UK Happenings

Lewis Honors College Speaker to Share Strategies For How to Thrive in College

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2020) — Next week, the University of Kentucky Lewis Honors College will welcome Laurie Schreiner, a psychologist who researches college students, to campus as part of its Lewis Honors College Speaker Series. Her talk, "Thriving in College," will begin 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Lewis Scholars Lounge.

"Success in college is about so much more than grades or surviving to cross the stage; it’s about discovering who you are and what you have to offer the world, coming alive to the possibilities that lie ahead," Schreiner said.

Based on her research with over 50,000 college students, Schreiner will share specific strategies for how to thrive in college, and beyond. Schreiner describes "thriving" as an expanded view of student success that incorporates relationships and psychological well-being, along with intellectual engagement.

"For too many students, mental health challenges get in the way of their academic success," Schreiner said. "Psychological well-being is so foundational to learning because it opens up brain space and connects people to the resources and support systems they need to learn and grow. There is also a lot that institutions do to erect barriers to success and thriving for students, especially students who have not been historically well-served by our educational system. So it’s important to not just talk about thriving students, but also a thriving campus."

Schreiner is professor and chair of the Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University in southern California, having spent 37 years in higher education as a psychology professor and associate academic dean after receiving her doctorate in psychology from the University of Tennessee. An award-winning teacher and researcher, her most recent work on college student thriving has studied over 50,000 students from 150 universities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia and has led to numerous publications as well as the edited book titled "Thriving in Transitions: A Research-Based Approach to Student Success." Schreiner is author of the Thriving Quotient, an instrument designed to assess the malleable intellectual, interpersonal and psychological qualities associated with student success in college. Schreiner is also co-author of "The Student Satisfaction Inventory," used on over 1,600 campuses across the U.S. and Canada.

Schreiner served as a senior research associate with The Gallup Organization and has conducted train-the-trainer workshops. She regularly conducts workshops for the Noel Strengths Academy at Azusa Pacific University, where they train higher education faculty and staff to design and implement a strengths-oriented approach to college and university programming.

Schreiner has also conducted significant research on the sophomore experience. She is co-author of "Helping Sophomores Succeed" (2010) and "Investigating Sophomore Success" (2015), as well as "Sophomore Success: Making the Most of the Second Year of College" (2018). And, in addition to her research on thriving college students, Schreiner also studies faculty thriving and has co-authored the Faculty Thriving Quotient.

She serves as co-editor-in-chief of Christian Higher Education, has served on the editorial board of About Campus, and has consulted with over 150 colleges and universities on issues of student success and thriving, the sophomore year experience, strengths-based education, retention, academic advising, student satisfaction, and effective teaching strategies. 

"What I hope is the major take-away from my talk is a vision for the personal possibilities that students have within their reach, along with the assets and strengths they already possess," Schreiner said. "But I also hope that my talk starts a dialogue that continues long after I leave."

For more information about Schreiner's talk, visit

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