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Conference Schedule At a Glance

Times and events are preliminary and subject to change. Review session and event activity descriptions below.

Click here to view the conference booklet virtually.

Wednesday, May 17

 Attendee Arrivals

 6:30 - 8:00 PM:  Welcome Reception Sponsored by Fastenal (click link to learn more)                                                          
 6:30 - 8:00 PM:  Registration Open

Thursday, May 18

 6:30 - 9:00 AM:   Breakfast Buffet Open 
 8:00 - 9:10 AM:  Registration Open
 9:00 - 9:10 AM:  President's Welcome
 9:10 - 10:00  AM: 

 Opening Keynote: How Great Mentors, Recruiters, and Educators Helped Chart My Career Path 

 Dan Ndombe, Product Lead at Calm & Co-founder of Soundwave

 10:00 - 10:15 AM:   Break
 10:15 - 11:30 AM: 

 Session 1: Building A Career Service Center From Scratch 

 Patrick Lynch, Director of Career Services, Lyon College

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM:   AACE Awards Luncheon & Business Meeting
 1:15 - 2:15 PM: 

 Session 2: Bridging the GAP (Gainful Employment, Academic Support, Promotion through Training) 

 Tara Dryer, UA Global Campus & Joe Rollins, Northwest Arkansas Council 

 2:20 - 3:20 PM:   Session 3: Roundtable Discussions (click link to learn more)
 3:30 - 4:30 PM:

 Session 4: (re)Connect & (re)Engage: International Students & Their Careers 

 Nakell Baker, Assistant Director - Career Studio, University of Arkansas

 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM:  Dinner on your own
 8:00 PM:  Maxwell Blade Magic Show (click link to learn more)

Friday, May 19

 6:30 - 9:00 AM:   Breakfast Buffet Open                                                                                                                                       
 9:00 - 10:00 AM:       Session 5: Student Panel

 Facilitated by Margot Purdy - Career Events & Internship Coordinator, University of Arkansas

10:05 - 11:00 AM:  Closing Keynote: Exploring ChatGPT for Career Services & Recruiting 

 Glenn Acree, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics & Data Science, Owner of Acree Consulting

11:00 AM:  Board of Directors Election Results & Closing Remarks

Session Topics:

Opening Keynote 

How Great Mentors, Recruiters, and Educators Helped Chart My Career Path  - Dan Ndombe, Product Lead at Calm & Co-Founder of Soundwave

As a student, Dan Ndombe struggled to find his way in the world of work. But with the help of great mentors, recruiters, and educators, he was able to chart a successful and fulfilling career path that started as a part-time summer intern at Acxiom in Conway to leading Product at Netflix, Pinterest and Calm in Silicon Valley. In this talk, Dan will share his story and the strategies and support that helped him to find his passion and succeed in his career.

Session 1

Building a Career Services Center From Scratch - Patrick Lynch, Director of Career Services, Lyon College

What would you do if you were allowed to build a Career Service Center from scratch? Patrick Lynch was given that opportunity when he joined Lyon College. What steps did he take? What were the successes (and misses)? What are his future plans? This presentation will take you through the journey and process he took to get our Career Service Center restaged and engaged.

Session 2

Bridging the GAP (Gainful Employment, Academic Support, Promotion through Training) - Dr. Tara Dryer, UA Global Campus & Dr. Joe Rollins, Northwest Arkansas Council

As employers and colleges search for the same talent, the combined win lies in shared efforts. Through early career onboarding, students develop roots, strength and career awareness, all while being supported in their academic pursuits through employer benefits programs, thus creating a more well-rounded, supported and productive employee that ultimately can earn increased value to their respective employer through training and degree completion. Colleges must take action to be a flexible and continuous integration into employer training, and can develop deep community partnerships as a result of this work.

Session 3: Roundtable Discussions

During this session, attendees will have the opportunity to choose two topics of interest. Each roundtable discussion will last approximately 20 minutes.

  • Building a Career Services Center - Patrick Lynch, Director of  Career Services, Lyon College

Dive deeper into Patrick Lynch's journey of building Lyon College's career center from scratch!

  • DEI: Goal Setting - Robyn Williams, Associate Director of Career Engagement, University of Arkansas - Engineering Career Connections

Explore the importance of inclusive leadership. Discover how you can use it to establish inclusive and equitable goals for your organization and your program's initiatives.

  • Military Recruiting - Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Forge Institute

Discover best practices for recruiting veterans and assisting them throughout their job search.

  • Podcasting - Ti King, Founder, ARKAST & Karen Steward, Host, Power of Pod

Learn about the growing role podcasting plays in the job market and how podcasting can help individuals advance their careers and expand their professional networks.

Session 4 

(re)Connect & (re)Engage: International Students & Their Careers - Nakell Baker, Assistant Director of Career Studio, University of Arkansas

In this presentation, participants will receive a general overview of the immigration policies that F-1 international students must follow and the work authorization options F-1 students have, along with the common barriers international students face in finding employment. Participants will also have a short time to discuss some barriers they see in their students. Based on the barriers, the presentation will provide tangible ways for career services staff and employers to support this population.

Session 5

Student Panel

Students will share their personal experiences about their internship search, the recruiting process, and onboarding process from their perspective. They will also share about their experience as an intern and the culture, support, mentoring they received on site. This panel discussion will be moderated by Margot Purdy from Engineering Career Connections at the University of Arkansas.

Closing Keynote 

Exploring ChatGPT for Career Services and Recruiting -  Glenn Acree, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Data Science & Owner of Acree Consulting

The session will provide an overview of ChatGPT, demonstrate use cases for Career Services and Recruiting professionals, show potential impact on the field, and provide hands-on engagement with the technology. The session will be geared towards Career Services and Recruiting professionals, but may be instructive for any one with interest in learning more about this new technology. Exploring and engaging with ChatGPT certainly enables a reimagining of the work of building connections with and across academic and industry communities creating new avenues for information collection and dissemination, as well as creating new networking opportunities to grow these connections. The attendees will learn the basics of engaging with ChatGPT and similar tools. They will be able to understand and describe how such a tool can be used to automate and/or scale certain information gathering or sharing processes to enable professionals to spend more time on more complex communications and connections which require a greater sense of empathy, understanding of nuance, and personal relationship skills. They will be able to discern best practices through an ongoing opportunity for practice and dialogue among a community of professionals. A basic outline is provided in the abstract. As I am new to this conference, the length of sessions is unknown to me. However, the session described could be modified so as to be delivered in as little as 30 minutes or as long as 90 minutes according to the desire of the organizers and the depth of the discussion.

Optional Activities / Networking

Welcome Reception Sponsored by Fastenal

Join AACE sponsor Fastenal for a welcome reception to kick off the AACE23 conference!

Desserts and refreshments will be served. 

Maxwell Blade Magic Show

On May 18th at 8:00 pm, conference attendees are invited to attend a magic show at the Maxwell Blade Theatre of MagicAttendance is FREE and optional. Still you must RSVP when you register to participate in the conference. 

The theatre is within walking distance of the hotel. However, a shuttle will be provided for those who wish to utilize it. 

Note: If you have guests who would like to attend the show but are not  conference attendees, please have them purchase a ticket here.

AACE23 Booklet

Allison Nicholas, AACE President PO Box 45, Little Rock, AR 72203 │ 

Phone: (501) 269-4119

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