Old Dominion Advising Network Conference Fall 2023

ODU Advising Conference Logo

The Old Dominion Advising Network (ODAN) is excited to host the 11th fall advising conference! Join us at the conference to exchange ideas, learn about innovative practices, network with colleagues, and more. This is a hybrid event. Registration is open to any faculty, staff, or graduate students within the ODU community.

Conference Registration

You may attend in person or online by completing this registration.

Contact Us

Have a question? Email us at odan@odu.edu


All events located in Webb Center rooms


9:00 - 9:25 a.m. Conference Check-In

Location: Hampton/Newport News


9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome

Location: Hampton/Newport News

  • Christine Woods, 2023-24 ODAN Chair
  • Joe Ritchie, Senior Advising Director

10:00 - 10:50 a.m. Concurrent Session 1

Location: Cape Charles/Isle of Wight Room

Presenter: Morgan Morrison, Digital Learning

This roundtable discussion will guide participants through brainstorming opportunities to support connection between ODU advisors- both across campus and remotely. Topics will include building a collaborative culture, training and resources, developing recognition opportunities, and creating spaces to connect. By the end of the session, participants will take away tangible ideas for how they can connect with fellow ODU advisors to help build their advising network and support their growth as an academic advisor.


Location: Virginia Beach/Portsmouth Room

Presenter: Staci Kohen, College of Arts and Letters and Anna Lacy, Academic Success Center, Batten College of Engineering Advising

At ODU we have high turnover for our advising teams and often find ourselves left with a gap. Some colleges also do not yet have their own Transfer Academic Advisor. We aim to educate our peers on the basics of Transfer Advising processes in the hope that our transfer student population always gets the support they need. We also hope that leaving this session you feel confident in your knowledge of transfer processes.


Location: Chesapeake Room

Presenters: Lanah Stafford and Josie Momberger, Academic Success Center

Student success requires institutions to “commit themselves to intentional, structured, and systematic forms of action” (Tinto, 2012, p. 9). Two institutional surveys collect intentional, structured information about the lived experiences of ODU’s first- and second-year students: the First Year Experiences Survey and the Sophomore Experiences Survey.

Recent efforts to systematically distribute these findings have resulted in increased collaborative discussion about the experiences of ODU students, and of departments’ roles in addressing them. Yet more can be done. Without a shared understanding of the student experience, departments may struggle with delivering coordinated interventions aimed at improving student success at ODU.

This concurrent session will discuss the role of institutional survey collection, distribute results from the more recent administration of these surveys, and facilitate discussion to contextualize these findings for individual units.


11:00 - 11:50 a.m. Concurrent Session 2

Location: Cape Charles/Isle of Wight

Presenters: Suzanne Morrow and Krystall Dunaway, Psychology Department, College of Sciences

To increase student participation in retention-based services, advisors often reach out to students via electronic media. Kyte et al. (2020) investigated student preferences for growth mindset and appreciative advising micro-messages in electronic media and found that students preferred growth mindset messages. Advisors emailed 51 students with multiple failed attempts in a psychology research methods sequence and sent emails/texts containing growth mindset or appreciative advising micro-messages. A follow-up survey was sent regarding their participation in retention behaviors and the degree to which the message influenced their decision to participate. Results indicated that there was no difference in participation based on type of message. However, most of the students reported that the message influenced their decision to participate. This roundtable discussion will address effective communication strategies to reach students with academic difficulties.

Location: Virginia Beach/Portsmouth

Presenter: Reneldo Randall, College of Sciences

In today's dynamic and rapidly changing world, effective leadership is paramount for personal and organizational success. As higher education professionals, we understand the profound impact leadership has on individuals, teams, and institutions. Join us at the Old Dominion Advising Network Conference as we explore the essential elements of leadership consciousness and equip you with valuable insights and tools to enhance your leadership capabilities. The presentation will delve into the following key topics: Define Leadership, Consciousness, Common Blind Spots, The 5 P's of Emotional Intelligence (EI), and Situational Leadership. This presentation is designed for leadership enthusiasts, advisors, educators, and anyone eager to elevate their leadership consciousness and effectiveness. The goal is to equip you with actionable strategies and a deeper understanding of leadership, enabling you to inspire, empower, and guide others effectively.

Location: Chesapeake

Presenter: Michael Dean, Christine Clarke, and Nathan Owens, Study Abroad

Come learn more about study abroad and away opportunities for ODU students. This session will cover some of the ways that study abroad positively impacts student success (i.e. engagement, graduation rates, GPA, employability) and some key elements for ODAN colleagues to know in order to help encourage ODU students to consider a study abroad / away experience during their ODU careers.

Noon - 12:50 p.m. Lunch

Location: Hampton/Newport News Room


12:50 - 1:15 p.m. Keynote Address

Location: Hampton/Newport News Room

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jenn Grimm

Biography: Dr. Jenn Grimm serves as ODU’s Director for the Office of Leadership & Learning and adjunct assistant professor for ODU’s Higher Education program. Jenn has been at ODU for nine years, initially serving as the Director of the Peer Educator Program and then Director of Academic Initiatives in the former Center for High Impact Practices. Dr. Grimm is a proud alumna of ODU’s Higher Education Ph.D. program, as well as of Ohio University where she earned her Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel and Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Human Resource Management. Jenn is a loving mother to her six- and three-year-old children, David and Rachel, and devoted spouse to her husband, Kevin, a history professor to whom she has been married for 14 years. In her spare time, Jenn loves going to lunchtime fitness classes at the SRC with her ODU “fitness friends,” reading and listening to novels, and being an active member of her church’s Mercy and Access ministries.

1:30 - 2:20 p.m. Concurrent Session 3

Location: Cape Charles/Isle of Wight

Presenters: Tanisha Bradley and Sierra Garrett, College of Arts and Letters

The incorporation of first-year seminar courses at institutions of higher education has proven to be beneficial in facilitating a foundation of academic success, retention, and completion. Students that receive first year support in the forms of resource referral, academic advisor connectivity, peer community support, and general university/college knowledge demonstrate higher rates of student success; all of which can be obtained through a first-year seminar course. The goal of this presentation is to highlight student success rates yielded through first-year seminar courses, and the benefits of such courses being offered to a larger and equitable number of students in an effort to provide consistency in messaging and outreach. Feasibility, structure, and incorporation will be examined and discussed in regard to offering similar seminar courses here at Old Dominion.

Location: Virginia Beach/Portsmouth

Presenters: Jessica McGee and Kelsey Whitlow, Center for Major Exploration and Mane Connect Success Coaching

Social media has become an essential part of higher education marketing when looking into best ways to serve this new generation of college students. Colleges all over have begun to use social media to engage with prospective students and increase enrollment. However, as Academic Advisors, we are required to focus on not only helping students, but also retaining students. In this presentation, we will work to reimagine how we can use social media in our work in Advising. We will share our best practices that we have used to retain students participating in our Advisor/Success Coaching program via social media, and the knowledge you will need to build an effective social media strategy to retain and engage the students you work with. We will provide a crash course in marketing and branding and how to collaborate to get your followers engaged and participating.

Location: Chesapeake

Presenters: Kerri Musick, College of Sciences

Get a peek behind the curtain on how Kerri and the College of Sciences Advising team manages caseloads of 575+ students and keeps their cool. . . most of the time. This session will uncover practical strategies to enhance your workflow and streamline processes to provide top-notch student support while protecting your peace.

We’ll discuss strategic semesterly planning, leveraging technology to boost efficiency, establishing and maintaining professional boundaries, and crafting impacting policies that will drive advisor effectiveness. Attendees can expect case studies, examples that illustrate the implementation of these strategies, and tapping into the collective genius in the room. Participants will leave this session with access to a Google Drive advising toolkit including email templates for tricky situations, FAQ resources to share with students, and technology how-to guides.

2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Conference Closing

Location: Hampton/Newport News

  • Excellence in Advising Award Recognition
  • Best in Show Selection
  • Closing Remarks