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Ultimate Medical Academy K-20 Education Summit to Feature “Promising Practices” Roundtable Discussions

March 22, 2017, Tampa, Fla. – Ultimate Medical Academy’s inaugural K-20 Education Summit (#UMAK20) on March 23-25 in Tampa will feature more than 20 roundtable discussions focused on emerging “promising practices” to support the success of traditionally underserved students.

With a mission to equip and empower students to succeed in healthcare careers, UMA, a nonprofit higher educational institution, is hosting the K-20 Summit to explore the theme, “all means ALL,” a reference to facilitating equality, advocacy, and progress in education.

The K-20 Summit will bring together a wide-range of “doers” representing primary, secondary and post-secondary education. Thought leaders currently among the driving forces for innovation in online and blended learning will present compelling keynote lectures on the topics of greatest importance to ensuring student engagement and success. The three-day program of events includes keynote speakers, 20 breakout sessions, 22 “promising practices” roundtable discussions, and UMA’s Spring Commencement.

“A ‘promising practice’ has the potential to have a significant and positive effect on student outcomes,” said Dr. Rebecca Sarlo, UMA dean of Institutional Effectiveness. “During roundtable discussions, presenters will share a promising practice and then facilitate dialogue among participants focused on how to support the success of traditionally underserved students across the K-20 Summit’s three-track series – Leadership, Student Services, and Curriculum and Instruction.”


Promising practice roundtable topics and facilitators include:


1. A Collaborative Lift: Strategies for Designing and Developing Competency-Based Education Initiatives – Dr. Kelvin Bentley, vice president of Academic Affairs at Tarrant County Community College in Texas.

2. Fiscal Responsibility and Financial Literacy in Higher Education: Creative, Individualized Support Methods for Learners – Nadine Bailey and Elizabeth Accomando, senior directors of Student Finance at UMA in Tampa.

3. Exploring a Centralized Curriculum Model – Rachel Barenie, director of Curriculum Operations and Bill Harlow, senior manager of Instructional Technology at UMA in Tampa.

4. Service for All: One Key for Success – Dr. Karen O’Donnell, executive director of the Florida Regional Center, National Louis University in Tampa.

5. SmartStart: Ensuring At-Risk Post-Secondary Students Get Off on the Right Foot – Gail Miller and Owen Robertson, academic coaches at UMA in Tampa.

6. Reading Online: Negotiating the Non-Linear Environment of the Internet – Dr. Tina Kafka, reading specialist and educational researcher in New York City.

7. The Quality Transformation Model for Faculty Development – Dr. Tommi Barrett Greenly instructional designer at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

8. Engaging Alumni: Supporting Students from Graduation On – Andrew Moberg, senior director of Career Services and Kristie Schweyer, director of Career Services at UMA in Tampa.

9. Tips & Tricks for Engaging ALL Learners in Online and Blended Models – Donna Marqués, head of Instructional Design and Curriculum Support Services at Career TEAM in San Diego.

10. Building Strong and Beneficial Employer Partnerships – Jaysa Boyer, national director of Corporate Alliance and Beth Garland, senior vice president of Strategic Operations at UMA in Tampa.

11. Supporting Student Success by Facilitating their Transition into School – Alyssa Giannotti, associate manager of Academic Coaching and Crystal Civitillo, academic coach at UMA in Tampa.

12. Reaching Today’s Student in the Adaptive Learning Environment – Tamikia Samford, director of Miss T’s Tot School and Amy Sharp, literacy instructional specialist at the Austin Independent School District in Texas.

13. Setting Up a Competency-Based Education (CBE) Pilot Program: Things to Consider – Dr. Anthony Scheffler, interim associate vice president of Academic Affairs at Valdosta State University in Georgia.

14. Fostering Student Career Readiness Skills – Tess Sasse, associate manager of Academic Coaching and Carolina Pandes, academic coach at UMA in Tampa

15. Open Educational Resources and Content Curation: A 21st Century Opportunity – Jon Doyle, president of Curriculum Technology, LLC in San Diego.

16. Developing Global Citizenship Skills and Abilities – Dr. Judith Smrha, professor of Business Economics at Baker University in Kansas.

17. Graduate Resources: What Supports do Students Need on and During the Path to Graduation – Lindsay England, director of Career Services and Doug Smith, associate director of Corporate Partnerships at UMA in Tampa.

18. Design Thinking Meets Curriculum Development – Dr. Adrianna Davis, associate professor at Adventist University of Health Services and Ashford University based in the Tampa Bay area.

19. Improving Student Achievement and Retention by Fostering Authentic Student Engagement – Dr. Rebecca Sarlo, dean of Institutional Effectiveness at UMA in Tampa.

20. The Ninash Foundation as Compassion in Action: Educating and Supporting Underprivileged Youth in India – Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra, emeritus distinguished professor of Philosophy at SUNY, Oneonta in New York.

21. Creating Career Pathways to Success – Sabrina Dawson, founder and CEO of The Dawson Group in Rhode Island.

22. The Mock Interview: Preparing Students up for Interview Success – Catalina DiPierro, senior Director of Learner Services and Heidi Carrijo, associate manager of Career Services at UMA in Tampa.

The K-20 Summit will be held on March 23, 2017 at UMA, 3101 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., on March 24, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Dr., and on March 25, 2017 in conjunction with the UMA Spring Commencement at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Those attending the K-20 Summit will be able to earn continuing education credits from the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC).

More information can be found at the K-20 Summit website. The K-20 Summit is being sponsored by WUSF Public Media and FAPSC and co-sponsored by Pearson, Bookmasters, McGraw-Hill, Elsevier, Hobsons, and PAHCOM who are also sponsoring the UMA Spring Commencement.