First2 Network Conference – Fall 2020

Engaging STEM Students in a Changing World

First2 Network Virtual Conference 

October 8 – 10

Mark your calendars for First2 Network’s virtual conference taking place October 8 – 10! Join us for exciting, interactive sessions that are centered around engaging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students in today’s world. You will hear from experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, learn how to create a culture of learning at your institution, and hear from industry leaders on how educators can work alongside industry in the state of West Virginia to position our students for successful, rewarding careers in STEM. You will also learn how the First2 Network is making an impact on the persistence and success of first-generation and underrepresented students in STEM. 

Review the sessions below and register in advance to save your virtual seat. 

Click the session image to register for the session.

After registering for a session, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Click on facilitators names below the image for a bio.

To view a printable version of the conference agenda, click the download link below.

DAY 1- Thursday, October 8 

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

Your Place in the Vision of the First2 Network (Facilitated by Sue Ann Heatherly)

Join this session to learn about the mission, vision, and goals of First2 Network and how you can partner with us- regardless of what sector you represent.

5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

The Importance of Student Voice  (Facilitated by First2 Network Student Leadership)
In the First2 Network, we work with students to impact change in the barriers to STEM persistence. We believe that students should have a seat at the table to discuss and offer solutions to the problems they face. Join this session if you are an advocate for student success who wants to hear how to help students from the students themselves.

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Roundtable: Ensuring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the First2 Network (Facilitated by Race Matters, Sarah Riley, Dr. Ulises Toledo)

Join this roundtable discussion to participate in a lively conversation about what diversity, equity, and inclusion looks like in the First2 Network.

END OF DAY 1, 7:00 pm


Day 2- Friday, October 9

11:00 a.m. 11:50 a.m. New to First2 (Facilitated by Jade Irving and Dr. Erica Harvey)

Are you new to the First2 Network? Can you benefit from a brief orientation and Q&A? Join this session to learn more about the First2 Network and to get your questions answered.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM (Facilitated by Dr. Sylvia James

You do not want to miss this session! Join us as the NSF’s own Dr. Sylvia James enlightens us on how we can all impact diversity, equity, and inclusion in all STEM fields.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Building a Culture of Learning (Facilitated by Dr. Debra Shaver)

Join this session to take a deep dive into the PDSA cycle. Learn how to use improvement science to foster a culture of continuous learning at your institution.

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. 

Panel Discussion: Industry and Higher Education: How can we work together to better prepare STEM students for professional opportunities and future needs in industry?  (Facilitated by Craig Thomas, Adam Smith)


  • What does industry need from HIED
  • How to Prep for Job Opportunities in STEM

Industry representatives from Chemours, Solvay, Toyota, and MATRIC will discuss how institutions of higher education and industry leaders can collaborate to grow a STEM-based economy in West Virginia. Click here to watch a brief video from one of the facilitators.


  • What does industry need from HIED
  • How to Prep for Job Opportunities in STEM
First2 Panel Discussion Overview

Panelists from Toyota, MATRIC, Solvay, Chemours

END OF DAY 2, 4:00 pm


DAY 3 – Saturday, October 10 

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

First2 Successes and Challenges: What we are learning and where we are going. (Facilitated by: Dr. Caitlin Howley, Dr. Johnavae Campbell, Dr. Kimberly Cowley, Dr. Marjorie Darrah, Dr. John Stewart, Dr. Roxann Humbert)

Join this session to hear about the First2 Network’s growth and progress over the years.

Drop Into a Working Group

Immersive Experience Working Group

Faculty Student Engagement Working Group

Industry Advisory Board

First2 Network Alumni Working Group: 

Student Leadership

College Readiness

Drop ins will be open space for people to pop in and learn about/join different working groups.

END OF DAY 3, 1:30 pm