Welcome to The International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning


“Educating the 21st-Century Student” is the theme of the 2015 International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning, the first Sun Conference in UTEP’s second century.  Reflecting our technological, complex, globalized world of opportunity and rapid change, the theme includes  many foci, including best practices for: (1) reaching and tapping the increasingly diverse and nontraditional students at higher education (and K-12) institutions, (2) connecting education and civic engagement, (3) educational partnerships that cross national boundaries, (4) new technologies in F2F, hybrid, and online teaching and learning, (5) instructional methods that are adaptive and/or less bound by books or buildings, (6) meaningful assessment of learning for courses or programs, (7) making connections across disciplines, and (8) promoting multiple literacies and lifelong learning.

2015 Keynote Presentations


Thursday Workshops [10:00 -12:00]

Title:Diversity and Complexity: How to have Difficult Dialogues around Race/Ethnicity in and out of the Classroom
Presenter: Dr. Yolanda Moses, University of California, Riverside
Abstract: This workshop will focus on how to create and enhance safe and inclusive spaces both inside and outside of classrooms to discuss issues of race and ethnicity...

Title:Developing 21st Century Educators: Integrating Undergraduate Research Training with Teaching and Learning
Presenters: Lourdes Echegoyen, Harry Meeuwsen, Guadalupe Corral, and Cristian Botez, UTEP
Abstract:The STEM Research-Teaching-Integration program aimed to better prepare undergraduates for STEM careers...

Thursday Networking [4:45-6:00]

Title:Reflect, Connect, Act: Service-Learning and Community-Engaged Scholarship (aka Why so many hyphens?)
Presenter: Dr. Lynn Blanchard, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Abstract:explore the meaning behind the hyphen and how community engagement can be a mechanism for social change...

Friday Workshops [9:30-11:00]

Title:Community-Engaged Scholarship: Stepping stones for Integrating Teaching, Scholarship, and Service
Presenter: Dr. Lynn Blanchard, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Abstract: For educators, community partners, and students...As faculty, are you seeking opportunities to integrate teaching, scholarship, and service in your portfolio?...

Title:Teaching the 21st-Century Student: Technology, Engagement & Active Learning
Presenters: Steven T. Varela (Associate Director/Faculty) and Academic Technologies Staff, UTEP
Abstract:Making technology accessible, providing sufficient training and support, as well as making assignments interactive, creative and fun are contributing factors to teaching and learning with technology successful.


2015 Sun Conference Program-12015 Sun Conference Program-2

What is the Sun Conference?

The Sun Conference is dedicated to building a community of instructors, especially in higher education whose commitment to instructional excellence transcends disciplinary, cultural, and national barriers. The focus of the conference is on the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as practical, applied strategies, tools, and techniques based on well-founded teaching and learning principles.

The Sun Conference aims to enhance teaching and learning, especially in the region and among minority serving institutions to help students become successful professionals and responsible citizens.

The conference includes scholarly presentations, roundtable discussions,  interactive workshops, and informal gatherings during breakfast and lunch, providing ample opportunity to explore questions, exchange ideas, and learn novel approaches to effective teaching and learning challenges in classroom, community/experience-based, or hybrid or online courses.

CLICK HERE  to hear recent testimonials from Sun Conference attendees!

Who Should Attend?

All university, community college and school district faculty, instructional staff, graduate students instructors, teaching assistants, instructional developers, library staff, and administrators with an interest in teaching and learning are invited to share innovative teaching practices, and explore transformative college and university teaching methods and strategies. A special invitation is extended to those who serve these roles at institutions of higher education in New Mexico, Arizona, and West Texas, as well as minority serving institutions that support a 21st- century student demographic.