Tyrone Carr, director of The Interlink Alliance

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The Interlink Alliance to hold third faculty development conference

Presidents from The Interlink Alliance institutions will be attending "From Pencils to Pixels: Pedagogy in the 21st Century" during the third faculty development conference March 7 and 8 at Virginia State University (VSU) in Petersburg, Va.

Hosted by The Interlink Alliance, this faculty development conference will provide higher education instructors the opportunity to share best practices in teaching and learning, discuss research on teaching and learning processes and establish relationships with faculty from other The Interlink Alliance campuses.

Conference programs and activities will center on four tracks: Pencils to Pixels: Teaching with Technology; Academic Leadership and Management; Grant Writing and Collaborative Research: Unfolding the Mystery; and Transformative Pedagogy: Are We There Yet?

"The changing times certainly demand a change in pedagogy. This is particularly important among The Interlink Alliance member schools, given our commitment to African-American students," said Ohio University President and interim Chair Roderick J. McDavis. "Leadership in the 21st Century demands a 21st Century education. It is my hope that this weekend's conference will provide the necessary tools to take our teaching methods to this next level."

The conference will open with a luncheon on Friday, March 7, at 11:30 a.m. and feature keynote speaker President Michael Rao of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Rao is the fifth president of VCU and the VCU Health System - a national research university with a top-ranked academic medical center, the largest employer in Richmond. The University's hospital is consistently ranked one of the nation's best hospitals and Number 1 hospital in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. The University's economic and cultural community impact continues to grow under his leadership, as does VCU's place among national research universities. Rao holds degrees in chemistry and higher education and has served in higher education administration for more than 20 years.

William Bosher, VSU Board of Visitors member and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Education at VCU, will serve as the keynote speaker on March 8. He directs the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute and served as the dean of the School of Education at VCU. Prior to higher education, he spent many years in K-12 education, serving as a teacher, principal, state director, superintendent for two districts and state superintendent of instruction, becoming the only Virginia superintendent to twice be named Superintendent of the Year. A frequent consultant, Bosher has traveled to 35 states and 12 foreign countries, served on the Education Commission of the States board of directors and as a trustee to three colleges and universities.

In addition to Virginia State University and Ohio University, members of The Interlink Alliance are Hampton University in Hampton, Va.; Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.; North Carolina Central University in Durham; South Carolina State University in Orangeburg; Spelman College in Atlanta; and Wilberforce University and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Through The Interlink Alliance, the nine inaugural members will share resources and talent to make possible new programs, innovative projects and crucial research emphasizing three specific areas: faculty development, student leadership and an African-American Male Initiative.

The Interlink Alliance holds as its central purpose the development and preparation of African-American students to learn, live and lead in the 21st Century. The alliance's mission is to recruit, retain and encourage talented individuals to achieve their full potential for the betterment of community and society.

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