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Save the date for the 2020 Professional Development Conference

This year’s event is all about caring for our University community, and here is how you can get involved.

By Scott Bergman

January 20, 2020

Professional Development Conference flyer.Mark your calendars for the 2020 Metropolitan State University of Denver Professional Development Conference on May 20 from 8-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-4:00 p.m. This year’s theme, Caring for Our Community – Checking In When You Want to Check Out, encourages a synergistic approach to build and sustain a healthy, supportive and nurturing professional and learning environment.

Although the MSU Denver community includes students, employees and our community partners, it’s easy to narrow our community context to our immediate teams or ourselves. In response, the Professional Development Conference will ask participants to proactively engage with the larger community to foster a thriving system with greater impact. By working together, we can create an environment that makes us eager to come to MSU Denver each day. 

Reinforcing this theme, keynote speaker Travis Heath, Ph.D., associate professor, Psychological Sciences, will speak about communities of care in the workplace. 

“Often when we think about our institutional cultures, we do so under the gaze of neoliberal capitalism. This invites us into highly individualistic ways of evaluation and behaving. That is, people must take personal responsibility for outcomes that don’t go as hoped or planned,” Heath said.

Instead, Heath challenges Roadrunners to imagine an environment in which “failure” is seen as contextual, discursive and relational, and in which outcomes are authored by the collective and not the individual.

“This is one element of what we have taken to calling ‘communities of care,’” he added. “What if everyone, especially those of us in positions of relative power, looked at the ways that our institutional or office culture failed to support (employees) in achieving objectives? Narratives of success or failure would likely be turned upside down and sideways.”

Heath will dive into this topics and discuss ways in which MSU Denver community members are already putting ideas into practice.

Members of the MSU Denver community who are interested in presenting on topics related to this year’s theme are invited to submit proposals in early February. Stay tuned to the Early Bird and the PDC website for more information.

Topics: Events, Inclusion, Inclusive leadership, Professional development, Professional Development Conference, Save the date

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