relationships with their families; and how parent and family programs can best support them.

Using Technology To Enhance Your Parent & Family Engagement Strategy 
Tess Gibson, Auburn University
Gail Offringa, Baylor University
Leslie Gale, CampusESP

Auburn University and Baylor University have deployed the CampusESP Parent Portal, an online tool for connecting with parents and families. Hear about successes and challenges, and get tips on developing a comprehensive engagement plan. Highlights include building cross-campus partnerships, getting funding, and targeting communication to all parent and family populations. 

Using Facebook Live to Connect with Families
Maureen Hurley, Emerson College

What’s the hot topic on your Parent and Family Facebook group this week?  From housing assignments to graduation day etiquette, there’s always something being discussed or debated.  This session will demonstrate how holding frequent and informal Facebook Live events with campus partners to disseminate information and connect with families has been a dynamic strategy for our College.  

Infusing Mindfulness into Your Practice and Programs
Lynanne Yndestad, Virginia Commonwealth University

Join us to explore various avenues of ways to take care of yourself, as well as how to infuse self-care and mindfulness into interactions and programs with parents and families.

Programming Block VII

Shaping Our Relationship with First-Generation Families: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We’re Going
Kayla Albano, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Dawn Bruner, University of Rochester
Libby Daggers, Texas A&M University

Higher education institutions sometimes struggle with where to begin in serving families of first-generation students. This working session will go back to the basics and encourage attendees to explore challenges and opportunities, understand and identify assessment tools and resources, and determine small initial solutions that may yield lasting results.

Best Practices in a Holistic View of Communication for Incoming Families          
Jennifer Wetli, Purdue University
Lauren Lucas, Purdue University

This session will discuss a holistic view of communication with families to help facilitate a smooth transition into college. Our offices are in place for a reason; it is important families know how we can help. From transition newsletters to engagement in their own community, learn to keep parents engaged for success.

Helping our Students too: Impacting our students directly
Lindsey Bray, University of Memphis
Tasha Talton, University of Texas Arlington
Rose Boulay, University of Massachusetts Amherst

While our offices all help to assist our students through helping their parents and families, many of us provide direct student services. This session will showcase the programs and services that our Parent & Family offices are providing directly to students to help impact their educational experiences as well.

A Framework for Understanding Family Roles across the Student Lifecycle    
Sally McMillan, University of Tennessee
Emily Parker, TorchStar Education, Inc.
Serena Matsunaga, TorchStar Education, Inc.

The University of Tennessee has ambitious goals for improvement in recruitment, retention, and graduation of undergraduate students. To support those goals, UT has explored ways to apply research about emerging adulthood, family communication, and access to resources to manage the student lifecycle from recruitment to graduation and alumni development.

Programming Block VIII

From Concept to Reality: The Creation & Maintenance of Affinity Groups
Andrea Mitchen, University of Houston
Libby Daggers, Texas A&M University

Coog Moms was founded in the fall of 2017 at the University of Houston almost 90 years after the Aggie Moms was founded at Texas A&M University.  In this session, the presenters will share insights and information about how they assisted in the creation of a new affinity group and how to consistently develop and negotiate the relationship with existing groups.  

XYZ: The Alphabet Soup of Generational Communication
Shari Glaser, Western Michigan University
Bretney Waller, Western Michigan University

Gen Z students are firmly ensconced as a dynamic part of our campuses. We now serve five disparate generations of students and families, all with different traits, expectations, and needs. Let’s explore the intersectionality of generations and how to effectively connect and communicate with your student and family populations.

Institutional Communities of Practice: Innovative Collaborations for the Future
Laurie Hazard, Bryant University
Stephanie Carter, Bryant University

This session explores the development of a “Parent and Family Community of Practice” (COP). A COP of professionals from across the university has generated new ideas, programs and approaches for engaging  parents and families. The COP’s impact has created a ripple effect of institutional change, benefitting parents, families and students.

Finding Collaborations Between Parents Association & First Year Programming 
Glenn Gittings, University of Louisville

Is your institution's parent/family program not housed with first-year programs?  No worries, you're not alone. Come learn about how the University of Louisville has worked to build collaboration between these functional areas.  You will learn from examples of intentional partnership and shared events/resources that are important to families as well as steps to building a strong collaboration.   

Programming Block IX

Parent & Family Associations: Where are we now?
Lindsey Bray, University of Memphis
Tess Gibson, Auburn University
Celeste Waugh, The University of Tennessee

Parent & Family Associations are very common, but each institution does them a bit differently. Hear from 3 different institutions on the state of their associations, how they have changed over the years and where they are headed in the future.

Create Innovative Programming in Three Steps                   
Stephanie Theis, Biola University

Have you hit a wall when it comes to thinking creatively? Are you having trouble innovating and strategizing in new and interesting ways? At times, do you feel like innovation just "isn't your thing"?  Using the brainstorming and production methods of Walt Disney, this interactive seminar will teach you three easy and fun steps that guarantee solutions to age old problems and ideas for new programming you never thought possible.

Engaging Parents and Families of Commuter Students
Natalie Kellett, University of Colorado Denver

Effectively engaging parents and families of college students can be very challenging; families of commuter students can be even trickier to engage and often get overlooked.  The Parent and Family Program at the University of Colorado Denver, a predominately commuter campus, has found success and challenges creating a comprehensive program for the families of our students.  Learn about the unique considerations for this population and how you can best meet their needs, give them the tools to support their students, and engage them in constructive and meaningful ways.

Orientation 101: Orientation Basics & the Involvement of Parents  
Joyce Holl, NODA-Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education
Shawn Smee, Murray State University
Quincy Spencer, University of Arkansas

Orientation programs are a necessary and vital way to begin the process of connecting new students to the campus community through the development of skills, communication of values and expectations and delivery of campus knowledge, history and traditions. Just as there are a variety of institutional types, there are a variety of ways to plan, organize, manage, implement and evaluate these critical programs. This session is sponsored by NODA-Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education and will provide an overview of and approaches to orientation programs and encompassing parents and families in the process.

Programming Block X

Engaging Our Families Beyond Our Campus Borders  
Kayla Albano, University of California, Los Angeles
Adrienne Kravitz, Hofstra University
Lauren McGuire, Arizona State University

Most institutions utilize online learning for students, but such content for families is less common. This panel discussion will address how three institutions incorporate virtual discussions into their family programming and will allow participants to utilize such digital spaces as the next frontier for family engagement.  

Looking Back to Grow Forward: Developing Your Parent Program 
Jennifer Wood, Texas State University
Christine Self, Texas Tech University

Now that you have the basics of a parent program up and running, what are your next steps to further develop your program? How should you incorporate all the great ideas from other parent programs? By reflecting on your past success, you can build strategic initiatives for the future.  

Solo Act: Tips for Thriving as a One-person Office
Laci Weeden, Georgia Institute of Technology
Allison Dodson, Appalachian State University

Are you the only professional in your office? We all know that we provide excellent service, helpful resources, and wonderful opportunities to our families. If you are an office of one doing everything it is exhausting, frustrating, and sometimes lonely. Come find out ways to get creative to find additional staff, seek guidance from your peers in the room, and learn some strategies to take care of yourself to avoid burnout.  

Guess Who's Coming to College - Generational Cycles & the Next Generation  
Deanie Kepler, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
Kay Higgins, Ph.D., Texas Christian University
Jane Tuttle, Ed.D., Kansas University
Sabrina Cave, University of West Virginia

Since AHEPPP’s founding, and even in the years immediately prior, colleges and universities of all sizes and academic programs welcomed Millennials with open arms. We’ve watched these group-oriented high tech students thrive in our academic environments, but we cannot ignore the fact that the first Millennials entered college in the year 2000. That was eighteen years ago!  Howe and Strauss estimate that a generational cycle occurs roughly every twenty years (give or take a year or so…). Who’s next…come explore the next generation of college students and their families!