2019 Virginia Network Annual State Conference Breakout Sessions

Concurrent Session I Descriptions

Bridging Town and Gown: Facilitating High Quality Connections
Presenter:  Adria Hoffman, Director of Clinical Practice & Partnerships, School of Education & Human Development, University of Virginia

Every connection matters, yet the ways in which we begin, cultivate, and sustain that connection can yield rather different individual and organizational relationship trajectories. This program draws on work in the fields of positive psychology and organizational behavior to equip participants with tools to facilitate high quality, positive connections. Participants will engage in activities that they can implement to begin building or strengthening connections between their institutions of higher education and the communities in which they exist.

Bringing the Voice of Pride to Your Career Journey
Presenters:  Carolyn Cullen, Talent Planning Manager, University of Virginia; Barbara Higgins, Senior Workforce Consultant, University of Virginia

For women, self-promotion in professional communication may feel uncomfortable and inauthentic. Yet confidence is key for career success related to job searches, leadership communication, and career goals. The voice of pride can help women own their role in project success and team efforts. We will explore how to communicate pride in your role and accomplishments, explain how that voice of pride can convey your value, and discuss how it can help you tell your career story and create future opportunities.

Communicating Across Classification: Leveraging Faculty and Staff Collaboration for Institutional Change
Presenters: Sarah Bogdewiecz, Coordinator, Academic Support Services, Northern Virginia Community College;  Emily Miller, Director, Reading & Writing Center, Northern Virginia Community College; Judy Gomez, Office Manager, Languages & Literature Division, Northern Virginia Community College

We often discuss diverse leadership in terms of gender and race, but how often do we consider diversity of position classifications? Presenters discuss opportunities and challenges associated with staff-led change initiatives in higher education. The panel of student affairs and academic affairs staff members will share experiences leading change initiatives; discuss how and why initiatives succeed, including barriers to success; and suggest how women faculty and staff can work together on mutually beneficial grassroots initiatives in higher education.

Becoming a Great Interviewer
Presenter: Kathleen Lee, Assistant Director, Center for Corporate Education, Virginia Commonwealth University

Hiring decisions play an important role in ensuring equity, access, and advancement. The choices we make about who we hire can make or break vital connections within our teams, institutions, and professions. This session will focus on how to be a good interviewer so the best fit for the team, for the position and for the candidate are ensured. Participants will practice a variety of interview techniques and leave with a toolkit of options to choose from for future hiring.

Replace with Grace
Presenters:  Melissa Lubin, Dean, Outreach and Engagement, James Madison University; Lesa Hanlin, Executive Director, Roanoke Regional Initiatives, Virginia Tech

As women in the academy, lifting up and creating collegial relationships as we move from one institution to another is necessary for our collective success. Consider this: Who did you replace in your current position? Who replaced you in your last? Are you now peers to a former manager? This program will discuss the dynamics of leaving one position for another--all with grace--that honors your predecessor and sets a strong foundation for your future. Panelists will share best practices and lessons learned during these role transitions and help equip participants to reduce the tensions that can surround job place evolution.

Concurrent Session II Descriptions

Who do you think you are? OH YEAH!
Presenter:  DaNika Neblett Robinson, Chief Financial Officer, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Are you able to be authentic in your leadership role? Relationships, coalitions, and alliances ultimately cannot be effective if you are compelled to enter the room as someone else, wearing the mask of others' expectations. This program will discuss intersectionality and authentic leadership as a framework to empower you to remove your mask and transition into the authentic leader your organization needs. An intersectional approach offers an understanding of how race, education, sexuality, ability, age, gender, ethnicity, culture, language, and class, among others, impact your experiences and how you serve as a leader.

Build Supportive Networks: Mapping Connections for Driving Your Future
Presenters:  Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Director & Assistant Professor, The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University; Shabana Shaheen, Research Coordinator, Virginia Commonwealth University

Experiences, insights, and advice of other women provide opportunities to understand evolving perspectives on institutional change. Using highlights from narratives from women of various professional backgrounds, ages, and perspectives about their workplace experiences, we will illustrate how to leverage social capital gained through networks, mentor relationships, and other professional associations to successfully maneuver through one’s profession. Attendees will explore their existing social capital and strategically map their networks to identify gaps and develop strategies for mobilizing needed capital for success.

Don't Settle: Make Team Connections Matter Applying Appreciative Education for Positive Change
Presenter:  Claire Childress, Associate Director, Virginia Tech Career and Professional Development - Virginia Tech

Relationships with staff and colleagues can be so much more than setting up a schedule, taking disciplinary action or planning meetings. In this session, we will review the phases of appreciative education, the origins of this philosophy, and share tips for participants to employ at each phase as they manage and lead supervisees and colleagues. Participants will leave this interactive session with a positive framework to apply to their professional and personal life to help them develop valuable relationships and manage change.

Leading the Way: Crossing Divisional Boundaries to Prepare Tomorrow's LeADERS
Presenters:  Jennifer Grimm, Director of Academic Initiatives, Center for High Impact Practices, Old Dominion University; Beverly Forbes, Interim Director, Career Development Services, Old Dominion University; Megan Mize, Associate Director of ePortfolios & Digital Initiatives, Center for High Impact Practices, Old Dominion University; Tisha Paredes, Assistant Vice President, Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment, Old Dominion University

What are we doing to prepare our students for life after graduation? Female administrators and faculty worked across divisional boundaries to address this question. Building on design thinking principles and research which demonstrates the positive effects of high impact educational practices on underserved students, “LeADERS” was developed. This program exposes students to courses and experiences in the areas of Leadership, ePortfolios, Academic Internships, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Research, and Service Learning. Presenters will share their experiences and strategies in creating and improving the LeADERS program.

Supporting Women in the Trades at UVA
Presenter:  Caitlin Murtaugh, Project Manager, University of Virginia

Women working in the trades (FM) may feel isolated and intimidated, often finding they are the only woman in a shop or zone. To create a more inclusive environment and support women currently working in the trades at University of Virginia we created a Women in the Trades Resource Group. This group allows women to come together in support and help initiate and implement change. The presenter will share programming efforts and outcomes.

Concurrent Session III Descriptions

Virginia Women's Network World Café: Building Connections through Shared Experience
Presenters:  Janette Kenner Muir, Associate Provost, Academic Initiatives & Services, George Mason University; Christine Clark-Talley, Associate Vice President, Office of Alumni Relations, George Mason University

As women leaders in higher education, connections and shared understanding of the challenges we face daily regarding personnel issues, conflict analysis, and work-life balance can help us better cope with those difficulties. Using the "world cafe" methodology, this session provides opportunities for interaction as participants move to different tables to discuss key topics in higher education. Shared experiences and lessons in coping will serve as a foundation for future network creation to manage professional challenges.

Who's Zoomin' Who: Leveraging Technology to Build a Community of Practice for Women Managers
Presenters:  Candice Benjes-Small, Head of Research, The College of William & Mary;  Alyssa Archer, Instruction Librarian, Radford University; Jennifer Whicker, Reference/Instruction Librarian, Radford University

Learn how we used Zoom, a popular web conferencing tool, to build a virtual community of practice for experienced, new, and aspiring female managers in academic libraries across five different academic institutions. We will discuss sample case studies used in our sessions, share reflections from participants focusing on how they’ve grown professionally and enhanced their expertise through the meetings, talk about the relationships that have developed, and describe best practices for creating a management mentoring group.

By Women, For Women
Presenter:  Valerie Cushman, Senior Director of Engagement & Inclusion Initiatives, The College of William & Mary

Women are more likely to be philanthropic, give more, and are involved in 90% of philanthropic decisions. Why is it so hard to change the models in higher education that foster women’s engagement and leadership leading toward greater philanthropy? Presenters will focus on the university-wide underpinnings needed to grow and sustain representation of women on boards and women’s philanthropy. Presenters will share strategies integral to the success of the women’s philanthropy initiative at William & Mary.

Introduction to the Newly Formed UVA Women in Architecture Collective
Presenters:  Amy Eichenberger, Senior Project Manager, Architect, University of Virginia FP&C; Andrea Trimble, Sustainability Director, University of Virginia FM; Phoebe Crisman, Professor, Architecture, Director for Global Environments & Sustainability, University of Virginia

As the need for multi-disciplined teamwork becomes increasingly essential in higher education, the focus on how to do so effectively is critical to creating meaningful connections and greater capacity for innovation. This panel offers an exemplar of such an initiative at the University of Virginia: The Women in Architecture Collective. This panel will share the roles and processes, as well as roadblocks to their successes, providing a potential roadmap for others in creating similar models on their campuses. 


A Conversation with Presidents


​Dr. Irma Becerra, Marymount University


Dr. Kimberly Blosser, Lord Fairfax Community College


Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman, Eastern Mennonite University


Dr. Heather Coltman, Senior Vice President and Provost, James Madison University - Panel Moderator

Ms. Cannie Campbell

Assistant Vice President for Constituent Engagement, James Madison University


Ms. Tisha McCoy-Ntiamoah

Professional Director, Master of Business Administration, James Madison University

Ms. Jean Swartz

Director of Admissions, Shenandoah University

​Closing Session

Dr. Toyia Younger, Vice President for Leadership Development


Every Connection Matters: Leveraging Our Voices for Change

May 31, 2019 - Hotel Madison, Harrisonburg, VA

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2019 Virginia Network Annual State Conference

Presidents' Panel

Luncheon Speaker