Faculty include national experts on the topic of sophomore student success as well as authors of the 2010 book Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Second-Year Experience (a Jossey-Bass publication in cooperation with The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition).
Jimmy Davis has worked for the past 26 years as a faculty member and administrator at Belmont University. During his tenure at Belmont, the University has grown from 1,800 to nearly 7,000 students. Davis has led or played a significant role in numerous major institutional changes, including the creation of a college to serve the needs of nontraditional learners; a complete overhaul of the general education program; and, most recently, the establishment of a comprehensive program for addressing the needs of second-year students in transition.
Jimmie Gahagan currently serves as director of Student Engagement at the University of South Carolina, where he also teaches a University 101 class for first-year student success. He has presented and published widely on such topics as the sophomore-year experience, creating learning outcomes, residential learning initiatives, peer leadership, the first-year experience, and student retention. He earned a BA in political science from the University of Richmond and a MA in higher education and student affairs and PhD in education administration, both from the University of South Carolina.
Mary Stuart Hunter is associate vice president and executive director for University 101 Programs and The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. She assists educators in developing personal and professional skills while creating and refining programs to increase student learning and success. During her 34-year career at USC, Hunter has held staff positions and taught undergraduate and graduate students.She received an honorary doctor of Humane Letters by Queens University of Charlotte in 2010. Hunter edited Helping Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Second-Year Experience (2010) and authored“The Second-Year Experience: Turning Attention to the Academy’s Middle Children” in About Campus (2006).
Jennifer R. Keup is the director of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (NRC), where she is responsible for the operational and strategic aspects of the Center and leads a team of professionals who coordinate the Center’s conferences, publications, research and assessment, and resource development. Before joining the staff of the NRC, she had professional roles in the national dialogue on the first-year experience as well as higher education research and assessment as a project director for the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute and was heavily involved in institutional assessment efforts as the director of the Student Affairs Information and Research Office at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests and scholarly work focus on students; personal and academic development during transition points in higher education; the influence of campus programming on adjustment to college; student development in college; and issues of institutional impact, responsiveness, and transformation in higher education. Keup has authored and co-authored numerous books, chapters, and articles and served as the lead author for the 2008 National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives: Curricular and Cocurricular Structures Supporting the Success of Second-Year College Students.
Molly Schaller serves as chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Human Services and as an associate professor and coordinator of the master’s programs in college student personnel and higher education administration at the University of Dayton. She became interested in sophomore student development while working as a student affairs professional and found that not only were sophomores difficult to understand, but the research on college students was of little help. Schaller has been listening to second-year and sophomore students in qualitative research studies for more than a decade now. She has consulted with numerous institutions, keynoted conferences, and given numerous professional presentations on the topic. In addition to Helping Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Second-Year Experience (2010), her publications on the topic include pieces in About Campus, the NASPA Journal, and a monograph with the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Her other research interests involve approaches to maximizing student learning and engagement in the classroom.
Laurie Schreiner is professor and chair of the doctoral programs in higher education at Azusa Pacific University in southern California, having spent 30 years in higher education after receiving her PhD in psychology from the University of Tennessee. Co-author of The Student Satisfaction Inventory that is used on more than 1,600 campuses across the United States and Canada, Schreiner is also co-author of Helping Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Second-Year Experience (2010) and has served on the advisory board of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. She has consulted with more than 100 colleges and universities on issues of student success, strengths-based education, retention, academic advising, student satisfaction, and effective teaching strategies. An award-winning teacher and researcher, Schreiner’s latest book is entitled Thriving in Transitions: A Research-Based Approach to Student Success (2012).
David Sneed serves as the first director of the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) for Belmont University. After spending 25 years in progressive roles within student life (DePauw University, Millsaps College and Davis & Elkins College), Sneed was excited to use the skills and experiences of those years to help Belmont implement its comprehensive SYE program. The direct service component of the SYE has come to be known as the GPS (Growth and Purpose for Students) Program. During the past 16 months, Sneed and the GPS staff have focused on the developmental issues of “2-3-4 semester” students.
Barbara F. Tobolowsky is an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Her research focuses on student transitions into and through higher education. In addition, she was co-author and co-editor of Helping Sophomores Succeed: Understanding and Improving the Second-Year Experience. Prior to coming to UTA in 2009, she was the associate director of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition based at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001.