2021 – 2022Special 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

Supporting Self-Care with Mindfulness
Presented by Nicoya Helm

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: JCCC, MTC 211

Mindfulness meditation is a skill that anyone can learn. It helps us explore our inner and outer world to better understand how we think and feel. Research shows that this enhanced understanding can lower stress and anxiety, increase attention and memory, and foster appreciation and joy. In turn, this can improve our ability to care for ourselves, avoid burn out, and create clearer personal and professional paths.

Participants will learn what mindfulness is, the science behind it, how to do a basic mindfulness meditation technique, and strategies to use it in daily life, including while on the go! Concepts presented are from the Unified Mindfulness system, a science-based approach that has been used in neuroscience research studies at Harvard and Carnegie-Mellon Universities.

Diversity 101 & Implicit Bias
Presented by Victoria Haynes

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: Online on Zoom

During this workshop, participants will learn key terms/definitions that are related to diversity and cultural competency, learn about protected groups, and the correct way to address different racial and ethnic groups. Participants will also have the opportunity to complete an implicit bias assessment to examine their own possible biases related to race, to help gain understanding on unconscious biases that may influence interactions.

Objectives: By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define common terms related to race and ethnicity.
  • Define common terms related to diversity and cultural competency.
  • Utilize resources to help with racial identity exploration.
  • Define implicit bias related to race.
  • Assess any personal racial preferences based on the results of an implicit bias assessment.
  • Describe how implicit bias can impact interactions with different racial groups.

Managing Remote Workers
Presented by Roger Dusing

Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: Online on Zoom

Remote work used to be rare, but now it is commonplace and growing. Managing a team of remote workers is, in some ways, different than managing a team that all sits next to you. This workshop is designed to help managers understand the remote workplace and learn some tools to ensure that your remote team is just as successful, if not more so, than your face-to-face team.


  • Understand the different needs of face-to-face and remote workers.
  • Understand the benefits of both face-to-face and remote work.
  • Learn tips and techniques to ensure both face-to-face and remote teams are successful.

Internalizing the Revolution©: Lasting DEI Approaches for Liberation and Justice
Presented by Kevin Sansberry

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Location: Online on Zoom

Go beyond the status quo and discover impactful approaches to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) that will dive deep into mindsets, behaviors and systems to evoke sustainable change and proactive action. Before implementing change and focusing on the “what” around DEI, it is important for organizations to first understand “how.” This session’s unique approach will equip your organization with the tools needed to ensure your DEI strategies stick.

Objectives: This workshop provides participants the tools to:

  • Develop self-awareness and create action plans that will mitigate toxic behavior
  • Understand how to shift from "DEI lensing" to truly embedding DEI
  • Shift from implicit over-intellectualization and move into explicit action

It Takes More Than a Rainbow Flag: Moving Beyond Performative Measures and Increasing LGBTQ+ Allyship Behaviors in Academia
Presented by Cindy Cerrentano

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: JCCC, OCB Room 100 (CoLab)

What is it like to be queer in the classroom in 2022? In this session we will use Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory to explore LGBTQ+ experiences in our community at both a systemic and personal level. We will begin with a brief discussion of LGBTQ+ terminology to get everyone on the same page, and then quickly transition to an exploration of the microaggressions and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community, including issues on our own campuses and in the Kansas City region.

How can we better respond to needs of LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff to create a more inclusive campus for everyone? We will discuss the many ways one can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, using Ecological Systems Theory as a guide. We will review methods to increase equity for minoritized groups through allyship and structural change, in addition to providing local and national resources. We will discuss how allies can go beyond performative measures (e.g., climate surveys and unfunded diversity committee work) to help create deep cultural change to support the LGBTQ+ community. In this session, we will use case studies, questionnaires, and discussion prompts to question the (in) equities present in our own institutional policies and procedures. Participants will come away with tools and increased confidence to address LGBTQ+ inequities on a personal and systemic level.

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

  • Address microaggressions and discrimination faced by LGBTQ folks from a community perspective.
  • Develop confidence in becoming a change agent and build a resource guide for future learning. Learn to leverage your privilege to support the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Practice strategies to combat anti-LGBTQ+ forces in your community.
  • Review allyship behaviors and role play scenarios to better prepare for allyship.

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