Communities Cultivating Character Conference

Bryant Conference Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, September 25-27, 2023


Click Here to Download a Full, Printable Agenda, Including Session Descriptions 

Date/Time Session
Monday, September 25, 2023
4:30 – 6:00 pm Welcome Reception
Hotel Capstone, Governor’s Room
Dinner On Your Own
Tuesday, September 26,
7:15 – 8:15 am Conference Registration and Breakfast
Bryant Conference Center
8:15 – 8:30 am Conference Welcome
8:30 – 9:30 am Keynote Presentation
Eight Habits of the Heart: Personalizing Your Presence
Clifton Taulbert, Entrepreneur, Global Lecturer, and Pulitzer Nominated Author
9:40 – 10:40  am Breakout Session Option 1

Intentional and Effective Character Education for Achieving a Climate of Belonging and Community
Dr. Erin Schulte

9:40 – 10:40  am Breakout Session Option 2

  1. Russellville City Schools: Cultivating a Culture of Character
    Dr. Natalie Bendall and Dr. Jason Goodwin
  2. Building a School Community of Culture
    Dr. Gregory Moore
  3. Implementation of Effective Character Education Programs by High School Administrators of National Schools of Character
    Dr. Brian Sauls and Dr. Demetrius Scott
9:40 – 10:40  am Breakout Session Option 3

  1. Got Character?  Student and Teacher Interest Clubs
    Dr. Lisa Berry
  2. Cultivating Student Character: What Each Student Needs
    Dr. Michael Hylen
  3. Core Values, Resource Allocation, and Communities of Character
    Dr. Kristie Chandler and Dr. Clara Gerhardt
10:40 – 11:05 am Refreshment Break
11:05 am – 12:05 pm Breakout Session Option 1

Practical Lessons for Character Education Learned from Veteran Educators
Dr. Hank Staggs and Dr. Tad Savage

11:05 am – 12:05 pm Breakout Session Option 2

  1. Ethics Through Fiction and Film: A Case Study on the Use of Exemplar Narratives for Character Education in Higher Education
    Dr. Liz Gulliford
  2. How Students, Parents, Teachers, and Administrators Prioritize Character Education in K-12 Schools
    Dr. Crystal Spring and Andrea Ochoa
  3. Authentic Teaching: Using Metaphor to Understand Your Character in the Classroom
    Dr. Nancy Winfrey
11:05 am – 12:05 pm Breakout Session Option 3

  1. Changing the Character of Schools: Leveraging Professional Development and Mentoring to Support Virtuous Educational Leaders
    Dr. Melinda Bier
  2. Family Systems as  Cultivators of Communities of Character
    Dr. Celeste Hill, Dr. Kayla Wenth, and Dr. Clara Gerhardt
  3. The Importance of the Alabama Superintendent’s Commission on Citizenship and Character Education Report
    Mary Anne Martin
12:05 – 1:05 pm Lunch Buffet
1:05 – 2:05 pm Keynote Panel:
Inspirational Stories from the Front Line
Moderator: Dr. Brenda Mendiola, Director, Superintendent’s Academy, The University of Alabama
Panelists: Dr. Jimmy Shaw, Superintendent, Florence City Schools
Dr. Heath Grimes, Superintendent, Russellville City Schools
Dr. Ben White, Principal, Cottondale Elementary
Laurie Presley, Principal, Taylorville Primary
Dr. TaShara King, Principal, I3 Charter School
Detra Gilliam, Teacher, Edgewood Elementary
Michele Rogers, Teacher, Huntington Place Elementary
2:15 – 3:15 pm Breakout Session Option 1

Building a Culture of Character
Dr. Antonio Cooper, Dr. John Lowry, and Dr. Alicia Hunsberger

2:15 – 3:15 pm Breakout Session Option 2

  1. Cultivation of Character for Ethical Leadership: The Transformative Goal of Leadership Education at Culver Academies
    Dr. Evan Dutmer
  2. Networking Partnership: Sharing Character-Based Practices
    Dr. Maureen Spelman and Dr. Jane Cobia
  3. Cultivating Character: An Integrated Arts Approach, Books and Beyond: Building a Community of Character
    Dr. Hannah Kennedy
2:15 – 3:15 pm Breakout Session Option 3

  1. Extending Exemplarism in Moral Education and Character-Based Pedagogies
    Dr. Aaron D. Cobb
  2. Transforming Education – Communities Empowering School Leaders Through a Journey of Character Discovery to Action
    Dr. Andrea Mayfield, Dr. Celeste Wheat, and Dr. Courtney Vick
  3. Common Implementation Practices in National Schools of Character
    Dr. Ben White and Dr. Tanya Crockett
3:25 – 4:00 pm Keynote Presentation:
Never Underestimate the Power of a Community with Hope
Mayor Walt Maddox, City of Tuscaloosa
4:00  pm Closing Remarks
Dr. Eric G. Mackey, State Superintendent of Education in Alabama
5:15 – 7:30 pm Dinner and Tour of Bryant Denny Stadium
The Zone, Bryant Denny Stadium
Buses begin running at 5
September 27, 2023
7:15 – 8:15 am Conference Registration and Breakfast
Bryant Conference Center
8:15 – 9:15 am Keynote Presentation
PRIMED for Character Education: Six Design Principles and Their Relation to School Climate and Servant Leadership
Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, Professor of Character Education and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship, University of Missouri-St. Louis
9:25 – 10:25 am Breakout Session Option 1

Developing the next generation of educators: Infusing character education into teacher preparation programs
Dr. Erin Schulte

9:25 – 10:25 am Breakout Session Option 2

  1. Mustard Seed Initiatives: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Character
    Dr. Kara Chism, Dr. Anna McEwan, and Dr. Clara Gerhardt
  2. Ethical Decision Making and the Novice Leader: Nurturing Ethical Leadership in Emerging Leaders
    Casey Dykes
  3. Cultivating Principled Innovation at a Public University through Communities of Practice
    Hannah Jennewein, Cristy Guleserian, and Megan Hennessy
9:25 – 10:25 am Breakout Session Option 3

  1. The Role of (School) Choice in the Promotion of Civic Virtue and Character Development
    Dr. James Shuls
  2. How Might a University Cultivate Intellectual Virtues CAmpus Wide?
    Dr. Rachel Maxson
  3. Using a Dilemmas-Based Approach to Considerations of Character
    Dr. Lynn Barendsen and Dr. Shelby Clark
10:25 – 10:50 am Refreshment Break
10:50 – 11:50 am Breakout Session Option 1

Transforming School Culture from the Inside Out. Firsthand Accounts of the Benefits of Character Education in Schools
Drayton Nabers and Liz Huntley

10:50 – 11:50 am Breakout Session Option 2

  1. Engaging Leadership Candidates in Virtue Development via Virtual Simulations
    Dr. Aneta Walker, Dr. Julie Gray, and Dr. Karen Evans
  2. Cultivating Moral Reasoning in Aspiring School Leaders: An Empirical Study on the Impact of Using an Ethical Dilemma Reflection Framework
    Dr. Maureen Spelman
  3. Real World Perspective-Taking
    Dr. Ashley Berkowski and Emily Farkas
10:50 – 11:50 am Breakout Session Option 3

  1. Assessing Future Army Officer Moral Strength Components
    Dr. Benjamin J. Elliott, Dr. Scott Parsons, and Dr. Elise Dykhuis
  2. Quiet Quitting: Poison for Communities of Character
    Dr. Anna McEwan
  3. One Stitch at a Time: The Gee’s Bend Quilters and the Transformative Power of Humble Leadership
    Dr. Clara Gerhardt and Dr. Monique Witherspoon
11:50 am – 1:00 pm Lunch and Closing Comments