Story Makers

A Quest to Engage, Connect, and Inspire

Registration has now closed for this workshop.

Are you interested in inspiring and motivating students to see themselves as entrepreneurially minded

Do you want to fully engage people in exploring possibilities?

Workshop: Story Makers

Teaching and Learning

Moving people—invoking emotion, inspiring action—is how you create value. Story Makers: A Quest to Engage, Connect, and Inspire helps expand your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills to help others learn from your view of the world.  

When a story is done well, you listen and fully engage. At that point, you have the opportunity to be curious. Once engaged, connections come to mind: “Oh, that reminds me of …” 

Stories are a bridge from the known to the unknown, opening the door to possibilities, including understanding yourself. 

Event Information

Story Makers: A Quest to Engage, Connect, and Inspire

This workshop has reached capacity.


Dates: June 14-18, 2021 (Agenda below, or download here.)

Location: Virtual/Online

Cost: $1500

Registration Deadline: April 22, 2021

Cancellation Policy: If a participant cancels within 30 days of a workshop, the Kern Family Foundation may invoice the institution for a $150 cancelation fee to cover materials and other unrecoverable costs.

Workshop Agenda

Schedule subject to change

Day 1: June 14, 2021 (Monday) - Synchronous. ENGAGE with stories initially around understanding yourself and your EM.

All times are in Eastern time.

12:00 p.m. Welcome and introductions

12:20 p.m. Story basics

1:00 p.m. Childhood stories

1:30 p.m. Story sharing & coaching

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Introduce 2nd story prompt

3:00 p.m. Roundtable with coaches

3:30 p.m. End of day reflections (What stuck with you? What are you stuck on?)


Day 2: June 15, 2021 (Tuesday) - BRIDGE DAY. Asynchronous exploration and work time.

  • Finish Story 2 for oral delivery at next session
  • Begin thinking about how you will use story on your campus
  • Facilitator/Coaching office hours (12-4pm ET)


Day 3: June 16, 2021 (Wednesday) - Synchronous. CONNECT to others’ stories to understand and act on your EM.

All times are in Eastern time.

12:00 p.m. Story Lab!

12:30 p.m. Radical listening / sensing

1:00 p.m. Empathy

1:30 p.m. Stories in design and engineering work

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Let’s Get Real...

3:00 p.m. Roundtable with coaches

3:30 p.m. End of day reflections (What stuck with you? What are you stuck on?)


Day 4: June 17, 2021 (Thursday) - BRIDGE DAY. Asynchronous exploration and work time.

  • Peer interviews and guided reflection on how you will use story on your campus
  • Continue to develop your ideas for personal projects
  • Facilitator/Coaching office hours (12-4pm ET)


Day 5: June 18, 2021 (Friday) - Synchronous. INSPIRE others with story to create value.

All times are in Eastern time.

12:00 p.m. Story Lab!

12:20 p.m. Stories to create change

12:45 p.m. Structuring your story

1:15 p.m. Classroom examples

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Story sharing & coaching

3:00 p.m. Roundtable with coaches

3:30 p.m. Now what?? How will we use story on our campuses this year? Showcase and celebration of “personal project” ideas for AY2021-22.

Your Workshop Guides

Meet the facilitators and coaches for your workshop journey:

Cristi Bell-Huff

Cristi Bell-Huff, Facilitator

Cristi has been a faculty member at Georgia Tech since 2018. Prior to that she was the Director of the Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design at Lawrence Technological University. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and an M.A. in Educational Studies. She worked in pharmaceutical product and process development before discovering her passion for influencing people. She thoroughly enjoys exploring ways to teach and mentor people to enhance their growth potential as engineers and educators.
Janece Shaffer

Janece Shaffer, Facilitator

Award-winning playwright and StoryReady Founder Janece Shaffer was invited to collaborate with Georgia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering to create a signature storytelling curriculum, now required for all students. Janece has also designed and currently leads an innovative, yearlong story-based leadership program, KEEN on Stories, for nearly 100 engineering educators. As a playwright, she has penned more than a dozen works and through her company, she teaches storytelling strategies to clients like Delta Air Lines, Georgia Pacific, Georgia Power, and Emory University.
Joe Le Doux

Joe Le Doux, Facilitator and Coach

Joe is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is a recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard M. Gordon Prize in 2019 “for fusing problem-driven engineering education with learning science principles to create a pioneering program that develops leaders in biomedical engineering”. His current research interests are in engineering education with a focus on the social-cultural aspects of highly interactive problem-driven learning environments, including how they impact students’ motivation, engagement, and sense of belonging and inclusion.
Laura Shackelford

Laura Shackelford, Facilitator & Coach

Laura is a Professor of English and founding Director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her research explores contemporary narrative practices in fiction, digital literatures, and emerging storytelling media and methods. She conducts interdisciplinary research on narrative and post-World War II sciences of cybernetics, information, and systems theory and more recent bioinformatic sciences, attending to the interplay between these sciences, their narrativization, and cultural understanding. Laura teaches Storytelling Across Media; Text and Code: Expressive Practices in Computational Media; Science Fiction; and a Transnational Digital Creation Workshop with the University of Paris-8.
Kurt Paterson

Kurt Paterson, Facilitator & Coach

Engineer, author, professor, facilitator, and artist, Kurt enjoys working with others to help them move their worlds in better directions. He is intrigued by engineering as a means for diplomacy, community innovation, and personal fulfillment. A first-generation college student, he earned three engineering degrees at the University of Iowa with an immensely supportive group of faculty and peers, and currently lives in Virginia with his amazing wife and daughters. His favorite part of each night for the past ten years has been story time with his kids.
Stacy Nation-Knapper

Stacy Nation-Knapper, Facilitator & Coach

Stacy is Director of Year One Programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her PhD is in History and she studies the memory and commemoration of the North American fur trade. Her work in Student Affairs creates opportunities for students to adapt to the culture and environment of higher education in ways that are developmentally appropriate and institutionally specific.
Kyle Gipson

Kyle Gipson, Facilitator

Kyle is an Associate Professor at James Madison University in the Department of Engineering. He has taught courses pertaining to topics for first-year engineering, materials science and engineering, engineering design, systems thinking and engineering leadership development. Currently, he holds the following positions within JMU: 1st/2nd Year Engineering Academic Advisor and a Center for Faculty Innovation Teaching Fellow. He has a PhD in Polymer, Fiber Science from Clemson University. His research background is in the synthesis of polymer nanocomposites and engineering education. He was trained within the textile industry, which was part of an eleven-year career that spanned textile manufacturing to product development.
Clark Hochgraf

Clark Hochgraf, Facilitator

Engineer - Educator - Systems Thinker - Innovator - Husband - Father - Brother – Son; Clark is defined by his relationships. He enjoys building understanding and consensus across seemingly disparate groups and ways of thinking. And he enjoys building technological systems and sharing my enjoyment with others by developing and delivering educational experiences. Clark is a learner and an optimist. He grew up on a rural farm and and worked in industry for 11 years; today, he teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he's using the power of story to improve educational experiences and outcomes. A proud member of the KEEN network, Clark is benefiting from wonderful colleagues and trying to give back to the network some fraction of the value he has received.

Your Workshop Journey

FacDev Journey

Key Deliverables

Story Deliverables

  • Design story-driven learning experiences that impact your students
  • Explore the value of story in your professional life
  • Reflect on the impact of story on you and your students
  • Create a network of support as a community of practice
  • Share your experiences with your workshop peers

All Workshops

All Workshops

Want to explore more workshops? Return to the main Faculty Development National Workshops page!