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Keynote Speaker
Tentative Schedule
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An Invitation

Despite the differences in educational climates and cultures around the globe, the similarity of experiences encountered by those working with first-year students guarantees rich and invigorating intellectual fare at the International Conference on The First-Year Experience. The conference structure is designed to allow participants to share their knowledge, maximize their learning, and network with colleagues. We invite you to join with educators from countries around the world as we gather to enhance and expand the first-year movement globally. Undergraduate and graduate students are also encouraged to attend and participate in conference sessions.

Conference Co-hosts

Artesis Plantijn University College Antwerp, Belgium
National Centre for PASS at University of Wollongong, Australia
Tamagawa University, Japan
Teesside University, United Kingdom
University of Hawaii at Hilo, United States
York University, Canada

Conference Highlights

  • Preconference workshops for focused and extensive attention to specific topics of interest for first-year educators
  • A conference structure designed to facilitate networking with educators from around the world through colleague clusters, special interest group sessions, roundtable discussions, and social events
  • Featured session with representatives from first-year movements from around the globe
  • Opportunities to learn about the varied cultures of worldwide higher education
  • Commercial and nonprofit exhibitors whose products and services support first-year student success

The Setting

Hawaii's Big Island is one of the most remarkable places on Earth and provides the perfect backdrop for the International Conference. Though bustling with travelers and activities, the Island still offers a pristine beauty to those lucky enough to visit its shores. Hawaii's Big Island is home to the world's most active volcano, Kilauea. The island's contrasting landscapes collide together for a breathtaking skyline, which includes the snow-clad Mauna Kea (13,796 feet), the ever-changing Kau Desert, stunning waterfalls, the lush Puna Fern Forest, and the colorful orchids of Hilo. Hawaii's Big Island offers diverse and elemental adventures, which can be physical, recreational, and even spiritual.

The west, or Kona, side of the island is dry and sunny - a nexus of activity with deep-sea fishing, quaint shops and restaurants, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, submarine underwater tours, hikes through thick rainforests, and horseback riding. If you're a high activity type, Kona is the place for you. The Kohala Coast is Hawaii's Golf Mecca with world-class golf courses. Just getting there is a visual adventure as you drive though vast, dramatic lava fields. If your eyes are really sharp, you might be able to spot the Kona Nightingales (donkeys), which blend into the landscape. Upcountry, the scenery changes dramatically. Waimea is home to Parker Ranch where fluorescent green pastures give way to lush valleys and a host of vibrant natural greens. On the east side, Waipio Valley is filled with brilliant flowers and breathtaking waterfalls. Tiny towns and highways built on old railroad trestle bridges recall the sugar plantation heritage of the Hamakua Coast.

Keynote Speaker

Robert A. Kenedy

Robert A. Kenedy is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at York University, Canada where he has received four teaching awards as well as an award for his service to students. Kenedy has written articles about peer education, integrating critical thinking skills into courses, and the importance of supporting student learning through teaching partnerships. He has also been the guest editor of a special themed issue on peer education in the Journal of the First Year Experience & Student Transition. Kenedy's work examines cocurricular and curricular peer education, mentorship, and leadership, focusing on the academic and social contribution to the postsecondary transition. His research highlights integrating peer educators and leaders into courses and studying the impact they have on student learning. Kenedy specifically examines best practices for incorporating peer educators inside and outside the classroom as well as evaluating the pedagogical benefits for students in terms of writing, critical thinking, and other academic skills.

Robert A. Kenedy