Trellis Foundation Summit

Our third biennial postsecondary policy summit in Austin, TX, explores mental health and wellbeing as a strategy for student success. We invite you to join policymakers, practitioners, and experts to discuss the public policy and philanthropic levers to improve students’ mental health and college completion.

This year, the Summit will focus on the intersections of education and workforce that can lead to the future that Texas needs and that Texas students deserve. In working to achieve that future, there are implications for policy and practice across federal, state, regional, and institutional actors. To that end, we will hear from national, state, and campus perspectives identifying our greatest opportunities and challenges.

Trellis Foundation 2024 Higher Education Policy Summit
Friday, April 19 · 9am – 2pm CDT
The Westin Austin at The Domain (11301 Domain Drive Austin, TX 78758)


9:00 AM: Registration & Coffee

9:30 AM: Welcome

Kristin Boyer, Trellis Foundation Executive Director

Dora Ann Verde, Trellis Foundation Board Chair

9:35 AM: Summit Context and Objectives

Kristin Boyer, Trellis Foundation

Leilani Lamb, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

9:45 AM: A Fireside Chat with Commissioner Keller

Dr. Harrison Keller, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Dr. Richard Rhodes, Trellis Foundation Board Member

10:10 AM: Federal Perspectives on Postsecondary Wellbeing and Student Success

Sakshee Chawla, The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Dr. Zainab Okolo, Jed Foundation

Dr. Sunny Patel, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Moderated by Dr. Mark Milliron, Trellis Foundation Board Member

11:05 AM: Video Premiere, Student Voices on Mental Health

11:15 AM: The Role of Institutional Leadership in Mental Wellbeing and Student Success

Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College District

Dr. Mike Flores, Alamo Colleges

Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., Lt. Gen. (Ret.), Angelo State University

Moderated by Suzanne Walsh, J.D., Trellis Foundation Board Member

12:10 PM: Lunch

12:55 PM: The Current and Future “State” of Mental Wellbeing and Student Success

Dr. Jennielle Médica Strother, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, Texas Success Center / Texas Association of Community Colleges

Tegan Henke, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Moderated by Jenny Achilles, Trellis Foundation

1:45 PM: Reflections & Close

2:00 PM: Adjourn