Conference Workshops

This year, the Academy Conference will be offering each participant the ability to choose a skill-building workshop to attend. These workshops are three hours in length, and will be facilitated by some amazing leadership practitioners. Please take some time to peruse the session summaries, and learn about the presenters.

These workshops are included in your registration fee.



Conference Skill-Building Workshops

Saturday, November 20, 2021 from 8:30 am - 11:00 am


Leadership Best Practices for Creating Inclusive Workplaces

Location: Las Palmas A

Presented by Linda Meccouri and Jacquelyn Gaiters-Jordan
The goal of this workshop is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for leaders at all levels to learn and share a variety of Best Practices for Creating Inclusive Workplaces.  Activities include proven strategies from a variety of sources that will enable participants to increase their skills to recognize and value the contributions of a wide diversity of students and colleagues to build inclusive organizations that reflect our most cherished values.

Topics will include:

  • • understanding culture and inclusion in the workplace
    • exploring self and others’ identity (race, class, gender, language, cultural…) and commonalities.
    • creating an inclusive workplaces (bring one to share)
    • examining unconscious bias
    • understanding the role of and behaviors of being an ally
    • creating a shared vision of and building a culture of hope

About the Presenters:

Linda Meccouri, Principal Consultant, Positive Connections, Positive Strategy, Retired Dean, Chair, Faculty, Massachusetts Community Colleges
Linda Meccouri is a positive change, strengths-based consultant working with colleges, universities, healthcare, business and community organizations in the areas of teaching, student success, leadership, and organizational development. Prior to forming her consulting practice, Linda served as the Dean of Professional Development at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts where she designed and facilitated ongoing professional development for faculty and staff.

She served as Faculty Development Coordinator, Professor and Department chair of Computer Science at Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College. With over thirty years of teaching experience at the community college, undergraduate and graduate level, Linda is the recipient of Endowed Chairs for Teaching Excellence from two colleges, and believes passionately in education that encourages people to become the best version of themselves.

Jacquelyn Gaiters-Jordan, Associate Vice President of Academic Resources at Pikes Peak Community College
Jacquelyn Gaiters-Jordan is the Associate Vice President of Academic Resources at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Prior to accepting this position in 2019, Jacquelyn was Dean of the Dean of the Mathematics and English Division, Associate Dean of College Preparatory Programs, Chair of the Developmental English Department, and an instructor of Developmental English, Advancing Academic Achievement and ESL courses.

Jacquelyn has over 30 years of educational and professional experiences that range from non-profit leadership and workforce development to military service. Jacquelyn is committed to excellence in education and leadership and believes that everyone, regardless of race, ability, or socio-economic status is entitled to a quality education.

Customizing Student Retention and Success

Location: Las Palmas B

Presented by David Gatewood, Lynda Wallace-Hulecki, and Donna Vassallo

While student retention and success efforts abound at most colleges and universities, the reality is that few institutions achieve optimal outcomes as evidenced by conventional measures of student persistence, retention, and completion. With the added disruptions caused by the pandemic, optimizing student retention and success has become even more challenging.

This workshop will be delivered in two parts and in a hybrid format involving both in-person and online facilitators. In this Part I Skill-Building Workshop, you will engage in thought-provoking discussions of why customizing the student experience improves retention and success outcomes, and how to advance the effort at your college. The session will culminate in a team-based learning and networking activity that will serve as a catalyst for the follow-up Part II Roundtable discussion, giving Workshop participants an opportunity to share perspectives, experiences, and effective practices at a separate 60-minute Roundtable following the Workshop.

Topics will include:

    • New realities impacting student persistence, retention, and success
    • Why traditional one-size-fits-all solutions are less than optimal
    • Core concepts, principles, and foundational capacities necessary for driving meaningful change and outcomes
    • Considerations for developing and advancing a planful approach for customizing the student experience

About the Presenters:

David Gatewood - Click here for Bio

Lynda Wallace-Hulecki - Click here for Bio

Donna Vassallo - Click here for Bio


Investing in Your Well-Being:
A Wise Person Waters Their Own Garden First.

Location: Grande Ballroom B

Presented by Margo Keys and Bernadette Montoya

Wellness is the complete integration of mind, body and spirit.  As leaders we are called on to bring our best selves to work each day. An intentional approach to our wellbeing is necessary especially with the uncertainty in the world.  In this pre-conference workshop, you will have the opportunity to explore various approaches to well-being through a variety of interactive assessments, self-reflection and discussion.  

Topics will include stress prevention, physical and mental health.  You will leave with an individualized wellness development plan suited just for you.

About the Presenters:

Margo Keys - Click here for Bio

Bernadette Montoya - Click here for Bio

Trick to Being an Organizational Leader (SOLD OUT)

Location: Grande Ballroom A

Presented by Judy Korb

This workshop will present a variety of strategies for new front line administrators, including chairs, directors, deans, and other organizational leaders. Activities throughout the day will help participants define their role as leaders and share strategies to develop cohesive teams.

Topics will include:

  • • Understanding leadership versus management in organizations
    • Understanding yourself and how you work with others
    • Skills for building teams and working with diverse ecosystems and styles
    • Time management and work best practices
    • Recognizing and handling conflict
    • Adapting to and guiding organizational change
    • Building trusting relationships.

Activities will involve guided small group interaction that will allow time for sharing successful practices as well as applying new methods to real work examples.  Information related to the Academy for Leadership Development will be shared.

About the Presenters:

Judy Korb - Click here for Bio



Conference Sponsors

Recognizing our Conference Sponsors. Without their contributions we would not be able to bring you the high level speakers, and continue keeping our registration costs at a participant friendly rate.

Special thanks to the Maricopa Community Colleges and to Mesa Community College for all of their amazing support!!