How professional development is encouraged at the Rec Center

One way professional development is stressed at the Rec Center is through the Student Affairs, Student Professional Development Series workshops, where presenters bring their expertise to campus and help students grow and develop their knowledge and transferable skills through short, insightful information sessions.

“The Student Professional Development Series is a collaboration by several departments within the division of student affairs,” Marie VanBuskirk, coordinator for student development for University Recreation and Well-Being, said.

“Several departments within Student Affairs were really busy trying to accommodate workshop requests for students, but we all said we wanted our students to develop outside of the classroom. After several meetings to work out the details, we decided to combine resources  and put together a series of presentations features Alumni and experts from the community.  Quicken Loans agreed to partner with us to help us advertise these presentations to students within student affairs and all of Oakland University through.”

It’s the second year that the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI), Center for Student Activities (CMA), University Recreation and Well-Being, and Career Services have worked together to create and  host the presentations. The sessions take place on campus and are open to all Oakland students. The list of presentations can be found on the OU Student Affairs website, and  students can register to attend sessions on GrizzOrgs. Early registration is  encouraged, since seating is limited and sessions fill up quickly. VanBuskirk said they average 30 to 50 students per session.

Presentations last 50 minutes to an hour and topics discussed fall under three “tracks” – “Leadership ExplOUrations,” (run hosted by the CSA), “Live Well, Be Well,” (hosted by the Rec Center) and “Career Branding,” (hosted by Career Services). The Center for Multicultural Initiatives has also collaborated on several presentations to educate students on the value of diversity in the workplace and beyond.

“Students can pick from any of the tracks to attend,” VanBuskirk said. “There are no requirements for who can attend which track.”

Topics discussed include collaborating and working with different generations, acing the interview and 10 ways to stress less, among others. All sessions are focused on students’ well-being and professional careers.

Quicken Loans stepped up to sponsor the series this year, which is an added benefit because the company is bringing in higher-level employees to complement presentations. Other speakers include successful alumni, faculty and professional staff from Career Services and the Rec Well.

Another opportunity for professional development encouraged by the Rec Center is the OU Emerging Leadership Program, which is a collaboration between the OU Rec Well and the CSA.

The program is primarily aimed at first- and second-year students who want to learn how to network and broaden their leadership skills. Students must apply each September  to be accepted into this  Which features accomplished alumni sharing their leadership experiences with this chosen group of future leaders at OU.

A professional development opportunity aimed specifically at Rec Center employees is Rec Well Leadership Training. Next semester, Paula Tutman from Local 4 News will be coming in to talk to student leaders at the Rec Center about ethical leadership.

“There are so many opportunities for professional development on campus,” VanBuskirk said. “Professional and personal development can happen anywhere – it can happen at a Lunch and Learn, it can happen by attending the Student to Professional Conference, through taking the time to introduce yourself to a faculty or staff member,  and even while volunteering.”

The following list gives dates, times and locations of  winter semester presentations for the Student Professional Development Series this semester and next semester, along with a brief description of what each presentation will entail.

Leadership ExplOUration

Collaborating & Working with Different Generations in the Workplace and Beyond

Feb. 13, 2017; 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Lake Superior A, Oakland Center

This workshop aims to educate students about generational differences in the workplace and how to navigate through them in a successful way.

Women’s Panel

March 13, 2017; 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Lake Superior A, Oakland Center

Students will learn about the biases and gender difference in the workplace. They will also receive advice on how to react to these differences in a way that will influence positive changes.

Fit For Success

March 10, 2017; 4 to 5 p.m.

Studio 919, OU Recreation Center

OU Alumna and Manager of Employee Wellness and Community Health at Beaumont Hospitals, Lucy Sternburgh, will provide food, information and practical tips on how to ensure your health and success during student’s time at Oakland. Sternburgh will share her own story of involvement at Oakland, including the mistakes she made along the way and how she learned to balance her life as a student. She will also offer advice on transferrable skills, secrets on well-being and how to find your own balance in college.

Career Branding

The Campus Leader’s Guide to Launching a Career

February 8, 2017; 12-12:50 p.m.

Lake Superior A, Oakland Center

An Oakland University Alumni panel will be providing advice and answering questions about how their time at Oakland serving as a student leader helped them land their first job after graduation and build successful professional careers.

The Campus Leader’s Guide to Building a Resume

February 28, 2017; 12-12:50 p.m.

Lake Superior A, Oakland Center

This workshop, aimed at current freshman and sophomore students, offers tips about how to include transferable skills gained from campus involvement, leadership and volunteer positions on resumes. Resumes will be tackled section by section and ensured they are on the right track. Participants should bring a resume on a laptop or tablet.

Live Well, Be Well

Eat This, Not That

March 2, 2017; 12-12:50 p.m.

Lake Superior A, Oakland Center

Oakland University Recreation and Well-Being’s Kelsey Zuchowicz will give a presentation on basic nutrition and how to make the most popular menu items offered to students on campus healthier, without sacrificing flavor and taste. The presentation is geared toward college students on a budget that are looking for healthier options.


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