2019 Conference Sessions

See below for a description of the different sessions that we will have this year. For information about the presenters, please see the Meet the Presenters page, and please refer to the schedule for an overview of the conference schedule.

Keynote (Saturday, 9:30am)

This year's keynote speaker is Andrea Redeau, LPC, CADC1, NCC, of Uniquely You Counseling and Lewis & Clark College. This keynote will focus on young bi-racial girl’s journey through the Portland education system, sharing the hardships, triumphed moments, and lessons learned along the way through the lens of the OWHE mission: Meaningful connection/community, personal growth, and systemic change & empowerment. "I will never forget the first time I realized I was different or “special”, as my mother would say. The moment I realized that the education system was not built for someone who looks like me, sounds like me or learns like me. I will share the skills I learned to successful move through the education system and become my own educator and an educator for counseling students trying to make a difference."

Wise Professionals Panel (Saturday, 3:30pm)

Join 6 wise professionals from across Oregon higher ed as they share their stories, advice, and answer questions from the audience.

Unconference (Saturday, 2:15pm)

An unconference is a lightly structured, exploration and discussion based “conference” where participants pose ideas they’d like to discuss (Saturday at 11:30am - 12:30pm), and then attendees seek out discussion groups around topics they find most interesting (Saturday, 2:15 - 3:15pm. To learn a bit more, watch this two-minute YouTube overview of an unconference by our very own Erica Curry. The goal of any unconference is to help attendees connect to a person or idea; at OWHE, we want to take it one step further and help you think of calls to action or what opportunities you want to take beyond the conference through dialog with colleagues. What do you need to prepare? Nothing but your ideas!

Breakout Session I (Friday, 4:00pm)

1. Lightning Talk Sessions (This session includes four lightning sessions during a 60 minute period) - Lincoln Room
  • Improve Your Communication with "Yes And" -- Presenter: Courtney Campbell, University of Portland
    In a world of No, wouldn’t it be nice if we heard Yes a little more? Using the foundational rules of improvisational comedy, participants in this session will engage with each other to practice the power of “Yes, And” and apply it to both their professional and personal lives. The takeaway from this lightning talk will help participants refresh and reform their communication practice to be more joyful, mindful, and dynamic no matter the type of institution or student population served.
  • The Dark Side of Empathy -- Presenter: Amber Buck, University of Oregon
    Empathy is a skill that is often praised in higher education, especially for those identified as women. However there are times when employing empathy can cause a person to be complicit in their own oppression. This session will walk through how to acknowledge when empathy is helpful and when it can be harmful.
  • Using Bullet Journaling to Unlock Personal and Professional Development -- Presenter: Emma Larkins, Oregon State University
    For many practitioners, goal setting is a part of an annual process and a time to dream big and focus on building professional competencies to advance. While big professional goals are a continual touch point throughout the year, it is easy to let smaller personal goals and habit building fall to the wayside. Bullet journaling and simple, daily practices can be a solution to helping one track daily practices, build confidence, and build (or change) desired habits. Attendees will explore various templates and examples and see how these systems can help one gather personal data and chase down personal and professional growth.
  • Motivation through Collaboration -- Presenter: Sharlena Luyen, Oregon State University
    Motivate team members/peers to view challenging scenarios as positive; inspire team members to challenge themselves, creating a more inviting work environment. Lead team members through challenges, helping them grow personally and professionally. Understand team dynamics and individuals' strengths/weaknesses to instill a supportive, collaborative mindset within the team.

2. Promoting Professional Advancement and Systemic Change for Future Generations of Women -- Presenter: Sara Friedman & Sara Spiers, Portland State University - Council House A

This discussion will first introduce a theory of evolution in women’s leadership in higher education. Second, the discussion is framed to unpack challenges women in higher education currently face with the goal of anticipating and ameliorating potential barriers for the next generation of women. By reflecting on the evolution and context of three broad generations of women leaders in higher education, participants will work to position themselves in the evolution of women in higher education and identify strategies for acting as intentional leaders, facilitating the entry of the next generation. This discussion is accessible to all women in Oregon higher education.

3. Sorry, Not Sorry: Using Language to Maintain Authority -- Presenter: Ashley Nilson, Portland State University - Council House B

Ever find yourself habitually saying “sorry”? Or trying to cover your words with hesitancy so you don’t seem too pushy? Then this workshop is for you! Apologetic language is a form of speaking that reduces our authority and damages our confidence. It’s feeling the need to apologize for our own opinions, or to hint at what we mean rather than outright saying it. In this workshop we’ll look at different forms of apologetic language, including how we use it in our own lives, and develop methods to use authoritative language instead. Because sorry, but we’re not sorry.

4. Braiding Multicultural Competence, Narrative Expression, and Collective Impact -- Presenters: Serena Ota. St. Clair, Rogue Community College; Bobbi Kidder - Council House C

Braiding Multicultural Competence, Narrative Expression, and Collective Impact to create a healthy learning environment for students and staff. Learn about how collaboration among colleagues and partner institutions/agencies, telling our stories through narrative expression, and multicultural competence can lead to innovative solutions for equity and social justice in order to create abundant academic and professional opportunities for women. These three presenters will share their expertise by leading the group in short exercises and offer resources that can be incorporated into daily work lives, strategic connections, and personal/professional growth.

Breakout Session II (Saturday, 10:15am)

1. Job Crafting: Reimagining Your Work to Improve Satisfaction & Engagement -- Presenter: Alex Aljets, Oregon State University - Council House A

When we feel disengaged at work, many of us think of changing jobs. But what if you could reenergize and reframe your current job? Supported by organizational behavior research, “job crafting” provides a framework to reimagine our work lives by redefining tasks, relationships, and perceptions to increase engagement and job satisfaction. Join this interactive session to learn about the types of job crafting, recognize job crafting elements in stories from women in higher education who redefined their jobs, and apply these principles to improve your own engagement and satisfaction at work or to support the development of those you supervise. This session will be a panel format with: Sarah Johnston (Portland State), Sarah Kutten (University of Oregon), Nano Osei-Kofi (Oregon State), and Chrysanthamum Hayes (Oregon State).

2. Code Switching, Authenticity, and Communication Effectiveness -- Presenter: Demian Lucas, Portland State University - Council House B

Code switching can be an effective way to related to others. By shifting language, tone and non-verbal communication tactics the speaker may be able to connect with others more quickly and easily. Essential to understanding this communication tactic is the process by which meaning is created; through interaction with others or self. There are also cautions related to code switching as excessive switching may be impractical and inauthentic. Understanding these ideas will enrich participant interpersonal and intrapersonal communication effectiveness.The session will explicate and explore code switching, meaning creation and discuss their impact within a dynamic and diverse college environment. Participants will have an opportunity to evaluate and potentially improve their communication practices.

3. Practicing Civil Discourse in Un-civil Times -- Presenters: Linda Samek & Debby Espinor, George Fox University - Council House C

In 2019 it seems that our world is too often unable to participate in civil conversations around controversial topics. This session will provide skills and tools for those who have opportunity to engage in or facilitate such conversations. We will explore several protocols and tools and then provide opportunity to practice using them to promote civil conversations using common scenarios found in the workplace, in the neighborhood, and in your family. This is a leadership skill that is desperately needed in our workplaces across genders, generations, and world views.

4. #SquadGoals -- Presenter: Tiffany Thom & Alisha Higley, Southern Oregon University - Lincoln Room

#squadgoals addresses the values of meaningful community through a discussion about the importance of strong team relationships. Throughout the session we will discuss the necessity of a positive team environment and provide concrete methods for our participants to use to promote these bonds within their own institutions. Topics will focus on different ways to strengthen and improve relationships, team talk during on-boarding, collaboration across institutional departments, as well as the crucial role the manager and/or team leader plays in creating an atmosphere where your coworkers are welcoming and supportive.

5. Using Project Management Techniques to Build Leadership Skills -- Presenters: Karenna Sills & Juliana Kutch, Portland State University - Pine Room

Have you ever been tasked with implementing a new process or technology, or spearheading an initiative within your department? Although you may not consider the work you do a “project”, using project management techniques can result in higher success rates and is a great opportunity to build your leadership skills. In this session, presenters will discuss: project management techniques (e.g. Agile, Waterfall, Scrum) and leadership styles (e.g. democratic, autocratic, strategic); how to manage projects and teams with professionalism and empathy; how to hold productive meetings, with clear and open communications; and how to adapt project management tools and templates to your institution’s needs.

Womxn of Color Caucus Breakfast (Saturday, 8:00am)

OWHE is pleased to continue the Womxn of Color Caucus gathering at our Annual Conference! Please join us for breakfast on Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 a.m. in the Gallery Room. The Womxn of Color Caucus provides a safe(r) space for womxn of color within OWHE to come together to discuss topics relevant to their experiences as higher education professionals. 

We will connect at the conference to support each other in exploring our professional aspirations while also navigating various aspects of our identities, career experiences, and lives within our community. It is our goal to provide an opportunity for WOC to find a home within OWHE and create on-going engagement opportunities throughout the year. The Caucus is open to all identified Womxn of Color. Please note, we are limited to 40 participants for the breakfast.

Be Seen + Be Support(ed) - 2019 OWHE Mentorship Program Lunch (Saturday, 12:30pm)

The OWHE Mentorship Program offers participants tools and opportunities to connect with peers and cross-divisional colleagues to promote learning, growth, and professional advancement. Our Mutual Mentorship Model offers professionals of every role and experience level a chance to give to and receive support from others.  Join a "mentoring cluster" of 3-4 professionals where topics, resources and support networks are created and facilitated through virtual gatherings.  Our kick-off "Orientation & Luncheon" for 2019 takes place at the OHWE Conference on Saturday, February 2, at 12:30 in the Gallery Room.

Program participants who attend the conference will meet their cluster partners February 2. At the lunch, OHWE participants are grouped based on their interests, identities, and goals. There will also be a full list of participants so that OWHE members can connect with others beyond their clusters. Our vision with the mentorship experience is to expand your network of colleagues and spaces for growth and goal-setting with the support of OWHE.

Please sign up by Friday Feb 1st at 8pm for the best opportunity to be matched and meet mentorship partners at the Orientation & Luncheon.  Sign up at the Networking Fair or complete our online form. Please note, we are limited to 40 participants for the mentorship lunch, so sign up soon!


Conference Session Resources from Presenters are available in this 2019 Conference Resource 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.