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Upcoming Event

Please join us for the 2023 Step to Leaps Summit! Wednesday, March 22  from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST
Beck Agricultural Center, 4550 US 52, West Lafayette, IN 47906

Please RSVP by March 15 here.

We look forward to this professional development opportunity to connect with you.


11:30 a.m. | Arrival

Participants are welcome to visit with colleagues while enjoying a banquet-style lunch
beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing into the welcome remarks and awards ceremony. 

There will be 15-minute breaks between each session.

12 p.m. | Welcome and Awards Ceremony

1 - 2 p.m. | First Break-out Presentations:

  • Renovating Conduct Sanctioning Utilizing the Steps to Leaps FoundationAmanda Palmer and Dalton Pfoff - Room TBA 
    Student conduct educational sanctions provide holistic student development, especially in the context of decision-making, personal responsibility and repairing harm. The Personal Responsibility Program and Community Restoration (formerly Community Service) have undergone significant changes utilizing the Steps to Leaps pillars as the foundation to align with the values and common language in Student Life.

  • Supporting Well-Being via Micro-Exercise and Movement Snack – Jeff Stein - Room TBA  
    This presentation will focus on the concept of micro-exercise and movement snacks and their effects on health and well-being. The presenter will go into how these techniques are utilized in physical therapy and how these techniques can be used by everyone for improved health (well-being), productivity, collaboration (networks) and other benefits.

  • Building Steps to Leaps Pillars into an Upward Spiral through Peer Support - Kris Acheson-Clair and Arnd Wächter - Room TBA
    Purdue’s CILMAR (Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research) and international non-profit Crossing Borders Education (CBE) are partnering to deliver deeply engaging learning resources that foster meaningful peer connection and leverage social learning to support the Steps to Leaps pillars. In this session, the presenters will emphasize how CBE’s powerful patent-pending methodology supports student outcomes such as well-being, grit, and networking by pairing transformative peer-led dialogue with the art of film. This method helps students iteratively build on the foundations that each pillar lays for growth in other areas, fostering interdisciplinary and holistic development. Participants in the session will experience samples of media recorded with Purdue students to inspire their peers to engage with each other authentically across cultural differences. 

2:15 - 2:45 p.m. | Student Panel hosted by Stephanie Knight

Stephanie Knight, director of the Roger C. Stewart Leadership and Professional Development Department,
will emcee a discussion with students about the ways their well-being is impacted by life at Purdue – the struggles they've had and support they've found.

3 - 4 p.m. | Second Break-out Presentations:

  • Transformative Education 2.0: Redefining the Student Experience in Higher Education Dan Derflinger - Room TBA
    Transformative Education 2.0 projects span a variety of topics – giving students the tools to properly plan their degree progression and what-ifs, ability to manage their communication preferences and shining a light on inequitable processes – just to name a few. This session will highlight how the cross section between building a foundation of excellence right now sets the stage for campus to deliver innovation at scale tomorrow; a roadmap for direct impact on the student experience and success as a Purdue student.
  • How Purdue Bands & Orchestras Supports Student Well-being After Band Camp Selection ProcessCaitlin Benner - Room TBA
    This presentation outlines the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band selection process, Purdue Bands & Orchestras’ brand-new “Indoor Ensembles Band Camp Weekend Experience” targeting students who are not selected for AAMB and the benefits this program provided in fall 2022, including increased retention, student well-being, bonding, increased/sustained participation from this cohort, and more. This program supports the Steps to Leaps pillars of student well-being, networks and grit/persistence by actively engaging students at a high-risk of falling through the cracks during a difficult time. By addressing how Purdue Bands & Orchestras supports student well-being, this presentation encourages other departments/organizations to consider how they might think outside the box to engage with high risk students in meaningful ways that meet them where they are.

  • Facilitating Student Grit and PersistenceLynette Bleed - Room TBA
    The Steps to Leaps pillar of grit is embodied under the Purdue Academic Advising Core Value of empowerment. Academic advisors motivate, encourage, and support students and the greater educational community to recognize their potential, meet challenges, respect individuality, and engage in help-seeking behaviors. Grit is the self-regulatory construct defined as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals despite setbacks, failures, and competing pursuits” (Eskreis-Winkler, Gross, Duckworth, 2016). Through an interactive analysis participants will share how a student’s college journey is like a marathon (not a sprint), requiring persistence and grit. Topics will include the following facets of grit: long-term goal and vision planning, growth mindset, self-regulated learning, self-regulation and strategic use of campus resources to overcome obstacles. This presentation was first delivered in May 2022 at the Region 5 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Advising Conference.