This year marks the 48th consecutive annual meeting and conference of the Southern Regional Faculty and Instructional Development Consortium. Each year since its inception, SRFIDC has brought faculty and organizational development professionals in the southern region of the US together for sharing ideas, experiences, new approaches, and collegial concerns affecting our profession and work. This year we will have a one-day fully virtual conference experience, March 11, 2024. For those who would like to attend and engage with other members of SRFIDC, our virtual conference participants will have access to the in-person Keynote address and SRFIDC Board Meeting as well later in the week. The in-person conference, March 13-15, 2024, will be at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, Mississippi. In-person conference participants will also have access to participate in the one-day virtual conference on March 11 as well.
The 48th annual SRFIDC theme is Changing Tides: Equity-Minded Teaching in Higher Education. Conference sessions will explore concepts, program, and research to engaging our stakeholders (students, faculty, leaders, and community partners) in learning experiences, supporting our own professional development and well-being, and strategic planning and reporting efforts that help us to identify and share the story of what matters in our work.
Flower Darby is an international speaker that celebrates and promotes effective teaching in all modalities to advance equitable learning outcomes for all students. She’s an Associate Director of the Teaching for Learning Center at the University of Missouri. Prior to that, she held roles such as Assistant Dean of Online and Innovative Pedagogies, Director of Teaching for Student Success, and Senior Instructional Designer. These roles have allowed her to build on her experience teaching in person and online for over 27 years in a range of subjects including English, Technology, Education, Leadership, Dance, and Pilates. In her current work and publications, Darby empowers faculty to teach inclusive and equity-focused classes in all modalities. Her recent books include The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching (2023) and Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (2019).
All conference participants will receive a copy of Flower Darby’s most recently co-authored book, The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching.
Virtual Conference Monday, March 11, 2024
The virtual conference will be hosted on Zoom events in partnership with Auburn University. This portion of the conference will be a fully virtual experience for both presenters and attendees, with content unique to the virtual conference day. Virtual attendees will also have access to view the Keynote address and SRFIDC Board Meeting occurring during the face-to-face conference on Thursday, March 14.
In-Person Conference Wednesday, March 13 - Friday, March 15
Our in-person event will occur in Long Beach, MS at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus. Registration for the in-person conference will also include access to the one-day virtual event taking place on Monday, March 11.
Centennial Plaza, known as the "Crown Jewel" of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is one of the most breathtaking sites in South Mississippi with its campus of Spanish-style buildings on 52 acres shaded by graceful live oak trees across the Gulf of Mexico. A block of rooms are reserved for the conference at a special rate until February 12, 2024. When calling to reserve your room, please use the room block code SRFIDC to receive the conference rate. Centennial Plaza is about a 10-minute drive to USM's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, MS.
Guests of Centennial Plaza will have access to a 24-hour fitness center, in-room upgraded coffee, local and long-distance calls, waterpark (seasonal), wifi, business center services, free parking, and dancing fountains. View more about Centennial Plaza and its on-site amenities on their website.
Other hotels in the area that are within 10 minutes of the conference site:
Courtyard by Marriott Gulfport Beachfront | 1600 E Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501 | 228-864-4310
Holiday Inn Express Gulfport Beach | 4302 W Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501 | 228-214-0010
The Inn at Long Beach | 300 Beach Blvd W, Long Beach, MS 39560 | 228-864-5440
Conference Travel Information
Long Beach, MS is in Central Time Zone
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) is centrally located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Gulfport, Mississippi (Harrison County), and is the most used airport for travel to Long Beach for both international and domestic travel. GPT is approximately two miles from Interstate 10, two miles from the Port of Gulfport and the Gulf of Mexico, and less than 10 miles from the University of Southern Mississippi Long Beach campus.
The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is served by five major airlines - American Airlines, Delta, United, Sun Country Airlines, and Allegiant. With direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Houston, and connections to hundreds of locations in the US and worldwide.
Onsite Car Rentals at GPT:
Dollar Rent A Car
Full details on each car rental company as well as an offsite car rental option are available at the GPT website.
Taxi and on-demand travel services for the area are available including Uber and Lyft. A detailed list is provided at the GPT website.
Traveling by car from Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport to USM Long Beach Campus, head southeast toward Airport Road then turn left to stay on Airport Road for 1.2 miles. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Airport Road. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto US 49 S. Stay on US 49 S for 3.8 miles then turn right onto US-90 W/W Beach Blvd. Continue on US-90/W Beach Blvd for approximately 2.5 – 3 miles and USM Long Beach will be on your right.
Traveling by car from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to USM Long Beach Campus, take Terminal Drive to I-10E to Gulfport for 8.3 miles then keep left at the fork to continue on I-610E, follow signs for Slidell for 5 miles. Merge onto 1-10 E for a total of 69 miles before taking exit 34A to merge onto US 49 S. Continue on US 49 S for 4.7 miles and turn right onto US-90 W/W Beach Blvd. Continue straight on US-90 W for approximately 2. 5 miles to arrive at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, 730 Beach Blvd E, Long Beach, MS 39560.
Traveling by car from the Mobile Regional Airport to USM Long Beach Campus, head southwest on Airport Blvd toward Terminal Dr then turn left onto Terminal Drive. At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto Grelot Road. Turn right off of Grelot onto Leroy Stevens Road/Old Dawes Road. Follow signs to get on I-10 W from Leroy Stevens Road and follow I-10 W to US 49 S in Gulfport. Take exit 34A from I-10 W to US 49 S. Merge onto US 49 S for 4.7 miles and turn right onto US-90 W/W Beach Blvd. Continue straight on US-90 W for approximately 2. 5 miles to arrive at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, 730 Beach Blvd E, Long Beach, MS 39560.
Distances for Reference
Gulfport-Biloxi Airport to Centennial Plaza Resort – 8.5 miles, approximately 19 minutes
USM Long Beach to Gulfport-Biloxi Airport – 8.2 miles, approximately 18 minutes
USM Long Beach to New Orleans Airport – 85.2 miles, approximately 1 hour & 23 minutes
USM Long Beach to Mobile Airport – 73.6 miles, approximately 1 hour & 17 minutes
USM Long Beach to Centennial Plaza Resort – 6 miles, approximately 13 minutes
Conference attendees will have access to free parking on campus for the duration of the conference. Directional signage will be placed at all three entrances to campus to guide you to the Flemming Education Center (FEC). There is a parking lot conveniently located behind FEC. Below is a link to the campus map for your assistance. No parking pass is needed for your time on campus.