High Impact Practices: 

Interdisciplinary Collaborations and Creative Connections

An Experiential Learning Conference

Sponsored by Sixth College, University of California, San Diego

Organizers: Diane Forbes Berthoud, Practicum Director, Sixth College; Dan Donoghue, Provost, Sixth College; and Liz Losh, Director of Academic Programs, Sixth College.

The conference will bring together those who would like to develop creative ideas related to interdisciplinary collaborations and the expansion of high impact education practices. We welcome proposals that address questions of high impact practices – common intellectual experiences, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, service learning, community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects.  Many of these practices are often accomplished through effective interdisciplinary collaborations that deepen academic and intellectual engagement both in the academy and community. We are particularly interested in panels that address best practices, challenges and recommendations related to these experiential and community-based learning and research practices. How are high impact practices best accomplished in both academic and community settings? What strategic collaborations can be developed across disciplines that enrich the incorporation and design of high impact practices?  What collaborations would you like to explore, propose, learn more about or solidify?

Sixth College, UC San Diego is committed to interdisciplinarity, innovative research and learning and so for this conference we welcome collaborative exchanges that both enhance academic debates, make significant contributions to the body of knowledge and engage the university and community in substantive and meaningful ways.


Myra Strober (2011) in her book, Interdisciplinary Conversations, likens talking across disciplines – to interacting with someone from a different culture. The challenges in these dialogues emerge in valuing the differences in our colleagues’ disciplines – their mode of thinking, methods of analysis, discernment and reporting that which is “true.” College Learning for the New Global Century, a recent report published American Association for College and Universities (AAC&U) identified essential learning outcomes needed for a complex and dynamic world. Among these were critical and creative thinking; intercultural knowledge and competency; and integrative learning – the ability to synthesize and connect concepts across general and specialized studies. Many organizations view innovation as their most important comparative advantage, and so employers are increasingly seeking to hire graduates who can think beyond the routine, and who have the ability not just to adapt to change, but to help create it, according to the AAC&U report. Members of the workforce of the future will be challenged to be “T-shaped” – with a depth of knowledge in at least one discipline and the capacity to converse in the language of a broad range of disciplines. The National Science Foundation has been a leader in exploring innovative and interdisciplinary initiatives in academic and community contexts.  Pamela Jennings, an NSF Program Director notes: “STEM to STEAM pedagogy integrates a broad range of learning methods and learning ecologies from the empirical studies in the science lab, constructive critique in the design studio and creative discoveries in informal learning settings.”

Sixth College, UC San Diego invites you to dialogue with us. What kinds of collaborations can be forged between artists and scientists, for instance, and multiple researchers in the social sciences? How can we best prepare students to thrive in these interdisciplinary and increasingly complex environments?  What unique and creative approaches would you like to share about addressing complex questions in our world?

Conference submissions may be organized around the following themes related to high impact practices and interdisciplinary collaborations: Community-based research and learning, Technology/Digital Literacy, Leadership development, STEM to STEAM research and learning, Public Health, student learning outcomes and assessment, STEM discipline engagement, student affairs and academic affairs collaborations and many more.

The goals of the conference are to:

  1. Develop strategies for building interdisciplinary collaborations in higher education;  
  2. Increase opportunities for collaboration and networking among those engaged in experiential learning in its various forms;
  3. Foster more institutional dialogue about the value of high impact practices in higher education;
  4. Collaborate with students who have been both campus or community partners in high impact practices

Suggested resources from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) related to high impact practices:

Keynote: Connected Learning

Keynote: Connected Learning

Mimi Ito

Today’s learners are immersed in an abundance of information, media and ubiquitous social connection. Despite unprecedented access to educational resources and expertise, our research found only a small minority of young learners leveraging new media to further academic and career relevant learning or their civic engagement. How can we best guide, mentor, and teach young people in this era of abundant knowledge and connectivity? Can new media build stronger connections between in school and out of school learning? And how can we do this in a way that supports the interests and identities of all learners? Connected learning offers a model for how to leverage new technology in ways that serve progressive learning goals, linking young people’s academic, social, and recreational lives.

Conference Schedule



Registration at Price Center Ballroom WEST


Welcome – Price Center Ballroom WEST

   • Dan Donoghue, Provost, Sixth College, UC San Diego
    Diane Forbes Berthoud, Practicum Director, Sixth College, UC San Diego

Opening Plenary

The UC San Diego Education Initiative: An Overview, Dr. Barbara Sawrey, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Education, UC San Diego

9:00-10:15 Session A

A1 :: Comunidad Room

A2 :: Art Space Room

Undergraduate Student Research/Education

  • Ecologies for Experience: A Case Study of Open Keep, an Emergent High Impact Learning Experience, Boris Boryakov, UCSD
  • Proposing a Stronger Link for Engaging Undergraduates in Graduate Student Research, Daniel Davis, UCSD
  • Chemical Demonstrations and Explorations as Active-Learning Opportunities for Non-Science Majors, Stacey Brydges, UCSD
  • Promising Practices for Strategic Collaborative Work Environments: Lessons From An Integrated Learning Program, Julie Kendig, Collaborations: Teachers and Artists (CoTA)
  • ECE - Rady Design Competition, Truong Nguyen, UCSD

A3 :: Library Room

Experiential Learning programs, UC San Diego (AIP), Tulane University and UC Irvine (Field Study Program)

  • Promoting public service through interdisciplinary collaborations in and out of the classroom, Kerry Ott, Stephanie Muldrow, UCSD
  • Unpacking Public Service Internships, Sarah Berger, Tulane University
  • School of Social Ecology, Field Study Program, Ashley Vikander, UCI

A4 :: Muir Room

Partners at Learning Program, UCSD's Education Studies Department

  • High Impact Service-Learning: The Partners At Learning (PAL) Program, Caren Holtzman, Luz Chung, Samantha Lai, Gabriel Lamanuzzi, Aaron Tumamao, Vivian Lin, Christian Wu, Karolinka Peterka, Chris Hara, Jenny Hernandez, Jamelle Jones, Daniel Pena, Kristy Drake, U, UCSD

A5 :: Thurgood Marshall Room

Undergraduate Student Research/Education: Sixth College's Culture, Art and Technology Program

  • The Teaching Initiative: A High-Impact Practices Roundtable, Ash Smith, Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, Hanna Tawater, Lucas Cuddy, Keith McCleary, UCSD
  • Learning Through Ignites, Tara Zepel, UCSD
10:30-11:45 Session B

B1 :: Comunidad Room

The Blum Center grant project: UCSD-community partnerships

  • The Blum UCSD Community Stations Project, Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Mike Cole, Bud Mehan, Srinivas Sukumar, Ivan Rosero, Robert Lecusay, UCSD

B2 :: Art Space Room

Ethnographic Film Production As Experiential Learning

  • Self-Preservation: Finding and Keeping the Self in a Collaborative Environment, Rachel Elizabeth Jones
  • Vlogging my Field Notes, Bianca Hernandez
  • Pedagogy of Failure: Trauma, Loss, and Lessons from the Field, Ted Woods
  • The Role of Social Media in Collaborative Filmmaking, Nicole Miyahara
  • Holistic Pedagogy, Invisible Labor: Teaching Practice and Process in the Neoliberal Squeeze, Jennifer Cool, USC

B3 :: Library Room

Engaging with Primary Sources in First-Year College Writing

  • Experiential Learning in the Archives, Ethel Lu, UCSD
  • Encounters with Sources, Elizabeth Losh, UCSD
  • Presenting Interpretations of Historical Source Materials, Heather Smedberg, UCSD
  • Writing and Responding to the Archives Materials, Kelsey Baron, UCSD
  • Engaging with Primary Sources in First-Year College Writing, Dipali Patel, UCSD

B4 :: Thurgood Marshall Room

Study Abroad Programs

  • Faculty - Student Affairs Partnerships for Undergraduate International Service Programs, Kelly O'Sullivan, Matthew Herbst, Pedro Scotto, Jim Galvin, UCSD
  • Archaeology as Transdisciplinary - Collaborative Research and University Education: Views from the Other Side of the Jordan, Thomas E. Levy, UCSD

B5 :: Eleanor Roosevelt Room

Experiential Learning in Eleanor Roosevelt College's Making of the Modern World core curriculum

  • Walking with Monks, Eating in Silence, Being in the Moment: Reflections by Students, Faculty, and Staff on a Retreat at the Deer Park Buddhist Monastery, Edmond Chang, Eberly Mareci, Daniel Rindner, Ben Van Overmeire, Hannah Youngwirth, Elli Stern, UCSD
12:00-1:00 Lunch

Special Feature Lunch Panel :: Comunidad Room == All are invited

Keynote Presentation: Connected Learning

  • Mimi Ito, University of California, Irvine
  • Today’s learners are immersed in an abundance of information, media and ubiquitous social connection. Despite unprecedented access to educational resources and expertise, our research found only a small minority of young learners leveraging new media to further academic and career relevant learning or their civic engagement. How can we best guide, mentor, and teach young people in this era of abundant knowledge and connectivity? Can new media build stronger connections between in school and out of school learning? And how can we do this in a way that supports the interests and identities of all learners? Connected learning offers a model for how to leverage new technology in ways that serve progressive learning goals, linking young people’s academic, social, and recreational lives.

1:15-2:30 Session C

C1 :: Comunidad Room

Sixth College interdisciplinary Practica and Curatorial initiative

  • The CAT Initiative: Comics and Comedians, K. Wayne Yang, Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, Keith McCleary, UCSD
  • Curatorial (Counter-)Rhetorics: Experiments in Art, Knowledge and Power, Ash Smith, undergraduate students, UCSD

C2 :: Art Space Room

Integrating the Arts to Drive Innovation in STEM

  • The Vision for the Art of Science Learning, Nan Renner, San Diego Incubator for Innovation
  • Experiential Learning in Incubators for Innovation, Harvey Seifter
  • Engaging the Community, Deborah Forster, UCSD
  • Reflection and Organizational Learning, Michael Lindsay
  • Integrating the Arts to Drive Innovation in STEM, David Kirsh, UCSD

C3 :: Library Room

Community-based research and learning at UC San Diego and UC Irvine

  • Teaching Civically Engaged Research: Theory, Tools, Methods and Ethics Panel, Keith Pezzoli, Bill Oswald, Bob Leiter, Nohelia Patel, UCSD
  • Service Learning for Social Justice: The Creation of the Engaged Student Leaders Program at UCI, Zahra Ahmed, UCI

C4 :: Thurgood Marshall Room

UCSD PRIME (Program in Medical Education-Health Equity) program and Public Health Practica

  • PRIME-HEq: Promoting Health Equity Through Community Engagement, Lindia Willis-Jacobo, UCSD PRIME staff and students, UCSD School of Medicine
  • Refugee resettlement practicum: Bridging cultures and resources, Kate Murray, UCSD School of Medicine

C5 :: Eleanor Roosevelt Room

Experiential Learning in Eleanor Roosevelt College programs

  • The Desert as Classroom: Academic Experiences and Partnerships in the California Wilderness, Matthew Herbst, Simon Teale, Carrie Wastal, Geoffrey Cook, UCSD
2:45-4:00 Session D

D1 :: Comunidad Room

Creative connections in Interdisciplinary research and learning: Visual Arts, Engineering, Digital Media, undergraduate education, and Cognitive Science

  • Structural Concerns of Digital Media Projects in the Writing Classroom, Angela Kim, UCSD
  • SESMI & T2ERU - Facilitating Undergraduate Research in the Avant-Garde, Michael Trigilio, UCSD
  • Visual literacy as embodied experience - Relational Systems Thinking, Mapping Kowledge Ecologies, and Contextual Inquiry, Deborah Forster, UCSD
  • Student Participation and Drop-off: A Case Study of a Preparatory Biology MOOCBianca Cung, UCI
  • Humanitarian Engineering - It's not just for engineers, Mandy Bratton, UCSD

D2 :: Art Space Room

UCSD Writing Center

  • High-Impact Education in the Writing CenterAdena Zadourian, Nichole Nomura, Sarah Kowalski, Jesse Qin, Kelly Johnson, Elena Silva, UCSD

D3 :: Library Room

STEM/STEAM-based research and learning

  • Collaborative Systems Design / Elsewhere: A Case Study OneStephanie Sherman, UCSD
  • Integration of the Arts in STEM: A Collective Case Study of Two Interdisciplinary University Programs, Sheena Ghanbari, UCSD
  • Music Outreach Partnerships Bridging Campus and Community, Adam Tinkle, UCSD
  • Reflective Practice and Music Improvisation Pedagogy, Joe Bigham, UCSD
  • Re-Evaluating the Undergraduate Internship: New STEAM Pathways towards Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Cultural Heritage DiagnosticsAshley M. Richter, UCSD

D4 ::  Thurgood Marshall Room

Experiential Learning in the Visual Arts

  • Experimental Drawing Studio at UCSDAmy Adler and Visual Arts graduate students, UCSD
  • A walk in the park!, Kate Edwards, UCSD

D5 :: Eleanor Roosevelt Room

From the Classroom to the Community: UCSD's Urban Studies and Planning Program

  • From the Classroom to the Community: Translating Knowledge to Action, Lessons from the Urban Studies and Planning ProgramMirle Bussell, Julie Wartell, Jim Bliesner, Jesse Ellison, UCSD

For more information, contact Diane Forbes, Practicum Director, Sixth College at eduinaction@ucsd.edu or call 858-534-1484.

Hotel Information

If you are traveling from out-of-town to San Diego, there are many hotels who partner with UC San Diego to offer group and discounted rates. Please refer to La Jolla & San Diego Resources for lodging, dining, and other services close to the UC San Diego campus.

The Marriott Residence Inn has rates starting at $159 per night.


  • Walking distance to UCSD campus, shops, restaurants and theaters
  • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet daily
  • Complimentary light dinner Monday through Thursday
  • All luxury hotel amenities (pool, spa, fitness center, cable TV)
  • All suites include full kitchen with utensils
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry facilities
  • Airport shuttle for a discounted fee (check with hotel)
  • High-speed internet
  • Complimentary local area shuttle
  • Pets welcome (extra cost)

Things to Consider

  • If you want to share a suite, you have to find your own roommate.
  • There is one queen bed and one pull-out bed in the studio suites (no twin beds). If you are going to share with a friend, you have to share the bed, or one person has to sleep on the pull-out bed.
  • You must follow the hotel rules.

The Clarion - Del Mar Inn Hotel has special UCSD rates beginning at $99 per night.


  • Located in Del Mar
  • Free shuttle transportation to and from campus to accommodate UC San Diego campus class schedule
  • Convenient public bus transportation to and from campus
  • Bistro C Café open for breakfast and dinner daily
  • All luxury hotel amenities (pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, cable TV)
  • Short walk to the beach, shops and restaurants
  • Coin-operated laundry room
  • Rooms with kitchens and kitchen utensils, as available; microwaves and refrigerators at no extra charge.

Things to Consider

  • 10-minute drive by car from campus
  • Lunch and dinner not included

(information taken from UCSD Extension Program)