Session Descriptions

Session 1 – 10:20am-11:20am

Maintaining Personal Well-Being During The Post-Covid Era
Carl Wells

This session will explore the correlations between job satisfaction, personal well-being, and institutional culture. One of the most recognized aspects of employment law is policies, laws, and how institutions remain compliant with federal and state statutes and best practices. This session will illustrate how institutions are evolving to meet the challenges of a post-Covid society and how employees can develop strategies to buffer the impact of institutional culture during a post-Covid era.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Illustrate how institutions are evolving to meet the challenges of a post-covid society.
  2. Outline ways in which employees can develop strategies to buffer the impact of institutional culture during the post-covid era.

The Art of Storytelling
Erik Dominguez

We’ve heard the phrases “Your Story Matters!’ and “Share Your Story!” on repeat. But not many know how to use stories and storytelling to connect with stakeholders. Get ready to engage audiences, connect teams, and create massive breakthroughs in your personal and professional life by learning the art and science of storytelling. 
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Explore the brain-based science of storytelling.
  2. Learn and practice the 6S Storytelling Method to craft stories for any context.
  3. Use tools of storytelling to create a positive company culture.

Basic Excel and Tableau Skills for Data Management
Sebastian Speer

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are big buzzwords these days, but for many of us working with smaller data sets has more day-to-day applications. This presentation will include an overview of excel functions and provide tips and tricks to be successful with spreadsheets. We will then take our data into Tableau to review and explore what Tableau has to offer.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Combine two data sets in Excel using Index/Match
  2. Create a stacked bar graph in Tableau
  3. Define and identify uses for continuous and discreet number selections in Tableau

Engaging Youth & Families Living in Poverty in Educational Experiences
Jennie Hargrove

Understanding the barriers faced by families along with recognizing some myths about those living in poverty will allow professionals to develop a thoughtful plan for providing inclusive experiences. In this session, participants will learn strategies for educational experiences that are accessible for youth and families regardless of their ability to pay and to create welcoming environments. Resources will be presented to strengthen work in providing welcoming environments for all, regardless of financial resources. Attendees will develop a basic understanding of the intersectionality of poverty with other social, racial, ethnic, environmental, cultural, etc. experiences, and how that can create further challenges of engaging with potential program participants.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Define poverty and understand measures prescribed by various governmental or organizational entities.
  2. Implement strategies that create accessible and welcoming environments for all youth and families regardless of their finances.
  3. Define intersectionality and how it impacts their ability as educators to connect with youth and families living in poverty.

Securing your Data and Digital Identity
Andy Almquist and Ciarán Bowe

Practicing cyber security is essential in any role at Iowa State University and safeguarding sensitive data from all types of theft and loss is a responsibility we all share. This session will review best practices for information security while in the office, traveling, or working remotely. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss Iowa State’s overall security infrastructure and policies with the IT Security Team.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Discover best practices for information security while working on campus.
  2. Learn how to perform job duties in a cyber-secure manner while working remotely.
  3. Learn more about Iowa State’s security infrastructure and how you play a role.


Session 2 – 1:10pm-2:10pm

Outlook: Tips and Tricks
Megan Metcalf

Learn how to utilize Outlook to stay organized and maximize productivity. This presentation will review tips and tricks to keep your mailbox clean and your calendar organized. We will build on the beneficial tools that you may already use, discover new functionality, and advance your Outlook skills.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Utilize advanced inbox rules to organize your Outlook mailbox.
  2. Review productivity tools built into Outlook.
  3. Develop ways to better organize and use your Outlook calendar.

Put the Magic in Your Customer Service
Jennifer Schroeder

Based on the book “Lessons from the Mouse” by Dennis Snow, we will look at techniques that put the magic in your interactions with customers. Useful examples not only from the book but from someone who has put those lessons into practice while working at Iowa State.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Reflect on interactions not only with customers but peers in order to provide an exceptional interaction.
  2. Understand how the minor details can have major impacts in the way we interact with our customers, peers and colleagues.
  3. Reframe perceptions of routine customer service interactions in a way that makes each one unique

Connecting to Your Passions and Vision
Kelly Pistilli

What drives you? How do you use your passion in your career? How are your values incorporated into your daily work habits? In this interactive session we will explore hands on activities that allow you to delve into a series of thoughtful questions that can help you to identify your passions, values, and intentions. Attendees will work through exercises, questions, and learn how they could incorporate these tools into their lives, both personally and professionally.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Utilize tools and activities to identify personal and professional passions, values and intentions.
  2. Learn practical ways that professionals can apply these new skills in the workplace.

Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First: Creating Sustainable Practices to Prioritize Wellbeing
Katy Moscoso, Kali Angerman, and Mae McCart

Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. Our team will share the steps we took to develop and implement a variety of wellbeing opportunities for our staff since 2020. We will also discuss how the wellbeing opportunities provided helpful tools, cultivated a caring community, and ultimately made a positive impact on the personal and professional lives of those who participated. Whether you want to establish a sustainable wellbeing program or simply want to learn ways to incorporate small wellbeing practices into your own meetings or trainings, you will leave this session with new ideas and practical tools.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Implement wellbeing activities that were developed for ISU Extension and Outreach Nutrition Program staff in daily routines.
  2. Develop ideas and practical tools that can be used to support a wellness journey.
  3. Locate and utilize the Spend Smart. Eat Smart website and app as a useful tool to enhance wellness goals.

Making Leadership Paradigms Work
Amber Davis and Ruth Appleton

This interactive presentation is a mini-workshop that dives into multiple leadership dimensions. Together the group will discuss goals, successful qualities, and a path forward for leaders at all levels.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Engage in meaningful feedback with leaders, peers, and direct reports.
  2. Turn their identified weaknesses into leadership strengths.
  3. Identify resources that reinforce the seasoned and prepare the aspiring leaders.

Session 3 – 2:30pm-3:30pm

Understanding Innovation
Ana Luz

Innovation is everywhere, but what does it really mean? During this session participants will uncover the process and mindset required for innovation, experience engaging strategies to activate your mind and collaborate with other participants, and build on your innovation capacity. The basic components, skills, and types that make up innovation will also be discussed.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Uncover the mindset required for innovation.
  2. Share fundamentals of the process of innovation.
  3. Apply creative techniques into professional practices

Making a Pitch into a Hit: Persuasive Communication in the Workplace
Rachel McKenny

As university employees, we’re often encouraged to innovate. Once you produce a great idea, though, how do you get your team on board? This presentation will teach you strategies for persuasive speaking and writing to make your ideas as effective as you can in the workplace.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic components of persuasive communication.
  2. Discover the best strategies for oral, visual, and written communication for pitching your ideas.

When Graphs Go Bad
Susan Ray

Graphs are an effective way to grab attention and make a point. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But poor design can lead to graphs that can confuse or outright lie. In this session, we will look at several real-world examples of misleading graphs and how they deceive. Then we’ll cover simple rules to keep in mind when building your own graphs so they don’t become misleading.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize potentially misleading graphs
  2. Employ simple rules for building clear, honest graphs

Navigating Stress in the Workplace
David Brown and Tammy Jacobs

The pandemic has ended; however, self-reported rates of anxiety and depression symptoms have remained. This highly interactive session will review the impact of key workplace stressors and how they relate to burnout and other potential mental health concerns. Attendees will engage in small and large group conversations that focus on workplace changes since the pandemic, including, “What is our workplace new normal?” and how to use wellbeing and resilience strategies in the workplace.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify key work related stressors and how they relate to burnout.
  2. Understand the potential relationship between their work and compassion fatigue.
  3. Recognize and implement at least one key resilience and wellbeing strategy related to their work.

The Art of Giving and Receiving Meaningful Feedback
Brenda Allen

Both giving AND receiving constructive feedback are essential to individual and organizational success. They are critical for healthy relationships and successful programs, yet many share that both are difficult. This session will provide an opportunity to explore and practice what it means to give meaningful feedback and how to accept feedback in healthy ways as well as discuss strategies that make some difficult conversations a little easier.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify strategies to utilize when giving meaningful feedback.
  2. Develop concrete strategies to help process constructive feedback when receiving it.

An International Student & Scholar Journey at ISU: What you need to know and how you can support our international community
Jessica Fincham and Elaine Tan

Please join staff from the International Students and Scholars Office as they walk through the various steps and barriers that our international community face, from the time of receiving their immigration document to the time they depart Iowa State. This session will include an introduction to some commonly used terminology (ex: visa, immigration status, I-20, OPT, DS-160), what all these terms mean and signify for international students, staff, faculty, and their families, as well as a discussion on ways in which you can support the members of our international community.
Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Discover the steps and barriers our international community face.
  2. Develop ideas and practices for how to support members of our international community.
  3. Identify resources to help you to support members of our international community.