University summit to focus on student success issues

Contact: Jeanne Baron
A past summit work group gathers around a table covered with laptops and papers.

Register by March 5 for the Student Success Summit.

KALAMAZOO, Mich—An afternoon of innovation, collaboration and inspiration has been planned for Western Michigan University's spring 2018 Student Success Summit, to be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom.

Those planning to attend the semiannual event are required to register by Monday, March 5, at Attendees will be able to network and participate in facilitated discussions with the goal of moving toward increasing student success and retention in a collaborative way.

This semester's summit is based on the theme Success & You @ WMU. It will mark the campus launch of activities supporting fall implementation of the University's Success @ WMU Transformational Initiative, one of two newly funded efforts that are designed to build a stronger sense of belonging and community among all WMU students.

Schedule of summit activities

The summit will feature opening remarks by Dr. Susan Stapleton, WMU interim provost, and closing remarks by Dr. Edward Montgomery, WMU president.

In addition, a panel of national experts will discuss such topics as academic engagement, peer mentoring, black male student retention and mental health. Panel members also will facilitate interest-based discussion groups.

On the panel will be:

  • Dr. Betsy Barefoot, a senior fellow at the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
  • Phaedra White Abbot, director of the Discovery Scholars Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Dr. Robert Simmons III, president of the Service Year Alliance and formerly vice president of strategy and innovation for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
  • Dr. Margaret Price, program director and associate professor of disability studies and English at Ohio State University.

Additional information

The spring summit is free and includes lunch. It is being hosted by Success @ WMU as well as Broncos FIRST, which is a grant administered by the Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education.

For more summit information, visit Direct questions to the Broncos FIRST team at or at (269) 387-1707.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit