2019 – 2020Special 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.

Your Personal Style
Presented by Debbie Eisenhower

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Johnson County Community College, Regnier Center, Rm 270

Note: Registration is required by October 10, 2019

This workshop is intended to assist the participants in identifying the preferred behavioral work styles. Attendees will identify the strengths and weaknesses of each style and discuss various ways of capitalizing on each different style. In the end, the intent is to offer the supervisor some skills so that they might improve their work environment. Supervisors will leave this workshop with an understanding of different work styles and techniques to improve working with others. Participants will come to understand the impact of diversity on your personal style.

Learning Objectives:

  • After receiving this training, the participants will be able to:
  • Understand their own behavioral tendencies
  • Respect, appreciate, understand and value individual differences in styles
  • Enhance strategies for working together
  • Increase effectiveness by improving relationships with others
  • Understand inclusive approaches to working with behavioral work styles

The Traumatic Impact of Microaggressions
Presented by LaDonna McCullough and Chandra Green

Date: Monday, November 18, 2019
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MNU, Cook Center, Room 103

Microaggressions, assaults, insults, invalidations and messaging have dire effects on the individual and social capital of historically marginalized faculty, staff and students navigating predominately white university and college spaces. These subtle slights have a powerful impact upon behavior, stereotype threat, sense of welcoming and belonging, and job satisfaction. Societal conditioning subconsciously promotes the dominant American racial frame and subcultures of power structures. It influences individual and group assumptions of culture and stereotypes that are carried unto the campus resulting in workplace inequity, disrespect/insensitivity and unfairness. It impacts employee engagement, policy, practice and procedures at macro- and micro-levels of the campus, in turn, sustaining an organizational cultural laden with trauma.

In this session, participants will work through evidence-based strategies, identify microaggressions and their effects, and explore transformative approaches to improving organizational culture.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the ongoing wounding of organizational trauma (i.e., emotional and cognitive).
  • Identify the various forms of microaggressions.
  • Mindfulness approaches to recognizing, acknowledging and addressing micro aggressive and organizational trauma actions/events.
  • Action-based strategies for reducing microaggressions and trauma in the workplace.

Trauma, Resilience, and Posttraumatic Growth
Presented by Brant Winn

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Park University, McCoy Meetin’ House

Join us as we explore together to find answers to the following questions: What is trauma? What is resilience? What is posttraumatic growth? How does trauma and resilience impact learning? Who is resilient and what makes them so? How can resilience and posttraumatic growth be fostered in the wake of trauma? What can we learn from highly resilient individuals that will help ourselves and inform our work with others? How well do I practice mindfulness and self-care? We answer these questions and more while at the same time giving you a framework of how you can go about helping yourself and your students build resilience, begin the path to posttraumatic growth, and thrive in the aftermath of trauma.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of the current research of how individuals are struggling with emotional and mental health issues.
  • Participants will demonstrate increased knowledge of trauma, resilience, and posttraumatic growth.
  • Participants will engage in practical tools, strategies, and activities to help build the resilience and posttraumatic growth in both them and in others.
  • Participants will learn practical ideas of how to practice and teach themselves and others how to engage in mindfulness and self-care.
  • Participants will be provided a framework of how you can go about helping yourself and your students build resilience, begin the path to posttraumatic growth, and thrive in the aftermath of trauma.

Being an Ally for Students with Mental Health Concerns in Campus Communities
Presented by Robyn Long

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Johnson County Community College, Regnier Center, Room 101 C & D

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, and discuss community resources to support you as well as others. 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

Introduction to Strengths
Presented by Susan Hoffman

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Johnson County Community College,
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art,
Hudson Auditorium / Room 217

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? Chances are you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths. This session is open to participants NEW to Strengths – those who have NOT YET taken the Strengths assessment. This interactive course will provide participants with clear knowledge and understanding of the strengths philosophy, concepts and mission. Using the Clifton StrengthsFinder (CSF), each participant will gain in-depth knowledge about his or her personal strengths. Each participant will also have the opportunity to interact with others as they discover more about each of the 34 strength themes identified by the CSF. Guaranteed to change the way you look at yourself – and the world around you – forever.

Registration is required by Thursday January 16th 2020.

After receiving this training, the participants will be able to:

  • Obtain knowledge about strengths philosophy
  • Interact with others and discover strengths that may be different from theirs
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to begin utilizing their strengths

Shortly after registering, participants will receive a code, which will provide access to the Strengths assessment. Participants must take the assessment prior to the session, print their report and bring it to the session.

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

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MNU, Santa Fe Commons, Room 202

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.

Crucial Conversations
Presented by John Hamilton

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020 Canceled
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Park University, McCoy Meetin’ House

Conflict is something that we encounter on a regular basis at work and in our personal life. In most cases, people avoid conflict when possible because conflict can be very uncomfortable. One of the main reasons given by people for avoiding conflict is that they just do not know how to handle it or what to say. This session will provide participants with some conflict resolution skills that will help them to navigate conflict situations more successfully. The session will provide participants an opportunity to practice some of the skills learned through role play and classroom discussion. Materials used in the course will come from the books, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High and Difficult Conversations: How to Discover What Matters Most.

Participants will learn:

  • How to approach conflict in a positive manner
  • Techniques to improve their skills in active listening
  • How to better diffuse anger in conflict situations
  • Skills that will help them to improve how they communicate in conflict situations

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