Professional Development Day 2017 | Webster University

Professional Development Day 2017

The Webster Staff Alliance Board hosted Professional Development Day 2017 on March 14th. Read below to learn about our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Simone Cummings, and the various presentations hosted that year.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Simone Cummings

Webster Staff Alliance is pleased to welcome Dr. Simone Cummings as the 2017 Professional Development Day keynote speaker. 

Dr. Cummings was recently appointed dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University where she currently serves as associate dean for Academic Quality Assurance for the Walker School and associate professor in the Business Department.  She will begin her role as dean in June 2017.

Dr. Cummings joined Webster in 2013 as an associate professor of management, teaching finance and statistics courses in the Master of Health Administration program.  She began her role as associate dean of Academic Quality Assurance at the Walker School in 2015.  Prior to joining the Walker faculty, Dr. Cummings worked for a number of hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Regional Hospital and Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C.  She has also held faculty positions at Simmons College in Boston and Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Cummings has been published in a number of journals including the American Journal on Addictions, the Journal of Health Politics Policy and Law, the Journal of Addiction Medicine, Health Services Research and the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

Cummings has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s in Health Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD in Health Policy and Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

More information regarding Dr. Cummings’ recent appointment as dean can be found in Webster Today.

For her WSA keynote address, Dr. Cummings will speak on her path to leadership and provide practical tips for success within one’s own professional journey.

Presentation Sessions

Happiness is a Skill, Not a Feeling

Presenter: Patrick Stack

Description: Happiness contributes to increase productivity, increased energy, and unlimited optimism.

Enhancing Services to Support Online Learning & Distance Students

Presenter: John Link

Description: Participants will be better informed about the diversity of students in Webster's online community while enhancing resources to better serve those students.

Puzzling Out Communications 

Presenter: Erica Ellard

Description: Participants will experience how difficult communication can be and have the opportunity to reflect on the many ways communication can occur and be misinterpreted.  The experience is designed to help participants think more intentionally about all forms of communication so that they may work to communicate as clearly as possible in all situations and when they are functioning as any piece of the puzzle.  The session will conclude with a brainstorming session focused on practical strategies for improving communication in the workplace.

Active Shooter: Increase Your Chances of Survival

Presenter: Rick Gerger

Description: Participants will learn protocol of responding to an active shooter threat on campus, preparedness measures, and identifying potential threats.

True Colors: Connecting Communication Styles 

Presenter: Phil Storm

Description: Individuals attending the presentation will complete a free communication/personality assessment to better understand their own communication style as well as identify the characteristics of other personality styles.  This understanding allows individuals to better communicate and attain mutually beneficial results.

Building a Unified Career Branding Message 

Presenter: John Link

Description: Participants will learn creative ways to energize their career tool kit.

LinkedIn: Tools, Tips & Tricks

Presenter: Anne Browning

Description: Participants will gain insights on how to maximize the value of a LinkedIn profile and incorporate a strong personal brand.  Ideally this will be workshop based with participants able to work on their own profiles throughout the session.

Being a Prized Piece of the Puzzle: Using Mindfulness and Values to Enhance Your Workday

Presenter: Amanda Kracen

Description: In this workshop, we will briefly review the research about job dissatisfaction, workplace wellness, and resiliency to better understand typical issues in the workplace.  Several evidence-based approaches to enhance motivation and engagement will be offered; specifically, we will focus on mindfulness and values clarification.  Participants will take part in several experiential exercises to practice and deepen their learning.

Tomorrow in Focus: Preparing Your Retirement

Presenter: Melvin Ballenger

Description: In this presentation, participants will explore general guidelines for evaluation of retirement readiness, as well as prepare to save and invest for retirement using budgeting tips and TIAA online tools and support.

Prior Learning Assessment: A Unique Puzzle Piece for Adult Learners

Presenters: Kim Kleinman & Erica Ellard

Description: Participants will learn about exciting options to help adult learners earn credit for what they already know through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). PLA allows adult learners to progress more quickly and with less financial burden through their degrees by offering an opportunity for them to have learning that may have occurred outside of a classroom evaluated by Webster's subject-matter experts-our faculty. PLA is an option available to Webster students and is an initiative on which faculty and staff members have been working during the past year or so. In fact, four members of the Webster community attended a workshop provided by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to learn more, and they now have certificates of mastery in assessing learning for college credit. This presentation will provide information about the PLA options and processes at Webster, how manageable the process truly is, and how it can be used to help Webster students matriculate, persist, and graduate. Webster students may enroll in the online course EDUC1000: Educational Program Analysis to help them build portfolios to document their learning. The course provides them with a meaningful framework for understanding their learning as they take an active role in shaping and presenting it for review.