Professional Development Presentations & Webinars

Enriching the experiences of professional staff through on-campus sessions and seminars is at the forefront of the professional development experience. Past guest speakers to campus include dynamic leaders in the student affairs field such as Dr. George McClellan, Sue Weitz and Margot Stanfield, Dr. Margaret Jablonski, Dr. Larry Roper, and Dr. Kevin Kruger. Additional facilitated sessions focusing on spirituality and student affairs, building cultural competence, hate crime, and performance review training have also been offered.

Supplemental training is provided through webinar topics such as career advising, best practices in customer service, national and federal initiatives, and generational student issues.

Past presentations are available below.

Software & Technology

Microsoft Excel - December 8, 2010

Roberta Dalquist, Manager Accounting Information Systems, lead a session on Microsoft Excel.  Topics covered included:

  • Formulas 

  • Functions 
Auto Fill 
Fill Series 
Auto Calculate 
Moving and copying a worksheet 

  • Splitting a column into Multiple Columns 

  • Sorting Data 

  • Formatting Cells 

  • Format Painter 

  • Inserting and Deleting Columns and Rows 

  • Pivot Tables 

  • Subtotals 
Split Window

Microsoft Access - November 18, 2010

 Karen Giddings, Manager of Enrollment Services Information Systems, lead a session aimed to familiarize staff with Microsoft Access.  Topics include:

  • Creating an Access Database 

  • Creating a table 

  • Importing/Exporting Data 

  • Filtering Data 
  • Creating a Query 
Creating a Report

PowerPoint - March 25, 2010

Travis Pierce, Housing Director and "Prince of PowerPoint", gave a 90 minute presentation on some of the more advanced features of Microsoft PowerPoint 2007.  

Topics covered included:

- Working with Multimedia Objects
- Using Custom Animations and Interactions
- Getting the Most Out of Working with Text and Graphics
- Applying Effective Presentation Design Guidelines
- Creating Templates and Slide Designs

"Discover Discoverer" - October 28, 2009

Karen Giddings, Enrollment Services Information Systems, hosted a "Discover Discoverer" workshop.  Karen covered various topics related to using the reporting tool, and extracting data from Banner.

Technology Day - May 19, 2009

Attendees of Technology Day 2009 learned more about Zimbra, Facebook, and Twitter.


*Zimbra Basics*

System Administration Services staff covered the basics
of the Zimbra collaboration suite for those who are new to Zimbra, or who are not quite
comfortable with how things work. Topics included:
- Benefits and limitations of Zimbra
- Going over the interface
- Common changes that people make
- Basic email and calendar use
- Brief overview of other tools in the Zimbra Collaboration Suite


*The What, Who, Why, How and How Much of Twitter and Facebook*
Brandy Tichonoff, Director of New Media, for a social media bootcamp focused on Twitter and Facebook. The session opened with a discussion of the theory behind Twitter and Facebook, and why we should pay attention. The session focused on how to use social media to increase site traffic, share information and expand the walls of your office or classroom.


*Zimbra - Beyond the Basics*
System Administration Services staff helped explore the advanced features available through Zimbra. The session covered:

- Sharing folders, calendars, documents, and briefcases
- How to proxy other people’s calendars, locations, and resources
- Setting vacation messages
- Personalities, signatures, and filters

"Conquering Microsoft EXCEL!" - March 12, 2009

Travis Howard presented on some of Microsoft Excel's advanced functions and features.  

"Navigate the World of Microsoft Word" - 20 February 2009

Come and learn how to sail through the bountiful waters of Microsoft Word with the weathered and experienced Captain Travis Pierce. This experience will answer all the questions you have about drop down menus, hidden features, and you will even find out if the world is flat!

Zimbra Training - January 8, 2009

Pat Hopp from System Administration Services (SAS), held a Zimbra training session.  The session covered some of Zimbra's more advanced functions and features, and answered the specific questions of the attendees.


"Meeting the Retention Challenge" - October 23, 2010

Dr. Iris Prettypaint, enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe in Montana and descendant of the Crow Nation, was on campus the week of October 20, 2010 for the Native American Speakers' Forum and Spirit of the Harvest Powwow. 

While on campus, Dr. Prettypaint shared her knowledge of improving the retention rates of all students, but particularly of non-traditional students. Her Family Education Model (FEM) is based on principles of empowerment, family support, and resilience and is the first of its kind in higher education.

Professional Development Day 2010 - May 11, 2010

More than thirty-five sessions in topic areas ranging from communication to supervising students and staff were presented during Professional Development Day.

Dr. Janet Walbert, Vice President for Student Affairs at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA joined us for the event.  She presented a session, "Civility-It Is More Than Words", in addition to the keynote address, “The Challenges in our Future – Will YOU be Ready?” given during the conference luncheon. 

 Dr. Walbert has held numerous administrative positions in higher education, including more than 20 years as the Senior Student Affairs Officer at Arcadia (formerly Beaver College) and prior administrative positions in Student Affairs at Lehigh University, LaSalle University and Drexel University.

"Next Generation Education for Next Generation Students" - 28 October 2009

"Millennial" students, those born from 1981-2000 who were the first to come of age in the new millennium, now comprise the large majority of undergraduate students in America today. 

We can never know enough about our students, their generation, and the kinds of educational needs millennial student have (and will have) in our educational system.  This webinar will discuss the place of Millennial students in the evolving American higher education system.  

Topics for this webinar included:
-What do we know about Millennials?
-What are their cognitive and affective educational needs?
-How can they be served through innovative curriculum?
-How can we measure their success in meaningful ways?

"Career Advising in Action: Try It and Apply It" - April 23, 2009

NACADA Facilitators Joanne Damminger and Betsy McCalla-Wriggins lead this 90-minute "workinar" aimed to provide career advising knowledge that can help answer student's career-related questions.  This workinar is an interactive, online workshop event.

Participants in the workinar were presented with invaluable knowledge and the oppotunity to practice new skills, including: 

  • defining career advising
  • explaining the value of career advising in higher education
  • identifying appropriate questions related to career advising with students
  • utilizing concepts of career advising in their daily practice
  • collaborating with colleagues to share ideas and information about enhancing career advising on campus.



Betsy McCalla-Wriggins

Betsy McCalla-Wriggins is former President of NAACADA, and current Director Emeritus of the Career and Academic Planning Center at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. In 1992, Betsy facilitated the creation of Rowan's Career and Academic Planning Center, which continues to provide academic, career advising, and job search strategy advising for all students and alumni.

Betsy publishes and presents nationally on topics related to the Integration of Academic and Career Advising.  She is also the author of "Making Career Advising Integral to Academic Advising".



Joanne Damminger 

As the Director of Student Transition and Leadership Programs at Rowan University, Joanne Damminger's work focuses on designing first-year and sophomore-year experiences to increase student satisfaction, academic success, intentional learning, social adjustment, and retention. Additionally, she directs major events such as Freshman and Transfer Orientations and enjoys teaching in Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.

Joanne presents nationally and internationally on the topics of the first-year experience, creating living/learning communities and helping students to become intentional learners. She is co-author of “Handbook of Career Advising” in addition to her previous publications.

Joanne was named to the Rowan University Wall of Fame for her contributions to academic advising in 2007 and 2008, and she received the Rowan University D.W.S. Hoffner Award for Outstanding Administrator and the Outstanding Greek Advisor Award in 2007.

 Joanne earned her Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership, a Master of Arts Degree in Student Personnel Services and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Rowan University.  

“Making the Grade: What Advisors and Administrators Need to Know to Better Assist Students with Disabilities” - March 26, 2009

Awareness of the needs of college-bound students with disabilities has grown significantly in the past decade. Helping the students make the right choices from among the diverse opportunities available can be a time-consuming and difficult task. The more students, parents, teachers, and academic advisors know about the student’s options, the more likely they will make a successful match.


Kansas State University's Marilyn Kaff, Department of Special Education associate professor, provided information that academic advisors need when working with college students with disabilities. In the presentation, Marilyn discussed:


  • the Americans with Disabilities Act as the basis for providing services and supports for students with disabilities in higher education
  •  strategies for supporting students with disabilities in higher education
  •  techniques for building collaborative relationships with students with disabilities, disability support services and other campus organizations

"Development Squared" - February 16, 2009

Gonzaga University representatives, Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life, and Margot Stanfield, Vice President for University Relations, shared ideas on how to gain funding and resources to benefit the educational experiences of our enrolled students.  Topics covered included:

• Identify funding sources and approaches beyond traditional budget requests and grants
• Create synergy with the Development Office to reach out to benefactors, alums and other engaged community
• Strategize methods for inclusion in capital campaigns and major, high-profile funding drives
• Write sizzling proposals that capture attention and imagination and make your ideas come alive
• Learn to identify potential funders by matching their interests with your projects


Sue Weitz is the Vice President for Student Life at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.
She has served in that capacity for 20+ years, as well as Dean of Students. Sue was honored
by NASPA in 2004 as a “Pillar of the Profession” and awarded the Scott Goodnight
Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean – Region V in 2001 and received the Ignatian
Medal for outstanding achievement in Jesuit Universities in 2000.

Margot Stanfield is the Vice President for University Relations at Gonzaga University, a post she has
held since 1991. Prior to her appointment as Vice President Margot was Director of Planned Giving
and Director of Capital Programs at Gonzaga. She manages a professional staff of 60 in all areas
of annual and planned giving, marketing and public relations and the alumni association. Margot
was honored by JAA (Jesuit Advancement Administrators) in June 2007 with their highest honor, the
J. Barry McGannon Award for outstanding service to Jesuit Higher Education. During her 24 years
at Gonzaga, Margot and her staff have raised over $350 million and the University’s endowment
has increased by more than $125 million.

"What to Say to a Porcupine: Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Customers" - January 28, 2009

Rich Gallagher, nationally-known communications skills author and former help desk manager, gave suggestions on how to deal with your worst customer support situations in his webinar 'What to Say to a Porcupine: Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Customers'.

The webinar covered the following topics:

  •  How to deliver bad news to customers without triggering a confrontation
  •  What to say when someone makes an inappropriate request - instead of just saying "no"
  •  How to defuse rude, angry customers and get them on your side
  •  What to do when a customer's behavior "crosses the line"

Rich Gallagher is a leading national authority on communications skills and workplace culture. His seven nationally-published books include Great Customer Connections (AMACOM, 2006), a worldwide classic on the psychology of customer interaction. His latest book What to Say to a Porcupine (AMACOM, 2008), a business fable collection that brings the fun back into creating excellent customer service, reached the top 20 on's business humor chart in both the US and Europe.

His lengthy management career includes helping to lead a West Coast software startup to become a major NASDAQ firm as its director of customer services, as well as leading another major software call center to near-perfect customer satisfaction ratings and near-zero turnover. Rich's materials have been excerpted in Dale Carnegie training and elsewhere, and he is a veteran of numerous speaking engagements, media appearances and corporate workshops.

"The Amethyst Initiative Debate: Rethinking the Drinking Age" - December 22, 2008

Two presenters who are in support of changing the legal drinking age challenged the perceived success of the current law.  This webinar also addressed research on alcohol related policies (both successful and unsuccessful) designed to cope with underage and problem drinking.

Professional Development Day 2007 - October 22, 2007

Dr. Kevin Kruger joined us for Professional Development Day 2007.  Topics presented included “Blending High Tech with High Touch for enhanced student services”, "Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century: Fostering Diversity and Leadership Development", and "Assessing Student Learning in Student Affairs".  Following these presentations was an open discussion with Dr. Kruger

Dr. Kruger is the Associate Executive Director of National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).  Dr. Kruger has served in a variety of key leadership roles at the University of Maryland and Southern Methodist University.  In addition, he has over 20 years of experience in developing leadership and diversity programs, community building, evaluation of learning outcomes and crisis management in the U.S. higher education system. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious national awards including “2004 Pillar of the Profession” by NASPA and the “Outstanding Research and Publications Awards “ by American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

"Envisioning Higher Education in the 21st Century" - February 23, 2007

Larry Roper, Oregon State University, shared his insight on many topics during his visit here.  He discussed the following topics:


Leadership in Higher Education: Emerging Paradigms in the New Millennium
A look at leadership in higher education today and the future trends likely to impact our world.                                  

Building Partnerships, Building Community: Collaboration as a Critical Best Practice
Discover the value and fundamental reasons why partnerships and collaboration are essential to transformative learning.
Service Innovation for the 21st Century
The new evolution of student service and impact of customer care on our campuses                                    
Critical Conversations & Decisive Dialogue
How to confront tough choices and how to be decisive in these situations to move you and your organization forward.


Larry Roper has served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Professor of Ethnic Studies at Oregon State University since 1995.  He has held numerous positions in student affairs, including Director of Housing; Associate Dean of Students; Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs; and Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.  Larry also teaches courses in Speech Communications, College Student Services Administration, Ethnic Studies, and the Doctoral Program in Community College Leadership.

Dr. Roper is involved in professional associations, including National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and has received numerous awards and designations for his work.  He is also the author of numerous publication in the form of book chapters, journal articles, magazine articles, book reviews and monographs.