2023 Student Success Initiative Symposium

Thursday, February 9, 2023 at the Illini Union

Please mark your calendars to join Interim Provost William Bernhard and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Danita M. Brown Young at the 2023 Student Success Initiative Symposium on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at the Illini Union.

Participate in the ongoing discussion about what our campus is doing and will do to bolster retention and graduation rates, close equity gaps, and enhance the Illinois experience.

Don’t miss this chance to engage with other faculty, staff, and students to think critically about undergraduate success and to identify strengthsgaps, and priorities for our university.

Additional details about the symposium schedule will be shared as they become available.

Call for Proposals

There is a great deal of outstanding work conducted across campus to foster student success and we want to hear about it! Review the proposal submission guidelinesThe deadline for submitting your program proposal has been extended to December 9, 2022.

Keynote Speaker

We are excited to bring James K. Winfield, Ed.D., Associate Dean for First Year Experience, General Education, & Retention Strategies at Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Campus to be our Keynote Speaker for the 2023 Student Success Initiative Symposium.

James K. Winfield, Ed.D.

Dr. Winfield’s portfolio includes the implementation of holistic strategies and programs to improve the communication, orientation, and retention efforts for first-year students along with developing policies and processes that support the general education experience of global campus students. Winfield, a proud first-gen student and advocate, previously served as the inaugural director of student retention at Benedict College, where he led the implementation of centralized peer tutoring, first-year programs, and academic recovery efforts. Prior to that, he worked at the University of South Carolina, Columbia (UofSC) where he served in various roles with University 101 Programs (first-year seminar), Student Success Center (academic support), and TRIO Programs.

Winfield has been actively involved with NASPA and the Center for First-generation Student Success–currently serving on the Center Advocacy Group and as the co-chair for the Black First-gen Collective.

Winfield has extensive experience in first-year programs, specifically first-year seminars, teaching, designing curriculum, and leading faculty development. He has launched, developed, and managed early alert mechanisms to improve faculty and student expectations. His dissertation focused on the career self-efficacy and academic major decisions of low-income, first-generation college students in a TRIO SSS program.

He earned his Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Carolina, an M.Ed. in higher education administration and B.A. in mass communication from Auburn University. James is a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and enjoys painting and drawing.

Get Updates or Get Involved

If you’d like to receive updates about the symposium or engage with the initiative, share your information.


Please direct any questions to studentsuccessinitiative@illinois.edu.