2019 IFSA Conference

IFSA Conference 2019

THANK YOU for attending the 2019 IFSA Conference. For access to Conference presentations and support materials, please contact us.

Download the complete 2019 IFSA Conference Program.

Meet Them Where They Are:
Individualized Learning in Education Abroad

The 2019 IFSA Conference focuses on the commitment to individualized learning and fostering active engagement in high-quality learning experiences. How do we encourage students to achieve individually defined goals through their education abroad endeavor? How can we improve learning, balance the individual with structural limitations, and refine our practice to meet them where they are?

Come prepared to engage in a wide range of topics exploring practices, partnerships and innovations focused on student learning and leave with concrete ideas and takeaways.

Conference Approach
The IFSA Conference challenges you to explore one theme in depth, using an interactive workshop style to engage around the primary aspects of the topic. Conference days are varied, with short EdTalks highlighting one perspective, and Lightning Rounds offering you the opportunity to choose between several sessions. Through it all, we connect, collaborate, and contribute to learn with and from you.

Plenary Speaker
Tesia Marshik, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology Department
University of Wisconsin-La CrosseFrom Barriers to Bridges: Examining Cognitive
and Neurological Influences on Learning Motivation
Most people believe they are relatively open-minded when it comes to new experiences and information. At the same time, a plethora of research suggests we, as individual learners, may have a hard time recognizing our own biases and misconceptions. The smartest, kindest, and most socially adept of us are no exception. This interactive presentation will explore how neuromyths, educational misconceptions, and natural cognitive limitations may hinder students’ learning motivation as well as our ability, as educators, to meet students where they are and effectively promote their development. A deeper understanding of how learners process and respond to new information creates an opportunity to challenge ourselves (and our students) to be more open to learning opportunities, to reflect on expectations which shape realities, and to leverage the neurobiology of belief change to reduce potential barriers to learning.

A Timeless Event
On Thursday evening, participants will be transported back to the Mesozoic Era during an IFSA Conference private reception and dinner at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Routinely ranked as the top children’s museum in the country, as well as the largest in the world, explore (and learn) in the Dinosphere, or for more recent history, check out the American POP exhibit. You’ll dig it, whether you’re young, or young at heart.

Conference Gallery

The 2019 Conference was a great time to meet up with some old friends and make some new ones. Our time together also included the IFSA Meet & Treat, lively sessions, and the (pre) historic reception and dinner at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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Details & Registration

Conference Dates

July 24 – 26, 2019


Online registration for the IFSA Conference has been extended through July 15, 2019.

Hotel Information

The Alexander Hotel
333 South Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN

Visit the hotel website to explore the hotel’s amenities and see its unique focus on art and design! To make your hotel room reservation for the IFSA Conference, call 855.200.3002 and ask for the IFSA Conference rate (if still available).

There is no registration fee for the IFSA Conference and meals are provided. Attendees are responsible for transportation and accommodation.

For More Information

Conference Academics:
Margaret McCullers, Director, Strategic Initiatives

Conference Logistics:
Jon Erickson, Marketing Content & Event Manager


Download the complete 2019 IFSA Conference Program.


1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Registration
International Meet & Treat
with Resident Directors
2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Welcome & Kickoff Activity: Challenge and Support for Your Future Self – A Professional Development Exercise Dr. Maritheresa (MT) Frain, IFSA
Danny Gibbons, IFSA Peru
3:30 – 4:45 p.m. WORKSHOP
The Student Mindset: An Introduction to Gen Z
Dr. Kathryn Morris, Butler University
Vicky Wolfe Bender, IFSA
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. PLENARY SESSION
From Barriers to Bridges: Examining Cognitive and Neurological Influences on Learning Motivation
Dr. Tesia Marshik
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Dinner


8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast with Resident Directors
8:45 – 9:15 a.m. ED TALKS
A Holistic Look at Advising…Remotely
  The Remote Individualized Learning Awards: Addressing “RIL” Challenges Michelle Mannweiler, IFSA
  The Invisible Influence: Attachment Parenting LaToshia Everson, DePauw University
9:15 – 10:30 a.m. WORKSHOP
Reimagining the Wheel: Innovations in Learning Abroad
Dr. Maritheresa (MT) Frain, IFSA
Dr. Kara Taylor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Dr. Christopher Van Velzer, IFSA China
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. IFSA Updates Dr. Heather Barclay Hamir, IFSA
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Networking with IFSA: Fostering Individualized Connections
2:00 – 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 – 2:45 p.m. LIGHTNING ROUNDS
(Choose 1 of 3 options)
  Internships the IFSA Way: Q&A with Resident Directors Christina Brooks, IFSA
Uttaraa Jadhav, IFSA India
Daniel Peiro, IFSA Argentina
  Making Individualized Learning Inclusive and Excellent! Jessica Fetridge, Northwestern University
Dr. David Wick, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  Hit Refresh: Digital Resources for Active Learning Sara Lieburn and Carmen Pitz, University of Wisconsin at Madison
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:15 – 3:45 p.m. ED TALKS
Learning Onsite: A Reality Check
  Great Expectations: Mentoring High Ability Students Andrew Williams, IFSA England
  A Day in the Life of a Faculty Leader Abroad Dr. David Wick, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
3:45 – 5:00 p.m. WORKSHOP
Testing Our Balance: Where Commitment to the Individual Meets Structural Realities
Christi Hoover, IFSA Australia
Sue Mennicke, Franklin and Marshall University
Erika Ryser, IFSA
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. The Alexander Art Tour (optional)
6:30 p.m. Reception & Dinner: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: 

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 – 9:15 a.m. ED TALKS
Breaking Traditions: Digging Deeper to Find What Works
  Diversifying Destinations: Understanding Students Who Study in Non-traditional Destinations Dr. Jill Reister, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
  Individualized Learning: A Tool for Equity Andrea Hunley, Indianapolis Public Schools
9:15 – 10:30 a.m. WORKSHOP
What We Can Learn from the Learners Themselves
Nikki Bruckmann, IFSA
Nicole Desjardins Gowdy, Pomona College
Sian Munro, IFSA New Zealand
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 – 11:15 a.m. LIGHTNING ROUNDS
(Choose 1 of 3 options)
  CHART Deep Dive Aaron Yerkes, IFSA
  Fostering Intercultural Learning on Custom Programming Ebony Ellis, University of Michigan
  Back to Basics: Engaging Novice Study Abroad Learners Chelsey Mullins, Purdue University
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Final Learning Plan Review: Connect. Collaborate. Contribute.  Dr. Heather Barclay Hamir, IFSA
Dr. Maritheresa (MT) Frain, IFSA
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch & Departure