The Head and the Heart: Teaching and Learning for the Whole Student

In the inaugural year of the University College (UC) Conference on Student Success, our conference theme focuses on teaching and learning that is built around UVU’s core value of exceptional care, respects and recognizes students’ social identities and lived experiences, and creates community and environments of openness and trust to foster deep-learning, meaning-making, and academic success.

With a special emphasis on Sentipensante (feeling/thinking) pedagogies, this year’s conference calls for us to critique limiting definitions and measures of student success and value diverse lives and diverse ways of knowing, feeling, and being. We honor the reality that students (and faculty and staff members) bring their full lives and experiences—their heads and their hearts—into the classroom.

uc conference on student success
Friday, October 11th
9 AM - 4 PM
Keynote Laura I. Rendón
10:00 – 11:00 AM | CB 101B


Formal registration for this event is not required. The conference is open to all students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public with an interest in student success. If you would like the opportunity to be more involved with this conference, please consider submitting a paper.

Call for Proposals

It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in the first annual Conference on Student Success! The conference is organized and sponsored by UVU’s University College and will take place on October 11, 2019 in the Clarke Building and Fulton Library at UVU. This year’s conference theme is The Head and the Heart: Teaching and Learning for the Whole Student.

In addition to national keynote speakers, the conference will include concurrent 50-minute sessions. Participants may submit proposals for a 10-minute, a 20-minute, or a full 50-minute session. We welcome proposals of papers (personal, research-based, or theoretical), presentations (oral, digital, visual or creative), and panels on the general topic of student success, or on the more specific topic of expanding our definitions of student success to include valuing diverse ways of knowing, feeling, and being in higher education.

Examples of topics of interest include
  • What it means to teach/advise/mentor from a perspective of “exceptional care”
  • Fostering teacher/advisor/mentor-student relationships and community building
  • How teaching/advising/mentoring the whole student increases persistence and completion rates
  • Habits of mind that go beyond a traditional focus on intellectual inquiry and competition
  • Strategies for incorporating deep social and personal reflection into our practices and curriculum
  • Personal experiences with diverse ways of knowing and being

Guide for Participants

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, September 20 at midnight. To submit your proposal, please click on the following link: Submit Here

Important Dates
  • Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, September 20, midnight
  • Notification of acceptance: Wednesday, September 25, midnight


For all general enquiries, please contact Dr. Deborah Marrott,, LA 210


Portrait of Laura RendonLaura I. Rendón is Professor Emerita at the University of Texas-San Antonio. She is also an educational consultant and featured speaker at over 100 higher education institutions and conferences throughout the nation. Her presentations focus on topics such as student success, Latinx STEM students, and sensing/thinking deep learning experiences, as well as self-care and healing.

A native of Laredo, Texas Rendón’s passion is ensuring that the nation’s educational system fosters success for all students, especially those who are low-income and first generation. Rendón developed “validation theory,” an asset-based student success framework that has been employed to frame research studies and programmatic activities in two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Rendón is also a teaching and learning theorist and thought leader. She is the author of the book, Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation (Stylus, 2009), as well as numerous publications focusing on student success and contemplative education.

She is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of the John N Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and former Fellow of the Fetzer Institute. In 2013 the Texas Diversity Council awarded Rendón the title of being one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas.

Rendón’s personal archives are a part of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas-Austin, one of the premier libraries in the world focused on Latin America and Latinx Studies.

Rendón is co-editor of three books released in 2017-18:
  1. The Latino Student Guide to STEM Careers
  2. New Directions in Hispanic College Student Assessment and Academic Preparation
  3. Hispanic College Students Move Forward: Policies, Planning and Progress in Promoting Access