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Wilfrid Laurier University Human Resources
September 3, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Breakout Session Information



We invite you to review the exciting breakout sessions Staff Development Day has to offer. Please click on the links below to learn about each session and the facilitator. 

To register for Staff Development Day, please click on registration. Register early to avoid disappointment! 


Alleviate the Stress of Public Speaking: Laurier Toastmasters

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:

Public speaking tops the list of most common fears but it's essential for many of us to develop our public speaking skills to advance in our jobs, and grow in our personal lives. From work presentations to wedding speeches, Toastmasters is an excellent opportunity to develop public speaking and leadership skills in a supportive, collegial, no-pressure environment.

Join our interactive session and experience a Toastmasters meeting first-hand. The session will be structured like a real Toastmasters meeting, with prepared and impromptu speeches, and constructive peer feedback to help speakers improve! The next time you have to speak in front of a group, you'll appreciate the skills you've honed at Laurier Toastmasters!

Facilitator:

Toastmasters is an educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.

Laurier Toastmasters officially chartered in January 2014 by 20 Laurier Staff Members. They meet during the lunch hour on the first and third Wednesday of the month and give prepared speeches, impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.

 
Crash Course in Design Thinking

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:


Research has shown that participating regularly in a creative activity helps you stay mentally alert and physically healthy.  In this hands-on workshop you will be taken through a full design cycle to learn the basic principles of Design Thinking. Design Thinking uses storytelling, empathy and visual arts to develop creativity, community and connection.

This is a fast-paced project where participants pair up to interview each other, identify real needs and develop a solution. No previous design experience required. We’ll provide all the information you need to be successful.

Through this workshop we hope you will see the value of engaging with real people to help you ground your decisions, that low-resolution prototypes are useful to learn from and to bias towards action.

Facilitators:


Denoja Kankesan is the International Programs Assistant at Laurier International. She previously worked as the General book/Faculty relations Coordinator at the Laurier Bookstore. Denoja is currently pursuing a Graphic Design certificate and has a degree in psychology from York University. She actively participates in the OpenIDEO community and is interested in creativity, happiness and design.

Nicole Gerry is the Co-ordinator: Accounting and Financial Training at Laurier, working out of the Financial Resources department. She previously worked in the Laurier Bookstore as a Course Materials Sales Associate. She is currently involved in updating Laurier's policies and procedures on expense reimbursement, and is a member of the SciQuest implementation team. Outside of work, Nicole is beginning to dabble in personal vehicle repair and spends time caring for her blue feathered friends (a quaker parakeet and a parrotlet).

 
Happiness Boosters

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
1:00 to 2:15 PM

Session Description:


The focus of this session is to explore the science of happiness. The session is grounded in a highly practical and scientifically based approach to understanding happiness. Through a research based approach, Meghan will define happiness and identify some strategies you can apply at work and life to boost your happiness and overall vitality.

Facilitator:


Meghan Kirwin
is driven by implementing positive change in her client organizations. With over a decade of senior HR and leadership experience, Meghan blends experience, best practice and business understanding to build innovation solutions for clients that drive performance.

Meghan founded The Kirwin Group over ten years ago and she recently launched a new brand called Vitality at Work. The firm partners with client organizations to provide progressive human resource support in key areas including change management, organizational design, performance development and leadership training and development. She has extensive experience working with leaders as a trainer, facilitator and coach. Her depth of expertise provides a valuable and innovative approach to many organizational issues.

Meghan completed her Masters of Business Administration program specializing in Management and Organizational Behaviour at Wilfrid Laurier University. She also has a Certificate in Positive Psychology form the Wholebeing Institute where she studied under Dr. Tal Ben Shahar from Harvard University.

Brought to you in partnership with Alumni Relations.

 
Hawk This Way: Run/Walk Your Way From the Desk to 5K

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:

Have you ever wanted to start running but weren’t sure where to begin? This 75 minute session will focus on the basics of how to get started and the benefits of incorporating running into your life. Whether you’ve got a marathon on your bucket list or you are just looking for a healthy activity that you can do during the lunch hour, this is the workshop for you! By the end of the workshop, you will know how to work progressively towards a 5K goal while having fun and staying injury-free.

The workshop will start out with an in class-presentation, with the opportunity to ask questions, followed by a 20 minute run/walk tailored to new runners. (The fun run will be weather dependent but those interested in taking part should bring comfortable clothes and running shoes.)

All attendees will be given a 5K training plan, a listing of upcoming local running events, and information on how to participate in the new lunchtime Laurier Run Club.

Facilitators:


Allison Dias is a recreational long distance road runner who hated running until 5 years ago when a friend encouraged her to start doing 5 km after work in the dead of winter. Since then she has completed several 10 km, 30 km and half-marathon races. Last fall she completed her first full 42.2 km marathon and plans to complete another this fall. She is still good friends with the girl who got her hooked and still loves running in the winter. During the day you can find her at 202 Regina working for Tom Buckley in Academic Services.

Sally Heath has spent the past 20 years running and racing distances from 5km-80km. After a few years of pounding pavement, she traded tarmac for trails and now focuses on trail ultramarathons. She's currently training for her first 100km race in October, and when not on the trails, can be found in the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence where she works as the Manager of Academic Program Development and Review. She feels incredibly grateful for the ability to run and is looking forward to sharing the magic of running with others.

 
I Love the Job, It's the People I Can't Stand!

Session Times:

1:00 to 3:40 PM
*Full Afternoon


Session Description:


Conflict exists in every workplace. If left unresolved job satisfaction, performance and personal well-being can be significantly and negatively impacted. Recognizing the situations that have the potential to escalate conflict as well as developing the skill set to address these challenging issues can improve workplace morale, reduce absenteeism and even foster creativity.

This interactive session is designed to allow participants the opportunity to understand conflict styles, and hold difficult conversations with confidence and sustainable outcomes.

Facilitator:


Dawn Ricker
is the Senior Advisor of Dispute Resolution and Support for Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to this appointment she was the Safe Workplace Advocate at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor Ontario. Over the course of 18 months she participated in the creation of a best practice guideline for the Registered Nurses of Ontario. The guideline was designed for Health care providers to use as a resource in dealing with high conflict situations.

Dawn completed Basic and Advanced Mediation training as well as Master Negotiation Training from Harvard University. She is a certified Crucial Conversations, Confrontations, and Accountability Trainer as well as a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Dawn worked with law enforcement as a victim advocate for over a decade. In that capacity she works with survivors of criminal victimization.

 
Organized...Productive...Stress Free!

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
1:00 to 2:15 PM

Session Description:


Paper clutter, hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of unread email messages, and unfinished tasks on a to-do list are often reality of a workplace. They are known to be linked to increased stress and decreased productivity.

Blanka Smetana, an Office Organizing Specialist, will share practical tips on office space organization, creating effective filing systems, and on email and task management.

Register for her presentation to:
•    Find your motivation to get and stay organized
•    Receive practical office organizing and productivity tips
•    Get your own organizing questions answered

Facilitator:


Blanka Smetana
is a Trained Professional Organizer specializing in office organization and productivity. She was born and raised in the Czech Republic where she received her Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering from the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Blanka’s organizing philosophy is to work with your natural learning style and slowly introduce new organizing habits. The goal is not perfection, but rather efficiency and simplicity.

Blanka is a proud member of Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) and currently serves as Chair for the POC Halton-Peel Chapter. She lives in Georgetown with her husband, their two boys, Willem and Albert, and their dog Din.

 
Sneak It In! Fitting Exercise and Healthy Eating Into Your Day

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:


In a perfect world, we'd all have at least an hour a day to devote to our fitness, we'd bring gourmet lunches to work and eat breakfast every morning. But in the real world, 24 hours a day just doesn't seem like nearly enough time to fit in work, school, proper nutrition, fitness and family. Stop stressing! In this interactive workshop, you will learn a sequence of exercises that you can do on a daily basis while at your desk and some tips and tricks to make healthy eating easier. This workshop will leave you feeling stronger, healthier and less guilty!

Note: athletic clothing is not required for this workshop, however comfortable clothing is recommended as a degree of mobility will be required for the exercises.


Facilitator:


Jennifer O'Neill
is the Coordinator of Programs in the Department of Athletics and Recreation. She is also a certified nutrition coach and fitness instructor. She is a mother of two, works multiple jobs and understands how easily nutrition and fitness can become a low priority.

 
The Great West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

Session Times:

1:00 to 2:15 PM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:


During this session you will learn about the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and the Centre’s website, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health. The Centre and its website provide a variety of free public resources including information, strategies, tools and initiatives as well as support for research aimed at improving workplace mental health.  This session will focus on the tools and resources that would be of interest to employees, including ‘Working Through It’, A series of videos designed to speak directly to people struggling with mental health issues. This video series allows you to hear directly from people who have struggled with mental issues, who share their stories of coping, including how they recovered and returned to work successfully.

Facilitator:


Laura Pratt
has worked in the Insurance Industry for over 25 years. The majority of that time has been spent specializing in disability management and organizational health.  Laura’s current role is Practice Leader, Organizational Health. In that capacity, Laura works with many of Great-West Life’s largest clients, identifying and addressing their wellness needs.  She has also developed a team of 8 Organizational health Consultants across Canada, who function in a similar capacity.

Laura has a degree in English from Dalhousie University. She has a Certificate in Human Resources from Fanshawe College, and completed the Canadian Institute of Management (CIM) designation through studies at the University of Western Ontario (Western University).   She has also attained industry designations from the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) and the International Claims Association (ICA).

Brought to you in partnership with Great West Life Assurance Company.

 
The Real Start & End to Your Day: Commuting & Workplace Wellness

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
1:00 to 2:15 PM

Session Description:

Everyone needs to get to and from work. For some of us it’s a tough battle through local traffic, and for others it’s a long haul down the 401. We do this at the start and end of every work day, but do we ever stop to think about the effects our commute can have on us?


This session aims to connect employees with available resources to make their commute easier. It will first discuss how travel to and from work can significantly impact physical and mental health, productivity, and workplace satisfaction. It will then explore options and resources that can turn the frustrations of commuting into a healthy and fun part of the work day.

Learning outcomes for the session include an understanding of:
• Impacts of commuting on health and wellness.
• Opportunities and support for Laurier staff to walk, cycle, take transit, and carpool.
• Strategies and success stories for overcoming common barriers.

The session will explore content relevant for all types of commuters.

Facilitators:


Mat Thijssen
manages the TravelWise program, a commuting network for employers in Waterloo Region.  His role is to work with TravelWise members like Laurier to develop fun and innovative support for increased walking, cycling, transit usage, and carpooling among staff.  He has lived and worked in Waterloo Region his entire life, and is an active transit user and cyclist.

After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University, Sue Dawson worked for close to 15 years in the private sector. Through this work experience she gained valuable knowledge in retail practices, customer service, budget management and business development. Sue returned to Wilfrid Laurier University in 2004 as the Retail Services Manager for WLUSU, in this role she had the opportunity to work closely with the student leaders as a member of the Operations Management Group. In her current role she has the opportunity to interact with various campus departments building both campus relationships and departmental functional knowledge. She was pleased to provide WLU the opportunity to partner with Waterloo Regions’ TravelWise program providing employees with sustainable transportation options and support.  Sue is an active member of the TravelWise working group and an Executive member of the Ontario Campus Parking Association.

Claire Bennett
has years of experience as a sustainability professional in the private, public, non-profit, and consulting sectors. Currently, Claire is the Supervisor of the Sustainability Office at Wilfrid Laurier University and a member of several Regional committees. The Office works to integrate sustainability within overall educational programming and academics, business and facilities operations and capital planning, and community partnerships. Previous to her time in sustainability management, Claire worked for several years in environmental, health and safety before pursuing a Master's in Planning at the University of Waterloo in the area of sustainable urban design and planning. During this time, she was a member of the building committee for UW's Faculty of Environment ENV3 LEED Platinum building in addition to her two year role as a Teaching Assistant in urban design and planning administration and finance.'

 
Unlocking Your Immunity to Change: A New Approach

Session Times:

1:00 to 3:40 PM
*Full Afternoon


Session Description:


What change could you make that would have a significant, positive impact on your work at Laurier? Perhaps you have struggled to make improvements in an area of your work despite your best intentions and efforts, such as delegating, being a better listener/ communicator, or improved time management.

This workshop will walk you through a 4-step process to uncover your personal “immunity to change” and discover what is holding you back. The process has been developed over the past 20 years by two faculty members from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Facilitator:


Catherine Mulvihill
is the Director, Student Experience with the Students’ Union at Laurier. She has worked in the post-secondary environment for 9 years and is committed to both student and staff development. Over the past two years, she has completed facilitator’s workshops focused on the Immunity to Change approach for both individuals and groups. She has her M.Ed. with a specialization in Workplace and Adult Learning, and she recently completed her MBA with a specialization in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.

 
Working Across Cultures: Thrills and Spills

Session Times:

10:30 to 11:45 AM
1:00 to 2:15 PM

Session Description:


As a result of increased diversity amongst Faculty, Staff and Students at Laurier, we are experiencing increased intercultural interactions while at work. While we often embrace and celebrate the cultural diversity in the community, in the workplace we face the challenge of bridging different communication styles, behaviours and ways of thinking.

This session will address the challenges and anxieties we experience working in a multi-cultural environment, provide insight on how culture can influence our values and behavior, and provide resources for more meaningful intercultural interactions.

By increasing your knowledge and understanding of other cultures, you will become more comfortable and confident communicating and working alongside individuals from cultures that are different from your own.

Facilitator
:

Ben Yang
came to Canada as an international student from China and received his MEd degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT). He was appointed as the Director, Global Engagement at Wilfrid Laurier University in Feb 2014. Prior joining Laurier, Ben worked at the University of Toronto and Georgian College. Ben is an instructor at the International Educator Training Program (IETP) Summer Institute at Queen's University and frequently speaks on cross cultural communication. He is the recipient of the 2010 Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) Internationalization Leadership Award.

 
YOUnique

Session Times:

1:00 to 2:15 PM
2:25 to 3:40 PM

Session Description:


What first impression is your image or behaviour saying about you? An Industry Leader in Human Resources, Jane Kilpatrick's 'Red Jelly Moments' Presentation will explore Personal Branding; coaching you to unlock your inner potential through a deeper self- awareness of your uniqueness, attitude, and passion.

Facilitator:


Jane Kilpatrick
is an accomplished and versatile Human Resources Executive possessing a strong connectivity to the business and a track record of partnering with executive leadership teams to elevate business performance. She has over 20 year’s leadership experience in the field of human resources management across a broad array of industrial sectors.

In 2012, Jane was named one of the 25 Top Women Diversity Champions, and was a key note on leveraging your uniqueness.

A professional trained business coach through the Adler Institute, Jane is deeply committed to transforming individuals and organizations to unleash their full potential and enable them to move to a level of performance previously unachievable.


Brought to you in partnership with Alumni Relations.