Professional Development for CSL Staff

The CSL Professional Development Series provides staff with opportunities to learn about best practices in student affairs and student services, connect with peers and leaders across CSL and the University, and grow and develop professionally. It includes regular programs tailored around topics relevant to our work at the University. These programs, which occur monthly (or more), are open to all staff.

Upcoming Events

The Spring Quarter events are described below. Please RSVP by the deadline listed next to the event (you may fill out this form more than once if you decide to attend additional events).

Afternoon Break for CSL Staff

Thursday, April 7, 2-3 p.m. (please RSVP by Monday, April 4)
Reynolds Club, McCormick-Tribune Lounge
Take an afternoon break and enjoy the opportunity to socialize and get reacquainted with some of your CSL colleagues in person! Coffee and treats will be served.

Undocumented Student Ally Training

Wednesday, April 20, 12-1:30 p.m. (please RSVP by Friday, April 15)
Center for Identity + Inclusion, Community Lounge
Lunch will be provided.
These trainings provide participants with tools and promising practices to support undocumented students. During these 90-minute sessions, participants will gain a better understanding of issues facing undocumented students in higher education, the impact of federal and state policy on access to educational opportunities, and resources available here at UChicago. This session is open to all CSL staff.

Introduction to Anti-Racism

Wednesday, May 11, 12-1:30 p.m. (please RSVP by Friday, May 6)
Center for Identity + Inclusion, Community Lounge
Lunch will be provided.
Our society has spent centuries engaging in (and often avoiding) difficult conversations about race. In this session, we will introduce vocabulary, context, and better practices to help with confronting racism at the individual level and beyond. We will look at systemic racism and inequality from the point of view of marginalized groups and touch on the role white privilege plays in creating a sense of immunity for white people (individuals of European origin), a sharp contrast to the challenges people of color routinely face.

Past Events

Campus Free Expression: A New Roadmap is a recent task force report from the Bipartisan Policy Center that explores the factors that have made free expression a charged issue on campuses. It also outlines the challenges related to free expression that college leaders should address. The session was a discussion on the report as well as the implications for our work in CSL.

Our society has spent centuries engaging in (and often avoiding) difficult conversations about race. In this session, staff introduced vocabulary, context, and better practices to help with confronting racism at the individual level and beyond. Participants looked at systemic racism and inequality from the point of view of marginalized groups and touched on the role white privilege plays in creating a sense of immunity for white people (individuals of European origin), a sharp contrast to the challenges people of color routinely face.

CSL staff toured the new Student Wellness Center.

Through this session, participants learned the warning signs and symptoms of a mental health concern or emotional crisis. The session covered data on student mental health and key campus resources and included interactive discussions to give participants the skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health concern.

As a follow-up to the StrengthsQuest session in March, Casey Talbot, Assistant Director of Student Leadership Development in the Center for Leadership and Involvement, is available to facilitate a retreat-style discussion via Zoom to help you understand your team’s strengths and discover the best ways to work together while working apart. Please contact Casey to organize a session for your team.

CSL leaders discussed the efforts of CSL staff in managing and leading during the remote Spring Quarter. In addition, Health Promotion and Wellness Director Julie Edwards provided tips on practicing self-care during this challenging time.

Participants discussed Educated by Tara Westover.

Participants discussed key takeaways from the LinkedIn course Productivity Tips: Finding Your Productive Mindset, which is available with your CNET login.

Domestic violence hotlines across the country are reporting a surge of incidents during the shelter-in-place. Participants joined Equal Opportunity Programs and CSL as Vickie Sides and Belinda Cortez Vazquez facilitated a dialogue on domestic violence and intimate partner violence in the age of COVID-19.

Presented by: Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Presented by: The Office for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Support

The Office for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Support, inclusive of the Resources for Sexual Violence Programming Center, launched Bringing in the Bystander, a nationally recognized evidence-based and highly interactive program that teaches bystanders a community responsibility approach to safely intervene in situations that involve, or are at risk for, sexual violence. The University has previously offered bystander intervention education as one tool to build community responsibility, awareness, and skills. The Bringing in the Bystander program augments and formalizes those efforts by offering new tools to increase participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about effective responses to sexual misconduct prevention. The program also helps bystanders build transferrable skills to intervene in other concerning situations, including those involving alcohol, drugs, mental health concerns, and other forms of discriminatory harassment.

Facilitated by: Wynton Parker, Police Officer, University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD), and Lynda Daher, Assistant Dean of Students in the University & Associate Director of Student Emergency Response Systems

The University has a robust set of systems and practices that support and care for our students and members of the University community. As staff members, we are part of that support system and may come in contact with students who are emotionally troubled. Drawing on the facilitators’ experience and utilizing best practices, this workshop helps participants to: 

  • Recognize the signs of an emotionally troubled student;
  • Provide guidelines for interacting with a distraught or angry student;
  • Identify and practice effective de-escalation skills for different types of situations;
  • Discuss how the use of the Dean-on-Call program can be helpful in connecting the student to appropriate resources; 
  • Identify when staff may want to involve the UCPD; and
  • Review the scope and role of UCPD.

Facilitated by: Carrie Grogan, Assistant Director, Student Leadership Development, Center for Leadership and Involvement

Generation Z is rapidly replacing Millennials on college campuses. Those born from 1995 through 2010 have different motivations, learning styles, characteristics, skill sets, and social concerns than previous generations. Unlike Millennials, Generation Z students grew up in a recession and are under no illusions about their prospects for employment after college. While skeptical about the cost and value of higher education, they are also entrepreneurial, innovative, and independent learners concerned with effecting social change. Understanding Generation Z's mindset and goals is paramount to supporting, developing, and educating them through higher education.

Generation Z Goes to College showcases findings from an in-depth study of over 1,100 Generation Z college students from 15 vastly different U.S. higher education institutions as well as additional studies from youth, market, and education research related to this generation. Authors Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace provide interpretations, implications, and recommendations for program, process, and curriculum changes that will maximize the educational impact on Generation Z students.

Presented by: Dr. Candance Vogler, David B.  and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College, and Principal Investigator of "Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life," a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation

All of us know what it is like to lead very busy lives, where each work day brings a new list of things to do and deadlines to meet.  What is more rare is to enjoy full lives - lives where the ordinary business of trying to be a decent person, to enjoy some success professionally, and to take some real satisfaction from one day to the next. Enjoying a full life allows for a sense of meaning and occasions for genuine joy.  Dr. Candace Vogler led us in a discussion of the relations between our efforts to be good people, our possibilities for deep happiness, and our prospects for a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.

Dr. Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, and Principal Investigator on "Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life," a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation.  

This professional development opportunity is offered in partnership with the Hyde Park Institute which serves to enhance the role of moral philosophical thinking throughout the University of Chicago community with an eye toward integrating intellectual, professional, and moral development.

Presented by: Amy Chan, Director and Associate Dean of Students in the University; Tempris Daniels, Student Involvement Advisor; Mike Hayes, Assistant Vice President for Student Life; Ravi Randhava, Senior Director for the Center for Identity + Inclusion and Assistant Dean of Students in the University

An overview of the content of the vitally important Campus Life meetings as well as providing a glimpse into the new CSL sponsored signature event, Dear World.

Presented by: Charnessa Warren, Director of Student Disability Services

How does UChicago work to ensure equal access to students with disabilities?  In this session, Charnessa Warren, Director of Student Disability Services, provided an overview of the support services available to students with disabilities, outlined the University’s process for determining reasonable accommodations, and highlighted relevant laws governing accessibility on campuses, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Presented by: Brooke Noonan, Executive Director, UChicagoGRAD Experience, and Mike Tessel, Director of GRAD Career Development

UChicagoGRAD is an office that serves graduate students and postdocs from across all academic units. Their resources range from career exploration and internships, to fellowship advising and writing support, to public speaking training and interview preparation. Participants heard from UChicagoGRAD’s career development staff—the largest grad-/postdoc-dedicated team in the country—about their innovative approach to serving our students.

Facilitated by: Mike Hayes, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, and Sarah Cunningham, Executive Director for Leadership, Involvement and Student Life Centers and Assistant Dean of Students in the University.

Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean—both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates—argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. Free Speech on Campus provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can’t do when dealing with free speech controversies.

Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding dean, distinguished professor of law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine, School of Law. Howard Gillman is chancellor and professor of law, political science, and history, University of California, Irvine.

Presented by: Representatives from the National Immigrant Justice Center

Presented by: Dave Albert, Director of Student Counseling Services

Research shows that a significant percentage of college students have been exposed to traumatic stress during the course of their lives, and many have suffered from PTSD and other trauma-related disorders as a result.  Research also shows that the impact of exposure to traumatic stress can extend well beyond PTSD and may include a wide range of health-risk behaviors and associated negative outcomes.  

During this session, David Albert, Director of Student Counseling Services, reviewed patterns and prevalence of exposure to traumatic stress in early life as well as a look at the impact of such exposure on emerging adults.

Presented by: Meredith Daw, Associate Vice President of Enrollment & Student Advancement and Executive Director of Career Advancement 

Have you ever wondered how UChicago students secure internships and jobs? Did you know that 93% of the Class of 2016 graduated with post-graduation plans in place? What are these plans? How did Career Advancement help these students? How can your department utilize Career Advancement resources to recruit UChicago students as interns and staff?

During this session, Meredith Daw, Associate Vice President of Enrollment & Student Advancement and Executive Director of Career Advancement, provided an overview of Career Advancement – including career advising, pre-professional programs, internship programs, and outcomes data.

Presented by: Julie Edwards, Director of Health Promotion and Wellness

Mindfulness is intentionally paying attention to each moment, being fully engaged in what is happening around you and within you. When you begin to reflect upon all that you have to be grateful for with an attitude of mindfulness, the world may begin to look a bit different.

In this session, Julie Edwards, Director of Health Promotion and Wellness, led participants through mindfulness skills and highlighted how staff can incorporate mindfulness and gratitude in your daily life.

Presented by: Jimmy Brown, Associate Director, Student Leadership Development, Center for Leadership and Involvement

As our student and UChicago community needs are ever evolving, it is critical that leadership development is a shared venture, and not the sole responsibility of one department. This more collaborative understanding of leadership requires staff to cultivate boundary spanning partnerships to build more deep and pervasive cultures of leadership education on campus.
In this extended session, staff learned about the UChicago Leads model and the leadership principles that are included.  Staff also examined how their unit’s current programmatic offerings may connect and complement the UChicago Leads principles and explore the opportunities for additional campus collaborations.

Presented by: Julie Edwards, Director, Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW)

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is active, open attention to the present moment. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness helps you live in the moment so you more fully experience life.

In this session, Julie Edwards shared the basics of mindfulness and meditation practice and ways to incorporate it in your daily life.

Presented by: Trudy Vincent, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations and Matt Greenwald, Assistant Vice President, Office of Federal Relations

In this session, Trudy Vincent and Matt Greenwald provided participants an opportunity to learn about the Office of Federal Relations, which represents the University in national policy discussions that bear on key University activities, including research funding, student aid, and health care. Additionally, she discussed developments at the federal level and initial priorities of the new Administration and Congress, as related to University of Chicago and the broader community.

Presented by: Dave Albert, Director, Student Counseling Service

This presentation/discussion focused on current trends in student mental health and how the Student Counseling Service is working to meet the complex and evolving mental health needs of our students.  Topics covered included: SCS patient demographic characteristics; utilization trends; services currently offered at SCS; and areas of focus for the future.

Presented by: Roberto Gonzales, Assistant Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Assistant Professor Gonzales led a discussion on his book Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, which details the crippling effects of the U.S. immigration system on young undocumented immigrants. Gonzalez’s book is the culmination of a 12-year project following 150 teens and young adults around the Los Angeles area and detailing how their lives are shaped and stunted by their lack of legal status.

Presented by: Richard Mason, Executive Director, UChicago Dining

Did you know that UChicago Dining serves 3 million meals per year and manages 14 locations across campus? During this session, Richard Mason, executive director of UChicago Dining, shared with staff what makes UChicago Dining unique amongst college dining experiences and the pivotal role building community plays into the program.

Presented by: Erin McDermott, Director of Athletics & Recreation

UChicago has been pioneering in intercollegiate athletics throughout the University’s 125 years. Erin McDermott, director of athletics and recreation, led a session on its history, its role in the NCAA, and the philosophy, values and vision that drive its focus and priorities today.

Presented by: Michael Hayes, Assistant Vice President for Student Life

Staff had an opportunity to learn about the history of free expression at UChicago and discuss the recent debate on college campuses, including ours, around free expression. This conversation was an opportunity for staff to further explore UChicago’s commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation, and discuss how our work supports our students and this fundamental value of the University.

Presented by: Dr. James W. Hopper, Teaching Associate in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, and a consultant to the Outpatient Addictions Service of the Cambridge Health Alliance

James W. Hopper, PhD, has conducted research on the neurobiology of trauma, and trains investigators, prosecutors, judges, and higher-education professionals on its implications. He offered his explanation of why people don’t always respond to an attack the way others might expect.

Presented by: David Clark, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Associate Dean in the College, and Sophia Chaknis, Director of College Housing

The College Houses are one of the signatures of a University of Chicago undergraduate education. The Houses provide high-quality living environments for our students to pursue rigorous academic work while simultaneously stimulating their intellectual, social, and emotional growth.

In recent years, the University has taken important steps to continue to improve the student experience, particularly in residential life. College Housing leadership offered context for the recent changes to College Housing, as well as  perspective on the continued investment in physical spaces, development of the resident master program, and integration with the academic experience of students in the College.

Presented by: Chris Nicolas, Campus Labs, Campus Success Consultant

Assessment of student learning outcomes and strategic goals is an important aspect of our practice in higher education. What data are you collecting? How are you collecting that data? What story does your data tell about your students? In this web-based session, consultants from Campus Labs took staff on a tour of Baseline (an online assessment tool available to staff in CSL) and provided insight on how to use assessment to learn about and improve your programs and our students’ experience.

After participating in this session, participants can:

  • Summarize what features/services are available to them in Baseline and through Campus Labs
  • Identify an assessment project they would want to build in Baseline this academic year

Presented by: Daniel Follmer, Deputy Dean and Director of College Admissions

Have you ever wondered about the admissions process for College students at the University of Chicago?  Did you know that for the incoming class of 2020, College Admissions saw a record-high selectivity, admitting only 7.9 percent of applicants?  Who are these incoming students? What do our recruiting efforts and admissions cycle look like? Who develops the quirky essay questions that applicants have to answer? 

During this engaging session, Daniel Follmer, Deputy Dean and Director of College Admissions, provided an overview of the Class of 2020 – including selectivity, diversity, and demographics.

Presented by: Vickie R. Sides, Director of Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention; Shea Wolfe, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students; and Jeremy W. Inabinet, Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs

Violence is gender-based when it is intentionally directed at a person because of his or her gender or when it disproportionally affects people of a certain gender. Common forms of gender-based violence include domestic and dating violence, sexual violence, stalking, and violence based on gender stereotypes.

The issue of gender-based violence is a challenge for colleges and universities across the country, and institutions of higher education are facing increasing pressure to address these issues in a compassionate, competent, and compliant manner. 

Vickie, Belinda, and Jeremy used specific examples to highlight prevention, intervention, and resolution strategies for gender-based violence. This session provided an opportunity for CSL staff to get information, ask questions, and understand the resources in place that address gender-based violence.  

This session covered:

  • Responding to reports of gender-based misconduct 
  • Supporting those that have experienced gender-based misconduct 
  • Educational efforts
  • Formal and informal resolution options at UChicago

As higher education professionals, we juggle myriad projects, struggle to most productively expend the finite resource of time, track and report what we have accomplished, and effectively plan and prioritize what we have yet to accomplish. This recorded session, from the NASPA 2016 Conference, focuses on (mostly free) tools available to help plan, organize projects, and demonstrate progress. Participants operationalized the concept of project management at a macro, micro, and personal level and gain practice, considering how to execute differently scaled projects and curb information overload. 

Presented by: Tamara Felden, Director, Office of International Affairs and Associate Dean of Students in the University

This session was highly interactive and focused on cross-cultural communication skills. With students and scholars from almost 100 countries at the University, many cultural influences come together in pursuit of a wide range of goals: academic success, administrative matters, day-to-day responsibilities, social engagement, maintaining our health and wellness, and much more. We examined how culture influences communication styles, how to think about communication with specific international populations on campus in light of these cultural backgrounds and needs, and how to become more aware as cross-cultural listeners and communicators. Participants came away with an enhanced sense of cross-cultural communication and resources for further reading and study.

Presented by: Dr. Adrienne Keene, Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at Brown University

Traditionally one of the most underrepresented communities on college campuses, Native American and Indigenous students often struggle and advocate for visibility and recognition in academic spaces.
Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) is a Native scholar and the creator of Native Appropriations, a blog discussing cultural appropriation and stereotypes of Native peoples in fashion, film, music, and other forms of pop culture. Keene holds a doctorate in Culture, Communities, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on college access for Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) students and the role of precollege access programs in student success. She has worked closely with a nonprofit called College Horizons, which assists Native students in the college application process, as a participant, alumna, faculty member, and now researcher.

Presented By: Jenna Ralicki, Campus Labs Representative

It is important to consider all aspects of an assessment to collect data that will be truly useful. In this session, we discussed writing and assessing learning outcomes, assessment methods, analyzing data, sharing results, and closing the loop.

Presented by: Xavier Ramey, Senior Assistant Director for Social Innovation and Philanthropy, University Community Service Center

Throughout its history, the University has been a leader in driving social impact, and faculty, students, and staff have played a critical role. From urban planning and public safety initiatives, to remedies for homelessness and hunger, the people of UChicago have successfully navigated the nexus of theory and practice to drive social change.
This event was an opportunity for CSL staff to gain insight into how the University works with students to make a positive difference in our communities, and to gain a framework for thinking about how to engage with students on issues of social justice, advocacy, and community service. 
The University Community Service Center (UCSC) helps students understand how to effectively and ethically contribute to social change. This session exposed staff to the framework used by UCSC as well as best practices in engaging with students on these issues. Xavier Ramey led a discussion detailing the historical social issues that have challenged the City of Chicago, the role the University has played in addressing several of these issues, and how UCSC is changing the way students and the city think about driving social change.

Presented by: Jimmy Brown, Associate Director for Student Leadership Development, Center for Leadership and Involvement

In this session, we used results of the StrengthsQuest online assessment to explore our own strengths, learned how to engage students in a conversation about their strengths, and discussed how we can incorporate StrengthsQuest into the work of our individual departments. The StrengthsQuest instrument provides you the opportunity to discover your natural talents and begin to explore how to build on them to achieve your personal and career goals. Provided by the Gallup Organization, this online assessment identifies your Top 5 talents and then provides examples of how you may be able to build upon those strengths and leverage them to maximize your success. 

The Center for Leadership and Involvement has used the StrengthsQuest instrument as a tool to engage students in a conversation regarding their personal leadership styles and strengths, and has provided a StrengthsQuest access code to every incoming College student.