Monday, November 4, 2024 from 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM - Arrival & Check in - Main Entrance, Bryan Lobby 

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM - Welcome & Morning Keynote 

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM - Student Collaboration Session #1

10:50 AM - 11:05 AM - Break

11:05 AM - 12:00 PM - Student Collaboration Session #2

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM - Lunch - Ground Floor Bryan 

1:10 PM - 2:00 PM - Student collaboration Session #3

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM  - Break

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM - Panel Discussion: What's Next?

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM - Dismissal 

*see name tag for collaboration session locations

Featured Speakers

Dr. Jamie Lathan

Conference Host & Moderator

Dr. Jamie Lathan is the Vice Chancellor for the Division of  Extended Learning at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. A national-board certified social studies teacher, Jamie has taught high school students for over two decades in face-to-face and virtual formats. An advocate for diversity and equity in K-12 STEM education, he has led a research and leadership camp for underrepresented minority students for a decade. His passion for educational equity spurs him to work to make quality teaching and curriculum accessible to as many students as possible through distance education and summer programs.

Dr. Christopher Cooper


Christopher A. Cooper is a Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor and Director of the Haire Institute for Public Policy at Western Carolina University. He is the co-author of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People, co-editor of The New Politics of North Carolina, and author of the forthcoming Anatomy of a Purple State: A North Carolina Politics Primer (all from UNC Press) as well as more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. 

He has served as an expert witness on elections and voting rights cases. He is a frequent source for journalists seeking expertise or a snappy quote about American, southern, and North Carolina politics. He once had a tostada named after him at a local Mexican restaurant. That restaurant later burned down. These facts are likely unrelated. 

Dr. Shannon C. McGregor 


Dr. Shannon C. McGregor (PhD, University of Texas – Austin) is an associate professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a principal investigator at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life – both at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She holds appointments also with UNC’s Department of Political Science and the School of Information and Library Science. Her research focuses on the role of media and social media in political processes, with a focus on the interplay of three groups essential to a functioning democracy: politicians, journalists, and the public. Dr. McGregor is an award-winning and internationally recognized communication scholar whose interdisciplinary and mixed-method research has been published across fields including top journals in communication, political science, and sociology, and she is co-editor of a recent book with Oxford University Press – Media and January 6th. She writes often for the public press, and her work appears in outlets such as The Washington Post, Wired, and The Guardian.

Jane Cantwell


Jane Cantwell joined the NCSSM-Morganton Humanities Department in July 2022. She is originally from Yekaterinburg, a city located on the border of Europe and Asia in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Her research interests include connections between nineteenth-century German and Russian philosophy of history, interdisciplinary studies in British literature, and the moral dimensions of the American Dream. She is also interested in the emerging fields of bioethics, data justice, and philosophical dilemmas posed by AI. Since 2007, Jane has taught British and American literature, Introduction to Ethics, Philosophical Issues, and other courses at the Western Piedmont Community College. She has many years of experience working with academically gifted and high-achieving students through dual enrollment pathways. 

In 2018, Jane received an NC Live grant for developing Open Educational Resources and collaborated on OER initiatives aimed at reducing textbook costs and engaging students in shared pedagogy. She is committed to using technology and digital humanities approaches in the classroom. When she is not working, Jane spends most of her free time outdoors gardening and hiking. She participates in local trail maintenance projects and is a native plant geek. Jane lives in Morganton with her family, including a ’15 NCSSM graduate, and Mya, a strong-willed Siberian Husky.   BA equivalent, German and English, Ural State Pedagogical University BA, Humanities, Shimer College MA, Comparative Literature, University of Chicago