Faculty Conference Returns to Virginia Beach

ECPI University held its first in-person Fall Faculty Conference in three years from November 17-19 in Virginia Beach.

ECPI’s Vice President of Academics Dr. David Shoop and Executive Administration Project Manager Christy Farmer worked diligently to create a one-of-a-kind event. Dr. Shoop oversees the academic content covered in the three-day event, and Farmer handles the logistics. Nearly 350 faculty and staff attended this year.

“The focus of every conference is on what we’re doing to help students develop, to unlock for them opportunities and employment, and make them into better thinkers and communicators. We want to help them develop as a person.”

– Dr. David Shoop, Vice President of Academics

“Returning to an in-person event was a big deal. We were also using a new venue, the Sheraton at the Oceanfront,” said Farmer, who coordinates everything from venders and software to awards and accommodations. “When it comes to planning, there is always a lot to do, and I’ve learned that pacing is important.”

In addition to Farmer and Shoop, a FFC committee comprised of faculty, deans, librarians, administration, and more form in the Spring each year and meet biweekly from June through November to discuss the conference. Together they make decisions ranging from theme to breakout sessions. The goal for the Fall Faculty Conference is to further ECPI University’s mission of engaging students in their education.

“The focus of every conference is on what we’re doing to help students develop, to unlock for them opportunities and employment, and make them into better thinkers and communicators,” said Dr. Shoop. “We want to help them develop as a person.”

ENGAGE emerged quickly as this year’s theme. To create the conference breakout sessions, the committee considered this question: “What are people doing across the institution to engage students?” said Dr. Shoop. Together they listed the tools and techniques, which led to breakout areas.

“The topics are submitted by the committee and then we narrow it down and evaluate the relevancy to faculty at large,” said Dr. Shoop. “We’ll have co-mingled groups from all different programs. We want to give broadest possible appeal.”

The conference kicked off with a Thursday morning University session. “With everyone together, we are able to showcase across the university what we’re doing to engage students. This year’s Thursday morning focus was around innovation and technology,” said Dr. Shoop.

Significant projects were discussed, including a universal Canvas course shell, which provides a delivery system that effectively engages students across multiple modalities, and ECPI’s prior learning assessment, which which allows incoming students to receive credit for prior learning outside traditional classroom setting.

The University distributed “Faculty of the Year” awards and other recognitions for standout employees and administrators. Emerywood Campus President Ashley Richards was named the 2022 Campus President of the Year.

Breakout sessions began that afternoon and ran through mid-day on Saturday, when the faculty and staff left to travel back home, energized and ready to engage with students at their respective campuses.

“People really enjoyed being back together again,” said Shoop.

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