VCCS Director of Faculty Development Dr. Abigail Stonerock says the feedback she’s been getting suggests the 2016 New Horizons conference in Roanoke was one of the best in recent memory.
“We rolled out our best conference website ever. And of course, everyone is talking about the app and the ease and ability to evaluate sessions in real-time. Both the website and the app moved us onto the national stage, thanks to the talent of OPD’s Gareth Bromser-Kloeden.”
Billed as the largest VCCS 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Year, the conference attracted the largest number of college presidents and state board members ever as well as over 900 faculty and staff members.
Thanks to the expertise of Tim Jacox of Tidewater Community College and the Media Geeks of Virginia Western Community College, Stonerock says they were able to double their live-streaming capacity this year.
“This enabled us to stream and archive all of the Leadership Spotlight Series sessions, as well as nine sessions featuring technologies that support classroom activities. Most importantly, in this budget climate, those unable to attend the conference in person had viewing access to 18 hours of programming. This is a first for New Horizons, and quite a substantive addition.”
Stonerock says the success of this year’s event can be attributed, at least in part, to the quality of the programming, to include the 13 Excellence in Education (EIE) award contenders.
“The judging panel commented on several occasions on the quality of the materials submitted, the on-site presentations, and the professionalism of the EIE displays. This award competition has become what it should be: the best of the best educational projects from throughout the VCCS being showcased, celebrated, shared, and competing for top honors – high-quality, high-standards, and highly-selective.”
Two major systemwide awards were also presented at this year’s conference. PVCC art professor Beryl Solla received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Dr. Brent Kendrick, a longtime English professor at Lord Fairfax Community College, was presented with the first Susan S. Wood Professorship award.
Stonerock says next year’s event will be of the caliber and quality you’d expect to see at a national conference.
“Going forward, New Horizons will be taking its place as an academic showcase, a premier teaching and learning event, and everyone is bringing their A-game.”
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