2017 AURCO Conference at BGSU Firelands

In April, Huron welcomed educators from across the state as Bowling Green State University Firelands College hosted the 23rd Annual Association for University Regional Campuses of Ohio Conference.

AURCO is devoted to the professional development of faculty throughout Ohio’s twenty-four university regional campuses and their communities. Founded in 1993, AURCO provides the opportunity for members to share ideas and sustain a common professional identity based upon the shared and unique mission of offering open access to a university education as a pathway for a better life.

“Through dialog with our colleagues from across the state, we are enriched by the research and teaching best practices they bring,” said Rachelle Kristof Hippler, BGSU Firelands senior lecturer of computer science and general chairperson of the conference planning committee.

“The opportunity for BGSU Firelands to host this teaching conference allows us to showcase our college and the surrounding community,” added Hippler.

Festivities for the conference began on Friday, April 7, with more than 125 educators from all parts of Ohio converging on the Huron-based campus of BGSU.  The bulk of the conference sessions were held on Saturday, April 8 at BGSU Firelands; however, Friday night featured a social event and Ignite presentations - high-energy, quick-paced talks on a variety of topics – at Sawmill Creek Resort.

Highlighting the conference on Saturday was keynote speaker Pooja K. Agarwal.  A cognitive scientist, teacher, and education consultant, Agarwal shared her research and best practices on harnessing the science of learning and transforming teaching.

Agarwal earned a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and has more than 10 years of cognitive science and retrieval practice research in educational environments.  She recently received the Rising Star Award from the Association of Psychological Science and has a broad vita of publications and presentations.

Saturday also offered nearly 20 workshops and presentations from educators throughout the state which appealed to a variety of interests.  Topics ranged from “Zombie Biology: Using the Zombie Pop Culture Phenomenon to Teach Biological Concepts” to “Experiential Learning through Mystery Shopping” to “Implementing Visible Thinking Strategies in the College Classroom.”

Saturday also featured a student Research Poster Competition which gave students the opportunity to share their research with faculty and win a book scholarship.

Two BGSU Firelands students won awards in the competition - William Sberna and Jade Bolinger placed first and third respectively in the 23rd Annual AURCO Conference's student Poster Research Competition.  Kent State University Salem student Alexis Sarty-Riley placed second.  BGSU Firelands student Debra Streng also presented.

Weekend activities concluded with an AURCO Business meeting late Saturday afternoon.

The BGSU Firelands AURCO Conference planning team included faculty members Karen Black, Chris Fluckinger, Rachelle Kristof Hippler (general chair), Tim Jurkovac, Tracy McGinley, Elsy Thomas, Stephanie Walls, and Alyson Wilson, and staff member Julie Hamann.

Additional information on the conference can be found at http://aurco.org/conference