Presented by Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Portland State University

Lightning presentations are roughly seven minutes in length and are paired with others into a single session. Timestamps are indicated in parentheses so you can forward to the presentation you want to view.

  • Investing in High-Speed Rail to Boost Baltimore’s Economy (00:00)
    Presented by Mac McComas, Johns Hopkins University

Faster rail service between Baltimore and DC could boost Baltimore’s economy by providing an expanded job market for Baltimore residents while providing capitol residents the opportunity for cheaper housing in Baltimore. Baltimore struggles with a vacant housing problem, many of which surround a train stop in West Baltimore. A faster train could spur revitalization in this neighborhood, but local residents might be displaced through rising house prices. Such investments in economic development have distributional effects where some people stand to gain and others could lose. Policymakers need to be aware of these tradeoffs and explore strategies to mitigate potential harm. Attendees will learn about how these concerns should be front and center to any policy proposal or large-scale investment and how to address those concerns up front rather than after the fact.

  • Pivoting A Work-Study Program to Remotely Engage with the K-12 Community (13:41)
    Presented by Sarah Floyd and Jason Schultz, New York University

For more than 20 years, the NYU America Reads/America Counts program has been the largest on-campus employer for students with Federal Work Study. The program hires NYU undergraduate and graduate students to serve as tutors in more than 50 New York City public schools to support literacy, math, and other academic skills development. This year, the program pivoted to a remote model to ensure the safety of the tutors, K-12 students, and school staff. Tutors continue to serve as academic tutors in the online classroom setting, while also supporting teachers with remote administrative and asynchronous learning tasks.

During this session, we will focus on:

    • Why our placement in the NYU Office of Community Engagement allows for greater support from University leadership
    • How we promote civically-minded engagement with the community while being remote
    • How we adapted to meet the needs of our K-12 school partners, and created new partnerships to meet the growing need in New York City schools
    • How we partner with Financial Aid, Student Employment, and other divisions within the University to hire hundreds of students each year
  • Broadening the Tent to Put Students First (26:20)
    Presented by Randi Harris and Michele Toppe, Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) believes that students succeed when caring faculty and staff connect them to the opportunity and support they need to experience the transformative power of a college education. We realize PSU’s commitment to student success when our students achieve their goals.

The PSU Persistence Network is a broad reaching team of over 35 staff, faculty, and students that meets weekly to identify and discuss ways to use key data, identify trends, knit together resources, and support specific students at risk of not persisting. This group of staff and faculty focuses on action that can be taken in the near term. This near-term work informs the overall strategy of our university student success initiative- Students First.

In this session we will talk about the power of an intentional, focused, and broad reaching network that is uniquely positioned to pivot and address immediate and long-term challenges and opportunities that our institution faces. Launched this fall, the Persistence Network at PSU has set a course for the year, developing critical partnerships and a shared set of priorities and understandings. For example, the Persistence Network has taken on the emerging challenges from the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic on our students. Through development of more dynamic data use and intersectionality of our students’ identities, we are taking the widening success gaps head on and utilizing our collective energy and motivation to close these gaps.

Key Takeaways from the presentation:

    • Theoretical and practical frameworks utilized to support closing of student success gaps
    • Iterative design techniques to support changing nature of problem solving in our current pandemic context