Academic Resilience Speaker Series

The Covid-19 pandemic has given new significance to the dynamics of the higher education arena. The sudden instructional and learning changes have proved overwhelming for many students especially those from underrepresented groups. The primary concerns are the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on these students and the demanding situations they find themselves in. Given the circumstances and the myriads of challenges, students from these backgrounds can easily give up academically and even socially. Cultivating and nurturing academic resilience which is a single most beneficial trait required to succeed in today’s academic situations is critical. Academic resilience is the ability to overcome challenges and grow from them and is important for students to learn how they can keep going during this time of the pandemic.  It is important now more than ever before students learn how to take ownership of their learning as they practice, mindfulness, self-care and intentionally make efforts to connect with others. These issues may not be covered in a typical classroom. The academic resilience speaker series initiative was created to fill this gap. The sessions are open to other students and to the community as well. The invited speakers are from diverse backgrounds and professional inclinations.

The initiative which is cross disciplinary (all colleges) in nature and provides a forum that benefits attendees from different backgrounds. Based on the topics, the speakers will offer different perspectives on what it takes to succeed and push through difficult times. Throughout the sessions, students have an opportunity to hear from others facing the same issues, and it is assuring to know that they are not alone, others are going through the same struggles. The seven sessions in the series offer a space for students to learn, rewind and be provided with actionable strategies and advise for academic success during these difficult times.

Specific objectives that enrich the educational experience of the students

  • Empower students with renewed focus on what is important- academic success.
  • Provide easily applied tools that enable them to increase a sense of inner capacity and drive for success.
  • Encourage students to remain connected with their peers, faculty and others.
  • Nurture positive qualities in students that would be helpful in dealing with everyday life.
  • Offer them a chance to reflect and make corrections as they pursue their academic goals.
  • Encourage students to cultivate self-efficacy.

Fall 2020 Speakers

Nakeiha Primus Smith, Ph.D. Millersville University
Setting Goals Based on Your Values and Setting a Resilience Action Plan

Dr. Charlie Nutt, NACADA Kansas State University
Nurturing Supportive Relationships at a Time of Lifestyle Change

Rachel Finley Bowman, Ph.D. Millersville University
Active Skill-Building for Academic Success

Jane Irungu, Ph.D. Oklahoma State University
Building Academic Resilience Muscle and Thriving Despite the Odds

Suzanne C. Shaffer, M.Ed Penn State York
Utilizing Self-Care Strategies: Mindfulness and Dealing with Toxic Stress

Lisa House, Ph.D. Millersville University
A Positive Psychology Approach to Difficult Moments

Dr. David Henriques, Millersville University
Overcoming Anxiety and Gaining Confidence Over Final Exams