Professional Development

The committee provides professional development opportunities for the entire division, such as webinars, networking opportunities, and hosting speakers for training and sharing of professional skills and knowledge, as well as recognition of outstanding accomplishments and efforts of Student Affairs staff. 

Examples of events and training include:

  • New Graduate Assistant Orientation
  • Assessment Mini-Conference in conjunction with Campus Labs
  • Annual Awards & Recognition for staff
  • Professional development session facilitated by Dr. Almeda Jacks

Additionally, we encourage professional staff to travel to national, regional and state conferences for the student affairs profession and provide associated funding, where possible.

Each department is represented on the Professional Development Committee. Members, appointed by each department's director, meet monthly to discuss and plan division-wide professional development efforts.

Annual Fall Kickoff Breakfast & Awards Program

We recognize achievements of staff at a kick-off event in the fall when awards for the previous year are presented. Recognition includes Collaboration Award, Service Award, Purple & Gold Award, Innovation Award, Academic Partner Award, and Newcomer Award.


  • Center for Academic Success -- Deborah Layzell
  • First Year Experience -- Kathryn Knaus
  • Office of the Dean of Students -- Campus Life -- Josh Dean
  • Office of the Dean of Students -- Student Advocacy & Accountability -- Tracy Blanchard (Chair)
  • Office of the Vice President -- Emily Burris Hester; Christina Coovert
  • Olinde Career Center -- Kenissa McKay
  • Residential Life -- Renee Richard-Gonce
  • Student Health Center -- Keiron Couret
  • University Recreation -- Jennifer Mills; Julie Faulkner