Professional Development and Event Coordination

WSU and Pullman Community

Disability Awareness Symposium: Fitness for All (2020)

As an Access Advisor and the Awareness Coordinator for the Access Center, I am coordinating the 2020 Disability Awareness Symposium. The theme of this year’s symposium is Fitness for All: Inclusive Fitness and Sport. This year, the symposium will be a week long (October 19-23, 2020) and will look at “fitness” from a holistic lens and will include both mental and physical fitness. With help from our partners (University Recreation, GPSA, ASWSU, ADVANCE at WSU, WSU Graduate School, and Outreach and Education) we are expecting to host over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff over the one week period.

We will hold a series of workshops and presentations focused on mindfulness, mental health, physical health, and nutrition. We will also be offering a series of adaptive workout classes at the Chinook center. These adaptive fitness classes will include: yoga, Pink Glove Boxing, cycling, Zumba, Weight lifting, and rock climbing.

We are bringing in Wesley Hamilton as the keynote for this event. Wesley is the Executive Director of the organization, Disabled But Not Really (DBNR). DBNR advocates for the disabled community by raising awareness about Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), promoting mental and physical wellness, and engaging diverse audiences through local and national events. Wesley was also a featured hero on Netflix’s Queer Eye Season 4, episode 2.

Learn more about Wesley by clicking HERE

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Post-Tenure Pathfinders (2019)

Presentation by: Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles, NC State University

This workshop was designed for newly tenured Associate Professors to identify the challenges associated with post-tenure life and to better understand the diverse pathways that faculty members can take after winning tenure. In this workshop, we create a space where newly tenured faculty members can pause and intentionally reflect on future possibilities.

Participants will learned:

  • The most common mistakes new faculty members make in their first post-tenure year
  • The NCFDD process for choosing their post-tenure pathway
  • How to create a new mentoring network and support system to ensure success in the next chapter of their career

PowerPlay Bias Awareness and Intervention Lab (2018)

This event was coordinated by ADVANCE at WSU and the Carson College of Business. We hosted over 150 faculty and staff from all WSU Campus sites.

PowerPlay’s Bias Awareness and Intervention Training Lab is focused on creating a fair and equitable workplace through building awareness of the biases that create obstacles towards that goal. The facilitated, interactive workshop allows participants to identify incidents of bias and then build the ability to address those issues in a positive and constructive way. Interaction involves witnessing brief moments of bias and experimenting with different strategies from the perspective of the bystander by suggesting intervention tactics to actors who then replay the scene. Participants get to play Director and Experimenter from the comfort of their chair. The PowerPlay team can also take “requests” on the spot: our actor-improvisers can examine incidents that are suggested from the audience that may be unique to a participant’s experience in this institution’s climate and culture.

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The Professional Development Initiative (2016-2018)

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) is organized by the WSU Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), and has received support through many partnerships and colleges across campus. This initiative provides a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success. The goal of PDI  is to ensure that all graduate and professional students have the skills, knowledge, and mindsets necessary to succeed both professionally and academically.

Through PDI, students can work on the following core competencies:

  • ACADEMIC  DEVELOPMENT
    • Research/scholarship; Effective teaching strategies; Critical thinking and problem solving; Transferable skills; Academic job strategy
  • CAREER DEVELOPMENT
    • Critical thinking and problem solving; Resumes and Transferable skills; Professional competitiveness; Career strategy; Interviewing and Negotiating
  • COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION
    • Effective communication; Mentoring relationships; Interpersonal understanding; Team-building; Networking; Conflict management
  • LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONALISM
    • Goal and milestone planning; Professional ethics; Leadership styles; Problem solving strategies and solutions; Evaluation and feedback; Applicable presentation skills
  • PERSONAL WELL-BEING
    • Financial planning; Mindfulness and mental health; Relationship management; Physical wellbeing

I was appointed as a graduate assistant through the PDI program from 2016-2018. In this position, I reported to the Interim Dean of the Graduate School with oversight of this Initiative, which is intended to enhance the graduate student training and facilitate a smooth transition into future careers in academia, government, or industry and the private-sector. Through my assistantship, I coordinated and implemented a total of 33 university-wide workshops and events for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters and coordinated 45 university-wide workshops and events for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. We have served over 1,400 graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff.

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Regional Approaches to Women’s Leadership in STEMM Conference (2018)

As the WSU ADVANCE graduate assistant, I was tasked with coordinating many events throughout the year. One of our events was the Regional Approaches to Women’s Leadership in STEMM Conference. We hosted over 100 men and women from Washington State at WSU Spokane.

Increasing numbers of women in STEMM faculty and leadership in higher education is a challenge requiring capacity building and problem solving within and among educational institutions at all levels, involving graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty, and administrations. This regional conference built (1) competence and motivation to pursue leadership roles, and (2) organizational systemic strategies for increasing support to women in STEMM. These goals were accomplished through leadership training, gender in STEMM/academia presentations, and break-out groups aimed at enhancing capacity in grant writing and instruction, specifically addressing early career challenges.

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Wiley Research Exposition (2014-2015)

The Wiley Research Exposition was an initiative started in 2009 by the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). The Expo gave graduate and professional students a chance to share independently developed research projects, along with communicating and networking with alumni.

In 2015, we brought more than 300 graduate students to the CUB to present their research projects to alumni and their peers. During the exposition, $23,600 in scholarships were awarded to students with outstanding research projects. Exposition participants were given the opportunity to meet professionals in their field of study and gain experience with presenting their work.

In 2015, the keynote speaker Eric Nyberg, WSU alum, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. During his presentation, he shared his experience at WSU and spoke of the university’s impact on his career. He has worked for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the past 23 years.

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UTEP and El Paso Community

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Celebrity Spaghetti Dinner (2010)

Founded in 1987, Las Americas is a homegrown non-profit dedicated to serving the legal needs of low income immigrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification. Since the beginning, Las Americas has provided representation to more than 30,000 low-income immigrants in El Paso. Las Americas’ clients come from all over the world, and our staff has helped clients from countries as far as Burma and Cameroon.

In 2010, I served as the event coordinator for the Last Americas Celebrity Waiter Dinner, which hosted over 400 people and raised a total of $16,000 for Las Americas Services.

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UTEP Homecoming Pageant (2008-2009)

As Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) at UTEP, I was tasked with coordinating the Homecoming Pageant. The Homecoming Pageant has been coordinated by SGA for over 25 years.

Homecoming is a tradition centered around bringing alumni and a new generation of students together to build camaraderie and celebrate school spirit. The weeklong festivities include tailgates, a pep rally, and other fun-filled activities that give alumni an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater.

Students take an active role in the Homecoming planning process by coming up with possible themes for the week and then voting on their favorite. The theme is incorporated into some of the events and activities throughout the week.