IMPACT 2023: Celebrating Student Engagement

The College of Humanities and Sciences invites faculty and staff to IMPACT 2024: Teaching Excellence, Student Success. Join us for an exciting day-long teaching and learning summit featuring speakers, panels, networking and skill development centered on how teaching excellence results in student success.

Participants will learn ways to enhance student engagement while sharing their challenges and successes. Come and collaborate on this vital mission of the College.

Sponsored by the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences and the VCU First Generation Research Center (AAPI project)

Keynote Speaker

Rashné Jehangir

Rashné Jehangir, Ph.D.

Rashné Jehangir, Ph.D. is a professor of higher education and the Robert H. Beck Chair of Ideas in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. Her research and praxis interests focus on experience of low-income, first-generation students, critical pedagogy and identity development; learning communities and design and structure of undergraduate programs including First Year Experience Programs and partnerships with student services, advising and student affairs.

Programming Schedule

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks 

Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D.
VCU College of Humanities and Sciences

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Orienting First Year, First Gen POLI Majors Toward Student Success 

In fall 2023, the Department of Political Science piloted an innovative first-year experience for a small cohort of first-year, first-gen POLI majors. The students were oriented to their major in a way that established relationships with faculty, staff, alumni and peers, and developed applied skills to navigate their degree requirements, the POLI curriculum, and VCU and Richmond more broadly. In doing so, the team-taught semester-long course sought to create more equitable outcomes for our student body by enhancing First Gen students' sense of self-efficacy, belonging, preparedness and purpose, and by providing comfortable and innovative spaces that helped them overcome systemic barriers and the "hidden curriculum" for more success both in and out of the classroom.


10:20 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Teaching Slam I

Professors share their best teaching tip, assessment idea and/or class activity.


11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Transformative Learning Initiative: Embedding Impactful Undergraduate Research Experiences into the Curriculum

A panel of faculty will discuss how they incorporate undergraduate research into their courses using three different pedagogical approaches:

  • QEP - Research-Supported Project-Based Learning
  • CURE - Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences
  • VIP - Vertically Integrated Projects

11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The Many Advantages of Undergrad Learning Assistants

A panel of undergraduate teaching assistants discuss their role in student learning.

  • Reena Sethi, general chemistry
  • Angela Lim, general chemistry
  • Anshika Govil, general chemistry
  • Natalie Bui, organic chemistry
  • Brittaney Nzoupet, biology
  • Maksim Piazza, biology

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Preparing for the New Majority: Building Inclusive Classrooms for First-Generation College Students

Drawing on data from research, this session unpacks the experience of first-generation students in higher education with a particular focus of the impact of hidden curriculum with implications for classroom design and pedagogy.

Keynote Speaker

2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Food Security and the Student Experience

This presentation highlights results from the interdisciplinary Little Ram Pantries pilot that ran during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years. Results indicate the pilot was successful in encouraging students to use emergency food resources on campus, and may help to lower the stigma students feel in using such resources.


2:50 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

Teaching Slam II

Professors share their best teaching tip, assessment idea and/or class activity.


3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Advisor Insights: A 360° View of the Student Experience

A panel of CHS advisors will share their perspectives on the student experience and where faculty can increase their impact. Moderated by Krista Scott, Associate Dean for enrollment and student success.


4:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks