NIU today | New campus-wide workforce development series to launch in March

The Office of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leads the coordination of a campus-wide workforce professional development series to support positive and effective working relationships and the knowledge sharing across the university. This new series will include workshops led by colleagues across the university who have specialized interests and knowledge in a variety of topics that promote inclusive workforce principles and practices.

Faculty and staff are invited to complete a brief survey to vote on a name for the new workshop series, provide suggestions for workshop topics, and indicate their interest in hosting a workshop. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, February 4, 2022.

“A key distinction of this series from others offered at the university is the aspect of shared ownership,” said Susanne Logsdon, assistant director of prevention education and awareness, who coordinates the series. . “Employees from various campus departments have volunteered to lead workshops and develop content based on their passions, interests, and specialized expertise.”

NIU employees who choose to participate as workshop leaders in this series can expect a minimal time commitment for their efforts. Susanne will handle all series coordination, including programming, marketing and promotion, booking space and/or setting up the virtual platform, tracking attendance, and post-workshop evaluation.

Additionally, a library of content is being developed to help limit the time that partners who sign up to host a workshop will need to spend developing their specific workshop. Facilitators are encouraged to use creative freedom in terms of content and collaborating with others for the workshop they choose to deliver in the series.

If you would like to suggest a topic for the series or would like to lead a workshop this summer or fall, please contact Susanne Logsdon at [email protected]

The first three workshops are scheduled to take place in March and April and are open for registration by visiting

For the first workshop in the series, Lisa King from the SAFE Program and Brian Smith from the Employee Assistance Program are teaming up to present Supporting One Another at Work Through Inclusive Communication and Decision-making on March 8, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. : 30h

This virtual workshop will run through Microsoft TEAMS and explore how we communicate with each other at work and the impact this has on decision-making and overall workplace morale. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the characteristics of effective communication such as the importance of articulating details, avoiding assumptions and the use of insider jargon, and leading with caring and compassionate language with ourselves and with others. This 90-minute workshop will overlap with the traditional lunch hour and participants are encouraged to bring their lunch to this virtual Lunch and Learn style workshop.

The second workshop sees Andrea Drott and Sarah Moskal from Student Wellness come together to present Mental Health and Suicide Intervention: CARE Model. This workshop will take place on March 31, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will also be offered via Microsoft TEAMS.

This presentation aims to help faculty and staff recognize signs of distress in their students and will guide participants through the four stages of the CARE model. The presentation will also provide faculty and staff with resources for students. Additionally, Andrea and Sarah will present wellness scenarios and answer questions about when and how to support students.

The third workshop, Concise and Meaningful: Best Practices for Email Communication in a Large and Diverse Organization, will take place on April 12 and will be led by Kristin Sherman of the Office of Outreach Programs at the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Professionals started using email around 1991, and by 2018 the number of people using email had grown to over 3.8 billion! Attend this informative workshop to improve your email communication skills at work, to foster positive working relationships and business efficiency. We’ll explore some of the best practices for managing emails and attendees will learn tips for making messages more effective.

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