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2016 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

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Exploring Disability: From Access to Inclusion

This workshop will help participants think about disability as both a facet of diversity and identity, and learn effective ally behaviors to challenge discrimination of individuals with disabilities. This presentation will provide an overview of the various attitudes and beliefs that exist regarding disability, specifically through the lenses of the medical and social models of disability. These ideas will be applied to our work at AU and participants will be encouraged to examine their own views when working with students or campus partners with disabilities.

Jennifer Baron Knowles and Meaghan Molineaux
Mentoring Matters

Three years ago, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) created an internal mentorship program for its staff, which built off of the success of Facilities Management's program, which offered shorter-term apprenticeships. OIT's program was designed to supplement existing coaching or mentoring activities between supervisors and their staff members. The program has been a tremendous success and is the inspiration for the first AU wide mentoring program. Mentoring Matters will be conducting a pilot program this summer with the goal of unveiling a campus wide program the fall of 2016. The program will consist of a rich election of programming events, developed with internal and external partners, and will encourage the participants to gather regularly and share their experiences.

Michelle Frederick and Terry Fernandez
Working Smarter and Harder: Physical Activity, Mental Health and Academic Success

Exercise and physical activity have long been associated with increases in physical health. Exercise has also proven to have a significant positive impact on many aspects of mental health, ranging from improvements in memory to decreases in levels of anxiety and depression. This presentation will explore the data that support these claims and offer methods to make positive transformations in your personal life and the lives of the students and staff who you support.

Chris Nasti, Allie Jackson, and Katie Lundberg
Using Student Feedback to Create Customer Service Best Practices

During this session you will learn how the Career Center collects, analyzes, and uses student feedback to create customer service best practices. After the presentation, the participants will share their experiences using student feedback to enhance the student experience on the front-line.

John Nunno
AU Shuttle Operations and Safe Driving

The shuttle operation at American University and our mission. A brief discussion about the Smith System of defensive driving.

Kevin Wyatt
Professional Involvement: Why would I do that?

They say that professional involvement is a great way to engage in your profession, network with other professionals, and to give back to your field. That is all well and good but how do you start? What association is right for you? How do you find the time? This session will attempt to address all of those questions and provide attendees with a chance to discuss the role of professional associations in their career plans. Find out how (and why) you should get involved!

Matthew Le Brasseur
Mindful Eagles: Creating Spaces to be Authentic

Mindfulness, as defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement. Mindfulness is a proven strategy for reducing stress and living a healthy, balanced life. In this presentation, staff and faculty will be provided tools and strategies for bringing mindfulness to their personal and professional lives. Additionally, participants can outwardly apply these practices to support colleagues, students, and/or other members of the greater AU community.

Colin Gerker, Jennifer Baron Knowles and Marianne Norman
Lessons from the Frontline: Supporting student leaders in Social Change/Social Justice work at American University

How can an AU staff member be engaged with student on-campus advocacy in safe and personal ways? Supporting student activism can be overwhelming, fear provoking, and risky. AU staff can support students through acts of solidarity and support by holding the learning space. Student leaders cannot learn with their head down and eyes closed, protest and direct actions are a critical part of the development experience at college. Ultimately students need staff to provide safe and sympathetic environments where students can BE: BE PRESENT, BE SEEN, AND BE LOVED Lessons from the Frontline will introduce AU staff to the 8 factors to create safe learning containers for social solidarity with on-campus student activists in ways that aligns with your job and professional responsibilities.

Calvin Haney
Social Media Ask Me Anything

This session is for social media beginners and inquirers. Join us to ask your burning questions about how different social media platforms function, when to use which platform, and how you might get started or best reach your audience. We will touch on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Yik Yak, Snapchat, Periscope, WhatsApp, Reddit and blogs/microblogs. The presenters will also share the best types of messaging and posts for different platforms. This is truly a chance to ask anything in a non-judgmental space. Come ready with questions or advice to share with fellow attendees trying out social media.

Lisa Boms and Raheem Dawodu
Navigating Social Complexity Using Triangles, Squares, and Circles

The modern academic landscape reveals a social environment of significant complexity. Abstract thinking skills using a visual language of simple geometric shapes can quickly ground human communications in shared understanding, collaboration, and problem solving. This session describes a framework, method, and process for using triangles, squares, and circles to solve a wide variety of problems in everyday experience, in and outside the classroom.

Dr. Arthur Conroy
American University Stories

University Archivist, Susan McElrath, will share a series of vignettes on the history of American University including fun facts, campus traditions, and milestones. Audience participation will be encouraged and time allotted for an extensive Q & A.

Susan McElrath
Practice What You Preach: How to Engage With Social Media

When you work in student affairs, you not only represent yourself but your institution. This presentation will address challenges professionals face in navigating how to "show up in student spaces." How do you role model appropriate social media use without losing your own voice? In addition to discussing effective strategies in social media use, this session will also reflect on the tension between personal views and the brands we represent (i.e. your university or professional organization).

Matt Bruno and Keesha Ceran
Gaining Perspective: An Introduction to Action Learning

This program will introduce participants to action learning principles and methods for the purpose of strengthening the community’s capacity to address complex problems for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Tippi Polo