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Past Events

Student Affairs Symposium 2020

The 2020 Student Affairs Symposium took place on Thursday March 12th. Attendees had the options for symposium attendance (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) or 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, which lunch in between. The sessions covered the same topics and had the same speakers. The hope of the ESDT was offering two options would increase participation. 

The theme of the 2020 symposium was "Truth and Honest Communication". Presenters graciously agreed to make their presentations available on our website to anyone who was not able to attend. Presentations are available by clicking on the presentation title. If you have a desire to use any content included below, or would like to invite the speaker to present on the subject please contact them directly. 

Title Presenters Description

Mental Health - Truth Will End the Stigma

Dr. Hillary Jones Although efforts to reduce mental health stigma have contributed to an increase in demand for counseling services in recent years, the mystery of what happens in counseling and misconceptions about who may benefit from it remain prevalent. This session will explore the barriers we face when seeking mental health care (both internal and external), how to benefit the most from a counseling experience, and how the power of "telling your story" can help reconnect you with yourself and other.

Finding Commonalities: Communicating Despite Cultural and Language Differences

Dr. Margaret Dunaway This talk aims to help members of our Texas State community engage with others in the workplace and in their personal lives whose culture and language differ from their own. An interactive cultural competency exercise will be part of the presentation. 

Giving and Receiving Feedback Honestly

Jennifer Wood

Lanita Legan

This session will explore the skill set necessary to both give and receive honest feedback. We will identify skills that will help participants learn the impact feedback can have on others. We will identify why a healthy feedback culture is important, the advantages of giving and receiving good feedback, and take a look at some case study problems. Whether you are an employee receiving feedback or a supervisor giving it this session is for you. 

How Mental and Physical Health Are Connected

Katie Dash The physical dimension of wellness includes a variety of areas such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, alcohol use, and more. This presentation aims to explain how our physical health is connected to and thus impacts our mental health. It will also offer different guidelines and tools for cultivating both physical and mental wellness. 

Exploring Mindfulness as a Leadership Practice

Melissa Yip-Santellana

Emily Hawarny

As a leader, you spend your time pouring into others. But how often do you stop and connect to yourself? Quiet-time, reflection, and mindfulness contribute to our overall wellness as humans and allow us to lead from a place of strength and centeredness. This session will not only explore the necessity of these practices but will leave you with tangible tools and exercises to become a more mindful leader.

[micro]AGGRESSIONS: A Discussion on Power & Privilege

Qy'Darrius McEachern Language matters when we think about inclusivity, especially when our language comes across as a microagression. This interactive session focuses on understanding the dynamics of power and privilege through the lens of language and how word can influence group dynamics. Through powerful activities and discussion participants will better understand how to foster inclusivity and challenge themselves to lead authentically. 

Communicating Truth: The Common Experience at Texas State

Twister Marquiss Texas State University presents an academic these each year with events for everyone. This is our Common Experience. Our theme for 2019-2020 is Truth: it's a quest for truth, a search for truth, and an examination of authenticity. From an understanding of university truth - in scholarship and research - to a definition of Universal Truth, from one's own personal truth to a sense of honesty, accuracy, validity, and truthfulness. In this session the Director of the Common Experience will discuss the theme-first approach that makes it #1 in the nation, looking at the ways the theme of Truth is essential to our everyday lives, on campus and everywhere beyond. 

Cross-Generational Communication

Dr. Rob Konopaske This session will explore several best practices associated with communicating effectively in today's multi-generational workplace. In an engaging manner, Dr. Konopaske will encourage attendees to develop and practice the following habits in order to achieve higher levels of success when working with others from different generations: listen proactively, empathize and relate, manage personal biases and perceptual filters, package messages carefully, choose appropriate communication channels, deliver messages with tact, and seek feedback to ensure understanding.

Building a Successful Career Path

Ray Rogers Envisioning and building a career can feel complicated and overwhelming, especially if we aren't sure exactly where we want our career paths to lead. With some forethought, goal setting, and basic understanding of career development, you can develop a solid and practical plan that will help you achieve a brilliant future. During this session you will learn key elements anyone can use, whether accelerating an existing career plan or charting a course for a completely new trajectory.


Time to Talk

Monday, October 14, 2019 12:15 - 1:00 pm

Dept. Residential Life and Housing

Bring your own lunch - water and dessert provided

Within Student Affairs we act as "helpers" and the recent Chronicle article highlights the tolls that being helpers can have on us. You are invited to a discussion led by Dr. Rosanne Priote, Ph.D. Director, Housing and Residential Life and Dr. Heather Aidala, Psy.D., Interim Director Counseling Center, about "helpers seeking help" as a way to create a supportive space and identify resources available to us as employees. 

Student Affairs Symposium: Choose Your Path, Find Your Balance

Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm

LBJ Student Center Ballroom and Break Out Rooms

The Division of Student Affairs and the Educational Staff Development Team are proud to present the annual Student Affairs Symposium: Choose Your Path, Find Your Balance. Learn how to excel in your career while practicing Self-Care from exciting and engaging speakers. 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lynn Chang, founder of Career Zen and author of the 10 Day Career Cleanse

Whether you are still deciding what you want to be when you grow up, an eager new professional, a seasoned leader, or anywhere in between, there is a session for you. 

Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED for Student Affairs Staff (American Red Cross)

February 8, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12:00 N | Student Recreation Center, Wet Classroom (by the Natatorium)


March 1, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12:00 N | Student Recreation Center, Wet Classroom (by the Natatorium)

This course will prepare you to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies involving adults, children and infants and meets OSHA/workplace requirements. Participants must attend entire session; late comers will not be allowed entrance into the class. Success in the course will result in an American Red Cross certification that is good for two years.

Student Affairs Directors must approve their staffs' registration and pay class cost a week prior to the class.

Mrs. Julie Saldiva, Assistant Director, Campus Recreation

Ms. Kristy Caldwell, Associate Director, Campus Recreation

From Diversity to Inclusivity: Strengthening Our Campus Community

Monday, April 3, 2017

Time Monday Schedule
9:00 - 10:30 a.m., LBJSC Ballroom Pathways to Persistence
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 - 12:15 p.m., LBJSC Ballroom Reframing At-Risk to High Potential: Increasing Success for Students Who Are First-Generation/Low Socio-Economic Status (SES), Multicultural, LGBTQ, and/or Male
12:15 - 1:00 p.m., LBJSC Ballroom Ticketed Lunch
1:15 - 2:30 p.m., LBJSC Ballroom Understanding and Applying Racial Identity Development Theory as a Critical Skill for Educators Serving Students of Color
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
LBJSC Ballroom
Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Dialogues on Race
Expand or Collapse all.
  • Monday Session Descriptions

    • Why do some students leave college as the result of incidents that appear relatively minor, while others persist in the face of significant obstacles? Are some students "pre-destined" to fail and withdraw from college as the result of their educational backgrounds? If this is the case, why do some students with strong GPAs and test scores leave college, while others achieve at high levels despite being from at-risk backgrounds? Do some students leave college for reasons that are expected and understandable, while others could be encouraged and supported to stay? Which campus offices or personnel have the responsibility for increasing student development, satisfaction and persistence?

      Pathways to Persistence is a simulation exercise that answers these questions and assists campus communities in developing individual and institutional strategies to reduce the number of students who leave before completing their objectives. The exercise identifies many of the real reasons students leave college, challenges some of the common myths and misconceptions about attrition, and considers evidence suggesting that what happens to students after they enroll is often more important than their pre-enrollment attributes and experiences. Pathways makes the point that increased persistence is the by-product of a campus environment that combines high quality teaching, comprehensive student services, and an effective academic advising program. On such campuses, everyone recognizes that they have the power to make an individual difference - whether they are department heads, classroom teachers, counselors, advisors, coaches, or administrative assistants.

      Pathways offers participants a learning and development exercise they can participate in rather than just read or hear about, and they leave the simulation with a clear sense that what they do matters, along with concrete tangible strategies that they can utilize to contribute to a campus community that promotes student satisfaction, development and persistence.

    • This session will focus on supporting faculty, staff and others to understand what they must know, understand and do to increase the achievement and success of students who are first generation/low socio-economic status (SES), LGBTQ, Male and/or Multicultural. It will describe the characteristics, challenges and strengths of students whose personal, social and academic backgrounds and experiences often put them at greater risk for not persisting and succeeding in college. Participants will examine cognitive, emotional, and behavioral barriers that hinder student success and offer concrete, tangible strategies that can enable them to motivate and support students to take greater responsibility for their own development and learning.

      The session will highlight effective theory-based interventions (e.g., Validation Theory, Attribution Theory of Achievement and Emotion, Stereotype Threat) that have increased student persistence. It will also introduce the 0-100% method that motivates and supports students to take greater responsibility for their own learning, development and success - in the classroom, on-campus and in their communities.

    • Drawing on the work of theorists and practitioners such as Atkinson, Morten and Sue (minority identity development), Janet Helm (white identity development), Beverly Tatum ("Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria"), and Claude Steele ("racial stigma" and "stereotype threat"), this presentation/discussion considers how identity development manifests itself in teaching, academic advising, counseling and other student interactions. It provides an overview of racial identity development and enables educators of various backgrounds to relate and intervene more effectively in support of the academic and social integration of traditional-aged (18-22 years old) college students. The session provides an introduction to theory and suggests practical applications and strategies for teaching, academic advising and programmatic initiatives.

    • In his recent book, "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence," Derald Wing Sue observes, "Honest race talk is one of the most powerful means to dispel stereotypes and biases, increase racial literacy and critical consciousness about race issues, to decrease fear of difference, to broaden one's horizons, to increase compassion and empathy, to increase appreciation of all colors and cultures, and to enhance a greater sense of belonging and connectedness." Dr. Sue suggests that the failure to have "successful race talk" negatively effects white Americans as well as people of color. What often happens in talking about issues of race is that it makes us feel uncomfortable. As Allan Johnson writes, "We are, both individually and collectively, stuck in a kind of paralysis that prevents us from taking steps to become part of the solution" - to create inclusivity from the remarkable diversity that is the very essence of the American Experience.

      This session will examine research regarding the challenges of having meaningful dialogue around issues of race and engage participants in a discussion of what could be done to facilitate successful "race talk" among students, faculty and staff in the Texas State University community.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Time Tuesday Schedule
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
LBJSC 3-5.1
The Critical Role of Faculty in Promoting Student Learning, Achievement and Success Inside and Beyond the Classroom
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 - Noon
LBJSC 3-5.1
What Works in Student Retention: Reflecting on 45 Years of Research and Best Practices
  • Tuesday Session Descriptions

    • Frequent faculty-student contact in and out of the classroom has long been identified as THE most important factor in student motivation and involvement. These interactions are strongly correlated to student satisfaction, and students who leave college are less likely to have had positive relationships with faculty. For multicultural students who are often at greater risk for dropping out, quality relationships with faculty have been identified as the single strongest predictor of success. In Making the Most of College, Harvard Professor Richard Light shares research wherein students were to identify a specific cultural incident or moment that had changed them profoundly. 80% chose a situation or event outside of the classroom. The faculty members that students identified as having the most powerful influence on their thinking are those who helped them make connections between the curriculum and their personal lives, values and experiences.

      This session will highlight research finding that faculty involvement with students beyond the classroom serves to reinforce the academic and social integration essential to engagement, learning and success. It will redefine the formal and informal academic advising that faculty engage in with students as a process that shares many of the goals of classroom teaching. It will also offer strategies that can enable faculty to support students to move in, move through, and move on from college successfully.

    • This session will highlight research over the past 45 years identifying retention strategies and best practices to increase student retention and persistence. Included will be findings from ACT's What Works in Student Retention studies, Increasing Persistence: Research Based Strategies for College Student Success (Habley, Bloom, & Robbins, 2012), and recent reports from Excelencia in Education on best practices for retaining Hispanic Latin@ students.

Student Affairs Symposium - The Critical Connections of Interfaith Communities on College Campuses - May 4, 2016

Student Affairs Symposium flyer

Please consider joining Texas State University’s Division of Student Affairs on May 4, 2016 as we come together for a powerful professional development opportunity around courageous conversations that matter.  The Division of Student Affairs and the Educational Staff Development Team are proud to present the annual Student Affairs Symposium: The Critical Connections of Interfaith Communities on College CampusesSpend the day with colleagues and students as we discuss:

  • Islamaphobia on college campuses and dispelling myths to break down barriers;
  • Interfaith cooperation and shared values on a college campus;
  • Perspectives of diverse religious and non-religious student leaders and Texas State community members who are elevating their voices surrounding their lived realities on campus and in the San Marcos community and
  • Insights on engaging multiple perspectives around building a culture of respect for religious and non-religious identities, and what this means for Student Affairs and Higher Education administrators

Our featured speakers include Dr. Amer Ahmed, a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of Islamaphobia (bio: ); Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of ACPA (bio: )  ; Rabbi Cantor Marie Betcher, a prominent voice in the social justice conversation within communities in Central Texas (bio: ) along with powerful voices from our Texas State community. 

For those planning to attend the 2016 Student Affairs Symposium, please review the following two articles focused on this important issue on our campuses of higher education.

Time Session Presenter Location
9:00 - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks Clint-Michael Reneau LBJSC Ballroom
9:15 - 11:00 a.m. Islamaphobia on Campus: Dispelling Myths to Break Down Barriers Dr. Amer Ahmed LBJSC Ballroom
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Ticketed lunch pick-up   LBJSC Ballroom
11:15 - 12:15 p.m. Student Panel & lunch Student panelists LBJSC Ballroom
12:15 - 12:30 p.m. Break    
12:30 - 1:50 p.m. Interfaith Cooperation and Shared Values on College Campuses Rev. Dr. Cindi Love LBJSC Ballroom
1:50 - 2:00 p.m. Break    
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Interfaith Panel with Dr. Amer Ahmed, Rabbi Marie Betcher and Rev. Dr. Cindi Love Moderated by Skyller Walkes LBJSC Ballroom
3:00 - 3:10 p.m. Closing Remarks Dr. Joanne Smith LBJSC Ballroom
3:10 - 4:00 p.m. Reception   LBJSC 3-13.1

In Limbo: Dilemmas Faced by Undocumented Students - Event Photos

Grace, Mercy and Justice for All: Every Wall is a Door - Event Photos

Grace, Mercy & Justice for All

Grace, Mercy & Justice for All: Every Wall is a Door"

Dr. Cindi Love
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love

The Vice President of Student Affairs at Texas State University in concert with the Educational Staff Development Team invite you to join us and our honored guest Rev. Dr. Cindi Love as we spend time together exploring authentic leadership, strengthening our capacities toward human dignity and understanding self and organizational dynamics in order to lead well. "Grace, Mercy and Justice for All: Every Wall is a Door" will be held Monday, November 23, 2015 beginning at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. The Vice President encourages you to attend what you can throughout the day.

Reverend Dr. Cindi Love, the Executive Director of ACPA works to develop rich and meaningful relationships with ACPA members and partners within the higher and tertiary education community worldwide. The mission of ACPA is to support and foster college student learning through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, which informs policies, practices and programs for student affairs professionals and the higher education community.  Dr. Love’s background uniquely positions her to lead ACPA. With significant experience in higher education, for-profit and non-profit management, and social justice work, Dr. Love works to advance the Association’s current strategic plan and guide our future contributions to higher education and student services globally.  Dr. Love says that she organizes her life around the assertion and support of human dignity and the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every Wall is a Door.”


If you require an accommodation due to a disability, please contact Accommodation requests should be made at least 72 hours in advance of the program start time to ensure availability.

Time Location Session
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. LBJSC Ballroom General Plenary Session I - The Cascade of Strategic Choices
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. LBJSC Ballroom General Plenary Session II - Asserting Human Dignity or Realizing It?
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. LBJSC 3-15.1 Graduate Student Session - Risks, Roles & Responsibilities in Creating Advocacy Culture

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, "We are the Crown Fires of Higher Education, Part I"

Past Events

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, "We are the Crown Fires of Higher Education, Part II"