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Dr. Saundra McGuire  

Professor, Author, Theorist & STEM Advocate

Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire is the Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. She has delivered keynote addresses or presented workshops on effective learning strategies at over 400 institutions in 47 states and ten countries. Prior to joining LSU, she spent eleven years at Cornell University, where she received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. Her best-selling book, Teach Students How to Learn, was published by Stylus in 2015. The student version of this book, Teach Yourself How to Learn, was released in January 2018.

Dr. McGuire’s most recent accolades include being listed in the 2020 edition of Marquis Who’s Who in America, the 2019 Distinguished Lecturer Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), the 2019 Commitment to Excellence in Academic Support Award from the Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education, the 2017 American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences, and induction in 2017 into the LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction. She is an elected Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in a White House Oval Office Ceremony.

Dr. McGuire received her B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, her Master’s degree from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where she received the Chancellors Citation for Exceptional Professional Promise.

She is married to Dr. Stephen C. McGuire, the James and Ruth Smith Professor of Physics Emeritus at Southern University. They are the parents of Dr. Carla McGuire Davis and Dr. Stephanie McGuire, and the doting grandparents of Joshua, Ruth, Daniel, and Joseph Davis.


Saundra McGuire
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NSSR 2017: Saundra McGuire
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Speech Topics

Teach Students How to Learn: Metacognition is the Key!

21st Century students come to college with widely varying academic skills, approaches to learning, and motivation levels. Faculty often lament that students are focused on achieving high grades, but are not willing to invest much time or effort in learning. This session will focus on the importance of helping students acquire simple, but effective, learning strategies based on cognitive science principles. We will engage in interactive reflection activities that will allow attendees to experience strategies that significantly improve student success by transforming students’ attitudes about the meaning of learning.

Teach STEM Students How to Learn: Metacognition is the Key!

All STEM students who are admitted to the institution have the ability to succeed in STEM courses. However, most do not have effective learning strategies, and resort to memorizing information just before tests. This interactive workshop will introduce faculty to cognitive science research-based learning strategies that will help all students experience meaningful, transferable learning. The session will focus on ways to teach STEM students simple, yet powerful learning strategies to ensure success in STEM courses.

Increasing Student Motivation: Strategies that Work

Motivating today’s students to actively engage in learning activities proves challenging for most faculty. Very often millennial students do not respond as did students in the past to extrinsic motivators such as bonus quizzes and extra credit assignments. However, as James Raffini presents in 150 Ways to Increase Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom, when the psychoacademic needs of students are met in creative ways, student motivation soars. This presentation will engage faculty in a discussion of addressing student needs for autonomy, competence, relatedness, self-esteem, and enjoyment in order to significantly increase student motivation.

Teach Students How to Learn 2.0

Have you already read about the approaches for teaching students how to learn, and even intended to try them, but haven’t done so yet? Or have you tried them and seen results that were less than optimal? This workshop will present the key components of a successful intervention and the “secret ingredients” that will inspire students to put transformative learning strategies into action!

Strategies for Effectively Mentoring 21st Century Students

Effective mentoring has long been recognized as important for success in professional and academic environments. However, mentors are seldom provided the training to ensure that the mentoring relationship will be most beneficial to the protégé and to the mentor. This interactive workshop will discuss strategies for effective mentoring of today’s students, and will contrast the behaviors of masterful vs misguided mentors. Additionally, techniques for producing proactive vs. problematic protégés will be discussed.

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