Concurrent Campus Presentations

March 26, 2022

Bridging Curriculum and Co-Curriculum through Community Engagement

Through a recent NetVUE Program Development Grant, St. Norbert has sought to expand its vocational work by bridging co-curricular student development and faculty development through the lens of community engagement. This session will explore how a new pathway experience for students, Scholars for Community-Engaged Vocation, serves as a partnership between colleagues in academic affairs and student affairs that integrates the development of community-engaged faculty with the student experience. Participants will be invited to consider ways in which their institutions might use their own work in vocation to create similar bridges.

Deirdre E. Egan-Ryan, Professor of English and Director of Academic Service Learning, St. Norbert College
Derek B. Elkins, Protestant Chaplain and Co-Director of the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life & Vocation, St. Norbert College
Rebecca J. Lahti, Co-Director of the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life & Vocation, St. Norbert College

Calling + Completion: Toward a More Socially Just Model of Purpose

Undergraduate education is a powerful force in student development and decision-making in pursuit of a life’s calling. But given the demographic shifts within higher education (with an increasing presence of women, low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color), academic institutions must offer more than access and a chance to explore vocation. They must also help students build social capital to ensure the completion of a bachelor’s degree and a successful fulfillment of their calling. This presentation will focus on a Guided Pathways framework, which is designed to develop an ecosystem approach to providing access, equitable student outcomes, exploration for finding one’s calling, and ensuring completion. This session will help participants learn how the equation of “calling + completion” can offer a powerful way to help students at the individual level and make good on the institutional promise of greater access to higher education.

Maura Devlin, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation, Bay Path University
Gretchen Heaton, Associate Dean of Career and Leadership Development, Bay Path University
Dinah Moore, Executive Director of the WELL Program, Bay Path University

Engaged Departments: A Collective Call into Community

With support from our current NetVUE grant on vocational reflection, St. Olaf College is working with two departments—physics and music—in a year-long process of becoming an “engaged department.” This work provides faculty with adequate time to learn about community-engaged practices and to begin building relationships with potential community partners. It also encourages them to dig deeply into their personal and departmental vocations, alongside their students’ vocational discernment processes. This session will share the practices of this work, feature a case study of one faculty member who is participating in this process, and allow time for discussion among participants about how to begin or deepen department-level work on their own campuses.

Rehanna L. Kheshgi, Assistant Professor of Music, St. Olaf College
Alyssa Herzog Melby, Program Director for Academic Civic Engagement, St. Olaf College

Letters from One Humanities Colleague to Another

A mid-career professor who teaches philosophy at a small, teaching institution writes a letter to a mentor professor who is also in the humanities and serves as the institution’s point person for vocation initiatives. The younger professor, who has over 10 years’ experience, is nearing a crisis in vocational discernment, and is experiencing struggles that are being noticed by some students in that professor’s general education courses. The mentor replies, offering empathy and advice. This fictional correspondence will be offered as a starting point for a conversation about the evolving vocations of faculty members at NetVUE institutions.

Paul R. Burmeister, Assistant Dean of Advising and Professor of Art, Wisconsin Lutheran College
Amy K. Hermanson, Associate Professor of English, Wisconsin Lutheran College

Purposeful Pathways: Vocational Reflection in the Third and Fourth Years

Furman University offers an “integrated four-year pathway” for students, designed to encourage them to engage in the exploration of, and reflection on, what is meaningful to them. It also seeks to prepare students for accelerated professional and community impact after college. This presentation will focus on NetVUE-grant-funded programming and resources for students in their third and fourth years, designed to facilitate the exploration of vocation and purpose within each student’s major discipline. The session will offer lessons learned from the efforts to build campus-wide support for the initiative, the content of the program, and the importance of cross-campus partnerships to ensure long-term sustainability of the initiative.

John M. Harris, Faculty Director, Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection and Professor of Mathematics, Furman University
Michelle Horhota, Associate Dean for Mentoring and Advising and Professor of Psychology, Furman University

Reshaping Teacher Education through Anti-Racist Curricula and Recruitment of Students of Color

Nearly three decades of research indicates that teachers of color can improve the academic success and overall social experience for both students of color and white students, yet 80 percent of all teachers are white. In addition to the dearth of teachers of color, educational systems have long been complicit in furthering structural racism. In an attempt to reimagine and revolutionize the teaching profession, Roanoke College created BRIDGES, with two closely-related goals: the recruitment, retention, and mentorship of students of color; and the integration of programming related to race and racism across the curriculum, in order to improve the preparation of all students for teaching diverse populations. The session will provide an opportunity to consider how similar efforts could be developed on other campuses.

Lisa G. Stoneman, Associate Professor of Education and Department Chair, Roanoke College

Roadmaps for Vocational Formation: An Integrated Approach to Student Development

Abilene Christian University recently launched Compass, an initiative that guides students “toward becoming a Christian servant and leader for the sake of the world.” By creating roadmaps tailored to the unique curricular and co-curricular opportunities in each academic department, Compass provides an integrated pathway for vocational discernment and formation. Student experiences on the roadmaps align with ACU’s progression of formation themes: first year, pursue community; second year, pursue hospitality; third year, pursue calling; fourth year, pursue wisdom. The session will describe how the creation of integrated roadmaps can utilize the rich experiences available at other institutions— including global education, experiential learning, leadership development, career preparedness, and spiritual formation—for vocational formation and discernment.

Laura B. Carroll, Executive Director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, Abilene Christian University
Derran Reese, Director of Experiential Learning, Abilene Christian University
Benjamin J. Ries, Associate Dean for Vocational Formation, Abilene Christian University

Vocation and Values: A New Approach to Vocation in the Core Curriculum

This presentation reports on a sequence of vocational courses in the core curriculum at Tabor College. Its primary focus is six discipline-specific courses in which students of a given major—or what we intend to be complementary majors—study and reflect together on how to live out one’s vocation, both individually and collectively, within those professional disciplines. Student learning outcomes and course assignments will be included in the presentation. The session will share lessons learned from the process through which these courses came into existence, how they are managed, and some of their benefits and challenges.

Douglas B. Miller, Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Tabor College