2018 – 2019Special Topics

The Special Topics Series is an annually planned group of seminars. Topics are chosen collectively by KCPDC board members based on identified development needs from each member institution. Employees participating in the seminars can learn new skills, build relationships and share ideas with colleagues from other institutions, having some fun in the process. Effective July 1, 2011, Special Topics sessions may be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the Supervisory and Faculty Development Certificate Programs.


Advanced registration is required for all KCPDC events. Registration is FREE to employees of member institutions. Please contact your campus representative for registration.

Non-members are encouraged to enroll, on a space available basis. The cost for the attendance at KCPDC events is $150 for full day and $75 for half day session. For enrollment information, contact Clydia Case.

How to be Interesting: Presentations that Keep your Audience Engaged
Presented by: Sarah Morris

Date: Tuesday, September 25
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MCC-PV, Campus Center, Room 503

Description: Which is more important: What your say or how you say it? We’ve all heard terrible presentations — as well as speeches that changed our lives. As a higher education professional, the ability to present yourself and your ideas effectively can be your most valuable asset… or your worst liability. Regardless of your current skill level, this session will help you learn how to prepare, practice, and deliver powerful presentations that positively impact your organization and ultimately your career.

As a result of attending this workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the elements of an effective presentation.
  • Create a process for preparing and practicing nearly any kind of presentation.
  • Apply 3 – 5 techniques that will improve each individual’s ability to deliver presentations in a more engaging way.

Managing the Scope and Reality of Mental Illness on Campus
Presented by: Robyn Long

Date: Thursday, October 4
Time: 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Baker University Overland Park Campus, Room 101

Description: With more than 60% of college students experiencing diagnosable psychiatric disorders, ever-greater demands are being placed on faculty and staff to serve students with compassion and boundaries. This workshop will provide an overview of several of the most common mental health conditions (mood disorders, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disorders) and discuss how they manifest themselves in the lives of students and co-workers. Even more critically we'll focus on how to manage these experiences in ways that are both appropriate and fair. We'll have ample time for the application of what we've learned to vignettes and will work in groups on how to best address mental health situations as they arise.

This workshop provides participants the tools to:

  • Identify mental health issues as they arise
  • Understand boundaries in addressing mental health issues in the workplace
  • Identify resources in your university community for support
  • Collaborate with workshop participants to address fictional vignettes similar to those situations that might arise

Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom
Presented by Todd Frye & Mark Hayse

Date: Tuesday, October 16
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MNU, Campus Center, Fireside Room

Description: This session will explore various classroom and workplace challenges that create distance between co-workers and their emotions. Participants will examine tensions that exist between the forces of productivity and emotional availability to others.  Participants will be invited to discuss their own classroom and workplace challenges, considering strategies for emotional awareness and presence with others.

Participants will leave with:

  • Information on challenges and consequences of emotional distance in activities and relationships in the classroom workplace.
  • Strategies for becoming fully present in their activities and relationships in the classroom and workplace.

Presented by Sheri Barrett

Date: Thursday, November 8
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: JCCC, GEB 264

Description: This session will provide faculty with a unifying framework to organize assessment activities at both the Program and Course level of learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes for the workshop:

  • To provide useful strategies on how to assess learning at the programmatic and course level
  • To illustrate ways faculty can effectively utilize assessment activities to improve teaching and learning

Stress Management through Mindfulness
Presented by Nicoya Helm

Date: Tuesday, November 13
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: JCCC, OCB, CoLab 100

Description: Mindfulness meditation helps us explore our inner and outer world to better understand how we think and feel. Research shows that this enhanced understanding can result in lowered stress and anxiety, increased attention and memory, and greater appreciation and joy. Participants will explore two different meditation techniques and their application to daily activities. Concepts presented are from the Unified Mindfulness system, a secular system that has been used in neuroscience research studies at Harvard and Carnegie-Mellon Universities.

Learning Objectives: Workshop participants will learn what mindfulness meditation is, what science currently understands about how it works, and, most importantly, how to do it.

Conflict Management and resolution
Presented by Loretta Summers

Date: Tuesday, February 12
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: KCKCC, Lower Level Jewell Room 2325/26

Description: Conflict is an inevitable part of work. Whether between individuals or teams, at some point, conflict will arise and need to be addressed. But resolving conflict doesn't need to be a negative experience, in fact, managing conflict can be a catalyst for positive change.

This seminar will increase your knowledge and ability to:

  • Recognize five typical approaches to conflict
  • Implement the basic steps of conflict resolution
  • Practice communication skills to minimize and even prevent conflict

Working with People who are Different than You
Presented by Debra Olson-Morrison

Date: Tuesday, February 26
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Park University, AP 380

Description: Arguably the strength of any team is derived from the diversity of thoughts, opinions, and perspectives of its members. While providing opportunity for growth and innovation, differences may also be a source of misunderstanding and frustration between co-workers, and faculty and students. Using the framework of Universal Design for Learning, this special topics training will provide practical tips and resources on how to understand differences as they relate to learning style, translated through integration and execution of knowledge in the classroom and work environment. While there is no magic bullet, the material presented in this training will provide the attendee with the framework to think and feel more openly about differences, and offer support for creating a more inclusive environment, and promote healthier classrooms and workplaces.


  • Understand sources of conflict when working within a diverse classroom/workplace by exploring how values systems and experiences inform worldview
  • Explore “undercover diversity” factors that influence perceptions and interactions Explore “undercover diversity” factors that influence perceptions and interactions
  • Learn the Universal Design for Learning framework, and how this applies to inclusive classroom and work environments
  • Gain skills to improve and promote inclusivity in the classroom/workplace

Managing in All Directions
Presented by Roger Dusing

Date: Tuesday, April 23
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Baker University (Overland Park), Room 101

Description: This session is designed to describe the major competencies and skills necessary to manage multiple levels of leadership. In this course, you will learn the different components on how to effectively manage and lead a diverse group of individuals, identify key concepts or leadership and supervisor effectiveness such as accountability, delegation and critical communication, and define what it is to manage in all directions.


  • Understand the primary components in effective and critical communication within multiple levels of leadership
  • Deepen the understanding of executive-level leadership and supervisor effectiveness
  • Improving and developing the skills necessary to communication within a diverse group of employees

Teaching with Technology
Presented by Clint McDuffie

Date: Tuesday, April 16
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location:  Baker University (Overland Park), Room 101

Description: In this session we will review current data and literature that highlights best practices for incorporating technology as part of your instructional strategy. By the end of the session you will have mapped out a plan where your choice in technology supports your pedagogy. As part of the planning process we will review available tools and resources as well as collaborate with peers.

You should leave this session with:

  • An understanding of the impact technology has on learning
  • A plan on how to compliment learning through best practice applications
  • An activity supported by a Web 2.0 tool
  • An approach where the pedagogy leads the technology

Committed to providing professional development opportunities for the faculty and staff of its member institutions.