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Association Office Professionals

Prior Training Events


Recordings of some of the presentations may be available.  If you are interesting in obtaining a recording of a previous presentation, please email  We will let you know if that session has been recorded and provide it to you if it has been.  Records prior to the pandemic (March, 2020) were not recorded.

19 Tips for Improved Health in 2019
Presented by Lisa Wright
Gain insight into how to improve your health in 19 easy ways.  
Effective Presentations
Presented by the USM Speaking and Writing Centers
Learn how to present effective presentations that result in memorable take-aways. 
Effective PowerPoints
Presented by the USM Speaking and Writing CEnters
Understand how to create visually stimulating, uncluttered presentations that attract your audiences attention and support learning.  
Organizational Administration within the Context of Higher Education
Dr. Dennis Bubrig
Gain insight into how higher education organizations function through an organizational lens. 
Security Awareness
Presented by Security Officer, Bob Wilson
what multi-factor authentication is?
why you need multi-factor authentication?


SWOT – What is Your Super Power                
Presented by Michelle Fleming/Annette Copeland
Discovering Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to our personal
and professional growth.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)        
Presented by Krystyna Varnado, Asst. Vice President

Description: A new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) called GuidanceResources® has arrived at Southern Miss.  Krystyna Varnado, Associate Vice President will provide information about resources that are available to university employees. Let’s take advantage of the resources offered by the university!

Mental Health First Aid                          
Presented by Mental Health of South MS
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care. The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. 
SWOT Analysis of Student Services Skills  
Presented by Christy Oberst, Director of the University Advisement Center and Katie McBride, Director of New Student and Retention Programs

The number one institutional strategic goal at Southern Miss is to “support student success to foster retention, progression, and graduation”. Do we, as individuals, effectively facilitate this goal? Christy Oberst, Director of the University Advisement Center and Katie McBride, Director of New Student and Retention Programs will share the work they do in their respective areas. We will review the resources available at the university and examine soft skills required to support students. Finally, we will evaluate ourselves during a SWOT analysis session to determine how each of us can improve our support to students. 

Project Management 101                                                  
Presented by Dr. Mary Funk
From technology to business to construction Project Management is a system that provides the framework for planning, organizing, executing, and closing a venture all the way through.  Project Management is a strategic approach to tackling complex projects.  Learn about the stages of a project and how to use them in a practical work setting. 
HELP! Supporting Students on the Gulf Park Campus  
Presented by Richard Ladner

Mr. Richard Ladner, Director of Student Support, will discuss signs that students may need assistance, supporting students, campus resources, and making referrals to appropriate campus resources.  [1 hour]

Stress Management: 20 Tips for 2020 (Part 1 of 3)   
Presented by Lisa Wright, Health Educator
It is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens. Let’s learn six tips on how to manage our own behavior and evaluate our lifestyle and actions to manage the stress that occurs in our lives. Lisa Wright, Health Educator from the Moffitt Health Center will share a total of twenty tips in a three-part series over the spring 2020 semester to help us cope with stress in our professional and personal lives. 


Predictive Index                                                                  
Presented by Angie Hendershot
A PI is a personality assessment that will be used to help build self-insight for career development, insight into others to improve team performance and communication, and as a coaching tool for managers. 
The Personal Side of Change                                              
Presented by Dr. John Kmiec
Change can be hard! Very hard! Especially, when our hearts and heads don’t agree on which way to go and the path to change is unfamiliar.  Learn how and why our feelings can run away from our best laid plans and goals, and what we can do to make meaningful changes in our personal and professional lives go a lot smoother.  
Stress Management: 20 Tips for 2020 (Part 2 of 3)  
Presented by Lisa Wright, Health Educator
In this second part of the series we will learn seven tips on how to manage our own behavior and evaluate our lifestyle and actions to manage the stress that occurs in our lives. You are welcome to attend the second session if you did not attend the first session. Lisa Wright, Health Educator from the Moffitt Health Center will share a total of twenty tips in a three-part series over the spring 2020 semester to help us cope with stress in our professional and personal lives.
Beginner’s Yoga with Focus on Stretching
Yoga Instructors are Bobbie Baker, Gulf Park and Paige Strickland, Hattiesburg
Please join us for quiet time and stretching. If you have always wanted to try yoga, but felt intimidated by the poses or names of the poses, this session is for you. We will use familiar names for the poses and focus on breathing and stretching that will help you no matter your fitness level. All are welcome!


Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace (virtual)              
Presented by Dr. Deidra Minor
Employers insist that emotional intelligence creates job success. Employers seek employees with skills such as self-awareness, emotional control, self-motivation, empathy, and relationship skills. Join this interactive session to discover ways to improve your emotional intelligence. 
Academic Library of Today (virtual)                              
Panel Discussion
Join Gulf Coast Libraries’ experienced librarians and staff to discuss the Academic Library of Today, which is a 21st century learning center and an extension of the classroom. They will highlight innovative library features, advanced research materials, and creative tools to enhance student-centered environments. [1 hour]
Tips on Safety and Privacy Online (virtual)                  
Presented by Dr. Jon Beedle
Tips on safety and privacy online. Keep companies from spying on you and selling your profiles. 

FALL 2020
Making the Connection Between Community Engagement and Professional Development 
Presented by Jonathan Green, Executive Director of the Steps Coalition
Learn how your community engagement benefits you as a professional. 


Health and Wellness: Working Smart in the New Virtual World
Presented by Madison Estrada, M.S.LMLP
Build Your Knowledge and Understanding of how to work smart in office environments connected to our new virtual world, to avoid injuries and mental stress. 
Coping with the Pandemic
Presented by Madison Estrada, M.S.LMLP
Understand how to recognize common reactions to change and uncertainty and how to employ behavioral, cognitive and interpersonal skills to increase one's tolerance for change and uncertainty.  
Professional Development and Community Care Networks
Presented by Shellie Moses, Director, South Mississippi Make-A-Wish Foundation
Information on community engagement and relationship building opportunities for professional growth in creating life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
The Gunter Library-Our History, Our future. The connection of the library system and research studies on coastal economies.

Presented by Joyce Shaw, Librarian and Professor, GCRL Gunter Library
10/21/20, 12 to 1:15 p.m.
Build knowledge and understanding of the history of Gunter Library at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, the impact of the library system and research lab on coastal areas, community engagement and professional development opportunities that have evolved over the years.

Virtual Meeting Platforms 101

Presented by– Christina Jager, I-Tech Help Desk Technician 
10/28/20, 12 to 1:15 p.m.
Businesses and organizations across every industry are adapting to using virtual platforms to communicate. With so many ways to connect virtually, it can sometimes be confusing and intimidating. Join this workshop to learn the right tools and strategies for using Video Conferencing Platforms.

The New Face of Diversity and Inclusion in a Virtual World

Presented by – Valerie Craig, Manager Technology Applications and Services
10/29/20, 12 to 1:15 p.m.
Information and resources on relationship building and staying connected as we move forward in our present crisis. 

Emotional Intelligence

Presented by Dr. Wynde Fitts
10/30/20,  12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 
Understand what emotional intelligence is and how to use it. 

Accessibility: Why it Matters and How To Make Documents Accessible- An Overview

Presented by Jennifer S. Lewis, Assistant Director of Compliance and Ethics
11/12/20, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m.
Learn about the legal requirements for accessibility and tips on how to make the following document types accessible: Word, PDF, PowerPoint, Excel. 

What is institutional effectiveness?

Presented by Dr. Douglas Masterson, Senior Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness
11/18/20,  12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn about what the office of institutional effectiveness does. Understand the impact of institutional effectiveness on higher education at USM

Navigating Change: Purposeful Process

Presented by Dr. Allison Gillespie, Asst. Provost for Academic Affairs-Institutional Effectiveness
12/3/20, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Learn how to identify strategies to effectively move from crisis management to transformational change by learning:

The definition of transformational change and the factors motivating change
The role of “planning to plan” when implementing transformational change
The importance of frequent and wide-spread communication
Strategies for campus-wide involvement in implementing transformational change

Health in the Pandemic: Tips for Staying Healthy

Presented by Lisa Wright, MPH, CHES Health Educator/Assessment Officer
01/27/21,  12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 
A pandemic increases negative factors such as stress and decreases beneficial factors such as time.  Learn how to stay healthy and effectively navigate these turbulent times. 

Cybersecurity and Technology

Presented by Dr. Jeremy Graves
02/02/21,  12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Understand how rapidly changing technology and cybersecurity are affecting the world and how you can remain safe while taking advantage of the benefits that technology provides. 

Student Success and Engagement During the Pandemic: Lessons Learned

Presented by Dr. Amy Chasteen, Executive Vice Provost of Academic Affairs
02/03/21, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 
Learn about how student success was reenvision during the pandemic and understand how engagement was achieved despite constraint.

The Changing Face of Admissions

Presented by Kate Howard, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions
02/11/21, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m
How admissions in higher education is involving as a result of culture and technology. 

Comics and Covid: Going Viral

Presented by Jamie Stanfield of the Gulf Coast Library
02/17/21, 12 p.m to 1:15 p.m.
Learn how comics can be a teaching tool for all ages to encourage positivity and help decrease feelings of isolation, provide humor to a difficult topic, and help foster positive communication among, family, friends, and colleagues.

Technology & Stalking: What You Need To Know

Presented by Attorney Paula Broome, 
Special Assistant Attorney General/Prosecutor & Law Enforcement Training Division in the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office
02/24/21, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Learn how technology facilitates stalking, review laws surrounding stalking, and determine how to protect yourself in such situations.

Why Community Engagement Matters

Presented by Michelle Coleman Anderson, Director of Business Services for the INFINITY Science Center 
03/24/21, 12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Join for information on how to connect and build strong relationships within our communities that will have a lasting impact on our personal and professional development

Sexual Citizens Webinar

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Hirsch and Dr. Shamus Khan, faculty members at Columbia University and Princeton University
03/25/21, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Learn why sexual assault is such a notoriously common element of college life, and provide solutions to combat it. They take a new approach in the examination of the issue, looking more closely at the social roots of sexual assault and approaching it from a public health perspective

Covid -19 – The Impact and Role of Southern Miss Health Center 

Presented by Pam Rainey RN and Office Manager, Southern Miss Health Center, Gulf Park Campus
03/31/21, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m
Join us for the latest updates on Covid-19-  Information and resources for faculty, staff, and students.  

Leading in a Time of Crisis: Lessons Learned

Presented by Dr. Sirena Cantrell, Dean of Students
04/12/21, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. 
How a crisis forces you to rise to the occasion and the impact of lessons learned during crisis in making one a stronger leader. 

Gaming, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality 

Presented by Brandon Schmidt
04/14/21, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Learn about the importance of Gaming  and how it has extended beyond just mere recreational entertainment. Gaming is now utilized as educational platforms for young head start programs to prepare students in curriculum endeavors. The mind of the student is now adapting to a virtual existence and learning has become a digital adventure. The gaming marketplace is a competitive industry in creating innovative technologies for player interaction. Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality will be at the forefront of research in years to come.

Hidden Figures In Higher Education - Celebrating Higher Education Administrative Support Professionals   

Presented by Allison Gillespie
04/21/21, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Celebrating  Higher Ed Administrative Support Professionals

Establishing and Maintaining Health in 2021

Presented by Madison Estrada, M.S., LMLP
4/28/21, 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
With an increase in the impact of external factors affecting individuals, how can you remain healthy in 2021. 

How Southern Miss Libraries Support First Year and Transfer Students

Presented by Hali Black, First Year Experience  Librarian, Assistant Professor University Libraries
05/12/21, 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
This session will help university staff connect first year and transfer students with library resources, services, facilities and with all stages of the research process. 

The Biloxi Wade-Ins: Lessons About Effective Social Change

Presented by Dr. Casey Maugh Funderburk, Vice Provost for the Gulf Park Campus


What can be learned about how to effectively navigate social change from movements like the Biloxi Wade-Ins.  Learn about the Wade-Ins and how they effectively translated into 

Moving Forward During the COVID19 Pandemic
Presented by Dr. Melissa Roberts, Executive Director/Physician Student Health Services at USM's Moffitt Health Center 
Tips to stay healthy during the pandemic
Information on the efficacy and risks of vaccination  
The Impact of Institutional Research on Higher Education
Presented by Dr. Megan McCay, Director of Institutional Research
Learn about the role of institutional research in crafting the direction in which higher education progresses. 
Presented by Dr. Heather Annulis
Creating a work-life balance is an important component of maintaining your physical and mental health. Join us for this upcoming workshop to learn and share effective strategies you can use to create boundaries for yourself and others at work.


12 to 1 p.m.
A Vindication on the Rights of Women Students: A Historical Consideration of Women’s Access to Academia 
Dr. James Thomas 
In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote a seminal work on why women must be educated in equal measure to men to ensure the moral foundation of society. Beginning with this publication and moving forward, this presentation will track how the battle for access and education for women was presented in studies, presentations, and arguments leading up to the founding of Gulf Park College for Women. 


12 to 1  p.m.

Presented by Dr. Karen Coats, Dean of the Graduate School

So You Want to Go to Graduate School?  Supporting Students Applying to Graduate School

Graduate school is quickly moving to the top of the list for students who would like to prepare for a profession, to get a specific job, to potentially earn more, or simply for personal achievement. However, the steps in the process can sometimes be overwhelming for students. Join this workshop to learn what we as faculty and staff can do to help students who are applying to graduate school.





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