Schedule

TENTATIVE Schedule at a Glance (Last updated: April 15, 2021)

Wednesday, May 19th 

  • 9:00am-9:40am: Welcome and Logistics
  • 9:45am-10:45am: Educational Sessions
    • Place Matters: Making ordinary spaces extraordinary
      • Presenters: Melissa Thierry and Sophie Gorshenin
      • Description: coming soon...
    • Baking the Supervision Cake: Cultivating the Collective's Recipe for Success
      • Presenters: Rebecca McCrory, David Gaskins, and Krisztina Roder
      • How many of your committee accomplishments go beyond measure? Are your meetings stale and inefficient? Do you want your projects to be more productive and rise as the breadwinner? This session is for YOU! The Supervision Collective is comprised of a diverse group of volunteers from different university departments, but we function as an interactive and contributing team that truly takes the cake. What are the ingredients that made it happen? Honestly, it occurred organically over time and may be difficult to replicate this nearly perfect bake. Just as Julia Child said, “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing,” the Collective has become more cognizant of how it happened and developed a recipe for success. Join members of the Collective as they share insights and give you the baking utensils kneaded to inspire your inner collaborative chef.
    • What We Learned: An Interactive Assessment of Engagement & Marketing Initiatives during COVID
      • Presenters: TJ Pegg  Meghan Davis, Wai Ling Fong
      • This presentation will share the data outcome of an in-person student event organized by the UL Campus Engagement Committee and Patriot Experience. The purpose of this event is twofold. First, to create a safe social distancing event where students can participate in person, and second, to solicit authentic students’ feedback in real-time on their current student experience for future planning purposes. This presentation will also showcase that engaging students on campus can be a collaborative effort within departments. The event had participation from multiple departments within the university from swag donation to volunteering at the event. The data collected from this event will ultimately be shared across departments. The collaboration provided an avenue to meet and re-establish relationships with campus partners after a year of social distancing and provided student perspectives to shape our new normal for a safe and engaging return to campus.
    • The Cost of Care: Examining Compassion Fatigue in Student Affairs Professionals
      • Presenter: Taylor Dilley
      • Student affairs professionals develop empathetic relationships with students and are personally affected by the trauma and problems students bring. We stay late, answer texts from family dinners, and worry about our students well after we go home. Feelings of frustration and even burnout take over. This is called compassion fatigue and we need to talk about it in the student affairs profession. In this session, we will talk about how we experience compassion fatigue, how the pandemic has changed our experience of compassion fatigue, and how we can move toward compassion satisfaction in our work.
    • Non-Traditional to Traditional: Support Mason’s Contemporary Students Through Student Leader Programs
      • Presenters: Joseph Deluna and Shyama Kuver
      • What parts of your mission aim to directly impact contemporary/non-traditional students? What opportunities does your office or unit provide to include these students in your student leader positions and involvement? These are some of many questions to ask and answer yourselves to create inclusive spaces for more than just the “freshmen student.” Join us in this program to reflect, discuss, and takeaway best practices to support contemporary students in your offices as we strive to continue to provide contemporary students a greater sense of belonging and leadership opportunities at Mason.
    • Should mindfulness practices be embedded in the socio-cultural fabric of a university?
      • Presenters: Michael Galvin, Katie Clare, and Kerry Hentges
      • People who practice mindfulness say it fundamentally changes how they experience life, which then becomes the goal. In the first half of this session, participants will learn about the history and teaching of mindful embodiment practices, and that of mindful meditation practices, ideas about whole-self awareness (and beyond) and the benefits of combining body and mind practices. We will discuss how mindfulness of body and mind can be best infused into the curriculum and co-curriculum, the specific benefits to students and educators of a regular practice, and how to facilitate student practice. In the second half of the session, participants will join in a typical guided embodiment meditation and a lightly guided, breath-noting mindfulness meditation practice followed by a debrief. Participants will leave the session with these two practices to take home and into their lives (and work), information about opportunities to practice with others in the university context and out, pathways to sustained learning and exploration, and an opinion as to the role of educators in promoting promising practices to their students and peers.
    • Pivoting During a Pandemic: Leveraging Partnerships to Develop Virtual Learning Communities
      • Presenters: Aysha Pühl and Devon Janes
      • Flexibility and adaptability have always been tools in the student affairs toolkit but never more than during the pandemic. Faced with reduced occupancy, socially distanced halls and engagement, and declining enrollment, Housing and Residence Life pivoted the existing in-person Learning Community model into twenty Virtual Learning Communities in collaboration with every college and several departments. This reflection based session will ask participants to examine core elements of their own programs or initiatives and further explore these elements with lessons learned from our journey. Join us as we share our story and advice from proposal to implementation - guided by best practices, teamwork, project management skills, and a little luck.
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Educational Sessions
    • Feeling the Burn(out): Coming with Virtual Fatigue
      • Presenter: Nour Alamiri
      • In this session, we will discuss various signs and symptoms of virtual fatigue, in addition to coping strategies and tips to stay well in a virtual environment. Resources to support well-being will also be shared during the workshop.
    • A Master Plan for Innovative Co-Curricular Engagement
      • Presenters: Sophie Gorshenin , Lori Cohen-Scher, Melissa Thierry, Aysha Pühl, and Rick Gray
      • Student involvement and engagement outside the classroom is a key component that builds student success. With Mason’s 10-year Master Plan in development, it is time to step back and reconsider models of engaging all student populations across all Mason locations, from first-year residential undergraduates to off-campus upper class students, from veterans to parents, to online, regional, and graduate students. With the soon-to-be-launched HRL Learning Community model along with the 1st Year Experience Curriculum serving as underpinnings for thought around innovative and experiential student engagement, this session will seek to consider how we can learn from experiences and successes with incoming on-campus freshman and leverage tools that can apply toward other student populations.
    • Leading Positive Change: Lessons from TV’s “The Good Place”
      • Presenter: Nicholas Lennon
      • UL’s Strategic Plan (2020-2024) lists 5 core values, one of which is “Leadership for Positive Change.” This value is defined in the following way: “We are committed to cultivating leaders who critically examine and understand the potential impact of their decisions and act ethically.” However, do we all agree on what should count as “Positive Change” and how to get there? NBC’s “The Good Place” is a show in which humans are scored on how ethical they are, in order to determine their place in the afterlife. This session will introduce participants to the 5A’s of positive change using entertaining examples and video clips from “The Good Place.” Are you addressing all 5A’s of positive change? Some of us help students, faculty and/or staff to clearly identify important issues, increasing awareness; some focus on the commitment to make the world a better place, highlighting aspiration; some introduce critical decision-making principles, emphasizing analysis; others concentrate on the importance of follow-through, prioritizing action; and some provide opportunities for reflection and revision, advocating adaptation. How many of us are doing all five effectively? Attend this session to better understand the 5A’s of positive change and how they can re-focus your work.
    • Fostering an Inclusive Environment through Conversations About Identity
      • Presenter: Laura Winkler and Caroline Ramirez-Gaston
      • How does your UL office provide an inclusive environment for all students? Providing an inclusive environment is essential for student engagement and success. In this interactive presentation, we will highlight best practices for creating an inclusive environment for all students within student affairs. We will share new ways that University Career Services is fostering inclusion through supporting the needs of students from historically marginalized identity groups. We will describe identity-based tools and program offerings that facilitate conversations with students about identity including the Cultural Formulation Interview, the Social Identities Handout, and the Real Talk program series. Finally, UL colleagues will exchange ideas regarding methods they have used or plan to use to foster an inclusive environment in their respective offices.
    • Designing Quality Surveys
      • Presenter: Kaitlyn Schmitt
      • As professionals are designing local assessment instruments, it’s important to know how to write good assessment questions – and how poorly designed questions can affect the results of the assessment. Come to this session to learn principles of good question design, common pitfalls of assessment questions, and strategies for designing quality surveys so you can improve your assessments and obtain better data.
    • What we've learned about the student employee experience
      • Presenter: Kristin Leonato and Phil Rippa
      • In August of 2020, Growth, a student talent development initiative at George Mason University, implemented a new assessment tool called SkillSurvey. This tool enables us to measure student employees' career readiness and their development of essential competencies sought after by employers. With data from more than 400 students and hundreds of Mason staff, we have gained valuable insights on the ways we can support a student's professional development, including areas of strengths and areas that need more attention. In this session, we will review the data from the 20-21 academic year, share what we've learned and offer actionable steps to improving the student employee experience.
    • Panel: The Kenobi School of Mentorship
      • Planned by: Kelly Reid and David Gaskins
        • Moderator: Lewis Forrest
        • Panelist #1: Philip Wilkerson
        • Panelist #2: Joe Deluna
        • Panelist #3: Merrissa Vault (Mason Alum)
        • Panelist #4: Chelsea Phipps (non-Mason panelist)
        • Panelist #5: Dana Lopez (non-Mason panelist)
      • Panelists will answer questions about how to find the right mentor for you, how maintain and build mentor/mentee relationships, and mentorship boundaries. Scripted questions will be written in advance with time for audience Q&A. This program will be sponsored by the Supervision Collective
    • Well-being is for Every BODY: Creating an Inclusive Community by Dismantling Diet Culture and Addressing Weight Stigma
      • Presenters: Courtney Diener and Caitlyn Largent
      • Diet culture is a system of beliefs and culture that promotes thinness and weight loss as indicators of ultimate health and oppresses people who don’t match up with this supposed picture of “health.” This presentation will provide an overview of disordered eating, diet culture, weight stigma and its impacts on students, staff, and faculty. This presentation will give you the tools to dismantle diet culture and create a culture that is inclusive of every BODY. During this presentation, we are going to bring in several videos, examples from campus and media, and active exercises to help you dismantle diet culture. We will end with a call to action activity that will give participants the opportunity to commit to one strategy to be a part of dismantling diet culture. Do note, this presentation will mention eating disorders and could be triggering for some.
  • 12:10pm-1:00pm: Keynote Speaker

Thursday, May 20th

  • 9:00am-10:00am Educational Session Block #3
    • Stress and Coping During Times of Uncertainty
      • Presenters: Tory Huesgan and Derek Vigon
      • Stress and Coping During Times of Uncertainty is an educational presentation by Counseling and Psychological Services clinicians focused on understanding the stressors that students at Mason face during times of uncertainty, such as during the current global pandemic. We will review the types of stress students currently face; effects of stress on students; and, techniques for dealing with stress and uncertainty to help students cope and succeed at Mason. We will allow time for a Q&A and discussion of the topic.
    • Doing Projects to a "T": Tips, Tricks and Tools
      • Presenters: Birgit Debeerst, Telli Morris, and Tahisha Mayfield
      • Do you do project-based work but never received any formal project management training? If you answered yes, then this session is for you! Projects don’t always go as planned. According to the Project Management Institute (2020), 44% of projects do not meet their goal and 61% of projects are not on time. Project teams often spend hours planning but still struggle to complete all project deliverables on time. This begs for a deep dive! In this interactive session, participants will discuss common project management challenges at Mason and beyond and identify solutions to improve project success. The presenters will end the session with a few project management tips that can be applied right away.
    • Radical Chats: a Virtual Professional Development Experience
      • Presenters: Meeghan Milette, Julio Diaz, and Amy Snyder
      •  Supervision is one responsibility in our position descriptions that requires time and skill but receives the least amount of training and preparation in our graduate programs and professional development training. A staff member’s supervision experience is a critical component of one’s job satisfaction and staff experience, therefore, more time and resources need to be dedicated to enhancing and improving our staff supervision competency in George Mason University's division of student affairs, University Life. To support this area of development, HRL Staff Development, Engagement, & On-Boarding launched Radical Chats: A Podcast Development Series. Connecting colleagues across positions and departments to learn, reflect, and engage on supervision practices to impact the experiences of their staff. This session will discuss how to take these concepts to translate to finding highly accessible virtual development opportunities for your teams. Attend and get ready to be candid with us about supervision!
    • Sense of Belonging in a Culturally Responsive College Campus
      • Presenters: Chris Lee and Eunkyoung Park
      • Through this session, we aim to advance knowledge of how the campus environment shapes sense of belonging among racially diverse students. An overview of sense of belonging, including defining sense of belonging at Mason will be provided. We will review available measures of sense of belonging at Mason, and examine Mason students’ sense of belonging through various student characteristics. The components of the Culturally Engaging Campus Environment model and the practical implications for promoting efforts to increase sense of belonging will be shared. Lastly, an opportunity for a rich discussion on sense of belonging will take place. The discussion will center on sense of belonging on a diverse college campus, and how student affairs professionals understand sense of belonging in their unique and specific contexts.
    • Rubric-Based Approach: Developing Consistent Selection Processes for Student Learning & Development
      • Presenter: Aysha Pühl, Sasha Toophanie, and Cody Grim
      • The ever-increasing cost of higher education coupled with the desire to increase access has resulted in more and more students seeking employment on campus during their college experience. With the benefits of a robust compensation package and the opportunity for significant personal and professional development, hundreds of students apply to work in Housing & Residence Life every year creating a highly competitive selection process. To prioritize learning and fairness in this competitive process, HRL transitioned to a rubric-based approach to student staff selection. The transition to a rubric-based approach has allowed HRL to center learning and education while maintaining consistency in a complex process that includes over twenty different interviewers and multiple interview rounds. During this session, participants will understand the benefits of a rubric-based approach, review examples of rubrics, reflect on the application of the rubric-based approach to their own work, and practice developing rubrics for their own use.
    • Fostering Equity in Career Readiness for Undergraduate Transfer Students: A STEM Case Study
      • Presenter: Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon
      • “How much do our incoming Mason Science transfer students know about today’s STEM career pathways and how to prepare for them?” This session will explore how Mason’s College of Science addressed this fundamental question of transfer equity and inclusion, leading to the development and launch of the Community of Transfer Researchers (AACTR). AACTR is offered by the Mason Science Office of Academic Affairs, providing an innovative learning community model in response to data confirming equity gaps among our transfer student population in accessing sector-specific career information and experiential learning critical to STEM professional and graduate school attainment. Session attendees will explore the call to action, internal evaluation process and program design, leading to the launch of the Mason Science AACTR program. Participants will delve into the program model and interventions that includes cohort meetings, webinars, and learning community course work, faculty and peer mentoring, and engineered connections to experiential learning opportunities. Review our preliminary outcomes, lessons learned, and our next steps as we continue to strive toward enhancing undergraduate transfer equity and success.
    • Consensual Conversations in the Workplace
      • Presenters: Caitlyn Largent and Courtney Diener
      • We often think about consent in the context of personal and intimate relationships; however, consent is a key facet of communication in everyday life. It is important that we create workplaces, groups, offices, programs, and cultures that center a culture of consent. When we center consent in the workplace and on college campuses, we can build mutual respect, room for boundaries, productivity, and safer communities for all members of our community. A foundation of consent allows our students, staff, and faculty to be more attentive to the needs of our community while balancing our own needs too. This workshop will explore and define consent in the workplace and on our campuses. This workshop will help participants explore how to interact with coworkers, colleagues, our students, and the greater community in a more consensual way. Not only does this pave the way to safer communities for all, but it assists in cultivating better communication and connection to the outcomes of our work. This workshop will also address the barriers to consent practices in higher education do to hierarchical and historical structure and expectations.
    • Zooming in on Virtual Walk In Hours
      • Presenter: Ashley Bus Morgan and Susan Pilley
      • Learn the step-by-step procedure George Mason University's Office of International Programs and Services employs to host Virtual Walk In Hours on Zoom to serve students at different campuses and across the globe. Receive an overview of procedures, strategies for training, and best practices for implementation.
  • 10:15am-11:15am: Educational Session Block #4
    • Disability as Part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      • Presenters: Jenny Early and Lisa Coats
      • Members of the Disability Services team are excited to share time dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Throughout our presentation, we will engage and connect with our participants, identify and explore practices that contribute to an inclusive thriving campus community, and ways to provide equitable access. Our goal within this conversation is to address the different dimensions related to disability and acknowledge the diverse community and their intersecting identities. We will introduce and discuss the social model and the way in which it can support members of the disability community. Mason community members bring multiple identities, and it is critical we examine participation barriers from all angles, including, but not limited to gender, ethnicity, religion, and disability or impairment. Participants will hear about impairment and disability as a critical piece of identity and campus/community resources to support in this practice. We will facilitate an interactive dialogue on ways that our campus community can bring disability into the intersecting identities and diversity conversations and trainings happening as Mason.
    • How we can use self-study to examine our professional identity in student affairs
      • Presenter: Wai Ling Fong
      • As a novice student affairs practitioner, I often wonder about my own professional identity development and career direction in student affairs. Realizing the importance of professional identity in serving as a navigation point to learn about past experiences, and future direction, I decided to examine my own professional identity development. Using a self-study research, I examined how my personal identities intersect and emerge in the development of my professional identity in student affairs. In this presentation, I will share my personal self-study research to understand the development of my professional identity in student affairs. I will discuss what is a self-study research, the concept of identity development in student affairs, and the various methods that one can engage in self-study relating to student affairs. I will present my own self-study method where I used memory work, and personal history analysis to examine my professional identity development in student affairs. This presentation hopes to share examples of how student affairs practitioner can conduct their own self-study to examine their professional identity in student affairs.
    • Scams: Setbacks to Student Success
      • Presenter: Christine Bodziak, Shannon Osborne, and Caitlyn Largent
      • The college years offer many new and exciting opportunities for our students: the first time living away from home, managing their own money, renting an apartment, and applying for a job. Unfortunately, as they learn to navigate these many firsts, vulnerable students are often targeted by scammers who steal their personal information and money. The financial and emotional toll of these scams can adversely impact student success and retention. This workshop will explore how and why scammers target students, the psychology of how sophisticated scams work, and how student affairs professionals can support students who were victims of scams.
    • Incorporating Racial Justice Education into Current Practices with Student Leaders
      • Presenters: Tishieka Snow, Kaitlyn Schmitt, and Jane Arnolds
      • After the murder of George Floyd in June 2020, the Student Involvement office publicly committed to standing up against racism and bigotry. To uphold this commitment, SI created the Racial Justice, Inclusion, and Equity Committee for Student Leadership Development, which fostered racial justice and diversity education for SI student leaders throughout the academic year. In this presentation, we will describe the implementation of monthly diversity education activities, review the benefits of having a group dedicated to this work, and discuss how our successes can be replicated in other offices.
    • Maintaining the Mission: Utilizing a Curricular Approach for Engagement During Turbulent Change
      • Presenters: Nina Berger and Devon Janes
      • In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all had to learn to quickly adapt our work in the face of relentless waves of unprecedented challenges. Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that the need for our work in student affairs to be nimble and adjustable is now more important than ever. George Mason University’s Housing and Residence Life has been utilizing a curricular approach to student learning and engagement for several years. This model has allowed us to connect better to our mission, University Life learning domains, and has provided leverage to navigate the storm of ever-changing pandemic needs to create a supportive and educational experience for our students. A curricular approach asks us to have a core understanding of who we are as departmental units and educators. Through that understanding, a curricular approach provides a wealth of tools for quickly pivoting student learning without losing sight of who we are and what we do. Join us to learn more about the curricular approach to student affairs and how the balance of structure and flexibility within this model can help you succeed in our next unprecedented time!
    • Order Up: A Look Into Student Needs and Institutional Make-Up
      • Presenters: Daylen Orlick, Assistant Director of Family Programs
      • A Big Mac is a staple when it comes to fast food. Its ingredients are craved by millions world wide; no matter where you go in the world you can alter it to your own liking. You’ve probably never thought of how a Big Mac and our institution are alike. In this session, we will discuss a new way of thinking about the make-up of a university or department. This program highlights how the ingredients of a Big Mac are similar to the components and resources of a university, how it can serve as a base for organizational structure, and how these unique ingredients affect the individual student experience.
    • Competency Based Education and Development in a Curricular Approach
      • Presenters: Aysha Pühl and Jacob Jean
      • The ever-changing higher education landscape has provided opportunities for student affairs practitioners to demonstrate the value added of co-curricular experiences to advance student learning and preparation for life beyond higher education. Students’ involvement and participation in leadership, employment, and engagement opportunities facilitates learning outside the classroom and provides transferable skills. Pivoting to a competency-based approach to student staff education and development allows student affairs units to prioritize learning, strategically design skills-based training sessions, and better assess training outcomes for continuous improvement. During this session, participants will learn about the curricular approach to student staff education and how Housing and Residence Life has used this approach to create and implement a competency-based education and development curriculum for student staff. The session will provide resources and assist units in identifying how to apply this approach within their own departments to advance learning outside of the classroom and support the University Life GROWTH student talent development initiative.
  • 11:30am-12:15pm: Panels
  • 12:30pm-1:15pm: Interactive Closing

**Please note, schedule and timing is subject to change