Academic Excellence Symposium: Dynamic Resiliency and Intentional Engagement

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 4, 2023) - We are now accepting proposals for the 15th Annual Academic Excellence Symposium scheduled for March 3, 2023. This year’s topic is “Dynamic Resiliency and Intentional Engagement.”

The Academic Excellence Symposium provides a forum for intellectual discussion and presentation that demonstrates innovation in teaching and/or research, as well as expertise and creativity in faculty disciplines. The intent of the Symposium is to open up discussions on topics of interest in higher education, provide a day of faculty development, and showcase talented members within the Central Florida higher education community. 

Each year, a theme for the Symposium is developed in response to current trends and issues in higher education. A call for proposals is developed and distributed to all Daytona State College faculty and staff in addition to other institutions of higher education in the area. The Academic Excellence Symposium takes place on the first Friday of March during the spring semester each year.

The Academic Excellence Symposium is organized by a committee which develops each year’s theme, distributes the call for proposals, reviews proposals, identifies keynote speakers, and supports the facilitation of the Symposium on the day of the event.

Potential focus areas include:

Pedagogical tools and strategies for intentional student engagement: The pandemic challenged us to transform our classrooms. The tools that helped us navigate lockdown have created new challenges. What kind of strategies have stuck? How do we engage our students in the various modalities—online, hybrid, hyflex, and face-to-face? How have the “rules of engagement” changed for faculty and students since the pandemic?

Managing conflict and navigating change: Higher education is undergoing seismic shifts as colleges and universities navigate enrollment challenges, evolving partnerships with the federal and state governments, and new expectations from students whose only engagement with post-secondary studies have been during the pandemic. How do we manage conflict in our classrooms and on our campuses? How do we promote the healthy exchange of ideas and the opportunity for debate within our classrooms? What kind of changes have we implemented as a result of higher ed's shifting landscape?

Communication as a strategy to foster persistence and retention: Which messaging strategies and tools have we found to be successful at engaging students, providing effective feedback, and offering hope and encouragement? How do we create a feedback loop with our students that fosters a safe space for them to respond to feedback and improve their performance? What kind of communication strategies are successful with students across the college?

Online student success: No matter what modality a student chooses, chances are, at least part of a student's learning experience will take place online. Which new tools have you found that have helped to engage with students in the online learning environment?

Innovative approaches to closing achievement gaps: Crossing the finish line looks different across the various educational opportunities, whether that be a certificate, an AS degree, and AA degree, a BS degree, and the opportunity to transfer to a university. How are faculty in various programs supporting success among vulnerable student populations? Which strategies have been employed by the institution to facilitate student support across the college? When do we focus on diversity? How do we scale up successful strategies?

Building resiliency and overcoming burnout: Self-care, wellness, mindfulness—the language of mental health has permeated our culture for good reason. How have we integrated wellness practices into our pedagogy? What are the tangible benefits of wellness-focused leadership? How are you prioritizing self-care?

You can access the proposal submittal form here.

 Please direct questions to John Brady (