June 1-3, 2016

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Taking Risks to Discover & Learn –

Engaging Diverse Populations of Students and Faculty

The willingness to take different types and levels of risk are foundational dimensions of the process of discovery and learning.  Indeed, when one frames it as an exercise in risk taking, a faculty member’s pursuit of a research breakthrough or a new form of creative expression is in many ways analogous to the risks we ask students to run when we reject passive learning in favor of pedagogies and curricula that rely on self-regulated student activities in the pursuit of more robust and integrative learning.  The same could be said of the sort of risk-taking calculations and behaviors that are critical to successful entrepreneurs.

Recognizing the role of risk and risk-taking in learning and discovery opens up an additional avenue for thinking about ways to connect the lived experiences of faculty and students. It also opens up an additional avenue for conversations across diverse populations of faculty and students. There can, for instance, be little doubt that students from historically underrepresented groups or under-resourced educational backgrounds are confronting a substantially different set of stakes.  It is also the case that variations in students’ reactions to risks has a substantial impact on resilience, persistence to graduation, and post-graduation aspirations.

Viewed from this lens, it would appear that many of the most intriguing pedagogical and curricular innovations that are emerging on our campuses are designed to give students curricular and co-curricular experiences that develop the cognitive and personal ability to engage in successful risk-taking behavior to promote shared learning and discovery.  The meeting will begin with a brief overview of this theme.  We will spend the remainder of the first morning on a set of new programs.  The afternoon will provide an opportunity to reflect on whether this theme is helpful in addressing a series of important issues.

A note about the UVP Network

The UVP Network is composed of faculty administrators who, while having many different titles, share a distinctive role: all-University administrative responsibility for undergraduate education. The UVP Network has come to play a central role, along with the Board and Executive Director, in identifying the topics and issues the Center focuses on in distinctive periods.



Wednesday, June 1—Pre-Conference Events


 Board Meeting (board members only)

 Welcome Dinner hosted by Florida State University


Thursday, June 2—UVP Network Meeting


Welcome and Introductions, Overview of Conference Theme

Karen Laughlin, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, FSU

Alan Lamborn, Executive Director, Reinvention Center

Claudia Neuhauser, Board Chair, Reinvention Center


Programs that Mentor Students in Different Risk-Taking Activities and Contexts

Panel Discussion: Collaborations in Mentoring and Encouraging Risk-Taking Among Diverse Populations of Students

Tadarrayl Starke, Director, CARE

Lisa Jackson, Director, Unconquered Scholars

Joe O’Shea, Director, FSU Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement

Craig Filar, Director, FSU Office of National Fellowships

  • Student Comments


Session 2: Promoting Entrepreneurial, Integrative and Self-Regulated Learning

LaShae Roberts, Director, FSU Center for College Life Coaching

Samuel Lloyd, Assistant Director, FSU Center for College Life Coaching

Colin Potts, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Christopher W. Reaves, Director of the Center for Academic Enrichment and Director of Undergraduate Research and Student Innovation

Bruce Manciagli, Social Entrepreneur in Residence, FSU


Tours: CARE, Learning Studio (Exploratory advising and college life coaching), Dance facility


Conversations about Varying Risk-Taking Patterns and Opportunities Across Diverse Populations of Students and Faculty

Session 3: Table Conversations followed by reporting out

  • Comparing Entrepreneurial Risk-Taking with Learning and Discovery
  • The Student Life-Cycle and the Changing Face of Risk
  • Faculty Risk-Taking and Investing in Student Engagement, Learning, and Discovery
  • Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings – Navigating Curricular and Co-Curricular Risks for Faculty and Students


Tour of National High Magnetic Field Laboratory


Friday, June 3—UVP Meeting

Session 4: Next Steps for Grant Proposal on using the Reinvention Networks to Improve STEM Education Outcomes for Underrepresented Students