The Meaning Making Academy: an Immersive Day at the Warren Wilson College

2022 International Conference Pre-Conference Events

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM (EST)
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40 Seats Remaining
40 Seats Remaining
Category: International Conferences

The Meaning Making Academy: an Immersive Day at the Warren Wilson College Farm

Capacity: 40 participants

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 9th, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: This event will take place at separate venue away from the conference facility (Warren Wilson College's campus) Round trip van transportation will be provided from Black Mountain to campus.

Cost: $100

Presenters: Dr. David Ellum, Anna Welton, Paul Bobbitt

Dr. Dave Ellum serves as the Dean of Land Resources at Warren Wilson College. He has a PhD in Forestry from Yale University and worked for several decades teaching Forestry, first at Yale and then at Warren Wilson for the past 16 years.  Dr. Dave Ellum leads the management of the 1,135 acres that comprise Warren Wilson’s campus, and works innovatively to turn college land into a canvas for experiential education. Through his teaching, research, and leadership of the Forestry, Farm, Garden, and Land Conservation Crews, he capitalizes on the College’s land as an incredible resource and vibrant living classroom that serves not just as a learning laboratory for Warren Wilson students, but also for farmers and foresters throughout the Southern Appalachian region.

Anna Welton serves as the Associate Dean of Community and Global Engagement at Warren Wilson College, and serves as co-director of the Center for Experiential Learning. She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from SIT Graduate Institute. Anna Welton has dedicated her career to experiential education in the higher education context. She has worked in a variety of community engagement and international education settings over the past two decades, including university study abroad offices, educational non-profits, and on the front lines of educational program delivery in Japan, Peru and Argentina. She is passionate about bringing a critical eye to the field of experiential education and continually striving to shape programs that are accessible to a diverse range of students and yield increased social consciousness as a learning outcome.

Paul Bobbitt serves as the Associate Dean of Work at Warren Wilson College, and serves as co-director of the Center for Experiential Learning. Paul holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of North Texas. Paul Bobbitt has served as Associate Dean of Work for the past six years after serving as a work supervisor for seven years. In addition to his role of providing leadership to the Work Program, Paul represents Warren Wilson College's Work Program during advocacy trips to Washington DC, chairs the Work Colleges Consortium Work Deans group, and participates in various career, student employment, and workplace development organizations both regionally and nationally. Paul is a fervent advocate for “hands-on” learning through work experiences and fostering a sense of belonging and purpose for students through the multitude of opportunities at the College.


Hosted by the Center for Experiential Learning at Warren Wilson College, this pre-conference workshop will give participants the opportunity to spend an immersive day on Warren Wilson’s beautiful campus experiencing the magic, intention, and pedagogy that comes alive at the College farm. Experiential education thrives at this federally designated work college, where the farm truly acts as a fulcrum for rich and integrated experiential learning. Participants will witness the many intersections of academics and experiential education through visits with faculty and students, demonstrations, and an opportunity to get their hands dirty by pitching in with farm-work. No previous experience necessary.

Pre-conference workshop participants will gain the following knowledge and skills:
- A grasp of concrete ways that experiential learning can be integrated into academics in higher education settings;
- Ideas for how to use farming, gardening, and forestry as a means for intersectional learning relevant to community engagement, intercultural communication, and vocational discernment;
- Strategies for structuring reflection around project-based learning.

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Pre-Conference sessions (Extended Education) take place prior to the start of the 2022 International Conference, and are in-depth workshops and activities that provide an expanded opportunity for professional development.


Do I need to register for the International Conference (taking place Nov 10-13) in order to attend a pre-conference event? No! You are able to register and attend any of the below events without having to purchase a ticket or attend the entire International Conference.

Are meals and lodging included? No. If you plan to stay overnight or have meals on-site, you must purchase lodging and a meal plan separately.

Can I get CEUs from pre-conference events? This depends on the individual event. Each event is different and you'll need to check out the specific event details.

Where are the events being held? Location varies by individual event. Each event will be held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly unless otherwise specified.

Are the pre-conferences available to virtual attendees too? Will they be recorded? No. Pre-conference events occur in-person only unless otherwise specified.

Register Now
40 Seats Remaining
40 Seats Remaining