Quinnipiac University
2023 IESA Keynote

Exploring Issues of Agency

2023 IESA

Faculty, educators, students and industry thought leaders gathered for the 2023 Inclusive Excellence Summer Assembly to explore issues of agency in our communities. Attendees engaged in meaningful dialogue, tackled probing questions and focused on creating learning opportunities for everyone.

Join us at the 2024 IESA

The fourth Inclusive Excellence Summer Assembly will take place from May 13 - 14, 2024 and center around the theme of transformational practices. Faculty, staff, educators and community members are invited to provide tools and share resources as they engage in meaningful dialogue surrounding the changing definition of transformational learning and cultivate spaces for everyone to learn such practices.

Explore the 2024 IESA

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Framing Discussion at the 2023 IESA

Agency can be defined as the capacity of individuals to have the power and resources to fulfill their potential. With a sense of agency, all members of our community can express their authentic selves and feel completely welcome, secure and supported to teach and learn.

Attendees sought answers to complex and critical questions:

  • How does your service to your community affect the possibility of agency?

  • How are learning and teaching affected by this sense of agency?

At the end of the assembly, attendees unlocked access to an "agency toolbox" that included strategies and tips for creating agency among all members of their learning community.

Our 2023 IESA Keynote Speaker

Headshot of Mark Nicholas

Collective Consciousness Around Curriculum and Assessment — Why it Matters for Agency

Student learning is at the core of why we do what we do as faculty and academic staff. However, student success is predicated on how we bring the learner, pedagogy, curriculum and assessment into alignment. The post-COVID, George Floyd world, coupled with rapidly shifting student demographics, requires that we rethink how we design and deliver the curriculum. This keynote highlights the imperative for creating a collective consciousness among faculty and academic staff around curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to achieve equitable experiences and outcomes for our students.

About Dr. Mark Nicholas

Dr. Mark Nicholas, is Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Framingham State University and Co-Editor of the “Journal for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. He is a scholar-practioner and has made contributions to conversations on critical thinking, course embedded assessments, academic program assessment, research methodology and program review. He has chaired five accreditation team visits internationally and in the US, and he regularly serves as an external consultant on grants and general education program reviews.

Dr. Nicholas brings a scholarly perspective to the conversation on assessment of student learning and his research attracts grant funding. He was co-author of a grant proposal that was awarded $1M by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute focused on creating transparent pathways for underrepresented and underserved students in STEM. He is also currently a senior research fellow with the AAC&U.

Dr. Nicholas has given several keynotes at regional and international assessment gatherings and is regularly invited to speak at a number of colleges and universities. In his free time, he loves to play tennis and on his bucket list is a wish to attend all four tennis grand slams.

Schedule of Events for the 2023 IESA

View the schedule of events for the first day of the conference below.

Time Event Location (North Haven Campus) Participants
9 a.m. Welcome and Keynote MNH 101 Dr. Mark Nicholas, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Framingham State University and Co-Editor of the Journal for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness
11 a.m. Building an Agency Toolbox MNH 101  
11:30 a.m. Lunch Cafeteria  
12:30 p.m. Models that Work, I course discussion MNH 260 Hillary Haldane
12:30 p.m. Models that Work, QUADS program discussion MNH 270 Cindy Kern
1 p.m. Supporting Agency Among Health Professions MNH 260

Stephanie Jacobson and Shalita Sampson, Moving Away from "Culture Not Applicable"

Tyler Traister, Supporting Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation in Clinical Settings

Amber Vargas, Building Community and Leadership Amongst Health Professionals via a Community of Practice

1 p.m. Creating Community MNH 270

Daymyen Layne, Community Beyond the Classroom

Martha Zornow, Practical Techniques for Building Classroom Community

2:10 p.m. Inclusive Course Design, Antifragility Through Spoken Word MNH 260 Rondalyn Whitney, JT Torres, Alisa Mejia, Marianna Colabello, Castle Yuran
2:10 p.m. Inclusive Course Design, Developing Syllabi that Center Agency and Engagement MNH 270 Caitlin Hanlon
3 p.m. Wrap-up and Prep for Day 2 at York Hill Campus    

Presented by the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab

Our Growing Community of Inclusive Educators

The Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab and the Inclusive Excellence Summer Assembly are championed by a growing community of educators who share the same commitment and dedication to developing inclusive learning environments at Quinnipiac and beyond. Fellows and Co-Chairs are appointed to one-year terms aligned with the academic calendar.

Thank You to our Co-Chairs

Thank You to our Faculty Fellows