Scholars from throughout the Midwest and other parts of the United States will gather at the Indianapolis Marriott North on March 14-15 for the 18th annual Midwest Scholars Conference, hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University.

The conference brings together scholars of various fields and disciplines to share information and ideas drawn from their latest work and research. Most of the scholars are from IWU, but registrations have also come in from Purdue University, Taylor University, Indiana University, Marian University and Ball State University, among others.

The theme of this year’s conference is Shifting Sands: Re-Imagining Scholarship, Theory, and Practice.”

“It’s kind of a spin on what we have done in previous years,” said Mike Mendenhall, assistant director of academic operations in the IWU School of Liberal Arts. “We just want to catch people’s attention in terms of examining how education is changing.”

Midwest Scholars

The Midwest Scholars Conference brings together scholars of various fields and disciplines to share information and ideas drawn from their latest work and research.Dr. Christopher Devers, Director of Research at the Center for Learning and Innovation, said that this year’s conference has a strong focus on the connection between theoretical and empirical work and practice. The keynote speaker, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Dr. Regan Gurung, was Wisconsin’s Professor of the Year in 2009.

“Dr. Gurung’s research on teaching is really powerful. His work provides both an empirical basis for improving our own teaching, as well as support for the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

The invited speaker, Dr. Marilyn Johnston-Parsons of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will make a similar link between research and practice in her presentation.

“Instead of strictly discussing theory, she is likely to connect theory with her own personal experiences,” Devers said.

For the first time this year, Mendenhall said, the conference will include two undergraduate presenters. In all, eight graduate and undergrad students have registered.

“That’s not a lot,” Mendenhall said, “But that could be the start of more students registering, and we still have five or six weeks to go.”

The call for proposals is now closed, but registration is still open through the conference website (http://www.indwes.edu/MidwestScholars/). Early-bird registration closes February 10.