Today@Sam Article

Staff Council To Host Professional Development Conference

Feb. 6, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Tricia Sims

Sam Houston State University’s Staff Council will host its annual Professional Development Conference on March 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center.

Registration is now open through Talent Management and will remain open until March 1. The conference is free to all staff.

Staff Council PDC logoStaff Council secretary Megan Hobbs-Barrett said the purpose of the conference is to enhance the professional and personal lives of the staff at SHSU and help staff members meet their required number of professional development hours each year.

The theme of this year’s training is “Unsung Heroes,” tying into the SHSU Heroes campaign.

“We are happy to offer this opportunity for some of our ‘Unsung Heroes’ to present to other staff members and share their knowledge,” Hobbs-Barrett said.

This year there will be five different tracks that focus on student relations, personal and professional qualities, business and risk management, human resources, and technology in the workplace.

In track one, which focuses on student relations, there will be a presentation called “Express Activity: What College Campuses need to know about Student Activism.” The session will be co-presented by associate dean of parent relations and special programs Chelsea Smith and associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Matthew Fuller.

“This presentation will be an overview of expressive activity that is taking place across college campuses in the United States,” Hobbs-Barrett said. “Definitions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression will be reviewed, along with the lessons learned and best practices gathered from institutions who have been at the forefront of free speech events.”

Dean of Graduate Studies Ken Hendrickson will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. According to Hobbs-Barrett, he will address “Verbal Aikido,” which is a type of verbal self-defense. He will explain how Verbal Aikido works and how it can help de-escalate a heated situation.

Among the other presentations that will be offered is “I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Gossip in the Workplace.”  Associate vice president of Student Services and executive director of Student Health and Counseling Center Drew Miller will present this session.

“This session will explore the reasons why we gossip, ways to determine when gossip becomes problematic and how to deal with gossip in a more effective manner,” Hobbs-Barrett said. 

The conference will be held the Tuesday during spring break, when there will be no students on campus.

There also will be new additions to the conference this year, such as a photo booth and giveaways for attendees.

For more information, email For a full list of all the sessions that will be offered visit the registration page through Talent Management.


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