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StaffCon (annual staff-focused conference)

Staff Council hosted StaffCon2019 on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. More information about the 2020 conference will be released in the Spring 2020 semester.

See the 2019 schedule below:

9:15-10:15am: Registration & Refreshments; Posters & Displays; Resource Tabling (MGC 2 and Marketplace)


Staff Council Professional Clothing Drive:
Donate your clean, gently worn suits, dress shirts, blouses, and other professional clothing items during StaffCon. All items should be clean and on hangers. All items will be donated to A Wider Circle.
All-American Welcome – Move-in Volunteers
Want to welcome incoming students on campus? Of course you do! Stop by to learn about All-American Welcome: First-Year Move-In and sign up to be a Volunteer!
Christina Colasanto (Associate Director, First-Year Experience, Housing & Residence Life)
Human Resources
Learn about new and existing HR trainings, programs, and initiatives.
Danielle Anderson (Sr. Coordinator, Employee Experience, Human Resources)
An Introduction to Assistive Technology
This is an introduction to assistive technology (AT) resources most commonly used by higher education students both in and outside the classroom. Attendees will become familiar with technology designed to support all forms of learning, including reading, writing, and notetaking; many of these technologies are used as accommodations in higher education but can also benefit the general education student. AT software and devices will be displayed for a hands-on learning experience.
Erin Tokajer (Assistive Technology Manager, Academic Support and Access Center)
Tableau Demonstration: Data Analytics and Implications for AU
An interactive display on how to use Tableau Software for faster insights on data.
Elmer Yglesias (Director of Data Analytics & Strategic Enrollment, College of Arts & Sciences, Office of the Dean, CAS Graduate Admissions (GEM))
Lucid BuildingOS: Partnerships between AU Facilities Management & Students
Engineering team utilizes a program called Lucid BuildingOS to track real-time energy use, including electric, heating, and cooling. Lucid is an online platform that creates a visual representation of energy consumption within individual AU buildings. For the past few years, AU’s Energy and Engineering team within the Facilities Management department has partnered with professors in the environmental and sustainability fields to integrate the scope of their courses with practical lessons in energy management. This also includes giving in-class presentations about the use of Lucid, offering tours of mechanical room systems, and using the Lucid dashboard to carry out a residence hall energy savings competition.
Juan Allen (Energy Conservation and Efficiency Manager, Facilities Management)
Courtney Chinn (Utilities Outreach Program Leader, Facilities Management)

10:30-11:30am: Collective Session for Collective Action (MGC 3 & 4)

Staff and faculty work in tandem to achieve the mission, vision, and goals of American University. AU Staff Council Chairperson, Andrew Toczydlowski, will explain how StaffCon came to be and how we as staff play a role in being changemakers for a changing world, and Dean Mary Clark will discuss the important work that faculty are doing to achieve the outcomes of AU’s Strategic Plan.
Andrew Toczydlowski (Chairperson, American University Staff Council)
Mary Clark (Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost)

11:45am-1:00pm AhealthyU Cooking Demo & Lunch: Summer BBQ (The Tavern)

Get cooking with chefs from AU Dining as they demonstrate how to prepare easy dishes using the fresh herbs you receive at the Staff Appreciation Week picnic. Points to AhealthyU Game players ask for your 1 point stamp! NOTE: All StaffCon participants will be sent a separate RSVP link to register for this lunch through AsuccessfulU. Lunch will only be served to those who have registered through Asuccessful U.

1:15-2:15pm Concurrent Breakout Session I (MGC 200, MGC 245, MGC 247, MGC 315, MGC 328)

Understanding and Serving AU’s Growing Population of Online Students:
AU’s population of students in online graduate programs has grown rapidly in recent years. This session will provide an overview of the online student population, some trends in online education’s growth and best practices for serving students who do not come to campus.
Maureen Breslin (Assistant Dean, Online Programs, Kogod School of Business)
Teresa Valais (Instructional Designer, Online Programs, School of Communication)
Creating a Culture of Radical Self-Care and Community: Taking the Masks Off for Ourselves and for our Students:
This session will discuss the importance of radical self-care as a bridge to building authentic relationships and community among staff, colleagues and students, and will further explore barriers to self-care and community building, particularly for those living with multiple marginalized identities. The session will build on the work of Yes! World Jam principles, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, Professor at Bowling Green State University among others.
Yoo-Jin Kang (Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drugs Initiatives, Health Promotion and Advocacy Center)
Supporting Students with Disabilities Across Campus Departments:
When students with disabilities accept an offer of admission to AU, one of their first steps is often registering with the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC). However, as disability can impact every aspect of the student experience, including academics, housing, and participation in campus activities, staff across campus play a role in supporting these students. Through case studies, this session will help attendees develop accessible practices to use in their own roles.
Amanda Kleinman (Disability Access Advisor, Academic Support and Access Center)
Nicole Schoeb (Associate Director of Disability Support, Academic Support and Access Center)
Melissa Stephans (Disability Access Advisor, Academic Support and Access Center)
Anna Whiston (Disability Access Advisor, Academic Support and Access
ABC’s of Career Planning:
Take a minute to think about your career and ask yourself one question. Are you playing checkers or are you playing chess? In checkers, you’re in the moment playing move by move. Chess is a game that you play with the end in mind. It’s a game of strategy. It’s the same with your career. This session focuses on supporting you develop your ability to: describe your career goals and aspirations to anyone at any time and then align your everyday actions to match your goals.
Sabrina-Yvette d’Almeida (Director of Talent Development and Diversity Initiatives, Human Resources)
Revisiting Our Parting Messages
In 2019, AU hosted many great commencement speakers to help send off our graduating students! This session is an opportunity to collectively watch the addresses from Stacey Abrams (SPA) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (CAS) and critically discuss the messages they delivered using AU’s Strategic Plan as a framework. What world did they prepare our students for, and what world are we preparing them for?
Daniel DeHollander (Assistant Director, Career and Professional Development, Kogod School of Business Office of Career Engagement)

2:30-3:30pm Concurrent Breakout Session II (MGC 200, MGC 245, MGC 247, MGC 315, MGC 328)

Building Your Work Tribe:
A group’s dynamic is ever-changing and focusing on what stage your group is in can be a key to a successful program. AURecFit set out to help groups on and off campus with figure out what stage they are in as well as how to play on each member’s strengths to accomplish the tasks and projects of the group. In this presentation, we will go over the different stages of development in groups as well as go through a few of the Team Challenge activities that we offer to groups.
Lauren Kline (Fitness Coordinator, Wellness and Special Events, AU Recreational Sports and Fitness)
From Data to Decisions: Tools and Techniques to activate the data you already have with common and/or (mostly) free software:
We all have more data than we know what to do with, but data is frequently scattered across systems and formats. But by asking good questions and understanding data tools, you can connect data and develop data products to used day to day to make data driven decisions to impact your goals. In this session we will talk about a good data question versus a bad one. We will think about how different sets of data might be connected. We will go through some software that simplifies unifying the data.
Jason Kennedy (Director of Data Analytics, Kogod School of Business)
Alumni Engagement at AU:
The Alumni Association serves more than 128,000 alumni worldwide through local, regional, and international programming. We offer volunteer, networking, and mentoring opportunities as well as a suite of benefits and services. Learn about best practices for alumni engagement and ways to leverage alumni through school/unit activities.
Mina Kato (Assistant Director for Alumni Admissions Volunteers, Office of Development and Alumni Relations at American University)
Amber McClay (Assistant Director for Student-Alumni Engagement, Office of Development and Alumni Relations at American University)
Assertive Communication in the Workplace:
Effective allyship, advocacy, and the expression of legal and informed self-empowerment is vital for students, staff, and faculty to foster tolerant, safe, and equitable workplaces. This interactive workshop will expand on participants’ understanding of legal rights and protections by also introducing social psychology principles of power, conformity, and community. This workshop will also develop participants’ empowerment skills by working in teams to propose strategies for actual workplace scenarios.
Regina Curran (Title IX Program Officer, Office of Campus Life)
Wanda Lucas (Assistant Director, Career and Professional Development, Kogod School of Business Office of Career Engagement)
Caron Martinez (Director, Kogod Center for Business Communication Curriculum, Kogod School of Business)
President's Council on Diversity & Inclusion (PCDI) Listening Session:
In this interactive session, the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI) will lead staff in a brainstorming conversation to begin to map out and prioritize years three to five of the Inclusive Excellence Plan. Drawing on data about the staff experience at AU, this session will focus on developing action items that will enhance staff’s sense of belonging and ability to thrive as valued members of our university community.

3:45-5:00pm Plenary PechaKucha (MGC 3 & 4)

Plans To Prosper You: Reflections of Black Resistance and Resilience in Montgomery County’s Potomac River Valley:
Students in Rasmussen’s Arts Management class collaborated with Library Archives and Special Collections and Adrienne Pine’s Anthropology and Daniel Kerr’s Public History classes to create an exhibition titled Plans To Prosper You: Reflections of Black Resistance and Resilience in Montgomery County’s Potomac River Valley. The exhibition will offer a space of learning and meditation that highlights the Black history of Montgomery County and western Washington, D.C. and pay homage to the communities who championed fights against racial discrimination.
Dr. Jack Rasmussen (Director and Curator, CAS Museum)
From Neither Here Nor There: Straddling Two Worlds:
As a first-generation college student and American, I have had to master the balancing act of both my home life with my academic and professional life. Join me as I share my personal story of mastering code switching on multiple levels and how this is not uncommon for students who share similar identities at AU and how to support them along their post-secondary journeys.
Caroline DeLeon (Assistant Director, First Year Advising)
Claiming our History: AU and the Institution of Slavery:
Around the country, educational institutions have grappled with their relationships to the institution of slavery. What is the relationship of AU and its founders to slavery and how do we honor that past, learn vital lessons for today, and commit ourselves to meaningful action for the future?
Leslie Nellis (Associate Archivist for Digital Initiatives and Records Management, Library Archives and Special Collections)
Understanding “Them:” AU’s Path Towards Gender Inclusion:
What is it like to be a non-binary member of the AU Community? In what ways does AU create an inclusive learning and working environment for gender expansive folks? What are the barriers that we still need to overcome? Join Charley as they recount their personal experiences on this campus to answer these questions and more.
Charley Fogel (Alumni Career Programs Coordinator, Career Center/Development)
Promoting Personal Responsibility (aka Holding Students Accountable):
You spend months planning a program. You are excited to see that 75 students RSVP’ed. Come the day of the program, four actually show up. Now what? This program explores Kogod’s implementation of Professionalism Guidelines and how by holding students accountable, we’re building up our students to be successful during their time at AU and beyond.
Andrew Toczydlowski (Director of Student Development and Services, Kogod School of Business)
Before the Boiling Point: Learning to Engage with Our Students Before They Have to Become Activists:
Student activism is a sign of students reaching their boiling point. An indicator that students feel as though they have no other alternative to getting their needs met. Darien’s lens as a former student activist colors his lens as an educator both in the classroom and in one-on-one conversations. After engaging with Darien’s story, participants will leave with the desire to engage in further conversation to brainstorm ways in which to transform their engagement with students from a reactionary measure to a more proactive collaboration in order to foster a healthier and more holistic learning environment.
Darien Smith (First-Year Advisor and AUx Instructor)

5:00-6:30pm After Hours Social: pizza paradiso

If you would like to request a disability-related accommodation or accessibility information, please email

Through the framework of American University’s Strategic Plan for Excellence: Change Makers for a Changing World, this conference will support staff as a driving force to advance AU. By providing space for unique staff perspectives to be shared and by encouraging multiple presentation methods to engage diverse learning styles, our presenters will “address the issues facing our community and higher education, while building on American University’s legacy of leadership, scholarship, and service, and boldly embracing opportunities for greater impact.”

The abridged version of the StaffCon program.