Drumming Circle

Drumming Circle
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Tim Nethercott
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tim Nethercott

Tim Nethercott of the Faith and Spirituality Centre brought in drums and other percussion instruments (frame drums, djembe, eggs, frogs, triangles and tambourines – oh my!) for the UCAN members to bang away their stress!  Tim gave everyone a quick lesson on how to play the different percussion instruments and then we improvised some rhythms and played games including repeating a rhythm, increasing the beat rate, creating a beat to our name, and adding different instruments in – everything is better with a little cow bell!

Everyone was smiling and appeared to have a good time beating their stress away!

Blog posted by: Alison Schmal
Photos by: Cameron Vanderwey

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Understanding the Wellness Needs of Students

Understanding the Wellness Needs of Students
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Ashley Humeniuk, Health Promotion Coordinator – SU Wellness Centre
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April0814 PhotoAshley Humeniuk from the Wellness centre provided an overview of the most common health concerns of students at University of Calgary to increase our understanding of the current behaviors and perceptions of the students we work with.  Graduate and undergraduate students from across campus were invited to participate in the National College Health Assessment, and the results of this survey provided the foundation for this presentation.

A total of 882 people participated in the survey; the vast majority (91.3%) were undergraduate students.  The number one factor affecting academic performance as identified by the respondents was stress.  The health concerns of our students included: general health and safety, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, sexual health, physical health (e.g., nutrition, physical activity), mental health and academic impacts.

The SU Wellness Centre has adopted a healthy campus model to respond to the findings with the survey. The Healthy Campus Website includes tools kits and resources to help students support students based on the concerns identified.

At the end of the session, we were asked – how can we contribute to a supportive and inclusive campus environment? Some of suggestions were to: respond early to concerns, attend to noticeable changes in behavior, encourage students to seek help, provide information about resources and normalize help seeking behavior.

Additional details can be found in this Understanding the Wellness Needs of Students presentation.

Blog posted by: Angela Judge-Stasiak
Photos by: Cameron Vanderwey

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Get to Know Your Campus Colleagues

Get to Know Your Campus Colleagues
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: The UCAN Committee
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Networking

The inspiration for this event came directly from feedback of UCAN members expressing the value in meeting colleagues on campus.  Members were invited to attend a “speed-networking” lunch hour where they were able to provide introductions, meet with colleagues in different areas, and learn more about different departments and roles on campus. The session provided guided opportunities to meet and in small groups, participants answered some of the questions below such as:

  • What is your role on campus? Who do you serve?
  • What is one thing that would be surprising about the work you do (personally or within your department)?
  • What do you really like about your job?
  • What do you find most challenging in your job?
  • Is there something about the University you would like to learn more about?

In a post-session survey, 100% of the respondents replied that the event met expectations.  There was also a suggestion was to offer this opportunity to network every six months due to staff changes and new faces on campus.

List of Areas Represented at Networking Session

Blog posted by: Angela Judge-Stasiak

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Non-Violent Crisis Intervention

Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Brian Kitching
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brian KitchingAs advisors and student services professionals, we have all likely worked with an upset or frustrated student in the past, and having a range of techniques and resources to draw on during these difficult situations is fundamental to facilitating a positive solution for everyone involved.

Brian Kitching’s presentation on non-violent crisis intervention provided the packed house of advisors with some of the most essential strategies for dealing with upset clients and students.  After discussing some of the common reasons why student/clients might be feeling anxiety, Brian outlined the five main phases of verbal intervention and how to recognize what phase a student or client might be in when we are working with them.   He then discussed some simple strategies to help move these situations towards tension reduction and solutions.  Brian reminded us that, ultimately, all threats should be taken seriously and our safety is always the number one priority.

Brian Kitching provides lockdown training the last Friday of every month, and is available to provide it or non-violent crisis intervention training by request.  For more information or to register for Friday lockdown training, please visit the University of Calgary, Environment, Health and Safety site.

Blog posted by: Lesley Gerein

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Last Lecture from Patrick Finn

Last Lecture from Patrick Finn
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Dr. Patrick Finn
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PFinn

Patrick Finn brought a ‘last lecture’ to the audience and the presentation started with a quote from Cicero: “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself”.  Patrick brought insightful, entertaining, honest and critical reflections of the world we live in and the noble work we do here as advisors.

The historical foundation of the University system was based on the work of Plato and Socrates and two basic principles, know thyself and care of the self.  This recognized the need to learn and grow while sustaining and practice care of self.  The world within which we live is that of the mind, a global age where information can be compiled and accessed at the tip of our fingers, and stress and access to wonderful discoveries and bad news is relentless. This is the most exciting time in history, and more is changing at a rapid pace.  In this pursuit of the mind, we have lost the care of the self.

Participants were invited to reflect on how they took care of themselves and to create practices where we can care for ourselves.  If we are what we repeatedly do, and practice taking on more and more, and resting and exercising less as human beings we will be less productive.  Patrick encouraged everyone to think about some very simple and basic things that would make us all healthier and happier.  The act of caring for ourselves would naturally impact the students, faculty and staff that we work with.

Very small suggestions such as talking a walk, and only a walk, sleeping at your desk, or even just closing your eyes, reading for pure enjoyment and journaling were suggested. While each suggestion was presented with humor, the startling truth is if we can simply spend time doing nothing, we will create space to think and to exist. The best part of each suggestion is it has been supported in many studies in positive psychology and other fields.

If you missed the session, or would like to learn more you can search for Patrick Finn and his lectures on YouTube, read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Professor at Carnegie Mellon with Jeffrey Zaslowor and take a look at the work of Jane Jacobs.

Blog posted by: Angela Judge-Stasiak

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The ABC’s of the LGBTQA Community

The ABC’s of the LGBTQA Community
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Dawn Johnston and Nick Moore
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Genderbread Person 2.0

Nick Moore and Dawn Johnston gave a dynamic and engaging presentation on the broadness of sexuality, the intricacies of the LGBTQA community and insight into some of the many services of the Calgary Sexual Health Center including education, workshops and training programs. They provided definitions for terminology, the differences between sex and gender, and an understanding into the power of language increasing our consciousness in how word selection can make a difference. The Genderbread Person from the presentation and shown above is an infographic that represents the continuum of gender identity. The information led us to think about our own perceptions and encouraged us to reflect on our own views and assumptions.

The ABCs of LGBTQA Presentation
University of Calgary Trans Resources

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Responding to Student Conduct Concerns

Responding to Student Conduct Concerns
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Shawna Bava
Thursday, May 30, 2013

Choices

Shawna Bava returned to provide Part II of the Student Conduct Concerns presentation hosted in April. The intent of this informative and engaging session was to examine how we work together and to discuss how we respond to student conduct in our current roles. Shawna shared her frame of reference for how she responds to student conduct concerns and allowed participants to reflect on their own scope, role, training, skill level, experience, comfort level and preferences for addressing student conduct concerns.

Participants discussed scenarios within small groups and were asked to respond to the following questions: What is your response?  What would you do? Shawna encouraged participants to be specific and thoughtful about what you would say, how you would respond and what resources you would engage.  The small group discussion fed back to the larger group and Shawna incorporated her response to these same concerns. This created a collaborative learning environment to discuss various strategies and resources to support us in our roles with students.

If you missed the session, or would like to learn more Shawna recommended the following resource: “Reframing Campus Conflict” which is edited by “Jennifer Meyer Schrage and Nancy Geist Giacomini.

Shawna Bava Presentation 2

Responding to Students In Distress Reference Guide

Blog posted by: Angela Judge

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Non-Academic Misconduct and Students At Risk

Student Conduct – A Campus Approach
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Shawna Bava
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Misconduct

Shawna Bava from Student Conduct provided an overview of the Non-Academic misconduct policy. Participants gained insight into the process for responding to these concerns on campus and how to report these concerns.  Identifying features of at risk behavior and how students may present was described in detail and participants were provided with an outline for how we can respond to these concerns within our role and seek support on campus. Shawna painted a picture of student mental health and how we can contribute to and foster a healthy campus environment for all students. Shawna emphasized the critical role that advisors play in assisting students to minimize their distress and clear steps for who we can engage for support and consultation here on campus.

This session was popular and well attended, and there was a desire to have time to talk more about how these policies and student concerns impact each advisor in their daily work.

Shawna Bava Presentation 1

Blog posted by: Angela Judge

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Presence, Purpose and Authenticity (What’s the fizz in your ginger ale?)

Presence, Purpose and Authenticity (What’s the fizz in your ginger ale?)
A part of the “Advise the Advisor” series
Presented by: Carol Wert
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Carol Wert Presentation CompiledCarol Wert’s inspirational presentation alerted us to being in the moment and how that can improve our sense of presence, purpose and authenticity.

Carol Wert Presentation

Photos by: Marion Jaffray

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UCAN Conference Feedback

2013ConferenceCompiled

“Take Aways” from conference attendees:

“A better understanding and sense of tolerance for helicopter parents and their role in the student experience.”
“W. Mitchell’s saying – it’s not about what happens to you, it is what you choose to do about it.”
“Ideas about leadership – everyone can be part of leadership, “does this drive us/me towards Eyes High” “Greatness is about helping people maximize their potential.”
“Knowing where to connect with other advisors and services on campus to help our students – gaining insight through in-depth discussion and shared ideas/knowledge.”
“Very valuable to find out about campus resources that students can be referred to.”

Photos by: David Bininda

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