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KC Wednesday: One conference-goer’s journey from Tampa to Buffalo

by on June 20, 2012

This week’s KC Wednesday post comes from Ryan Keytack, Rodin College House Dean at the University of Pennsylvania and Region II’s representative to the Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community.

Over the past week, my AER mantra shifted from “Assessment, Evaluation and Research” to “Assessment, Evaluation and Region II.” I had the privilege of attending both the Assessment/Persistence Conference in Tampa, FL and the Region II Conference in Buffalo, NY.

Here are a few highlights from adventure:

Day 1: Arrive in Tampa; enjoy local cuisine

Day 2: See Maggie Culp (a name to know in the world of assessment). For those of you interested in building your student learning outcomes skill set, she’s a go-to in the field. I attended her session at last year’s conference and was able to retool how I evaluate student staff and assess student learning during training. Just google her.

Day 3: Found C3 Softworks. What does Family Feud have to do with Assessment? Survey says…game shows are a fun, interactive way of tracking student learning, polling interest, and gauging an audience. I’ve spent too many years creating Jeopardy boards on PowerPoint. This company has the answer. Check out their site: And, no, I’m not receiving any kick back for these product suggestions.

Day 4: Off to Buffalo; eat my first chicken wing on site

Day 5 (part 1): Off to Buffalo; eat my first chicken wing on site. The KC Reps at the conference hosted a special reception to promote KC involvement. It’s never too late to sign-up, get involved, or write a blog:

Day 5 (part 2): Engage in amazing dialogue. The keynote speakers kicked off the conference with a discussion about contested issues in student affairs (see Dr. Marcia Baxter Magolda and Dr. Peter Magolda). We all can list many political, racial, spiritual, and identity issues discussed on our campuses. Being able to transcend divisional boundaries (this Residence Lifer was partnered with a Career Services professional) brought unexpected meaning to my participation and comfort to unpack my experiences with a relative stranger. Thanks for a powerful start to this conference.

Day 6: Bouncing around. Most of the educational sessions had at least one session geared towards assessment, learning outcomes and residential curricula. Buffalo also happens to be home to Campus Labs. It all came together for me – leaving the conference with plans to update and combine various surveys administered by my office. No more survey fatigue.

I hope you enjoyed my recap. I certainly am not an assessment guru, but conferences energize me and point in the best direction. Survey says…know your resources.


From → AER, KC Wednesday

One Comment
  1. Kathy permalink

    Ryan, it was great to meet you! Thanks for your work with the KC reception – I think it turned out really well.

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