Bringing together the most diverse and talented educators in the field of men and masculinities research and practice, the Conference on College Men has become the premier venue to explore and examine issues related to men and masculinities in higher education. As particular populations of college men continue to struggle in their postsecondary transitions and engagement, the Conference on College Men challenges attendees to critically reflect upon how their own identification and expression of gender influences their work with college and university students while also treating them to the most recent scholarship and services in the field.
- Student Affairs administrators of all levels, including senior student affairs officers
The concept of a professional conference for student affairs administrators focusing on the topic of college men was shepherded within NASPA and ACPA by Dr. Jason Laker, then vice-principal and dean of student affairs at Queen's University in Ontario and founding chair of the NASPA Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community. The inaugural conference, then titled the Institute on College Males, was hosted by Morehouse College in May 2007. The institute theme was Creating and Achieving Successful Outcomes. The institute included an opening keynote delivered by Dr. Michael Kimmel, SUNY Stony Brook, a general session from Dr. Jason Laker, 15 educational sessions, a panel of scholars and practitioners regarding working with college men, and a closing keynote from Dr. Shaun Harper, University of Pennsylvania.
The success of this first institute led NASPA and ACPA to collaborate on a second program in May 2009 hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Frank Harris, San Diego State University, chaired a planning team composed of both NASPA and ACPA members in selecting major speakers and program proposals. The team decided to officially change the name of the program to the Conference on College Men to more accurately reflect the program structure. The conference theme in 2009 was Engaging College Men: Bridging Scholarship and Practice. The committee selected accepted 20 educational sessions speaking to this theme and focusing on the topics of intersections of identity; recruitment and retention of men; building networks of support for men; facilitating cross-cultural dialogue between men and women; and men at community colleges. The conference featured an opening keynote address from Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA; a panel of Women's Center Directors moderated by Rachel Wagner, University of Dayton; and a closing keynote address from Dr. Shaun Harper, University of Pennsylvania.
The third Conference on College Men took place May 22-24, 2011 at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. Dr. Jason Laker, now Vice President for Student Affairs at San Jose State University, and Dr. Tracy Davis, Professor and College Student Personnel Program Coordinator Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Illinois University graciously gave permission to share the title and borrow from the framework of their publication, Masculinities in Higher Education, in planning for the conference program structure.
The conference offered 20 educational sessions exploring theoretical and historical foundations of men and masculinities in higher education, intersections of identities, and practical considerations and effective interventions. The conference included an opening workshop exploring a shared language for men and masculinities facilitated by Rachel Wagner and Z Nicolazzo, University of Arizona, a keynote by Dr. Frank Harris and a keynote by Dr. Susan Marine, Harvard College. The conference closed with a panel facilitated by Dr. Jason Laker and featuring comments from Dr. Tracy Davis, Rachel Wagner, Dr. Shaun Harper, and Dr. Susan Marine.