Conference Workshops

This year, the Academy Conference will be offering each participant the ability to choose one skill-building workshop and one team-building workshop. 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

Monday, May 18, 2020 from 8:00am - 11:00am


Leading Innovation and Advancing Technology
Without Overwhelming Your Team

Location: To be determined

Presented by Linda Meccouri and Randy Singer

Through discussions, exercises and demonstration, in this interactive workshop you will identify key challenges of innovating and adapting to advancing technology in higher education, and explore leadership strategies to create conditions that foster employee engagement and motivation to effectively respond to the challenges.

Topics will include:

  • • Barriers to adopting new technologies and teaching innovation in higher education
  • • Implications of new technologies and innovation on employee morale and engagement
  • • Conditions that support successful adoption of new technologies in the workplace
  • • An example of a high-impact technology/practice for leadership
  • • Leadership approaches to foster innovation and technology adoption

About the Presenters:

Linda Meccouri - Click here for Bio

Randy Singer - Click here for Bio

Rethinking Student Success

Location: To be determined

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. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic require institutions to find new ways to effectively support each individual student on their respective path to success.

In this interactive workshop, you will be engaged in guided discussions and thought-provoking activities designed to assist you in: (a) identifying new realities impacting student success; (b) critically examining core concepts, principles, and the foundational capacities for driving meaningful outcomes; and (c) advancing a planful approach for individualizing and customizing the student experience.  

Topics will include:

  • • Debunking common myths about student success
  • • Leadership challenges in achieving meaningful student success outcomes
  • • Tenets of a student success culture
  • • Why one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work
  • • Considerations in 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: To be determined

Presented by Corey Campbell, 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:

Corey Campbell - Click here for Bio

Margo Keys - Click here for Bio

Bernadette Montoya - Click here for Bio

Trick to Being an Organizational Leader

Location: To be determined

Presented by Judy Korb, Bill Lamb, Pam Mauro, and Mike Poellinger

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

Bill Lamb - Click here for Bio

Pam Mauro - Click here for Bio

Mike Poellinger - Click here for Bio

Leadership is a Relationship

Location: To be determined

Presented by Scott Geddis, Valerie Grabove, Ann Krause-Hanson, and Jeffrey Yergler

In their book, “The Leadership Challenge”, researchers Kouzes and Posner believe the fundamentals of leadership have not changed over time, though the context certainly has.  Understanding leadership fundamentals and engaging in practices with ‘heart’ moves leaders to grow themselves and to inspire others to realize their goals and dreams.

In this Session, you will:

  • • Experience an appreciative inquiry approach to leadership development
  • • Learn about leadership theory research
  • • Apply the five exemplary leadership practices
  • • Develop a personal plan/goal for leadership growth
  • • Have fun!

About the Presenters:

Scott Geddis - Click here for Bio

Valerie Grabove - Click here for Bio

Ann Krause-Hanson - Click here for Bio

Jeffrey Yergler - Click here for Bio





Conference Team-Building Workshops

Monday, May 18, 2020 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm


Leading Change: Building Relationships to Get Results

Location: To be determined

Presented by Barbara Trautlein with George Chewning

From Guided Pathways to new technologies to economic struggles, today’s higher educational institutions are bombarded with daunting change challenges that are increasing in pace, scope, and complexity. Are you frustrated that no matter what you try, your change initiatives seem to either fail outright or produce gains that don’t last?  The reality is that most changes do fail.  As many as 70% of organizational change efforts fall short of expectations.  Yet, your institution’s growth and your career progress hinges on your ability to lead successful and sustainable change.  In this highly interactive workshop, you’ll experience how to build teams to develop individual and collective change capabilities.  You’ll have fun – and walk away with actionable insights to overcome resistance to new ways of working and build effective and collaborate teams at your institution.  As you engage the heart, enlighten the head, and equip the hands, you’ll emerge as a more competent and confident – and less stressed and frustrated – A leader of change.

About the Presenters:

Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD is author of the best-selling book Change Intelligence:  Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks, principal and founder of Change Catalysts, and originator of the CQ System for Developing Change Intelligent Leaders and Organizations. For over 30 years, Barbara has coached executives, trained leaders at all levels, certified change agents, and facilitated mission-critical change management initiatives - achieving bottom-line business and powerful leadership results for clients.  In 2015 she had the honor of being awarded Change Management Consultant of the Year by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Midwest Chapter.  She is gifted at sharing strategies and tactics that are accessible, actionable, and immediately applicable.  Her blend of research and real-world expertise makes her an in-demand speaker at conferences around the world.  Barbara has a unique ability to connect with her audiences, from C-level executives in Fortune 500 organizations to front line employees, and across industries, from steel mills to sales teams, refineries to retail outlets, and healthcare to high tech.  Clients served include Abbott Laboratories, Cisco, the NYPD, Northwestern University, Save the Children, and Waubonsee Community College.  Barbara holds a doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan. 


George Chewning's passion is to help people work to their full potential. With more than 25 years of business coaching and consulting experience, executives from Johnson and Johnson relied on George’s coaching, consulting and facilitation expertise to implement their key business initiatives. He has designed and delivered solutions to increase organizational performance and improve business results for a wide variety of client needs. George is a strong collaborator, energetic problem-solver and dynamic facilitator who builds relationships quickly and works to ensure every interaction adds value.


Surviving and Thriving in the Multigenerational Workplace

Location: To be determined

Presented by Mark Taylor

Generational influences can impact us in deep and lasting ways.  Many issues in the workplace, family and society can be traced to intergenerational differences.  What are the signature influencers and traits of each of the current generational cohorts in the US today?  What do we know about our generational future?  How much do each of us manifest, or not manifest, the traits of our generational tribe? 

This interactive workshop will explore these multi- and inter-generational issues on both the macro and individual levels with a focus on team-building and facilitating teamwork.  Participants will have the opportunity to assess some of their own generationally influenced traits, and explore how these traits are impacting their lives and work.

  • About the Presenter:

Dr. Mark Taylor is recognized across the USA, and in Canada, as educator, consultant and speaker who is on the forefront of transformations in educational practice and workplace management.  As an expert on the traits, developmental issues and learning outcomes of today’s students, he is dedicated to helping colleges and universities better understand and serve our students for learning, development, persistence and successful integration into the “after college” world.  His work with organizations and companies focuses on helping people understand and work more effectively with the generational groups, especially our young people from "Generation NeXt". 

Building on over 30 years of experience in higher education, management and the helping professions, Dr. Taylor’s has worked with over 500 organizations, businesses and schools in 47 states, made presentations at state, regional, national, and international events, and published in professional journals including, his recent articles on "Teaching Generation NeXt".  He has consulted with business clients like 20th Century Fox Motion Pictures, Wal-Mart, FEMA and the U.S. Army.  

 Dr. Taylor holds graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas and academic appointments at Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Graduate School.


Communication Styles Interdependence and Excellence

Location: To be determined

Presented by Jacque Starks

Communication (Comm) Styles is an easy way to identify your character spectrum to better understand yourself and others.  Once you recognize your preferred style and the spectrum of others, you will have the knowledge necessary to respond appropriately and more concisely in teams across diverse styles for greater equity, innovation, and inclusion. This interactive workshop will allow participants to work together to explore, strategize and develop creative goals.

Participants will:

  • • Identify their dominant communication style and spectrum
  • • Recognize the dominant style and needs of others
  • • Discuss the impact of their dominant communication style for self and others
  • • Understand the importance of diverse styles for maximum effectiveness and equity                        
  • • Work in diverse team to complete goals and actions steps to implement beyond the classroom

About the Presenter:

Bio Coming Soon

There is an App for That Team

Location: To be determined

Presented by Linda Collins, Angeline Surber, Deb LaVergne, and Michael Bogner

Join us for an active hands-on learning experience using the latest technologies for an exciting and collaborative team-building exercise. Participants will work in a team to brainstorm and transform a concept, design, and layout of a project using emerging technologies for a final takeaway.

  • About the Presenters:

Bio's Coming Soon

Jeanie and Joan

Powerful Teams, Powerful Outcomes

Location: To be determined

Presented by Jeanie Cockell and Joan MacArthur Blair

Whether you lead a team or consider yourself a team member a critical part of your work and personal success in higher education rests upon fostering the strength of the team as a whole. Using an appreciative inquiry approach, this highly experiential half day workshop explores what it means in these very complex times to have a team that delivers on goals and aspirations. It will provide concrete strategies for participants to take back to their home institutions in order to uplift the work of their own teams. In particular, it will focus on teams as learning groups -- teams need to be able to flex, grow and change in order to be highly effective. Specifically, we will explore how to create a team learning environment; how meaningful work is generated; how teams can practice reflective assessment; the power of inclusion and why it matters in teams. Participants will leave the workshop with their own mini ‘team strategy’ that they can use with their institutional teams.

About the Presenters:

Joan McArthur-Blair and Jeanie Cockell are Co-Presidents of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting. They profoundly believe that education is the most powerful force for social and economic good in the world. Together they have more than 50 years of experience in higher education and have taken that experience to build a consulting practice. They specialize in collaboratively design­ing strategies to surface the wisdom of individuals, groups and organizations in order for them to build positive futures and to respond effectively to change.

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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!!