The Center regularly hosts think tanks that bring leading scholars to Elon to synthesize research and good practices in undergraduate education. CEL Think Tanks support short-term, collaborative projects with 10-15 participants.

Neuroaffirming and Neuroinclusive Engaged Learning – July 2023

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are major components of strategic plans and priorities on college campuses. Neuroinclusive and neuroaffirming programs, practices, and supports should be part of these efforts to support engaged learning for the rising population of neurodivergent identified students on college campuses (e.g., autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, apraxic, etc.). The Center hosted this July 2023 think tank to facilitate a multi-institutional (and international) conversation about how higher education currently understands the needs of and best practices for supporting neurodiverse students in engaged learning experiences. 

The think tank was hosted by Elon University faculty:

  • Caroline Ketcham, Professor in Exercise Science and the 2021-2023 Center for Engaged Learning Scholar focused on access and participation in engaged learning for neurodiverse and physically disabled students
  • Jessie Moore, Director of Center for Engaged Learning, Professor in Writing and Rhetoric, Elon University, and author of Key Practices for Fostering Engaged Learning

Participants included:

  • Alexa Darby, Professor of Psychology, Elon University, Current research interests in understanding experiences of faculty, graduate students and law students with dyslexia and learning disabilities
  • Jay Dolmage, Professor of English, University of Waterloo, Editor Canadian J. of Disability Studies, Author of Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education
  • Monica Isbell, Director of Disability Resources, Elon University, Previously at Alamance Community College for over a decade supporting students and families transitions to higher education
  • Chiara Latimer, Co-Director, Center for Neurodiversity, Autism PATH Career Coordinator, Rowan University
  • Solvegi Schmulsky, Dean of the School of Liberal Studies and the Arts, Professor of Psychology, Landmark College. Extensive research and leadership in neurodiversity in higher education.
  • Rebecca Wood, Lecturer in Inclusive Education, University of Glasgow, Editor of Learning from Autistic Teachers: How to be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School

Residential Learning Communities – July 2015

In July 2015, the Center hosted a think tank on residential learning communities. Jon Dooley and Peter Felten from Elon will facilitate the think tank, and participants will be Mimi Benjamin (IUP), Jeffrey Coker (Elon), Ashley Finley (AAC&U), Karen Inkelas (University of Virginia), Jody Jessup-Anger (Marquette University), Jillian Kinzie (Indiana University), Jessie L. Moore (Elon), Jill Stratton (Washington University), William Sullivan (Center for Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College), Frank Wcislo (Vanderbilt University), and Lori White (Southern Methodist University).

As part of the preparation for this think tank, the Center created a set of resources on learning communities.

Questions about the Residential Learning Communities think tank should be directed to Peter Felten.

Arts & Humanities Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) – August 2014

In August 2014, the Center hosted a think tank that brought influential SoTL scholars in the arts and humanities to Elon’s campus to talk together about methodological questions. A 2016 special issue of the journal Teaching and Learning Inquiry will feature articles that emerged from this think tank, and a new series of CEL videos makes this scholarly work more widely accessible.

Think Tank participants included  Nancy Chick (Vanderbilt University/University of Calgary), Susan Conkling (Boston University), Sherry Linkon (Georgetown University), Karen Manarin (Mount Royal University), Kathleen Perkins (Columbia College-Chicago), and Stephen Bloch-Schulman (Elon).

To learn more about CEL Think Tanks, email