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Wilfrid Laurier University Human Resources
May 29, 2015
 
 
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! 


Agents of Change

Session Title: Agents of Change: Practical Tips For Initiating Your Own Organizational Development Journey

Session Times:

10:45am-11:45am
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

Like many departments, ICT@Laurier has, over the past several years, experienced significant changes in staffing, structure, leadership, and scope. With the input of staff and the recent appointment of Laurier's first Chief Information Officer, the department continues to evolve. This session is intended to provide attendees with a brief overview of these changes, how they impact the university, and how ICT has begun to utilize Kotter's 8 Steps of Leading Change as a way of building a shared vision of the future and ultimately, departmental cohesiveness in working toward that vision. ICT leadership and staff will provide an overview of what this process has been like for the department, while HR will provide tips on how to identify opportunities for individual growth and group development in your own area.

Facilitators:

Allison Dias began at Laurier in March 2013, working for the AVP: Academic Services as the Project and Administrative Coordinator for ICT, Laurier International, Recruitment and Admissions, and the Registrar’s Office. After various changes in leadership Allison now works exclusively for ICT. Given the various changes she’s experienced in her short time at Laurier, Allison is excited to discuss the important components of guiding change from a staff perspective. Prior to working at Laurier Allison completed her MA in History as part of the Tri-University program at Laurier. She has previously worked in IT, government relations, and research.


Julie Topic spent most of her career working in the IT department of a global chemical company for 24 years in a multi-cultural, multi-location environment before coming to Wilfrid Laurier University. She started as a programmer and worked her way up to become the Director of End User Support. Julie joined Laurier’s ITS department in 2011 as the Director of ICT Support. Her areas of responsibility include day-to-day support of your IT productivity tools, delivery of quality IT Service Management, the Employee and Student Service Desks, Employee and Student Technical Support teams, the Teaching/Computer labs, and classroom technology support for all campuses.

Nela Petkovic joined Laurier in 1995 as a Senior Systems Analyst and has since served in a number of progressively responsible roles, most recently as Coordinating Director: ICT. Prior to this she was the Director of ICT Renewal Projects, responsible for managing large enterprise projects for the University, and implementing project management standards and processes. She holds a Master of Science degree in electronic engineering, is a designated Project Management Professional (PMP®), and has participated in numerous professional development training programs, recently earning the Advanced Executive Certificate in General Management from the Queen’s School of Business Executive Education. Nela assumed the role of CIO at Laurier in December 2015 and now heads an IT department of nearly 70 staff.

 
A Season of Change 1

Session Title: A Season of Change 1: Shift Gears with TravelWise and Bikeshare!

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am

Session Description:

It’s truly a Season of Change. Learn how to kick start your summer with healthy sustainable choices. This session will use interactive presentations and audience participation to showcase the multitude of easy options available to all Laurier Staff and Faculty to inspire change in the way you move. The session will focus on alternative commuting choices, highlighting Laurier’s TravelWise membership options, which includes a carpool database, and the newly installed Bikeshare station at mid-campus drive. Live demonstrations of both programs will be conducted using audience volunteers. We almost forgot to mention that there will be prizes as well!

Facilitators:

Tyler Plante is the Coordinator: Outreach & Programs for the Sustainability Office at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he is responsible for the outreach, education, and development components of the Sustainability Office’s programs and services. Through this role, Tyler works with Laurier affiliates as well as community partners to increase Laurier’s sustainability standing through campaign design and execution, media publications, and staff and student training, within the framework of the strategic vision for sustainability.

Claire Bennett is the Manager of the Sustainability Office at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she is responsible for strategic planning and project and program management spanning sustainable business and facilities operations, capital planning, education, and community partnerships. Through this role, Claire has been an active part of community events and committees and is the current Co-Chair of the ClimateActionWR Leadership committee. Laurier`s sustainability program has been recognized locally and internationally for its innovation and accomplishments.

 
A Season of Change 2

Session Title: A Season of Change 2: Buying local to improve your health and your ‘Food’print!

Session Times:
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

Part 2 of the session focuses on healthy local food options at Laurier and highlights the little-known on-campus micro-urban farm, community garden plots and CSA (community supported agriculture) program. A Food Services’ Chef will be on hand to demonstrate how you can use these local food sources to create delicious recipes – including samples for everyone! Buying local food presents an opportunity for everyone to make significant changes in their lifestyles through simple daily choices that can have a large positive impact on your health, your pocketbook, and OUR environment. Don’t forget…there will be prizes too!

Facilitators:

Tyler Plante is the Coordinator: Outreach & Programs for the Sustainability Office at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he is responsible for the outreach, education, and development components of the Sustainability Office’s programs and services. Through this role, Tyler works with Laurier affiliates as well as community partners to increase Laurier’s sustainability standing through campaign design and execution, media publications, and staff and student training, within the framework of the strategic vision for sustainability.

Claire Bennett is the Manager of the Sustainability Office at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she is responsible for strategic planning and project and program management spanning sustainable business and facilities operations, capital planning, education, and community partnerships. Through this role, Claire has been an active part of community events and committees and is the current Co-Chair of the ClimateActionWR Leadership committee. Laurier`s sustainability program has been recognized locally and internationally for its innovation and accomplishments.

 
Be an agent for change

Session Title: Be an agent for change: how to sell process innovation and be understood

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

Are you sitting at your desk wondering why you’re doing a task you know could be improved but don’t know how to present the need for change?

Are you in a team who is under pressure to deliver more, with the same, or fewer resources?

Process analysis provides an approach to help you to identify opportunities for improvement within your job, your team, or Laurier as a whole, and explain these in ways that anyone can understand

During this interactive workshop participants will learn:
• What 'a process' is
• Why understanding processes is important
• How to document and communicate processes (words and diagrams)
• Techniques for analyzing processes (root cause analysis, impact analysis, measurement)
• Demonstrate where process improvements can be made (current state to future state)
• Tips and tricks for successfully implementing process changes

Facilitators:

Louis Mastorakos
I'm a Business Process Analyst in ICT. After graduating from Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, I worked IT jobs in corrections, video game console support, and real-time computer animation before starting at Laurier in 2009. My current position is right up my alley as I get to help people and departments at the University to make their own work easier through innovative and forward-thinking IT solutions

 
Bringing in the Bystander® Laurier: Changing our Campus Culture

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

Bringing in the Bystander® is an interactive, researched, and evaluated curriculum that encourages the campus community to take an active role in creating a healthy and safe culture at Laurier. Gendered violence happens, in part, because many community social norms support that behaviour. This program shifts the responsibility of preventing gendered violence from an individual problem to a community problem. The program teaches staff to be positive bystanders and how to safely intervene before, during and after an incident of gendered violence. Through in-depth discussion of issues and role-playing, staff come to understand how they play a part in proactively preventing sexual and relationship violence, how they can help survivors get the help and support they need, and how they can contribute to meaningful change by creating a campus climate that reflects a commitment to safety for all.

Facilitators:

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo is the Director in the Diversity and Equity Office at Wilfrid Laurier University. With a mandate to support faculty, staff and students, Dr. Lindo uses her expertise in critical race theory, critical pedagogy and Education more broadly, to encourage long-term commitment to diversity, equity and social justice. Her research interests include exploring humour as pedagogy and, more specifically, calling on humour in educational environments in and outside of traditional classrooms as a starting point for critical interrogations of controversial issues and other hegemonic discourses.

Adria Joel is currently the Project Coordinator of Bringing in the Bystander at Wilfrid Laurier University.  Funding for this project has been provided by the Student Life Levy to the Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) at the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, under the direction of Dr. Ginette Lafrenière. Adria graduated last year from the Master of Social Work program at Wilfrid Laurier University and worked as a Research Assistant on The Change Project, a comprehensive needs assessment of gender-based violence on campus, funded by Status of Women Canada.


 
Changing how you think about online content

Session Time:
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

As part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), by January 1, 2014, large organizations were to ensure that all new public websites and web content conformed with WCAG 2.0 Level A. This means all of us at Laurier will change how we communicate information online, so we can meet the required mandate and be inclusive to all.

Changing how we think about and post our our digital content will not only improve the overall user experience, but will help everyone who will be trained over the next 2 years work efficiently in the new CMS. All content editors will need to be aware of the AODA requirements before using the system and this session will outline the high level things to think about.

This session will cover how AODA affects how we present information on wlu.ca, and what we are required to do, especially when it comes to posting documents online.

Topics that we will cover in this session include understanding the accessible features of the website, building accessible documents, and creating content that is engaging, accessible and suitable for web readers.

Members from Laurier’s web team will cover the four basic principles of web accessibility (POUR principles), explain how to build an accessible PDF from a Microsoft Word template, and run through the university’s new web style guidelines.

Facilitators:

The facilitation of this session will be a partnership between the Diversity & Equity Office and the Web Renewal team.

Diversity & Equity Office - Dana Lavoie, Employment Equity & AODA Officer
In her role, Dana oversees accessibility planning related to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Along with all of her colleagues in the Diversity & Equity Office, Dana strives to help departments and people understand how they are an instrumental part in making Laurier a more inclusive place for everyone.

Web Renewal Team - Erin Steed, User Experience Designer; Mallory O’Brien, Web Content Specialist
The Web Renewal Team is comprised of members from both the Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) teams.
This team spearheaded the launch of the new wlu.ca that launched in October 2014 and continues to work toward the next phases of Laurier’s web ecosystem, with an emphasis on web content and user experience best practices.

 
Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

Many of us have health and fitness goals that we set and never keep. With all the information out there about exercise and nutrition it is normal to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. In this session, we will break down the fads and trends to look at what changes will help us work towards our goals of living a healthier life. Together we will set small, attainable health and fitness goals that will start changing our habits. We will break down wellness goals so the change is slow and focus on how each step will help move us toward our larger goals.

Facilitator:

Jennifer O'Neill is the Coordinator of Recreation Programs in the Department of Athletics and Recreation on the Waterloo campus. She is a certified nutrition coach and fitness instructor and owns her own fitness business. Jennifer has been in the fitness industry for 13 years and can help you implement the change you need to work towards a healthier you.

 
Our Secrets to Hosting Events at Laurier

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

Has your job expanded or changed to include hosting a meeting or event? Do you want to uncover the secrets of Laurier events? This interactive group discussion led by two campus event planners, from the Waterloo and Brantford campuses, will give attendees great tips and tricks to make their next gathering, be it department meeting or award dinner, unforgettable.

As a group we’ll select the type of event that we’d like to host and plan it together. We’ll walk you through budgeting, choosing a venue, selecting the style of catering, flowers, music and clean up. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from experts, as well as peers, how to make hosting less stressful and ensure that both you and your guests are enjoying the event.

Facilitators:

Siobhan Bhagwat is the Event Co-ordinator in Ceremonies & Events who was initially drawn to event planning by her love of lists and desire to work with a variety of people. She further discovered her interest in event planning when she worked at the Kidney Foundation of Canada, where she planned fundraising and volunteer appreciation events. During her time at Laurier, she has organized board meetings, educational sessions, dinners and worked with committees on conferences, award ceremonies and Homecoming events. Currently, she plays a key role in the success of over 30 events per year.

Beth Sanders is the Event & Support Specialist at the Brantford campus in the office of the SEO.  She has over 11 years of event planning experience in both the private and public sectors, and as a small business owner.  Prior to joining Laurier in 2009, Beth spent 6 years working in the American Hockey League planning fundraisers, in game fan experiences, and community relations events.


 
Public Speaking and Leadership: Discovering Laurier Toastmasters

Session Times:
2:10pm-3:10pm

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 inspire a change in the way participants approach public speaking, and develop public speaking and leadership skills in a supportive, collegial, no-pressure environment.

Join our interactive session and experience a Toastmasters meeting first-hand. Hear speeches and reflections from current club members, and maybe even give a short impromptu speech of your own! The session will be structured like a real Toastmasters meeting, with prepared and impromptu speeches, and constructive peer feedback to help speakers inspire change in their presentation skills. The next time you have to speak in front of a group, you’ll appreciate the skills you’ve honed at Laurier Toastmasters!

Facilitator:

Michael Daly and Louis Mastorakos

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.

 
Put Your Emotional Intelligence to Work

Session Title: Put Your Emotional Intelligence to Work - Effectively Adapt Significant Changes and Transition

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

When it comes to dealing with significant changes in the workplace, people tend to focus on adapting to a new organizational process and structure. However, even after people have seemingly settled in the new structure and implemented a new process, they still feel nostalgic about the "good old way" and skeptical about why the change was introduced in the first place. Based on William Bridges' transition theory, people often jump into a "new beginning" stage without  properly "ending"; the emotional letting go.

In this session, the presenter will look beyond the linear process of workplace changes and provide an analysis of the emotional experience of dealing with changes. Specifically, the presenter will shed light on the importance of the emotional intelligence, offer an emotional intelligence self-assessment activity and share strategies on how to apply emotional intelligence in adapting changes and transition.

Facilitator:

Ben Yang, Director, Global Engagement at Laurier International is an immigrant from China. He has not only adapted to a new cultural environment, but also experienced several career transitions and relocations within Canada. Prior to taking on the leadership role in the field of international education, Ben worked as a Career Counsellor at the University of Toronto Career Centre for 6 years. He developed and taught a course on "Managing Change and Transition" at the George Brown College Career Counsellor program in Toronto. 


 
Re-tooling Diversity - the impact of change

Session Times:
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

With increasing diversity in the workplace it is really important to think about what this means. This interactive session will use a combination of  case studies, media clips, and group discussion to explore our experiences with diversity at WLU. What aspects of diversity have an impact on your daily work? What does inclusive culture mean to you? Thinking more deeply about diversity this session will help participants to move beyond reactions and towards becoming an active participant in a climate of understanding and change. 

Facilitators:

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo is the Director in the Diversity and Equity Office at Wilfrid Laurier University. With a mandate to support faculty, staff and students, Dr. Lindo uses her expertise in critical race theory, critical pedagogy and Education more broadly, to encourage long-term commitment to diversity, equity and social justice. Her research interests include exploring humour as pedagogy and, more specifically, calling on humour in educational environments in and outside of traditional classrooms as a starting point for critical interrogations of controversial issues and other hegemonic discourses.

Carrie L. Greig is the acting Education & Inclusion Coordinator, completing a limited-term position within the Diversity & Equity Office (DEO). She works closely with faculty, staff and students to provide specialized trainings and resources related to diversity and equity issues. She directly works with the students of the three DEO Centres: the Rainbow Centre, the Centre for Women and Trans People and the Association of Black Students, and includes providing informal and formal support to programming, training and Executive and Coordinator Teams. Her role also includes supporting four Master of Social Work students who are currently completing placements within the DEO; a new initiative that the DEO will engage in with the Faculty of Social Work. 


 
Tsi Tkahehtakon (In the Garden)

Session Title: Tsi Tkahehtakon (In the Garden) - Brantford's First Medicine Garden

Session Times:
1:00pm-2:00pm
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

3 years ago the  Laurier Brantford's Aboriginal Student Centre started a small Gardening project alongside the Centre.  It was created as an experiential teaching space to bring Haudenosaunee Traditional Teachings of the Natural World to campus.  This project captured the interest of many students, staff and faculty members.  As a result, we  created an Indigenous Studies 4th year Medicine Garden class which now fills up within 5 minutes of opening registration.   An innovative partnership with the Six Nations Tyonnhekhwen Greenhouse & Career Services also lead to the creation of an incredibly popular SOAPworks workshop series.   With recent SIF funding, a promise from the Sustainability office and the Science department we face more innovation and change.  Please join our discussion to learn about how the garden experience changed through innovation and to see if there is a way for you or your department to get involved.

Facilitator:

Bonnie Whitlow is a Mohawk woman, Bear Clan who was born and raised on the Six Nations reserve.  She is a student of traditional onkwehon:we ancestral knowledge.  Bonnie has also dedicated many years to the recovery of her ancestral tongue Mohawk and has been a staunch supporter of many other Haudenosaunee language recovery initiatives.  She received her B.A. in Anthropology from McMaster University in 1996. She has specialized training and experience in Mohawk language education as well as in communications, management skills, finance and accounting, strategic planning and governance and control.

 
The Changing Classroom

Session Title: The Changing Classroom - Empowering Communication Beyond Language

Session Times:
10:45am-11:45am
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description: 

The objective of this session is to examine why miscommunication and misunderstanding happens and how language is only one component of communication for our international and non-Canadian students. We will look at how our interpretations and assumptions about the other person's 'knowing' and language can affect the outcome of interactions and look at how we can mitigate against misunderstandings in the changing classroom environment. The session will have a presentation, an interactive activity, group discussion, and a question and answer period.

Outcomes: After attending the session participants will:

  1. Be aware of training tools such as Socio-cultural Competency Training and theory such as Intercultural Communication which will offer foundational knowledge related to interacting with international and non-Canadian students.
  2. Understand some of the cultural and communication challenges students face and how the Laurier community can work together to recognize these challenges and support students through their cultural and academic transition.
  3. Have had a chance to share their own experiences and hear the experiences of others

Facilitators:

Anna Done Choudhury is the Senior International Student Advisor at Wilfrid Laurier University, since 2009. Anna recently completed her MA at Royal Roads University (Intercultural and International Communications) writing her thesis on the topic of international students and their adaptation to life and studies in Canada.

Anna was formerly a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant, working in private practice for eight years in addition to teaching at Seneca College from 2003 – 2010 as part time faculty in their Immigration Practitioner Program. Anna has worked helping students studying abroad previously in her role as a student liaison in Havana, Cuba in a program that facilitated Canadian students studying at Cuba’s National University for the Arts (ISA). Anna is currently on the CBIE Immigration Advisory Committee. An avid traveller, Anna has been an international student in both Cuba and the UK.

Melissa DiLeo is the International Student Advisor at Wilfrid Laurier University-Brantford, and works to support all in-bound international students including English as a Second Language students, exchange students, and degree-seeking students.  She develops, coordinates, and facilitates settlement and transition programming for international students with the support of her International Peer Mentor team.

With an HonBA from the University of Waterloo, Melissa continues to engage in professional development through a variety of platforms.  She is currently completing UBC’s Certificate in Intercultural Studies, is a member of the Canadian Bureau of International Educators as the Lead for the International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders –Conference Planning Committee, and CBIE’s Annual Conference Advisory Committee.


 
What’s inside your circle of influence?

Session Times:
1:00pm-2:00pm
2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

Thriving during times of change can feel like an overwhelming and insurmountable reality.  Sometimes we are overcome by our feelings of powerlessness in the face of obstacles that we believe are standing in our way.   Borrowing from a model first presented by Stephen R. Covey in his ground-breaking book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you will understand and map out your own sphere of control and influence.  Equally applicable in our personal and working lives, this easily adaptable model will help you to develop a new perspective on challenges you are facing and help you to define your own personal boundaries.

Facilitator:

Jennifer Porritt works as part of a ‘small but mighty’ learning and organizational team in the Human Resources department.  She benefits tremendously from the energy staff bring to workshops she has facilitated at Laurier over the last 5 years and has always found discussing this Covey model generates a lot of great “ah ha” moments for participants.