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2021 Student Life Summit

Feeling Settled in an Unsettled World.
February 11, 2021 from 8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In the midst of unprecedented times, our personal and professional lives have been significantly disrupted. As we go into a new year, this conference will serve as an opportunity to step back, reflect, and learn new strategies and skills for taming our ‘new normal’.

 

Keynote Speaker

Juan Mendizabal

Juan Mendizabal (he/him/his) is an educator whose work focuses on the intersection of holistic wellness, leadership development, and social justice. After years of debating whether to leave higher education to become a therapist or to stay and integrate wellness into his work, Juan chose the latter, discovering peace through centering healing practices in his everyday Student Affairs role. 

His ultimate professional intention is to challenge the oppressive legacy of higher education by queering learning spaces into spaces of liberation. Juan’s graduate work at Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Pittsburgh, and Appalachian State University have afforded him a meaningful interdisciplinary approach to education and wellness.

Juan currently serves as the Assistant Director for Leadership Education and Development at Appalachian State University, where he coordinates co-curricular leadership programs and teaches courses focused on social change and wellness, including a Student Affairs graduate course about wellness issues in the profession. Juan also develops a curriculum for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), serves as a Co-Lead Facilitator for LeaderShape, and facilitates mindfulness courses as a certified teacher through Duke University’s Center for Koru Mindfulness. His previous Student Affairs roles have involved community engagement and secular spiritual development.

Conference Schedule

8:15–9 a.m. – Keynote Speaker
Juan Mendizabal

Zoom ID: 965 2553 8617

Disrupting the Cycle: Understanding Socialization & Liberation
Presenters: Daniel Dominguez & Maria Martinez

Have you ever thought about why you behave, think, and act the way that you do? Do you wonder why we sometimes have preconceived notions about certain identity groups? Session participants will learn about the cycles of oppression and liberation, unpacking how our past socialization has resulted in a cycle of racism, homophobia, and oppression of minoritized identities. Further, we will explore our own identities in the context of liberation. Upon this understanding, we will discuss what it will take to liberate oppressive cycles into one dedicated to institutional, systemic, and social change, focusing on our commitment to allyship and co-conspiracy.

Zoom ID: 945 8390 4716

Navigating an Unsettled World as an Introverted Leader
Presenter: Ian Crone

Navigating an unsettled world can be taxing for anyone. But, for half of the population in the United States who identify as introverts, these unsettled times present unique challenges and opportunities to thrive. This session will provide a foundational understanding of the strengths and challenges of introverted leaders and encourage participants to reflect on strategies to succeed in this loud and changing world.

Zoom ID: 926 4681 4731

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Why does it matter?
Presenter: Rebecca Juarez

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and what does it have to do with our work in Higher Education? ACEs have become a critical factor when looking at health outcomes because ACE scores can impact everything from physical health to mental health to substance misuse/use disorders. Student affairs professionals equipped with a better understanding of ACEs and resiliency can have a greater impact on our students through improvements in services, resources, and programs

Zoom ID: 962 6203 5342

Here4TN Benefit Overview & Resilience: Beyond the Basics
Presenter: Matt Cramer

EAP, WorkLife, and Behavioral health benefit overview that covers the resources available to employees including virtual resources, financial and legal benefits, and Take Charge at Work. This presentation will be in conjunction with training from the Optum Training Catalog presented by one of Optum’s trainers.
There is a popular saying that we are made stronger through our difficulties. Now science has caught up with popular culture and there is evidence that it is true. Usually, we consider that resilience is a dynamic process of adaptation to adversity, but this assumes that we simply use our resilience to bounce back to our previous state. Instead, research is showing that there is another level where we actually emerge from set-backs even stronger. This seminar will explore the attendees’ experiences that can leave them more resilient and ready to cope with adversity.

Zoom ID: 976 6796 9280

Cultivating Mindfulness-Based Self-Regulation
Presenter: Juan Mendizabal

This workshop invites participants to identify mindfulness principles and techniques that apply specifically to their own needs. We will engage in physical, emotional, and conceptual work around self-regulation, or the ability to skillfully manage our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in service of our wellbeing. Cultivating self-regulation skills can make the difference between engaging in an emotional spiral versus grounding ourselves in healthy resilience when we are feeling unsettled. This session aims to be accessible for everyone, especially people who have little to no experience practicing mindfulness.

Zoom ID: 921 3239 7582

Using Assessment as a Tool to Provide Security in Times of Crisis
Presenters: Melissa Brown & Noelia Pacheco-Diaz

Back in March 2020, colleges and universities in America were suddenly faced with the COVID-19 crisis. Institutions were pushed into delivering their programs in an online modality. This shift produced feelings of uncertainty and unsettlement among higher education professionals as to the quality of the programs and services being offered. A way to alleviate those emotions is by increasing the culture of assessment among Student Life practitioners. In this session, we will discuss the purpose of the assessment process and its usefulness to overcome the hurdles in times of crisis. We will offer participants resources that they can use to plan their assessment initiatives so that their programs can achieve their objectives and meet students’ needs, especially in times of crisis.

Zoom ID: 913 1771 0315

Here4TN Benefit Overview & Resilience: Beyond the Basics
Presenter: Matt Cramer

EAP, WorkLife, and Behavioral health benefit overview that covers the resources available to employees including virtual resources, financial and legal benefits, and Take Charge at Work. This presentation will be in conjunction with training from the Optum Training Catalog presented by one of Optum’s trainers.
There is a popular saying that we are made stronger through our difficulties. Now science has caught up with popular culture and there is evidence that it is true. Usually, we consider that resilience is a dynamic process of adaptation to adversity, but this assumes that we simply use our resilience to bounce back to our previous state. Instead, research is showing that there is another level where we actually emerge from set-backs even stronger. This seminar will explore the attendees’ experiences that can leave them more resilient and ready to cope with adversity.

Zoom ID: 976 6796 9280

Self-Care Without the Flare: Understanding What it Really Means to Take Care of Yourself
Presenter: Ciara Gazaway

It is not always candles, bath bombs, Netflix binges, and ordering take-out. Neither is it a strict workout schedule, depriving yourself of things that make you feel good, and being over-productive in order to feel worthy. Self-love and self-care are actually not that glamourous. It is tough, uncomfortable, and strange work. But the outcomes sure are beautiful!

In this session, participants will reflect on current habits, struggles, and questions related to their self-care practices. We will learn and discuss new ideas and ways to care for yourself at home, work, and everywhere in between. We will also explore the harms surrounding “fake,” unsustainable self-care and the influence burnout can have on our personal and professional lives. Lastly, participants will have the opportunity to plan and practice incorporating these new concepts into their routine.

Although you don’t need a global pandemic or the uncertainty of our democracy to put yourself first, these times have forced us to pivot and prioritize. So many of us have put our needs on pause, and rolled our eyes as we’ve been reminded to “make time for self-care!” As we move through 2021, it is crucial we learn healthy, sustainable, and realistic ways to truly love and care for ourselves.

Zoom ID: 921 6751 2264

Applied Stress Management Techniques
Presenter: Danielle Bohn

Aristotle once said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” In this 50 minute session, participants will learn about the body’s physiological response to stress, but the majority of the session will be spent engaging in activities that promote positive mental wellbeing (mindfulness meditation, time management, journaling, etc.). As participants have already carved out time to attend the conference, we will spend less time talking about stress management and more time doing activities for “real-time” stress relief. Participants will leave with new stress management tools that they can turn to when they need to feel grounded and settled in an unsettled world.

Zoom ID: 927 7807 2592

Here4TN Benefit Overview & Resilience: Beyond the Basics
Presenter: Matt Cramer

EAP, WorkLife, and Behavioral health benefit overview that covers the resources available to employees including virtual resources, financial and legal benefits, and Take Charge at Work. This presentation will be in conjunction with training from the Optum Training Catalog presented by one of Optum’s trainers.
There is a popular saying that we are made stronger through our difficulties. Now science has caught up with popular culture and there is evidence that it is true. Usually, we consider that resilience is a dynamic process of adaptation to adversity, but this assumes that we simply use our resilience to bounce back to our previous state. Instead, research is showing that there is another level where we actually emerge from set-backs even stronger. This seminar will explore the attendees’ experiences that can leave them more resilient and ready to cope with adversity.

Zoom ID: 976 6796 9280

Registration

Registration is now closed. If you would like to attend the conference, please email Blake Weiss at blake@utk.edu for registration information.