2021 Featured Speakers

Dorothy Mitstifer Distinguished Lecture
Belle Wheelan, Ph.D., President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Future Outlook of Higher Education from the Accreditor’s Point of View

We are proud to feature Dr. Belle Wheelan as our Dorothy Mitstifer Lecturer. Dr. Wheelan currently serves as President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Her career spans over 40 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president, and Secretary of Education. Her presentation will help us examine the changing demographics of students today, discuss the purpose of honor societies in the 21st Century, and identify challenges and opportunities in involving today’s students in an honor society.

Keynote Speakers 

Corey Seemiller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wright State University
Who is Generation Z?  

Dr. Corey Seemiller is a seasoned educator, researcher, and speaker on Generation Z. Her work has been featured on NPR and in The New York Times as well as in other news publications, podcasts, and academic journals around the world. With now more than 200,000 views, her TED Talk on Generation Z at TEDx Dayton showcased how Generation Z plans to make a difference in the world. Her books include Generation Z Goes to College, Generation Z Leads, Generation Z: A Century in Making, and Generation Z Learns. She also co-authored the Gen Z Voices on Voting research report. Dr. Seemiller received her Bachelor's degree in Communication, Master's degree in Educational Leadership, and Ph.D. in Higher Education. She currently serves as a faculty member in the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations at Wright State University. We are extremely excited to be able to bring Dr. Seemiller to our conference!

Determined. Open-Minded. Compassionate. These are just some of the many characteristics of Generation Z, those born from 1995 to 2010. Although some characteristics may look similar to the Millennial Generation, Generation Z brings a whole unique set of attributes and experiences to higher education. This session showcases the context within which members of Generation Z have come of age as well as their characteristics, motivations, values, and preferences and how those impact the college experience. Key audience takeaways include:

  • Understanding the context within which members of Generation Z have come of age
  • Understanding the characteristics, motivations, and values of the Generation Z cohort
  • Being able to differentiate between defining characteristics of Generation Z students and those from older generations

Harry L. Williams, Ph.D., President and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Thurgood Marshall College Fund & Social Justice 

Harry L. Williams serves as President & CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF’s 47 member-schools make up the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) which represent nearly 300,000 students. Under his leadership as President & CEO, TMCF has focused on creating innovative partnerships, increasing organizational sustainability, and advancing bipartisan advocacy. As a strategic thinker and visionary, Williams has announced unique global partnerships with some of the nation’s most recognized corporations and brands such as The Boeing Company, Gucci, and Hennessy USA. He has also successfully re-imagined long-term partnerships with organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Lowe’s, the NBA, and Wells Fargo, cementing TMCF as the premier source of major employers seeking top diverse talent for competitive internships.