Keynote Speakers

Kevin Eagan, Ph.D., Director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) and Managing Director of the Higher Education Research Institute

Kevin EagenKevin Eagan is Assistant Professor in Residence and Director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP), the longest-running and largest empirical study of higher education in the country. He is also the Managing Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA (HERI), where the CIRP surveys are administered. Dr. Eagan’s research interests include issues related to undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, contingent faculty, student retention, institutional contexts and structures of opportunity, survey validity and reliability, and advanced quantitative methods. He obtained his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA, his M.S. in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University, and his B.S. in Mathematics from Greensboro College.

Jeffrey J. Selingo, Author

Jeffrey J. Selingo has written about higher education for two decades. He is the author of three books, the newest of which, There Is Life After College (HarperCollins, 2016), is a New York Times bestseller.

Named one of LinkedIn’s “must-know influencers” of 2016, Jeff is a regular contributor to the Washington Post and a special advisor at Arizona State University, where he is the founding director of the ASU-Georgetown University Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership. He is also a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ithaca College—where he serves on the college’s Board of Trustees—and a master’s degree in Government from the Johns Hopkins University.

Featured Speakers

Phil Gardner, Ph.D., Director of Collegiate Employment Research Institute

Philip D. Gardner is Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.  Dr. Gardner has been with MSU for 28 years after receiving degrees from Whitman College (B.A. in Chemistry) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Resource & Development Economics/Public Policy).  His major areas of research include the transition from college to work, early socialization and career progression in the workplace, workforce readiness, and other areas related to college student studies. MSU’s nationally recognized annual college labor market study is done under his direction each fall. He served as senior editor of the Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships. In the spring of 2009 he served as a Fulbright specialist to New Zealand on work-integrated learning.

Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., President of Grinnell College

Dr. Raynard S. Kington was appointed President of Grinnell College in August 2010. Prior to coming to Grinnell, he served in a range of positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Kington received both his B.S. with distinction and his M.D. from the University of Michigan, and his MBA and Ph.D. in Health Policy and Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His recent research has focused on the social determinants of health and diversity in the scientific workforce.

During his time as president, Dr. Kington has stimulated a culture of ongoing strategic planning, encouraging campus collaboration on issues such as accessibility, diversity, global education, and technology. His commitment to providing opportunities for students to connect their classroom and co-curricular learning has helped students unite their academic goals with their post-graduate aspirations.


Jeffrey D. Blanchard, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Grinnell College

Jeffrey D. Blanchard is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Grinnell College. Previously, he was a National Science Foundation International Research Fellow at the School of Mathematics and the School of Electronics and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh (2010) and a NSF VIGRE Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Utah (2007-2009). He was a Mathematical Association of American Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow (2008-2009) and a Harris Faculty Fellow (2013-2014) His research in algorithms for compressed sensing, high dimensional data analysis, and scientific computing has been supported by three NSF awards and regularly includes undergraduate collaborators. Dr. Blanchard is on the steering committee of the Roy J. Carver Trust award supporting our curricular expansion in Data Science and is currently teaching the capstone course, Applied Data Science, where student teams are completing semester-long data science projects from clients across campus. Dr. Blanchard received the B.A. (Hons.) degree in mathematics from Benedictine College (Kansas). After serving as an officer in the US Army, he received the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis where he held a Department of Homeland Security Fellowship.

Jefferson Singer, Ph.D., Dean of the College and Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College

At Connecticut College, Jefferson A. Singer oversees the academic experience of the student and is responsible for administering the new 4-year integrative education program, Connections, that prepares students for careers and community engagement after college. He has authored six books: The Proper Pirate: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Quest for Identity (New York: Oxford University Press); Positive Couple Therapy: Using We-Stories to Enhance Resilience (with Karen Skerrett; NY: Routledge); Personality and Psychotherapy: Treating the Whole Person (NY: Guilford Press); Memories that Matter (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger); Message in a Bottle (NY: The Free Press); and The Remembered Self: Emotion and Memory in Personality (with Peter Salovey, NY: The Free Press), and co-edited a seventh, At Play in the Fields of Consciousness: Essays in Honor of Jerome L. Singer (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum; again with Peter Salovey). He is the author of over 100 articles and chapters in the fields of memory, personality, and clinical psychology. Dean Singer is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to support research in the United Kingdom.


Lisa Hinkley, M.A., Associate Vice President for Career and Professional Development, Director of the Career Advancement Center, and Director of the Internship Program at Lake Forest College

Lisa Hinkley is a member of the President’s Senior Staff team and is charged with leading career preparation efforts for the College. During her years of experience in career services, she has taught courses on leadership,  career decision-making, and job search strategies. Lisa is involved in the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and she regularly presents at regional and national conferences on career development topics. Lisa serves on the advisory board for the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), which specializes in researching students’ transition from college to work.

Lisa earned her master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Bradley University.

Lisa Kastor, M.Ed., Director of Career Planning at The College of Wooster

Lisa has dedicated her professional life to guiding liberal arts students to integrate their academic, personal, and professional goals. As director, she manages all aspects of a comprehensive career office including visioning, strategic planning, and managing a wonderful staff devoted to student-centered advising and programming. She co-led a strategic initiative that led to creating a center that intentionally blends academic management with professional development. She currently serves on the leadership team within this center called APEX, Advising, Planning, Experiential Learning. Lisa held positions in career planning at Oberlin College, Lake Erie College, and Case Western Reserve University. She is an active member in the Liberal Arts Career NetWORK, previously serving on the Executive Board for 5 years. She holds a B.A. in Economics, and a M.Ed., earned at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, respectively.

Mark Peltz, Ph.D., Daniel and Patricia Finkelman Dean of Careers, Life, and Service at Grinnell College

Mark oversees all facets of the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, including strategic planning, program development, budget management, and leading an incredibly talented team. As a member of President Kington’s Senior Staff, he consults with the President and other institutional leaders about methods and innovations to strengthen each student’s sense of self, sense of direction, and overall readiness for life after college.

Before coming to Grinnell, Mark served as Associate Director of Graduate Business Career Services in the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida and as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Career Center at Luther College. Mark holds degrees from the University of Northern Iowa (B.A.), Miami University in Ohio (M.S.), and Iowa State University (Ph.D.).

Kimberly Betz, M.A., Director of the Career Center at Carleton College

Kimberly Betz in an ardent supporter of liberal arts education, and has dedicated her career to empowering liberal arts students to find their voice, embrace their skills, and strategically embark upon the adventure of creating their own meaningful life and career paths. Kim’s work at Carleton has focused on building an infrastructure and metrics to support a central tenet of the College’s recent strategic plan: preparing students more robustly for fulfilling post-graduation lives and careers. Her work includes forging collaborative partnerships with alumni, donors, faculty, administrators, employers, and students. Kim has also led strategic initiatives in her work in career services at Oberlin College and St. Catherine University. Kim holds a B.A. from Carleton College, and an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin.

Teri Schnelle, M.A., Associate Director for Assessment and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Iowa

Teri Schnelle received her B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University and her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa. She currently serves as the Associate Director for Assessment and Strategic Initiatives in the Division of Student Life at the University of Iowa. In this role she oversees assessment across the thirteen departments in the Division and assists with strategic projects that support the three priorities of the Division, leadership, multiculturalism and inclusion, and health and safety. Teri has been working with the Iowa GROW® initiative since 2011 supporting implementation across the Division.

Randy Stiles, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Analytic Support and Institutional Research at Grinnell College

In his role, Randy Stiles supports teaching and learning outcomes assessment, enrollment management, and other administrative program analyses, all of which are part of the continuous strategic thinking, planning and action at Grinnell College. Prior to this appointment, Randy served as Special Advisor to the President, Analytics and Vice President for Information Management at Colorado College, and as a tenured faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he taught courses in aeronautics and behavioral science and led the Academy’s Center for Educational Excellence.

Randy is an American Council on Education Fellow and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois, an M.B.A. from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University.