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Northern Michigan University is proud to welcome MIACADA members to the Upper Peninsula for the MIACADA Conference May 17, 2024. A bridge: A structure carrying a pathway over an obstacle. With a holistic framework, advisors strive to assist students in achieving the goals that they have set out for themselves while overcoming the obstacles that arise. This conference will focus on ways to create positive pathways that connect us with our students and connect our students with their future. 

- Conference Co-Chairs Andrew Mady & Michelle Jacob



    • Early Bird Price (last day March 31, 2024) - $60.00
    • Price Starting April 1, 2024 - $80.00


    • Early Bird Price (last day March 31, 2024) - $80.00
    • Price Starting April 1, 2024 - $90.00

Interested in becoming a MIACADA Member? Join now HERE.


Both MIACADA members and non-members can register for the conference HERE.

NETWORKING NIGHT  |  Ore Dock Brewing Company

DATE: Thursday, May 16, 2024

TIME: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

LOCATION: Ore Dock Brewing Company 




A set number of hotel rooms are available at a discounted price at the locations below. 

Please ensure to mention the MIACADA Conference to receive the block pricing.

Days Inn Marquette

- $94.99 per night plus tax, 1-4 people per room
- Address: 2403 US Hwy 41, Marquette, MI 49855
- Phone: (906) 225-1393

Comfort Suites

- $124.00 per night plus tax, 1-4 people per room
- Address: 2463 US Hwy 41, Marquette, MI 49855
- Phone: (906) 228-0028


Accommodations are also blocked off at The Woods residence hall on our campus.

The Woods Residence Hall

Conference Participants & Guests 
- Double Occupancy: $28.00
- Single Occupancy: $35.25

*Add $2.50 per room per night for a room with a private bathroom

If you are interested in staying in the Woods, please fill out this form with your request: NMU Resident Hall Request Form.



The journey can be a bit of a trek for some. To make the trip more enjoyable and environmentally friendly, MIACADA is facilitating a carpooling forum for our members.

Whether you are looking to cut down on travel costs, reduce your carbon footprint, or just enjoy some company on the way, carpooling is a great option!

If you are an active member, make sure to be logged into your account to access the Member Forum.

Construction Notice: The first phase of a two-month construction project on the Mackinac Bridge will commence on March 25, which will cause anticipated delays for travelers until May 23. Since one lane will be open in each direction during construction, travelers are advised to prepare for potential delays and consider crossing at off-peak times. (Source: ClickOnDetroit | WDIV Local 4)


Lina Blair is the Dean of Student Life at Ferris State University, where they chair the Behavioral Response Team, co-lead the Belonging Workgroup within the Strategic Planning Team, and supervise a wonderful team of professionals responsible for advancing student development, wellness, and coordinated care while elevating the student experience.

Prior to this, Lina served as the Director of Student Life and Conduct at Grand Rapids Community College. In addition to leading the Student Life team on efforts to connect students to student organizations and leadership development opportunities, Lina served as the chair of the Behavioral Intervention Team, Title IX Coordinator, and led the student conduct efforts at GRCC. Additionally, Lina co- chaired a college action project to address student basic needs insecurities. The work was institutionalized at GRCC and a CARE Network was implemented across the college.

Prior to their role with GRCC, Lina worked at Northern Michigan University for more than 10 years. While at NMU, Lina was a resident director for three years, an academic advisor and coordinator of academic proficiency for three years and the assistant director of ACAC and director of New Student Orientation for four years. Lina also served as the assistant dean of students. While in the Dean of Students Office at NMU, Lina led the student conduct program, advised student government, created a new program for NMU’s first-generation college students, and was a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team. A two-time NMU graduate, Lina earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Science in training, development and human performance.


 7:45 AM     Check-in Begins in Northern Center
 8:00 AM     Breakfast / Check-in
 9:00 AM     President Brock Welcome
 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM     Keynote Speaker Lina Blair
 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Session 1

 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

    Session 2

 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM     Session 3 / MIACADA Board Meeting  
 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM     Session 4  
 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM     Closing Remarks & Awards


Breakout Session I - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

A Bridge Over Turbulent Waters: Leading Through Significant Structural and Cultural Change

  • Neil Baumgartner, Director of Student Success, Northern Michigan University
  • Leading the realignment of campus advising services and bringing together various campus stakeholder groups to promote equitable student success is a challenging and rewarding experience. Learn about the experiences of one administrator who has led significant advising realignments at two different universities, and be ready to engage in dialogue with your peers and the presenter.

I’m First. Please Help!

  • Kailee Laplander, Academic Advisor, Michigan Technological University
  • “First-generation student” is federally defined as a student with neither parent having completed a bachelor’s degree. First-generation students should be proud to be breaking down educational barriers, but they often must face the world of higher education without the necessary support. As advisors, how do we best support first-generation students? How do we help bridge the socio-economic gap between them and their peers? This session will provide resources for your office and easy ways to work with students to insure their academic and personal success.

Advising TKO: Leverage Timing, Knowledge, and Opportunity to Advocate for Self Like You Do for Your Students

  • Maya Calloway Richardson, Director of Student Services, Wayne State University
  • This session is designed to help advisors see the value of advocating for themselves like they do for students. Advisors will identify advocacy skills used in the profession for student development and how they can be leveraged to advocate for positive changes in their roles and workplace climate. Participants will share experiences in round table discussions and create a toolbox of ways to address areas of opportunity in their work life. Participants will also practice addressing these issues by reworking a previous workplace challenge.

Motivational Interviewing for Academic Advisors

  • Philip Himebaugh, Academic Advisor/Assistant Professor, Ferris State University
  • Why do people do what they do? What motivates them? How can we as advisors get through to a student who seems intent on doing exactly what we advise them NOT to do? This session will explore those questions along with many others. In this session attendees will explore the benefits and challenges of using motivational interviewing techniques in an academic advising setting. This engaging talk will guide attendees as they learn about the work of Dr. William Miller who pioneered motivational interviewing technique. Additionally, attendees will learn what motivational interviewing is, why it is important, and its many applications.

Breakout Session II - 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM

Bridging Advising Practices Between Theory and Application

  • Apryl Scheffler-Martin, Academic and Career Pathway Advisor, KVCC; and Ana Abendschein, KVAAP Academic and Career Pathway Advisor, KVCC
  • This session will discuss the Kalamazoo Valley Accelerated Associate Program (KVAAP) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC). KVAAP is a unique program that holistically serves students while they earn their associate degree in three years or less. KVAAP strives to implement best practices in student support, including academic and career advising. Participants will learn more about KVAAP, its approach to advising, and how this can be applied to other areas of advising and student services

New Engagement Tools, Same Advising Tool Box

  • Robert Zinger, Academic Advisor, Central Michigan University; and Erin Busscher, Academic Advisor/Associate Professor, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Academic advisors took courageous steps to ensure our students had access to quality academic advising when our traditional face-to-face advising sessions were no longer an option. Four years later, we have made tremendous strides in utilizing technology to advise students. This session will highlight new ways to use technology to engage and support students: Virtual Office, YouTube, Learning Management Systems, Dotcards, LinkTree, and more! Discover low-cost and easily learnable technology from your peers during our interactive session.

Navigating The Bridge of Higher Education: Advising New Students Post-Pandemic

  • John Cowles, Associate Professor/Academic Advisor, Ferris State University; Lori Jenema, Online Health Professions Advisor, Ferris State University; and Angela Ryan, Academic Advisor, Ferris State University
  • Post-COVID academic advising has undergone a transformative shift, prominently marked by the widespread adoption of remote advising through technology integration. This session will describe how the College of Health Professions at Ferris State University reinvented advising incoming students for their health programs to create a satisfying experience for students, parents, and advisors. Incorporating available technology and leveraging new platforms, the College was able to create a remote as well as just in time on campus advising program for new students.

Trauma-Informed Advising 101

  • Elizabeth Springer, Academic Advisor, Michigan State University
  • In a world of screens and virtual interactions, how do we express care or advise our students in an effective yet meaningful way? In 2024, trauma informed advising and showing care to our students is more important than ever. In this session we will discuss tangible things you can implement into your practice with advisees to help build an authentic and helpful advisor/advisee relationship.

Breakout Session III - 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM

Black & Latinx Males in Social Work Initiative - Meetings/Gathering: Lessons Learned

  • Lawrence Robinson, Academic Advisor II, Wayne State University; and Geoffrey Jones, Academic Services Officer II, Wayne State University
  • The initiative to support and recruit Black and Latinx male social work students through regular meetings and gatherings has yielded valuable insights. We will present some key lessons learned and areas for improvement related to: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Environment, Mentorship and Professional Development, Cultural Competency and Awareness, Academic and Emotional Support, Building Community and Networking, Advocacy and Social Justice. The model/structure of this initiative can be scaled across academic disciplines.

Am I Too Old for This? Bridging the Generational Gap with Dignity, Grace, and Expertise

  • Timberly Boezwinkle, Academic Advisor/Assistant Professor, Ferris State University
  • This session is for those who feel they are struggling to understand, connect, and build rapport with today's young college students. We will talk about this generation’s popular culture, vernacular, and what motivates them, especially as it compares to the same things that inspire and motivate us as individuals and advisors.

Understanding Students from the Ground U.P.

  • Anne Springsteen, Project Director/TRIO SSS, Glen Oaks Community College; Hannah Fries, Project Advisor, Glen Oaks Community College; and Meryn Mostrom, Project Advisor, Glen Oaks Community College
  • This session focuses on practical yet creative strategies advisors can use to assess and address students' diverse needs beyond class scheduling. Presenters will demonstrate and discuss several holistic and strengths-based tools and techniques attendees can use with students to deepen their connection while gaining valuable insight into their internal and external resources, goals, and strengths. Tools to be shared include Life Wheel, coaching questions, career values card sort, vision boards, and others.

Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)

  • Tyler Guenette, Chief of Staff for MCAN
  • Have you ever wished you had more resources to support students in their pursuit of a college degree, or had an innovative idea to support student success, but lacked funding to implement? If so, this session is for you! In this session, you will learn about MCAN, a statewide non-profit that aims to promote access to and attainment of college certificates and degrees, and how MCAN can support you as you support your students.

Breakout Session IV - 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Advisor Advocacy: Bridging Understanding of the Complexity and Value of Our Profession

  • Stefanie Janes, Director of Student Success, Lawrence Technological University
  • Explore the vital role of advocacy in advancing the academic advising profession. Delve into the complexities and misconceptions surrounding advisor roles and credentials, and discover strategies for advocating at individual and institutional levels. Addressing the mental load of self-advocacy and its impact on advisor effectiveness, this presentation highlights the importance of unity in championing our profession. Join us in our discussion on how we can bridge the understanding of our value to our institutions.

First-Generation College Students: Building Pathways and Perspectives

  • Linda Sirois, Academic Coordinator/Student Support Services, Northern Michigan University
  • This presentation explores strengths and challenges First-Generation students bring to college.Session participants will hear about the strengths observed in First-Gen students, which can also be the challenges surrounding First-Gen student behaviors. The session will cover challenges/strengths in the areas of financial aid, major selection, academic success, and self-sabotaging behavior. Advisors will leave with new ideas to bridge gaps with their First-Gen students. This presentation will be interactive and allow for participant discussion and questions.

Bridging Why We Do to What We Do

  • Richard Andersons, Senior Success Advisor, Northern Michigan University
  • More group discussion instead of presentation, “Bridging Why We Do to What We Do” tackles the crucial aspects of academic advising: purpose and fulfillment, especially for advisors facing burnout or empathy fatigue. Through interactive discussions, participants will share and explore how they connect to their students and their institutions, and how that impacts advising effectiveness. By reflecting on their motivations and contributions, advisors can rediscover (or begin) a fulfilling path towards impactful advising, ultimately benefiting students and the institution.

We’re All in This Together: The Power of Community Building in First Year Seminars

  • Carmen Ruiz-Sanchez, Advisor, Michigan State University; Heather Wilson, Academic Specialist, Michigan State University; and Erika Espinoza, Academic Specialist/Advisor, Michigan State University
  • Research highlights the strong impact of first-year seminars on students’ academic success. However, student engagement can be difficult to achieve. To increase student engagement, we incorporated strategies for intentionally building community and sense of belonging into our first-year seminar lesson plans. The goal of this presentation is to share our experiences and guide an open forum to generate ideas, problem solve, and envision future application of these practices to student programming happening on your campus.


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