Call for Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted for the 18th annual University of Michigan Depression on College Campuses Conference, which will take place March 18-19, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You are invited to submit proposals for workshops, concurrent sessions, and poster displays relating to the conference theme of “Diversity, Equity, and Belonging.”

Application Deadline: 9/11/2019
Conference Overview

Each year the Depression on College Campuses Conference hosts attendees from over 50 colleges and universities from across the nation for a focused review of recent research and practical advances in our understanding of depressive illnesses in college students. A Conference Planning Committee, co-chaired by Drs. John F. Greden, Daniel Eisenberg, and Todd Sevig, and including members from across the University of Michigan campus, will review and select all workshop, concurrent session, and poster display proposals. The submission deadline is September 11, 2019.

The 2020 Depression on College Campuses Conference will explore the intersection of identity and mental health. The conference aims to examine how we can work to create and support diverse campus communities that foster equitable opportunity and a sense of belonging among all students.

To this end, we are looking for presentations on model programs, policies, and research studies that highlight how campus culture, sense of belonging, and identity impact student mental health, and how institutions can begin to implement: health promoting systems change, multi-disciplinary environmental management strategies and effective programs at both the community and individual levels to foster equity, belonging, and positive mental health. Of particular interest are research and programs that highlight the non-traditional student experience including students from low socioeconomic backgrounds; students of color; first-generation students, graduate students; commuter or online students; LGBTQ+ students; and student caregivers, among others. Of further interest are community level approaches which may include universal design for mental health and belonging; collective impact; and financial or academic systems interventions.

Conference Learning Objectives

Depression among college students is an urgent public health problem. If we are to prevent the progression, chronicity, recurrence, and burden of depression, we must emphasize earlier detection, intervention, and ultimately, prevention.

Learning objectives and expected results for the conference participants are an improved understanding of and ability to implement:

  • Best practices and model programs to meet the unique needs of a diverse college student population;
  • Research which demonstrates the intersection of identity, belonging, and mental health;
  • Outreach models to reach students from various identity groups;
  • Strategies for assessing campus climate to facilitate the creation of health promoting institutions;
  • Targeted interventions that go beyond the traditional illness model to support student mental health and wellbeing.


The conference attracts a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals working on college campuses, including:

  • Academic Advisors
  • Counselors and Counseling Center Directors
  • Faculty
  • Health Educators
  • Parents
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Student Affairs administrators and staff
  • Students

Presentation Formats

Please review these descriptions to determine the format that best matches the content and scope of the material you would like to present. Proposals will be evaluated based on specific criteria, including relevancy to theme and expertise of presenters.


A three-hour workshop provides an opportunity to explore a given topic on a deeper level, or from multiple perspectives. These workshops must be interactive, engaging the attendees in facilitated group discussion and/or skill-building exercises to improve their knowledge and understanding of the given topic. Workshops may have multiple presenters, including individuals from different institutions, in order to provide a range of perspectives and expertise.

Workshops will take place in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 18 (tentatively from 2:15-5:15 p.m.).


Mini-workshops are 90-minute sessions, which give speakers and participants more time to delve into a given topic than is offered during a concurrent session, but are less intense than the three-hour workshops in terms of participant interaction and depth/breadth of content presented.

Mini-workshops will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday March 18 (tentatively between 2:15-5:15 p.m.).

Concurrent Session

Concurrent sessions are 75-minute sessions that provide an opportunity to introduce a model program, evidence-based practice, or research study relating to the conference theme. The presentations should be no longer than 60 minutes, as 15 minutes MUST be left at the end of the session for Q & A and discussion with attendees.

Concurrent Sessions will take place in the morning (approximately 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) or afternoon (approximately 1:30-2:45 p.m.) on Thursday, March 19.

Poster Session

You are invited to create a poster about a research study or model program at your university which relates to the conference theme, “Diversity, Equity, and Belonging.” Each presenter will have an easel and 30 x 40 poster board for mounting their poster.

Posters will be presented during a networking forum and reception to be held from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

If you are a currently enrolled student traveling from outside of the Ann Arbor area and your project is selected for presentation, you will receive free hotel accommodations at the Hampton Inn South during the conference.

Please use this online form to submit a summary of your proposed workshop, concurrent session, or poster in 300 words or less. Your proposal summary must contain clearly defined learning objectives, an overview of the presentation content and format, intended audience, and a list of all speakers.

In addition, if you are proposing a workshop or concurrent session, please submit a separate brief description of your session (including session title) in 150 words or less. This description will be included in the conference program if your proposal is selected.

If you have more than one presenter, the lead presenter should submit the proposal on behalf of the entire group.

All selected speakers will receive free conference registration. Speakers are responsible for their airfare, hotel, and ground transportation expenses.

Please note that we will need copies of all handouts and slides three weeks in advance of the conference, to allow enough time to print copies for attendees who request a hard copy of the materials.

If you have any questions regarding proposal submission, or about the conference, contact Stephanie Salazar at

The deadline for proposal submission is September 11, 2019. Selected presenters will be notified by October 11, 2019.

Application closes 9/11/2019
Presenter Information
(50 character min & 1200 character max)
Presentation Information
(100 character min & 900 character max)
(100 character min & 1200 character max)


Contact Stephanie Salazar:

DOCC 2019 Recap

The 17th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference covered new research findings, model programs, and policies which highlight evidence-based approaches to identify and determine the level of intervention required to best match student need to improve health outcomes.

The George Orley Student Mental Health Advocate Award – Established 2019

To recognize outstanding student leadership in the area of campus mental health, the University of Michigan initiated the Student Mental Health Advocate Award in 2007. Since 2009, the selection committee has presented two awards – one to a student from the University of Michigan, and one to a student from another school – allowing us to honor student advocacy around the country as well as on our own campus.

2019 Awardees: Kimberly Snodgrass & Mehak Hafeez

Kimberly Snodgrass

Junior, University of Michigan

Major: Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience

As the Walk Chair for the 2019 University of Michigan Out of the Darkness Walk (and the 2018 Co-Chair, when U of M was the #1 Campus walk in the nation for AFSP), Kimberly will be responsible for raising nearly $250,000 dollars on UM campus for suicide prevention/education programming, Loss and Healing activities, faculty/staff training, and overall reduction of stigma around depression, mental health/illness, and suicide. She first became involved as a freshman with the first UM OOTD and has stepped up in AMAZING ways.

As the Walk Chair, she is not only responsible for overseeing the planning and logistics of the walk. Kim also oversees the programming committee which facilitates active programming on campus, for free, for students. From Talk Saves Lives, to It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health, Kim manages other students who host regular life-saving programming. Students want to know how they can help themselves, and their friends — Kim’s work is doing just that. Using the funds she raised on campus to equip students, faculty and community members with the tools/education they need to stop suicides and teach better help-seeking behavior. Kim is also on track to continue her work after UM and has a passion for reducing this leading cause of death. She has been directly impacted by suicide and mental health related issues in her life with family/friends, and she is driven to help others. She has engaged thousands of students with her work and trained numerous faculty — but she is not satisfied. She continues to beat down closed doors and find new opportunities to educate the campus. She has hit many road blocks and red-tape with her quest to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide, but it does not phase her. She is professional, diligent and creative to make sure all the UM students on campus get what they need if/when they deal with mental health concerns, suicidal ideations, or attempts. She deserves this.

Nominated by: Steve Windom, CNP, Area Director, Michigan, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Darwin Guevarra, Doctoral Candidate in Social Psychology, University of Michigan


Mehak Hafeez

2nd Year Master’s Student, Illinois Institute of Technology

Major: Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

It is my great pleasure to nominate Mehak Hafeez for the George Orley Student Mental Health Advocate Award at the University of Michigan. I cannot imagine that there is another mental health advocate out there who could possibly be more deserving or qualified for this award than Mehak, and I give her my strongest possible recommendation.

Mehak is currently a student in the Illinois Tech Master’s in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program and will complete the program in May of 2019. I am Mehak’s faculty supervisor for her clinical practicum and internship, I have been her instructor for a number of courses, and I have worked with her on a variety of projects over the past few years, including when she was an undergraduate here at Illinois Tech.

For over a year, Mehak has actively led American Rehabilitation Counseling Association and Active Minds at IIT where she has hosted a number of mental health resources and suicide prevention workshops. She has collaborated with the University’s Student Health and Wellness Center to host Suicide Prevention Workshops and mental health wellness events during exam weeks. She has invited numerous community speakers to provide mental health education, resources and community outreach to the students of IIT. She has also collaborated with PRISM, LGBTQ student organization and other ethnically diverse student organizations to invite organizations to speak on mental health importance and advocating for students with mental health needs. In summary, Mehak is an impressive student leader who has consistently demonstrated the qualities that will help her to be a superb professional in the rehabilitation and mental health counseling field. I hold her in the highest regard. She has shown herself to be an astute individual, possessing the talents and skills that will assist her growing into a compassionate and conscientious rehabilitation and mental health counselor.

Nominated by: Kelly Kazukauskas, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology; Patrick Corrigan, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology; Nikki Legate, Master’s Student, Illinois Institute of Technology; Adrian Gurgul, Illinois Institute of Technology

Pictured: Kimberly Snodgrass (left) and Mehak Hafeez (right)

Special Thanks to our Donors

The Depression on College Campuses Conference organizers would like to thank the following for their financial contributions to this effort. Without their support and collaboration, this University-wide initiative would not be possible.


William and Lisa Ford Foundation


Katherine and Tom Goldberg

Diane, Randy, Amanda and Sam Orley, in memory of George Orley

Ada Louise Wilkie, in memory of Nancy Corinne Lombardi

University of Michigan

University of Michigan Provost

College of Engineering

College of Pharmacy

Rackham Graduate School

School of Social Work

Law School

School of Music Theatre and Dance

Ford School of Public Policy

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

School of Kinesiology

School of Information