Student Affairs

Previous Speakers

Dr. David Yeager, 2017

The Psychology of Academic Achievement: How Belonging & Mindset
Influence Student Success

David Yeager

Dr. Yeager's research has led to the formation of the "Mindset Scholars Network," whose members have demonstrated the strikingly positive impact of social-belonging on the academic success of college students. This research has advanced the scientific understanding of how mindset impacts student achievement in the classroom and helps to expand educational opportunities.

David Yeager is an experimental developmental psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin.

In May, 2013, Dr. Yeager chaired and co-hosted a national summit on mindset interventions at the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy. This event led to the launch and co-chairing of the "Mindset Scholars Network," an interdisciplinary research network housed at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), where he was a 2014-2015 fellow. There are two flagship projects of the Mindset Scholars Network: the "National Mindset Study," a test of mindset interventions in a national probability sample of high schools, and the "College Transition Collaborative," which will test social-belonging interventions with a census of matriculating students at over a dozen colleges.

Dr. Yeager holds a PhD and MA from Stanford University, and a BA and MEd from the University of Notre Dame. He is a William T. Grant Foundation scholar, a Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a Faculty Research Associate at the UT Population Research Center, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the UT Dana Center. His research has earned awards from the Spencer Foundation, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the Society for Research on Child Development, the American Educational Research Association, Division 7 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Science Directorate, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), and the International Society for Research on Aggression.



Dr. Estela Bensimon, 2016

Making “Race Talk” a Routine Practice on College Campuses

Estela Bensimon

Dr. Bensimon is a Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the USC Rossier School of Education and Co-Director of the Center for Urban Education, which she founded in 1999.

During her address, Dr. Bensimon will present a compelling framework that has enabled colleges across the country to engage in a campus-wide process of self-reflection regarding race, equity, and student success. Dr. Bensimon developed the Equity Scorecard as a result of her determination to increase equity in higher education outcomes for students of color. The scorecard process takes a strengths-based approach that empowers faculty, administrators, and staff as “researchers” into their own practices, with the ultimate goal of not just marginal changes in policy or practice, but a campus-wide shift towards cultures of inclusion and broad ownership over racial equity.

Since its founding, CUE has worked with thousands of college professionals—from presidents to faculty to academic counselors - helping them take steps in their daily work to reverse the impact of the historical and structural disadvantages that prevent many students of color from excelling in higher education. The innovative Equity Scorecard process takes a strengths-based approach starting from the premise that faculty and administrators are committed to doing “the good.” CUE builds upon this premise by developing tools and processes that empower these professionals.

Dr. Bensimon also served as the associate dean of the USC Rossier School of Education from 1996-2000 and was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico in 2002. She earned her doctorate in higher education from Teachers College, Columbia University.




Dr. Shaun Harper, 2015

Student Engagement and Inclusive Campus Environments
From Magical Thinking to Strategy & Intentionality

Shaun Harper

Professor Harper, an expert on equity and student engagement in higher education, will talk about what all members of the educational community can do to more intentionally engage CSUN students and foster environments that bolster a sense of belonging for all. He will explain how engagement and inclusivity in classrooms and out-of-class spaces positively affect persistence, academic achievement, and a range of other important student outcomes. His lecture will include numerous examples of effective strategies employed at other colleges and universities across the nation.

Shaun R. Harper is on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education, Gender Studies, and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. His research examines race and gender in education and social contexts, equity trends and racial climates on college campuses, Black and Latino male student success in high school and higher education, and college student engagement. Professor Harper has published 12 books and over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. Review of Research in Education, Journal of Higher Education, Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, and The Review of Higher Education are some journals in which his studies are published. He has received over $11.7 million in research grants. Dr. Harper has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR and featured or quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and over 400 other media outlets. He received the 2014 American Educational Research Association Relating Research to Practice Award and the 2008 Association for the Study of Higher Education Early Career Award. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Albany State, a historically Black University in Georgia, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University.




Laura I. Rendón, 2014

Leveraging Student Strengths to Support Student Success

Laura Rendon

Laura I. Rendón is Professor of Higher Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Texas-San Antonio. She is also Co-Director of the Center for Research and Policy in Education.

Dr. Rendon is a specialist on issues of college preparation, persistence and graduation among students who are low income or perhaps the first in their families to attend college. A native of Laredo, Texas, Dr. Rendón is passionate about assisting students who, like her, grew up in poverty with hopes and dreams but not knowing how to realize them.

Dr. Rendón is credited with developing the theory of validation, which colleges and researchers have employed as a framework for working with and affirming students of color, many of whom are low-income and the first in their families to attend college.

Dr. Rendón earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She holds an M.A. in counseling, guidance and psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She earned a B.A. in English and journalism from the University of Houston, and holds an associate of arts degree from San Antonio College. Dr. Rendón also attended Laredo Community College.




Dr. Vincent Tinto, 2013

Student Success Does Not Arise by Chance
A Presentation on Promoting Student Success and Graduation

Dr. Vincent TintoInstitutional improvement in rates of student success does not arise by chance, nor is it solely a reflection of good intentions. It requires a series of coordinated actions involving all segments and members of the institution. In his presentation, Professor Tinto provided concrete examples of the sorts of actions institutions are taking to establish those conditions to best ensure that students not only succeed and complete college, but also learn while doing so.

Professor Tinto is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles. His current book, Completing College: Rethinking Institutional Action (2012) offers research-based ways to promote institutional dialogue about retention and student success. We were pleased to have hosted Dr. Tinto at CSUN given his emphasis on translating academic research into practical steps that faculty, staff and administrators can take to enhance student success - mirroring a hallmark of Dr. Piper's legacy.

Dr. Vincent Tinto is Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University. His scholarship addresses student retention and the impact of learning communities on student growth and degree attainment.




Dr. Marcia Baxter-Magolda, 2012 Inaugural Lecture

Building Learning Partnerships for Student Success

Dr. Baxter-MagoldaThis lecture featured Dr. Marcia Baxter-Magolda, distinguished professor of educational leadership and student affairs in higher education at Miami University of Ohio. Dr. Baxter-Magolda presented her Learning Partnership Model to frame a discussion about creating learning partnerships around students, staff and faculty to promote student development and success.

Her research focuses on how young adults learn, the holistic development of students and higher education’s role in fostering critical thinking and self-authorship. The two-time winner of the American College Personnel Association’s outstanding research award is nationally known for a longitudinal study of young adult development that began in 1986 and continues today.

Baxter-Magolda was selected as the inaugural speaker because of her longtime friendship with former Vice President Piper. They both earned doctorate degrees at The Ohio State University and continued a collegial relationship, including collaborating on presentations and Piper contributed to a chapter in one of Baxter-Magolda’s books.




Captioned DVD copies available at Library or Vice President for Student Affairs Office