Professional and Scientific Council Seminar Series

The Professional and Scientific Council hosts presentations, seminars, and workshops on topics of relevance to P&S employees through our Council Seminar Series. The Seminar Series events are led by our Professional Development Committee (, and announcements for upcoming events are made via the Council Newsletter. All P&S employees and guests are welcome to attend. Please join us and bring questions for the speaker(s)!

Special note: To protect the health of attendees and presenters, this fall’s Seminar Series events will be hosted online. If you are unable to join us for the livestreamed presentation, the recorded session will be posted in Learn@ISU approximately one week later.

2019-20 Seminar Series Events





Continuing the Critical Conversation about DEI* 

Representatives from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and ISU Extension and Outreach

Last October, the Professional and Scientific Council Seminar Series featured a roundtable discussion on the important topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The overall goal of this session was to provide P&S Employees with an opportunity to examine their own biases, promote a campus that better represents the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and use those principles to develop meaningful strategies to effect change in our community.

The response to the panel was so positive that we decided to revisit the topic this spring, continuing with the same objective in mind. Join us as we continue this critical conversation and focus on DEI efforts around campus. The panel will once again feature campus representatives who will address your questions and concerns.

To make the most of this session, we are asking participants to pre-register and submit a question they'd like to ask the panel. Although your question may not be answered directly, we will do our best to cover a range of topics.

*This session will be held virtually.

May 11, 20212-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Post-Pandemic Wellness and Resources for P&S Employees*

Stephanie Downs, Senior WorkLife and WellBeing Coordinator; David Brown, Behavioral Health State Specialist; Lisa Nolting, Student Wellness Dietitian; Cris Broshar University Human Resources WorkLife and Family Services Coordinator

As vaccination efforts continue and the COVID-19 pandemic starts to recede, P&S Employees are looking for guidance on how to emerge from self-isolation and rejoin their colleagues on campus and in their local communities.

  • How do we cope with the uncertainty of the “new normal”?
  • How do we remain safe as campus and our communities reopen?
  • How do we embrace the changes our bodies may have undergone and adapt our food and nutrition appropriately?
  • What resources are available for staff dealing with pandemic loss, stress, and re-integration into the workplace?

These are just some of the questions that we’ll address in the final part of our 2-part series on health and wellness. 

*This session will be held virtually.
April 20, 20212-3 p.m.Livestreamed

How Balanced Is Your Wellness?*

Laura Liechty, 4-H Healthy Living Program Specialist

P&S Employees are making their physical and mental well-being a higher priority as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. There are always opportunities for enhancing your wellness, but where should you start? During part 1 of this 2-part series on physical and mental well-being, you will be introduced to the eight dimensions of wellness. After taking a Wellness Wheel assessment to measure your well-being in each dimension, you will be able to identify areas where you thrive and others that need more attention. This new awareness will help guide you toward steps you can take to achieve a fuller sense of well-being. Join us next month to learn more about resources available on campus and in the Ames community to help you continue on your journey to improved wellness.

*This session will be held virtually.

March 9, 20212-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Answering Your COVID-19 Questions*

Kristen Obbink, COVID-19 Public Health Coordinator

As we approach the one-year mark of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, find out the latest news on the virus during this one-hour Q+A session. Kristen Obbink will answer your questions regarding the coronavirus and provide updates on campus resources and vaccination efforts. You may use this link to submit your questions in advance, and Kristen will attempt to address them during the session as well as provide additional details about the pandemic. 

*This session will be held virtually.

Feb. 9, 20212-3 p.m.Livestreamed

ISU Ombuds Office: Strategies for Addressing Interdepartmental Challenges*

Chuck Doran, ISU Ombuds Team Member

Join Chuck Doran to discuss “Strategies for Addressing Interdepartmental Challenges." The pandemic has not only challenged our safety and health, it has also made working together more challenging. For many, the isolation, stress of having to adapt to a new way of working, and decreased regular communication within departments have led to increased conflict and other challenges. This interactive seminar will focus on these challenges and provide strategies for you to address and resolve these challenges on your own or with resources at ISU such as the ombuds office.

In preparation for this seminar and to make the discussion as engaging as possible, we ask that you email, confidentially, any questions or topics that are top of mind for you in your department. Doing this will help Chuck tailor the discussion to what matters most to you and your colleagues. He will not share the identities of those who send an email – just the topics that are shared. His confidential email is Please send your topic suggestions and challenges by noon on Monday, January, 11.

For more information about Chuck and the ombuds function at ISU, please visit

*This session will be held virtually.

Jan. 12, 20212-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Building Partnerships Across Campus*

Maureen Griffin, Biotechnology Program Specialist, and Eric Hall, Professional Development Consultant 

As a public land-grant institution, Iowa State University has celebrated breakthroughs in human, social, economic, and environmental sustainability; new materials and processes for biomedical and industrial applications; nutrition, health, and wellness for humans and animals; transportation and infrastructure; food safety and security; plant and animal sciences; information and decision sciences; and renewable energies. 

So how can you tap into the wealth of knowledge on campus and build long-lasting partnerships with other offices and departments? Find out in this practical and instructive one-hour session. You will receive an introduction to the Partnerships in Educational Settings (PIES) framework, learn about an exemplary partnership program, and discover ways you can create similar campus partnerships.

*This session will be held virtually.

Dec. 8, 20202-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Managing the Impact of Caregiving on Your Career*

Malisa Rader and Barbara Dunn Swanson, Human Sciences Specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Do you find yourself caught between the demands of career, family, personal time, and caregiving? If so, you are not alone. According to a 2020 study, Caregiving in the U.S., 6 in 10 caregivers are employed. The stress and strain of caregiving can impact a person emotionally, physically, and financially. As an employed caregiver balancing multiple roles, it is easy to focus on survival and getting through from one day to the next.

While there are no simple answers, a caregiver can learn tools to thrive, not just survive. During this one-hour session, you will learn two different tools that will help you communicate clearly with supervisors, medical professionals, other family members, and the person receiving care. You will also learn about where to find resources and caregiving support.

*This session will be held virtually.

Nov. 10, 20202-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Roundtable Discussion: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts on Campus*

Representatives from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Equal Opportunity, Extension and Outreach, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission

This one-hour session will bring together representatives from campus and state organizations to discuss topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). During the roundtable discussion, Professional and Scientific employees will engage in dialogue with the panelists, as well as share their personal thoughts, questions, insights, and experiences with engaging in DEI work on campus. 

The objective of this roundtable discussion is to provide Professional and Scientific employees with an opportunity to examine their own biases, to promote a campus that better represents the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to use those principles to develop meaningful strategies to effect change in our community.

Panelists include Adrienne Lyles, Office of Equal Opportunity; Diana Sloan, Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Carol Heaverlo and Ross Wilburn, Extension and Outreach; and Elizabeth Johnson, Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

We ask that you pre-register for the event using this form.

*This session will be held virtually.

Oct. 13, 20202-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Up Ahead, The Scenic Route: How to Engage Staff to Foster Positive Learning*

Angela Braggs and Shawn Peterson, Instructional Development Specialists, Child Welfare Research and Training Project

Have you been "voluntold" to train a new hire or train your team on a new process, skill, or piece of technology? This can be scary if training is not your area of expertise or what you normally do as part of your job. Are you in a supervisory position and must lead meetings or other team events and activities? Creating engagement can be a daunting task.

During this presentation, Instructional Development Specialists Angela Braggs and Shawn Peterson will give you ready-to-use tips and best practices for taking your next training or meeting off the boring highway of bullet points and onto the scenic route of captivating staff experiences--with special attention given to virtual events. Creating an environment that motivates staff to actively participate is key to a successful team, department, or organization. Learn how to foster purpose, collaboration, and buy-in with your staff during these situations through this interactive session.

*This session will be held virtually.

Sept. 8, 20202-3 p.m.Livestreamed

Seminar Series Archive