Profiles of Student Affairs staff from around the Division
News related to student affairs and services is gathered from original Canadian sources and is posted or summarized here with links to the original source (when available). Occasionally, supplemental material or pviews for Communique will be availble in the NewsWire.
Student Housing Services
Upon being hired, the team of nearly 140 student Residence Life Staff members, are put through a rigorous training program that is aimed at teaching them the required skills to perform the various roles for which their jobs demand. The training period offers a number of opportunities for both personal and professional development, and usually runs between 8-10 days prior to the start of the academic year.
From the moment the staff arrive on campus, they are sent through a conference-style program where they are given the opportunity to learn the skills of; basic and advanced communication, mediation, assertiveness, mentoring, community building, crisis and emergency response, working with students who experience mental health issues and community based programming, just to name a few! The staff are also trained in areas such as ethics and academic integrity as well as the Residence Community Living Standards. They are given the opportunity to learn experientially through the use of mock scenarios that are constructed several times throughout the training period to help them utilize many of their newly acquired skills.
Another large component of the program is the team building and bonding which takes place within the individual residence building staff teams. In the past the group has ventured off to the Ki-Wa Y Camp in Waterloo for a few nights away from campus, to concentrate on some of the subtleties that go along with being part of a tightly knit staff team. At the camp, the staff have the opportunity to participate in high and low ropes activities, aimed at building trust and confidence between team members, as well as many other activities that are targeted towards highlighting and exploring the stages of group development.
Campus partners are also a large part of the training program, with a whole host of service providers on campus being invited to help participate in the training of the staff. In the past, everyone from Counseling Services, the Learning Commons, Program Counselors, the Wellness Centre and the Campus Community Police, and many more, have been a part of the program.
On the whole, the program is jam-packed with opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional learning! While the training period takes place in a short time frame prior to the arrival of students, the staff also receive additional in-service training throughout the academic year, which targets developing and refining the skills that were taught back in the August training period. All in all, the goal of the training offered to the Residence Life Staff is to ensure that they are well equipped to serve the students of our residence system, while offering the opportunity for each individual staff member to develop their own personal and professional skills.
By Kristen Moore
Child Care and Learning Centre
For many people in the community their jobs are such that they go to work and at the end of the day go home without another thought until they have to get up again the next day to do it all again. For the staff and Teachers here at the Childcare Centre that truly is not the case. The dedicated teachers here don’t just have a job, they have a career with a commitment to children and their families and to the students they teach. This commitment to high quality education and care has them searching out and continuously looking for information and ideas as well as attending workshops and conferences as part of their Professional Development. This professional development happens year round in many different aspects and topics depending on the needs and interests present and is a life-long process.
For some, professional development may be reading a textbook, novel or magazine article. For others it may be attending a workshop, conference or evening presentation on various topics. It may include research on the internet, starting a conference…such as the Annual Cooks conference that our very own kitchen manager helped to create and regularly attends. Our Financial administrator continues to learn through online courses taken in the evenings to assist in her job. Our students and teaching assistants learn from Professors and the teachers in the centre, as well as hands-on learning in the classroom. Staff also participate in First Aid and CPR training on a regular basis. These are just some of the ways that staff participate in Professional Development not only for their career but also for Personal Growth.
By Gabriele Polsterer, Child Care Teacher
Ah! Professional Development…in our ever busy lives professional development can feel like an on the job experience, rather than a “time-out” from our work day to polish-up on our skills. That said, perhaps we need to broaden our definition of professional development.
One of the best ways to accomplish developing skills is to share what you know with others and in turn learn from them others experiences. In September 2008, The Wellness Centre hosted the Ontario College Health Association’s (OCHA) Health Educators meetings which took place over one and a half days and brought together Health Educators from across Ontario, with 23 participants in total. Our discussions about what health/wellness programming works and what could be improved was rated to be the number one benefit of the conference as reported on the evaluations under the Professional Development section.
Though there are multiple pieces of literature available discussing best practices in health education/heath promotion, it is beneficial to hear creative ideas from other campuses that may not be captured in the literature. Each campus and its student population is unique however much can be gleaned from each other nonetheless. For example, one issue that is a hot topic on all but a few campuses is the misuse of alcohol (though other drugs continue to be problem for some students). An important factor that deserves mentioning is that not all students misuse it but the portion of students that do at times adversely affect others and the on and off campus community as a whole. Though there is no easy solution, I was proud during the OCHA conference to report that our campus has an Alcohol Safety Committee (a Student Affairs initiative) that brings together representatives from campus bar managers, Hospitality, Campus Police, Residence, Student Llife & Counselling Services, Student Governments and Student Affairs to discuss alchohol safety and education on our campus. This is truly a unique and advantageous approach. Perhaps a new way of looking at professional development then, is not by the number of courses we attend in a year, but how we develop our skills and navigate change through collaboration with others.
By Melanie Bowman, Acting Manager, Wellness
Cooperative Education and Career Services
Professional Development is a priority for Co-operative Education & Career Services staff, not only to improve our professional competence, but so we can improve our programming for U of G students. To this end, our staff actively participate in a number of professional organizations – The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE), the Canadian Association For Co-operative Education (CAFCE), Education at Work Ontario (EWO), the Co-operative Education & Internship Association (CEIA), and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) just to name a few.
Additionally, there is a strong commitment to lifelong learning in our department. Many on staff continue to pursue courses, degrees and certificates to enhance their professional knowledge base, therefore ensuring we are up-to-date on industry trends and best practices in our field. Not only do we share this information with one another, but staff across campus. CECS is often called upon by other departments to develop programming around career planning as a means of enhancing their staff’s professional development. The same holds true with regards to student professional development. Most recently, CECS has become a member of the Graduate Student Learning Initiatives - GSLI – whose mandate is to:
• share information among service providers
• promote existing services jointly and
• collaborate in the development of new services to meet the needs of graduate students as learners
Currently, the GSLI is working with Student Affairs to pilot an ePortfolio with graduate students across campus. The ePortfolio is a new initiative within SA that will allow students to upload academic, employment and reflective pieces of their work and share this information with whomever they choose.
The members of GSLI have developed a series of workshops to aid graduate students going through the pilot project; an introduction to the site, using the ePortfolio for reflective learning, using it from a career development perspective and finally an idea ‘swap’ workshop. CECS is being charged with developing the workshop on the career perspective. At the end of the pilot, students will be ableto evaluate the success and offer suggestions and further ideas prior to the ePortfolio being launched to the entire U of G student population.
By Catherine O'Brien, Marketing Manager
Student Life and Counselling
What does Barack Obama have to do with Professional Development?
By Robert Routledge
It seems that every publication I’ve read recently, from the New York Times to Sports Illustrated, contains at least one article on the impact of the new American President. I believe that makes it almost a legal responsibility to include some of my thoughts on lessons I learned while working on his campaign, and how that may affect us here in Student Life!
The first thing I noticed about this campaign, even before I joined, is how it engaged people. Anywhere you saw pictures of him, anytime you heard a story, he was surrounded by people. When I went to Wisconsin, as a volunteer for my first week on the campaign, it was amazing to watch how he had ingrained himself in the day to day life of average people: how commuters, people in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, or wherever would subconsciously move conversations towards the election and the impact he was having. And none of this is to describe the thousands of people that showed up at the rallies of his I attended! The barn in South Dakota where he took his first significant jabs at John McCain, the speech he gave at 11pm in an arena in Pittsburgh the night before the primary (when he knew he was going to lose), or when he filled Cricket Arena in Charlotte on our way to a landslide victory. These events would generate so much excitement that literally hundreds of volunteers would swamp our offices, testing the various field staff in their capability to organize people.
I think the most important question I asked about this phenomenon was “why?." What was it about this guy that would get Joanne, a single mom in North Carolina who had never been involved in anything, so excited about the campaign that she would start to cry when she described the impact that campaign staff had on her life. Why were so many people who had never been inspired or motivated before so eager to go out knocking on doors day after day after day? I don’t know that I’m a smart enough guy to have all the answers, but I think it has something to do with the way Barack lived his ideal of Hope.
I’ve heard many leaders talk about hope, and see people not engage with them. The way that President Obama seemed to let this ideal pore through him was different. He actually treated his opponents with respect, all the time. His way of talking about poverty, despair and people living through hard times showed that he had been there, he had shared that experience and connected with them. His belief that through shared sacrifice and effort we can make the world a better place was evident every time he was on a conference call, reminding us about “the fierce urgency of now." His way of never merely patting us on the back and saying "good job" but always pairing that with “now double down and work twice as hard."
The lessons in his optimism, the way he communicates, and his authenticity are lessons I attempt to apply to my style of leadership here. I look forward to seeing if this makes an impact with the students here at the University of Guelph!
Calls for nominations
Marilyn Langlois Student Affairs Staff Recognition Award
The Office of Student Affairs would like to recognize individuals working in Student Affairs who provide exceptional service to students, faculty, staff and others in the University community. Nominees should demonstrate excellence in areas such as: service, job knowledge, commitment to teamwork and inter-departmental cooperation. The Selection Committee will consider information provided in the nominating letter as well as any letters of support. The nomination package must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday March 28, 2008 to Laura Gatto, Office of Student Affairs, Executive Suite, UC Level 4.
Student Affairs PD Working Group - update
The PD Working Group hosted a Seasonal Party for the Division of Student Affairs. We had a great turn out and great food. People had the opportunity to visit with collegues from other departments and celebrate the end of 2008. Thanks to all that attended.
Did you know?
In 1964, Students observed a new University rule that forbade painting the cannon for 11 months until October 1964.
Now, the U of G community, staff, students, faculty and alumni are invited to paint the cannon during the late night and early morning hours. The paint chips from the cannon have been used to make earrings and other keepsakes.
On the Horizon
Movers, Shakers and Newsmakers
Lynne Skilton-Hayes, our fitness centre coordinator in the Department of Athletics has been chosen to present once again at the international fitness conference called IDEA in 2009. She will be in California in August to demonstrate her skills. She has also been selected as on of 3 Canadian presentors to do a session called 3 Canadians and a step. This is indeed a wonderful achievement and we congratulate her.
Student Life Staff have engaged in a range of exciting professional development opportunities in the past year: attending and presenting at CACUSS in Newfoundland in June, soaking up information at a Community Service Learning conference in Georgia, and networking at the “Bringing Communities Together” Town and Gown conference in May, to name a few. We also make an ongoing effort to share with each other strategies and resources around student mentorship, engaging broader communities, and finding effective methods for encouraging critical reflection with students.
One of our senior peers in the Wellness Centre, Olga Malinowska won the Stepahine Wilken Volunteer Award this year!
The Child Care and Learning Centre reports that the New College of E.C.E. has opened. The College of ECE is a professional self-regulatory body formed to protect the public interest and focused on quality and standards in the practice of Early Childhood Education. Registration is mandatory for persons “who wish to refer to themselves as Early Childhood Educators (ECE) and persons working in the field of early childhood education”. All primary staff working with children at the Child Care and Learning Centre will be registered with the college. Some are already registered.
The Child Care Centre, with help of Martha Gay will soon be working on plans for this years’ plots for the organic garden. The children will be involved in the decision making process of what they would like to plan and later harvest from their garden.
Facilities and Desk Services have hired a NEW Porter - Sonny Finoro. Sonny has been on campus for almost 3 years working for Custodial Services, and has decided to make a change and join Student Housing. We are very glad and want to wish him a warm welcome. Sonny will be working the midnight shift at the Lennox-Addington Residence desk. According to Sonny, "It sure beats cleaning toilets!" Welcome to the team Sonny.
Student Housing would like to welcome Amir Solowiejczyk as the new Residence Life Manager for Johnston and Mills Halls. Amir was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, Israel and recently graduated from University of Western Ontario in Management and Organizational Studies. He has lived and worked in residence at Western as an R.A., Don, and Desk Clerk, and as an Enforcement Officer. Please join us in welcoming Amir to our Student Affairs team.
the departure gate
CCLC Director Retires After 20 Years
Judy Callahan is the founding director of the Child Care and Learning Centre (CCLC) and its only director to date.
She has had a long relationship with the University of Guelph which began when she completed her undergraduate and masters degrees in Child Studies in 1975 and 1979 respectively. In 1987 Judy was hired as the Child Care Consultant to the President’s Advisory Committee on Child Care. When funding was secured to build the centre, she was involved in the physical design of the centre and was then hired as its first director in 1989. The CCLC became the child development laboratory school for the department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition (FRAN) in 1996 at which time Judy was appointed as an Adjunct Faculty member in FRAN and was involved in undergraduate teaching, observation and research. Judy has been a passionate advocate for high quality early learning and care as well as teacher training which have resulted in the CCLC having a strong reputation locally, provincially and nationally.
Judy has often been heard to say she has had the best career possible. What other job would allow the Director to wear pajamas to work, have really, really, crazy hair days not to mention celebrating the birthdays of 130 children every year!!!!
As she begins retirement, Judy plans to spend more time with her husband, their 7 children and 8 grandchildren. Her time will also be taken up with quilting, fibre art, mystery novels, a new book club and gardening. A trip to Vancouver Island in the spring will be followed by a trip to Ireland, the home of her ancestors, in the fall. Judy is looking into opportunities to engage in more volunteer work but is quick to share that whatever she chooses to do, it will NOT involve paperwork!!!
Wishing you all the best Judy!
After five years with the Centre for Students with Disabilities we are sad to say farewell to Denise De La Franier. She has accepted a job offer in Vancouver doing private disability support work with a gentleman and his family. He's a paralympic athlete and she'll be assisting with his training, and will also be involved in admin/writing duties at his workplace (the BC Paraplegic Association).This is a fantastic opportunity for Denise and we are very excited for her and wish her all the best!
It is with long faces we say goodbye to you. Your cheery smile and calm demeanour were welcomed in the Student Housing offices repeatedly throughout the day. Your exceptional organizational skills were appreciated, as well as your professional work ethic. We are confident that all of your positive attributes will be beneficial to you as you climb Mount Kilimanjaro before assuming your new position with Campus Living Centres.
You will be thoroughly missed by many...you are truly one of a kind.
Bev, Jane, Julie H, etc., etc., etc.
mark your calendars!
The Last Lecture will be held on Thursday April 2rd at 5:45 in War Memorial Hall. This year’s theme is “Dare to Be Yourself" (Andre Gidd). The Last Lecture will feature an address by a graduating student who has competed for the honour. An alumnus and a faculty member (selected by the graduating student body) will also be on hand to offer parting words to the Class of 2009. A reception will follow.
National Co-operative Education Week runs March 23-27, 2009 and our main event will be the Co-op Awards reception being on Thursday March 26, 2009 from 4-6 pm at the Cutten Club. During this event awards will be handed out to the following winners: Vanessa Klages, winner of Co-op Student of the Year 2008 - Commerce & Social and Applied Human Science. Vanessa will receive $500, a certificate of honour and permanent name placement on our awards plaque. Steve Hawley, winner Co-op Student of the Year 2008 - Science & Engineering. Steve will also receive $500, a certificate of honour and permanent name placement on our awards plaque. Iris Lam - winner of the Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement 2008. This award includes $250, a certificate of honour and permanent name placement on a plaque. Coast Hotels and Resorts is the winner of Co-op Employer of the Year 2008. They will receive a certificate of honour and a permanent name placement on a plaque.
let me eat cake!
The PD Working Group, in collaboration with the Student Affairs Teams of UC Level 3 are inviting all Student Affairs Staff to partkake in 'Cake Day'. It will be on Thursday March 26, 2009 in UC 390 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Please drop in, eat some goodies, and mingle with collegues from other departments.
get the word out
The Office of Student Affairs
Please be reminded that the Office Student Affairs is sending out regular mass emails every second Friday to all students (undergraduates and graduates). Don't miss your chance to advertise an important event in your area.
Send your submissions to Laura Gatto at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday at 12 noon to ensure that your message goes out with the mass email on the following Friday (7 days later). The deadlines for thissemester are: Feb. 20, March 6, and March 20.
Student Life is hosting the e-seminar "Engaging the Disengaged with Experiential Learning" presented by Jim La Prad and Andy Mink of 'Faculty Focus' on Thursday, April 16th from 1-2:30 (room TBA). If you are interested in sitting in on this exciting seminar please RSVP to email@example.com by April 12th.
"Searching for You: Ideas About Healthy Relationships" a new book by Suzanne Welstead is being launched at the eBar on Tuesday, March 10th 2009 from 7-9:30 p.m. (program at 7:30). $1.00 from each book sold will go to help fund programs at Family and Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington County. Books are also available for sale at the Counselling Services desk. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.