P&S staff offered on-campus professional development opportunity

Thanks to grant funding, staff members have a professional development opportunity right here on campus. Registration is open for the April 2 conference, which will be held in the Scheman Building. The $50 fee includes morning and afternoon workshop sessions, with lunch.

Organized by the Professional and Scientific Council's professional development committee, the conference theme has been dubbed "Navigating the High Cs: Conference, Community, Coursework, Coaching and Continuing Education." Workshop topics focus on community building, skill development and personal development. Registration is open to P&S and supervisory/confidential staff at Iowa State.

"Our goal was to develop a holistic and sustainable plan that would have lasting impact," said committee chair David Meisinger. "We focused on personal, professional and organizational development and attempted to find means that would potentially benefit every P&S employee in their workplace and in their life."

The conference was made possible by a $25,000 strategic initiatives grant from the office of the senior vice president and provost. The P&S Council was awarded the grant in 2011 through a competitive application process.

What to expect

Workshop presenters include athletics director Jamie Pollard ("Success in Selecting Key Leaders: Building and Promoting a Value-driven Organization"), vice president for extension and outreach Cathann Kress ("How to Thrive and Survive in a Complex Organization") and author Randy Dean ("Taming the Email Beast: 45 Key Strategies for Managing Your Email Overload"). A combined 33 workshops, including some repeated presentations, will be presented in four breakout sessions.

President Steven Leath will open the conference with remarks at 8 a.m. Two workshop sessions are scheduled in the morning (8:45-10 a.m. and 10:15-11:30 a.m.) and afternoon (2-3:15 p.m. and 3:30-4:45 p.m.). Jeff Johnson, president of the ISU Alumni Association, will deliver the keynote speech following lunch.

The newly created "affinity groups" also will meet during the lunch break. P&S Council members will facilitate these learning and service groups that offer staff members "community-building" opportunities among programs, departments and staff.

"I wish I could take more of the credit for this awesome opportunity being presented to P&S employees, but the truth is that so many very talented people have stepped up and taken control of every aspect of this project," Meisinger said. "It has been a joy to work on this development effort because of the kinds of people we have at ISU that are willing to make commitments and do so much in building and implementing this program."

More to come

As outlined on "high Cs" website, the council's professional development committee plans to continue and sustain its professional development initiative with a web-based resource library of training opportunities, online educational and training materials, open forums and workshops. The newly formed affinity groups also are part of future efforts. The groups are open to all P&S staff and conference attendance is not required for participation.

Staff interested in learning more about the initiative can contact the professional development committee.