2017 Knowledge Without Boundaries Symposium Recap

2017 Knowledge Without Boundaries Symposium Recap

Last week, SAS scholars and leaders from around the country – as well as University of Phoenix leaders and staff – convened in Tempe, Arizona for the 2017 Knowledge without Boundaries Vision to Venture Research Symposium.

View the event schedule, including presentation topics and speakers >>

The mainstay for this conference was the concurrent research presentations and workshops. Both Friday and Saturday started with opening remarks and presentations that were then followed by a traditional conference format of concurrent sessions.  Faculty, student, and alumni presented their proposed, ongoing, and completed research; workshops were designed to support and educate new and existing researchers alike. Presentations in these sessions were juried and selected for the event.  In hour-long blocks, participants could attend one of multiple concurrent presentations where scholars highlighted their research or provided a workshop. 

Thursday: Opening Reception

Thursday night’s opening dinner was highly attended; it brought together over 100 faculty, students, alumni, and staff.   Presentations during dinner brought attendees in for a closer look into the world of SAS scholarly endeavors. In the opening remarks, Dr. Mark McCaslin, SAS Dean of Research and Scholarship, highlighted the impressive output of scholarly research that been conducted over the course of the past few years within SAS. Our newly appointed University President, Peter Cohen, gave a presentation following by a question-and-answer session. President Cohen presented a current look at the university state of affairs and the plans for moving ahead. For attendees, it was a chance to capture an intimate snapshot of University senior-level leadership and tactical planning.

Wrapping up Thursday evening, Dr. Rodney Luster, SAS Director of Research Communication, led a compelling panel discussion featuring a core group of leaders from across the University. The topic was the cumulative effect of the year-long, 8-campus beta experiment: Knowledge Without Boundaries Academy. Dr. Greg Bradley gave brief insights into some of the most pivotal and dramatic results coming from KWBA and then the panelist provided impromptu insight into the KWBA efforts in response to audience questions.  The panel included:

As with KWBAs held around the country this year, audience members were invited to be active participants with questions concerning the results of the beta experiment. Thursday closed successfully, moving a motivated and eager audience into the Friday and Saturday workshops.

Friday: Workshops & Breakouts

Friday began with opening remarks from Dr. McCaslin on the mission and outcomes of the themed “vision to venture” journey. Following Dr. McCaslin, the University Research Chairs (URCs) and Associate University Research Chairs (AURCs) joined as a panel on stage to share insight into their University Research Centers and the outstanding work being facilitated within each of them.  URCs and AURCs were:  Dr. Scott Burrus, Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, Dr. Ellen Darosweski, Dr. Erik Bean, Dr. Ryan Rominger, Dr. Fiona Sussan, Dr. Brian Sloboda, Dr. Jim Lane, Dr. Kimberly Underwood, and Dr. James Gillespie.

The day also featured an hour-long showcase with the URCs and AURCs, allowing guests to visit and engage each of the centers. Concurrent sessions held the spot for the rest of Friday with dynamic, scholarly presentations featuring research in areas of; entrepreneurial explorations, diversity, education, and healthcare. Faculty and student scholars presented their research in symposia workshop fashion, enlightening attendees with cutting-edge theory and inquiry.  During lunch, Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi presented on the Dissertation to Publication workshop, where over 50 faculty and recent graduates have worked to transform a dissertation into a publishable academic journal article.  Guests finished the day at the Culinary Dropout, offering a chance for networking, socializing, and a bit of fun.

Saturday: Awards and Closing

Saturday ushered in an array of awards and recognition of scholarly efforts. Attendees gathered for breakfast and opening remarks from Dr. McCaslin. Dr. Aaron Coe took the stage with his team to provide insights into the roles and efforts of the Office of Scholarship Support (OSS). Dr. Bill Beck, SAS Academic Dean followed Dr. Coe, to announce and recognize the Dissertation of the Year Award winners: Dr. Teresa Hutchinson, Dr. Patricia Walker, and Dr. Daniel Roberts.

The morning closed with the announcement of a first-time award, the SAS Distinguished Scholar of the Year, presented by Dr. McCaslin in recognition of the outstanding accomplishments and work of Dr. Lynn Devnew. After accepting her award, Dr. Devnew closed with an inspiring and moving message on her journey into research.

The final concurrent sessions of Saturday provided workshops from the Dissertation of the Year honorees, as well as workshops focused on research topics that encompassed learning analytics, education and diversity, digital communications research, applied business foci, healthcare, and scholarship. There was something for every variation of research interest to spark further inquiry amongst conference participants. The event was one of the most successfully carried out and inspiring conferences in years.