Working with Millennial Students

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The NVRCTE presents this full-day diversity-focused workshop on Friday, October 27 at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Kristyn DeMarco will lead two research-based sessions on best practices when working with millennial students. For many reasons, the students of Generation Z easily lose interest during class; attention span and lack of motivation are amongst these.  Recent studies have shown that the average attention span of a Generation Z student is between 8 seconds and 5 minutes, and that they can only take information in sentences less than 140-characters long.  Generation Z is motivated by future success and unless a class offers a direct connection to this, their interest in learning greatly decreases. Contemplative teaching and learning has the ability to bring back Generation Z’s attention by removing and going beyond such obstacles.

Kristyn DeMarco has been teaching at Northern Virginia Community College for the past seven years where she is currently an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Geology.  Ms. DeMarco was recently appointed as a 2016-2018 Virginia Community College System’s Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Fellow for which she will conduct a two-year study on her chosen topic of “Best Practices for Effective Teaching and Learning for Millennial Students.”  In addition to her educational research interests she enjoys many aspects of freshwater ecology such as the urban stream syndrome, rock and river interactions as well as her current specialty in limnology.  Ms. DeMarco is a PhD Candidate at George Mason University in the Environmental Science and Public Policy Program where she currently studies the spatial and temporal variations in phytoplanktonic communities in Lake Fairfax as they are impacted by thermal and chemical regimes.  In 2009 she received her MS in Geosciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a focus on Fluvial Geomorphology of the New River, and in 2006 a BA in Environmental Science with a Geology concentration from the University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to her academic and scientific pursuits, Ms. DeMarco enjoys photographing nature’s beauty as well as training for marathons and triathlons.  She welcomes your interests and conversations and can be reached at or on her website at

Who: Faculty and Student Support Professionals

When: Friday, October 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Manassas Campus at Northern Virginia Community College– Battleview Room 223/227. Click here for a campus map.


  • 9:45-10:00: Sign in
  • 10:00-10:15: Welcome and Introductory Remarks
  • 10:15-11:30: Session 1: An Introduction to Generation Z
  • 11:30-12:30: Working Lunch: Round Table Discussions
  • 12:30-2:00: Session 2Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: A Way to Help Millennials Reach Their Unique Potential in Life, Not Just Academia