2020 NASPA Annual Conference

Innovative Programs


Innovation is a difficult word to understand, as it means something different to each person. For the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference in Austin, the Innovative Programming Committee is excited to provide attendees with an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and learning related to their definition of innovation:

"Applying creativity and technology in new ways to solve problems"

Event Programming

The Innovative Programming Committee is pleased to have identified three engaging sessions which match the above definition for the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference. The Innovative Programming will take several forms:

Innovation Session

Engaging workshops facilitated by presenters regarding best practices and lessons learned.

Idea Accelerators

Idea and solution-oriented sessions facilitated by innovation session presenters immediately following their workshop. These are designed to inspire and ignite creativity and allow attendees an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the innovative processes of the presenter.

Learning Lab

The Learning Innovation Lab will provide attendees the opportunity to learn and hone innovation skills for developing and implementing unique solutions to a variety of challenges or issues. During this session block, participants will explore three modalities of innovative thinking. 

Participants will work in small groups to address a real-world challenge faced by colleges and universities in the 21st century. For our 2020 event, the learning innovation lab will focus on the issue of campuses address climate change. Facilitators will guide teams through one of four group innovation strategies to analyze the strengths and challenges associated with each strategy. The session will culminate as the groups collectively share how their respective strategy might work at their institutions and what they discovered about the other innovation strategies. 

Participants will leave feeling confident in their ability to engage in creative problem solving through one of three group innovation strategies including design thinking, brainwriting/strategic idea selection, and complexity mapping.

Creative Power Networking

Are you creative and innovative student affairs professional and looking to connect with other creatives in the field? During the 'Creative Power Networking' session, you will have the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the field who share your passion for creativity.

Please note: all sessions will take place in room 10C of the Austin Convention Center

Time Program Title

Monday, March 30, 2020

7:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Innovation Lab Open
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. Supporting an Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Responsibility of 21st Century Student Affairs Professionals
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Idea Accelerator
4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Using Historical Comparator Case Studies to Educate Personally and Socially Responsible Leaders
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Idea Accelerator

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

7:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Innovation Lab Open
9:10 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Navigating the Wild Wild West of E-Sports
10:10 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Idea Accelerator
2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Learning Lab
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Creative Power Networking

Learn more about our featured sessions below:

Supporting an Entrepreneurial Mindset: A Responsibility of 21st Century Student Affairs Professionals

In an interactive panel discussion, the presenters will share specific examples of how entrepreneurship and innovation advances at Arizona State University. The concept of an entrepreneurial mindset will be defined, along with the benefits of such an approach in a rapidly evolving higher education context. Specific examples of collaborations and how they benefit the student experience will be discussed. Participants will engage in a guided rapid-prototyping, ideation session.

Presented by:

Ronald Briggs, Ed.D.

In 2008, Dr. Briggs began his tenure at Arizona State University and has served in multiple roles such as Executive Director of TRIO programs, Assistant Dean of Students, and Associate Dean of Students. Currently, Dr. Briggs serves as the Sr. Director of Residential Life where he assists students in their transition into college and beyond.

M. Regina Matos, Ed.D.

Dr. Matos serves as the Assistant Dean of Students at ASU and has oversight over a number of areas including student conduct and student engagement. Dr. Matos is known for cultivating strategic collaborations leading to the success of the students she serves. 

Lauren Dunning

Lauren Dunning is a Sr. Program Manager for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU) and current doctoral student. Lauren advances the entrepreneurial eco-system at ASU by providing multiple involvement pathways and collaborating with key University partners.

Using Historical Comparator Case Studies to Educate Personally and Socially Responsible Leaders

Today's college students lead in multicultural settings and expect their college experiences to prepare them to navigate these leadership challenges. This session explores the use of gaming technology and historical comparators to cultivate empathy and educate for personally and socially responsible leadership.

Presented by:

Karen D. Boyd

Karen serves as the Associate Professor , Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Undergraduate Coordinator of Leadership Studies at the University of Tennessee. Karen applied her experiences in housing, student conduct, and student engagement to design an undergraduate curriculum that integrates experiential leadership learning throughout the student experience at UTK. She teaches undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral courses that explore the intersections of higher education history, leadership studies, personal/social responsibility, and student learning.

Cary Staples

Cary serves as the Professor of School of Design, at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Cary founded and serves as the Creative Director of The APP.FARM. Cary is a designer inspired by the intersection of game design, transformative learning environments, and the affordances of technology. She explores the synthesis of content into collaborative learning experience by designing and directing collaborative, interdisciplinary teams. 

Brooks M. Leftwich

Brooks is a Senior Honors Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Brooks serves as the College Students Change the World Undergraduate Research Team Lead Student Designer.

Gregory Croisdale

Gregory is an Undergraduate Researcher and sophomore Computer Science major at the University of Tennessee. Gregory began his involvement with the team in the summer of 2019. He is also a Supplemental Instructor for an Introductory Computer Science course and serves as the College Students Change the World Undergraduate Research Team Technical Coordinator. 

Navigating the Wild Wild West of Esports

Leverage the successes and missteps of four prominent universities that have launched and continue development of their formal esports programs. Presenters will address their challenges of engaging a diverse and inclusive student body, identifying key metrics, inviting the right stakeholders to the table, addressing technology and funding needs, and more.

Presented by:

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith directs esports and large-scale projects in the Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University. He has managed technology and operations transformation for over twenty years across public and private sector institutions and is energized by the opportunity to serve students in emerging sectors.

Tony Doody

Tony Doody is the Director of Student Centers at the University of Delaware and host of Higher Ed Live, bringing over 25 years of experience and oversight in senior leadership positions within the Higher Education industry. He has presented at over thirty universities and national conferences on topics of innovation, digital leadership, technology, and unconventional leadership and earned NASPA's 2017 Technology Emerging Practice Award.

Dr. Frank Ross

Dr. Frank Ross is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Butler University, the #1 University in the Midwest and also the Most Innovative University, according to US News and World Report.  Dr. Ross brings 25 years of leadership in higher education administration, including experience at both public and private institutions, and completed his doctoral studies at Indiana University.

Eric Kammeyer

Eric Kammeyer is the Director of Esports and Gaming Technology at Butler University and a member of the Big East Esports Executive Committee. Eric has over 12 years of managing Competitive Sports in higher education. Eric is currently leading the construction of a new 7,500 square foot multifaceted arena (opening Fall 2020) and a holistic program focusing on Competition, Curriculum and Community Partnerships. Eric has a Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration from Ball State University, a Master of Science in Recreation from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from Butler University.

Dax Kuykendall

Dax Kuykendall serves as the Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Texas at Arlington.  His areas of supervision include campus recreation, adaptive sports programs, spirit groups, and varsity esports.