Building Scholarly Community and Institutional Bonds
September 28-30, 2023 in Champaign, IL
This in-person gathering is an informal initiative proposed and planned by LDL graduate students and alumni not only to meet their peers in person and foster a sense of community, but also to strengthen institutional bonds with EPOL, the College of Education and the University of Illinois. Its aims is to bring LDL students and alumni together to connect with peers, faculty, staff, and the campus while also making progress towards their degree.
Attendees will gather in the O’Leary Learning Center Thursday through Saturday (September 28-30) between 8 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., with optional scheduled events available throughout the extended weekend, including a visit from Dean Mouza, Q&A with Dr. Pak, a doctoral hooding ceremony, writing retreats, workshops, alumni-facilitated small group discussions, social and cultural events, and a campus tour. Registration is open! See the full agenda and our curated list of things to do in the Champaign-Urbana area and the wonderful campus.
Attending the LDL Connects 2022 event was an unforgettable experience for me. Like in a long-distance relationship, everything became much more real once we finally met, looked into each other’s eyes, and took a stroll around the campus. I took three flights and flew over 6,000 miles to meet everyone, and it was worth it. Anyone who is a few hours’ drive away, just register and come.
Leah GoldbergOnline EdD Student, Israel
As a 2021 graduate from the LDL doctoral program, meeting my local and international peers was amazing at our first LDL Connects in 2022! I had worked closely with my peers virtually for the duration of my program, but seeing so many people in person made our connections stronger. I look forward to the upcoming LDL Connects to reunite with peers and offer support to the current students in their dissertation sequence.
Katelyn Talbott EdD Alumna, Spring 2021, Champaign, IL; USA
The in-person gathering with faculty and peers was worth driving for 3 hours. I got to join the campus tour, talked to the professors and build a network with peers. The warm experience makes me feel that I am not alone and motivates me to continue my studies!
Chin-Hung Chang Online EdD Student, Chicago, IL; USA
Getting the time to connect with classmates, Kara, Bill, and Mary was so worth the trip to UIUC last year. The LDL program is so welcoming and everyone is really invested in helping each other and that really was tangible at poster presentations and with in-person discussions about our research. Spending time at Mary and Bill’s home with participants and other guests was the true highlight, especially the Greek feast Mary prepared.
Joe AmschlingerOnline EdD Student, Cleveland, OH; USA
I would have to say that the in-person gathering was the most encouraging experience during my Ed.D. journey so far. It was heartwarming to meet my peers walking on the same path, which could be lonely, especially being a fully online doctoral student. Eating a meal together and listening to each other was meaningful. What also helped me the most was meeting Dr. Francis (Kara) in person, who has been the single most important guide in my dissertation writing journey. It is very hard to really know the person behind the voice on Zoom. I am now much more comfortable reaching out to Kara.
Kang Hee Hong (Part 1)Online EdD Student, Galesburg, IL; USA
Having a meal cooked by Dr. Kalantzis was just indescribable. It was such an honor, and it made the trip worth it to experience Dr. Cope and Kalantzis personally. In-person connection surely reminded me why I am in this program and how important it is to persevere. It was a great experience to mingle with fellow doctoral students, cheering each other on. I strongly recommend LDL Connects to all online doctoral students. I guarantee that this event will strengthen you and nurture you because you will be able to personally experience how amazing the team of staff, faculty, and peers you are working with in this program!!
Kang Hee Hong (Part 2)Online EdD Student, Galesburg, IL; USA
LDL Connects 2022 Group Photo in front of Alma
Video created by an LDL EdD student, Trevor Aleo.
While this gathering is organized by Learning Design and Leadership graduate students and alumni, anyone interested is welcome to join us. Access the registration link above so that we know who will be joining us! Registration is required for some of the scheduled events.*Travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of attendees.
College of Education and its iconic Cherry Blossom tree