The Theme of the 2018 OWHE Annual Conference is UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL

The Conference will be in Sunriver, OR, this year on Thursday, January 25th and Friday, January 26th

The following programs will be available at the 2018 OWHE Annual Conference.

For the most up-to-date information, please download our conference program or check out our Guidebook App (passphrase "owhe2018").

Keynote Speaker

Susana Rivera-Mills
Dr. Rivera-Mills serves as Vice Provost of Academic Programs and Learning Innovation at Oregon State University. She's been involved in developing mentoring & leadership programs, student engagement & success strategies, advancing diversity in higher education, promoting learning innovation, and advocating for equity & inclusion. She is passionate about providing access to education, creating new programs, developing leadership at all levels, and giving a voice to those who aren’t always heard.

Wise Women Panelists

The Wise Women Panel will take place before lunch on Friday, Jan. 26, and will extend into a lunchtime networking opportunity with attendees. This is a chance for conference attendees to meet and engage with our panelists:

  • Cath Busha, Dean of Student Engagement, Clark College
  • Shanice Clarke, Program Administrator, Pan-African Commons, PSU
  • Michele Cruse, Interim Dean of Students, PCC-Cascade Campus
  • Trish Dorman, Associate Director of Business Operations, PE & Recreation Department, UO
  • Julie Greenwood, Associate Provost for Transformative Learning, OSU
  • Anne Ruybalid, Director of the School of Business, Marylhurst University
  • Christina Walsh, Interim Dean of Student Life & Leadership Development, Lane Community College

Meaningful Community

  • Onboarding: Engagement From Day One; Brenna Kutch, Portland State University

This session will outline best practices, tips, and tools for onboarding new employees into your organization for manager and administrative support. The goals of this session are to understand why onboarding is essential to engagement and what steps managers can take to ensure an effective onboarding experience for new employees including staff, faculty, and student employees. Participants will share their own experiences, and return to their organizations with ideas for improving their processes and creating tools to facilitate an awesome and supportive environment from day one. 

  • Creating a Culture of Caring; Brenna Kutch, Portland State University

This session will cover different components of what a caring workplace environment looks like so that employees feel welcome, healthy, trusted, invested in, heard, and though they are making a difference. These all contribute to a positive workplace culture, engaged and productive employees, and happy students/university community. Participants will leave with ideas to improve their own workplace culture and environments.

Personal Growth

  • Vision Boarding: Engaging Our Professional Futures; Briana Stansbury and Elizabeth Guzman-Arroyo, Portland Community College

Unlock your potential. But where do you start?! This session aims to organize the amalgam of "to-do lists," facilitate dialogue around vision-boarding for your individual learning style, and create tangible, measurable goals. We will discuss best praxis when it comes to goal setting, introduce various platforms for vision boarding, and leave you with an outline for accomplishing tasks most important to you. 

  • Practicing What We Preach: Supporting Ourselves While Supporting Our Students; Janette Clay, Clark College

As higher education practioners, we support students daily with support and steps to create a healthy school-life balance. But what about caring for ourselves? Through a contextual framework of compassion fatigue and tactics for setting boundaries, participants will identify typical work-life balance obstacles. Further, through scenarios, participants will identify self-care strategies and create a personal action plan for moving forward. Activities will center around discussion and reflection in an effort to build community to realize that "we are not alone" in our roles on and off campus.

Professional Development & Advancement

  • Sounds Like Truth, Feels Like Courage: Unlocking Strength in Vulnerability; Katherine Leibel and Sarah Fuller, Oregon State University

Dare to challenge yourself to embrace vulnerability in your journey as a lifelong learner, leader, and professional. This workshop will expose you to what leader researcher Brene Brown says about vulnerability and how you can use it to your advantage in fostering connections, courage, and compassion -- with others and within yourself. The workshop will use small group activities and individual reflection as tools to understand how vulnerability and connecting with others can positively impact our professional practices and leadership abilities. Participants will leave with resources they can use to continue their unique journeys in embracing vulnerability.


  • Get More of What You Want: Intro to Appreciative Inquiry; Deborah Butler and Lida Herburger, Lane Community College

Appreciative Inquiry is an alternative to traditional deficit-focused organizational approaches. We'll explain how AI works to generate ideas and solutions, and how it can unite and empower teams around common goals. We'll share ideas to incorporate AI practice into your professional and personal life, and try out some AI activities together to provide some first-hand experience and generate ideas to take back to your institution. These methods can work with all kind of teams in all environments, and can also be part of a personal strategy to build and maintain positive, opportunity-based thinking in all areas of your life.

Systemic Change & Empowerment

  • Bisexuality: The Invisible but Mighty "B" in LGBTQ; Stephanie Blair, Portland State University

Do you ever wonder about the "B" in LGBTQ? Why don't we heard about them? This interactive presentation will address the difference between bi-identity and bi-behavior, as well as the unique experiences of the bisexual community. Examples from popular culture will be used as prompts for audience participation as we discuss challenges to representation, community, and coming out. Most importantly, participants will gain insight into how to be an ally to bi-identified students and colleagues. Together we will break down common, but frequently unknown, bi-specific stereotypes and microaggressions with the goal of making space for bi-visibility.


  • Unlock Your Voice -- How Women's Voices are Shared in the Workplace; Moneeka Settles, Southern Oregon University

How do women share their voice differently than men do in the workplace? How are women heard differently? In this workshop, participants will explore how women's voices are currently understood and how they could be amplified. We will role play scenarios and discuss tools for how to make sure a woman's voice is fully unlocked in a meeting, through a resume, translated by a reference letter, and as a negotiator.


If you have any questions about the programs, please email Sharece Bunn at


Conference Program Materials from the 2018 Conference are available in this Google Folder


Connect with Women Leaders

Networking with women leaders in the state of Oregon will enhance your professional experience. We look forward to creating opportunities for women to meet, connect and develop together.

Engage in Professional Development

Participate in opportunities for professional growth through educational programs that are provided by our campus contact network right on your campus, in your region or at a state wide gathering. The focus is on providing you with the leadership skills and mentoring necessary to lead.

Lead Change in Higher Education

Higher education in the state of Oregon provides a dynamic environment where women can impact change. Whether in the community college, 4-year institution, public, or private, we want you to be a part of shaping the future of higher education by empowering and affirming your leadership abilities.