Fredonia to host Teaching and Learning Conference in August

Current and future challenges and opportunities in higher education will be explored at the annual Teaching and Learning Conference to be held at the State University of New York at Fredonia on Aug. 18.

Now in its eighth year, the conference enables faculty from throughout western New York to connect with one another while exploring new, creative and diverse ways about thinking, learning and working. Improving student engagement and learning across disciplines is the ultimate goal of the conference, which is designed to serve as a conduit for discussion and scholarly exchange.

“Recent scholarship, coupled with the challenges facing higher education, requires educators to think outside of the traditional classroom environment and to re-imagine education within a multiplicity of new and innovative settings,” said Conference Co-chair Jodi Rzepka.

“Our hope is that today’s widely varying presentations on this central theme and its sub-strands of diversity, performance, community, technology and service learning will give everyone a chance to share ideas with colleagues, reflect on teaching practices, evaluate the delivery of student support services, and look forward to an exciting new academic year,” Rzepka explained.

Cathy Davidson, co-founder of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, a network of innovators dedicated to new forms of learning in the digital age, will deliver the keynote address. Davidson received an Educator of the Year award from the World Technology Network in recognition of her contribution to science and technology in education through HASTAC. She was named to the National Council on the Humanities in 2011 by President Barack Obama.

In her new position with the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Davidson will direct Futures Initiatives, a CUNY-wide program that promotes collaborative and participatory innovation in higher education.

“We look forward to an exciting day of discussions among faculty and staff about the ways in which to best incorporate these themes in their teaching practices and delivery of student support services,” said Kathleen Gradel, conference co-chair.

The conference, organized by Fredonia’s Professional Development Center, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Williams Center. Additional conference information and registration details can be found at www.fredonia.edu/pdc/tlc.asp.