Keynote Speakers

CRLA is pleased to welcome the following Keynote Speakers to its 47th CRLA Annual Conference:

Dr. Timothy WalterDr. Timothy Walter is Dean of Campus Affairs at Oakland Community College, the largest community college in the State of Michigan.  In both areas, Dr. Walter serves in a leadership role to enhance student success by working with students, staff, and faculty to create a learning and social environment that enhances students’ academic and social transition to college.  Dr. Walter’s higher education career includes involvement in the development of First Year Experience programs and courses, with a major focus on teaching faculty and staff how to teach students to be more successful readers, learners, and critical thinkers.  He has served as a Vice-President of Student Development at The University of Tulsa, Associate Director of The University of Michigan Reading & Learning Skills Center, and Director of The Academic Center for Excellence at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and has had teaching stints at the University of Michigan, Rhode Island College, University of Tulsa, and Oakland Community College.  He is the author of numerous scholarly texts and articles in professional journals on student success and critical thinking, including Critical Thinking: Building the Basics, The Adult Learner’s Guide to College Success, and How to Succeed in College and Still Have Time for Your Friends, the last currently in its 8th edition.  Several recent studies indicate that the critical thinking strategies Dr. Walter has developed and written about have a significant impact on students’ higher level critical thinking skills.  In 1994, Dr. Walter was voted the nation’s Outstanding Freshman Advocate for large universities by The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.
Dr. Aaron ThompsonDr. Aaron Thompson is the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.  He is also a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University.  Dr. Thompson has a Ph.D. in Sociology with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior and Race and Gender Relations.  He has researched, taught and/or consulted in the areas of diversity, leadership, ethics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, cultural competence, and organizational design throughout his career.  He has over 30 publications and numerous research and peer reviewed presentations.  Dr. Thompson has traveled all over the U.S. and has given more than 600 workshops, seminars and invited lectures on, among other topics, race and gender diversity, living an unbiased life, overcoming obstacles to gain success, creating a school environment for academic success, cultural competence, workplace interaction, leadership, organizational goal setting, building relationships, and the first-year seminar.  He is a consultant to educational institutions, corporations, non-profit organizations, police departments, and other governmental agencies.  His latest co-authored books include The Sociological Outlook and Infusing Diversity and Cultural Competence into Teacher Education. He also co-authored Thriving in College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success; Thriving in the Community College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success and Personal Development; Humanity, Diversity, and the Liberal Arts: The Foundation of a College Education; Focus on Success; and Black Men and Divorce.