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Student Affairs holds second annual Professional Development Symposium

The Division of Student Affairs held its second annual Professional Development Symposium featuring keynote speaker Lori Patton Davis of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Wednesday, November 30. Twelve, 50-minute sessions around the theme “Identity consciousness: Honoring difference to impact student success” were held throughout the day, and all divisional staff were invited to attend. The symposium was established to take advantage of and share the significant expertise that exists within the division and support staff personal and professional development goals.

Planning for the event began in the spring, and a committee of six divisional staff members took on the responsibility of making the day happen. Sessions included Stereotype Threat and Racial Battle Fatigue; Friends, Colleagues and Workplace Oppression; Centering Mission Students, Reframing and Referring Campus Services and Student Athletes: One Culture, Dual Identities, among others. All sessions addressed one of the following four subtopics:

·        A held identity and how that identity informs or impacts work

·        A held identity and how it intersects with students

·        A particular student’s or student group’s identity

·        Best practices on how to use identity-consciousness to improve or increase student success

Each year has a different theme related to divisional or university priorities or hot topics. This year, academic advisors and students in the college student development track of the counseling major in the School of Education were also invited to the symposium. In coming years, Student Affairs hopes to expand the symposium and invite others at the university to attend.​