2019 Nebraska Women in Higher Education Leadership Conference

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Southeast Community College

8800 O Street

Lincoln, NE 68520

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Welcome, all, to the 2019 Nebraska Women in Higher Education Leadership conference!

The theme of this year’s conference, "Transitions: Life Stages, Careers, and Higher Education" and represent the following areas of transition:

TRACK 1: “Age/ Life Stage”

TRACK 2: “Inside/ Outside of Higher Education"

TRACK 3: “Between Career Levels."

Questions can be sent to: Nebraskawhel@gmail.com




Moving’ on Up, Out, or Around: Three Fundamental Facts of Career Change

Feel stressed about changing careers? Wondering how to find a place that’s a good fit? Not sure how to even start a job search? According to Keynote speaker Dr. Greta Perel, career change is the “new” normal and there are ways to successfully find the next career step. Greta’s keynote will help you move past episodic career fears, look at other places besides your resume to start your career search, and learn three smart career moves that really work.

SESSION I (10-11 AM)

A. Feeling Good (about Career Change): A Practical Conversation About Making your Career Move Happen

Feeling emotional pressures surrounding career change? Tried to negotiate a career change before but not sure if it was the best move? Join our keynote speaker, Dr. Greta Perel, as she helps participants explore short and long term plans to start a possible, career change.


  • Recognize how the emotionally draining aspects of career change can positively improve
  • Explore what has worked, or not, in the past when making career changes.
  • Identify “easy button” tips and tools for creating new career possibilities

Target Audience: Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Students


  • Greta Perel, Ph.D.

B. Transitioning Back to Your Natural Set Point.

This will be a fun interactive presentation. Participants will gain tools that they can use to help calm the stress response and build resiliency. The information can be applied to your own self care practices as well as carried over into the classroom or work with students.


  • Learn activities to transition themselves out of their stress response and into a more calm state of being.
  • Apply specific activities to create more resiliency in their lives, and react more intentionally to stressful situations.

Target Audience: Staff, Faculty or Students

Presenter(s): Michelle Hawco, Program Chair- Human Services, Southeast Community College

C. The Job You Never Thought You'd Have

When the panelists chose disciplines none of them would have envisioned life today. From English to coordinating disaster response, from business to educational development administration, from communication to the Nebraska Nursing Home Board, panelists discuss how disciplinary knowledge, outside interests and life’s experience mesh to create opportunities and meaningful careers.


  • Apply disciplinary knowledge to new ventures
  • Embrace opportunities outside of a discipline
  • See the importance of volunteer and community involvement as a part of professional development.

Target Audience: Faculty, Staff, and Students


  • Kristy Plander, Ph.D., Dean of Educational Development, Bryan College of Health Sciences
  • Lisa Ashby, Ph.D., Professor, Concordia University
  • Renea Gernant, Ph.D., Program Director, Bellevue University

D. Triple Threat: 3 Women, 3 Challenges, 3 Solutions

The three presenters will discuss commonly encountered early-career challenges for faculty and staff in higher education: building a network in an unfamiliar environment, persisting despite workplace rejections, and developing a professional brand. The presenters will share personal experiences in overcoming these situations and discuss implementable solutions.


  • Identify networking strategies when you are new to a position.
  • Discuss strategies for overcoming workplace and educational rejections.
  • Outline strategies for developing a professional, individual brand.
  • Identify strategies to incorporate your brand into your position.

Target Audience: Faculty & Staff


  • Anne Wildermuth, MMS, PA-C, RD, Assistant Professor- Allied Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Carey Wheelhouse, MPAS, PA-C, Assistant Professor- Allied Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Melissa Dorr, BA, PA Education Program Coordinator, University of Nebraska Medical Center

E. Championing a Better Workplace for ALL Women: The Microaggression Training Corps

This session will outline a campus program developed to increase awareness of, and strategies to combat microaggressions in the workplace with particular emphasis on gender equity. This program utilizes a "train the trainers" model to cost-effectively raise awareness across the university. By raising awareness of microaggressions occuring in the campus environment which act as barriers to career progression, campus climates for women moving into leadership roles can be improved.


  • Be able to identify the types of microaggressions that occur in the workplace.
  • Apply strategies for addressing microaggressions when they occur
  • Learn about a university program designed to increase awareness and empower positive change in campus climate

Target Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students


  • Melissa Berke, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Kirsten R. Case, M.O.L., Community Liaison & SHI Campus Supervisor- UNO Service Learning Academy, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Session II (11:15-12:15)

A. The Dream of Building a Robust Leadership Career

Building a leadership career is purposeful. It is a visible and evolutionary process. There are many elements to building a robust leadership career, such as gaining a new skill set, team building as well as overcoming setbacks, delays and frustrations. This session helps you begin to dream and build your robust leadership career.

Objective(s): Examine ways to build a robust leadership career.

Target Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students

Presenter(s): Susan Ward, Dean of Nursing, Nebraska Methodist College

B. Insights from Women in Academia: Pursuit of a Doctoral Degree

Presenters will share insights from their recent pursuit of a doctoral degree to spur a candid conversation focused on identifying motivation factors, commonly perceived barriers, suggestions for personal and professional support systems in the pursuit of academic achievement, and strategies for not caving into the fear of failure.


  • Identify motivation factors and common barriers associated with women faculty in the pursuit of academic achievement.
  • Share strategies that have proven to be successful for presenters and other attendees who are interested in supporting female learners.
  • Discuss strategies for helping women overcome barriers at their own institution in both formal and informal ways.

Target Audience: Administration, Faculty, and Students


  • Betsy Becker, PT, DPT, PhD, CLT-LANA, Program Director and Associate Professor- Physical Therapy, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Faye Haggar, EdD, Director of Education Development & Academic Technology and Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Karen Honeycutt, PhD, MEd, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM, SM(CM), Program Director and Associate Professor- Medical Laboratory Science, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Sarah McBrien, PhD, Director of Curricular & Learning Assessment and Assistant Professor- Allied Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Jill Skrabal, PhD, Monroe Meyer Institute Provider, University of Nebraska Medical Center and
  • Tammy Webster, PhD, MPA, RT(R)(M), FAEIRS, Program Director and Associate Professor- Medical Imaging & Therapeutic Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center

C. Mentor, Coach, Advisor, Friend--What Do I Need? Action Planning for Career Accelerators


  • Participants will understand common definitions and the differences between the roles of advisor, mentor, coach, and friend.
  • Participants will practice skills associated with coaching including developing powerful questions to guide conversations as a coach.
  • Participants will actively develop a personal network of individuals they consider as their mentors, coaches, advisors, and friends.

Target Audience: Administration, Faculty, Staff, and Students

Presenter(s): Kari Simonsen, M.D., PhD, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor- Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center

D. The Fifth Trimester: Successfully Navigating the End of Maternity Leave and the Reentry into Your Career

When women return to their careers after maternity leave, often before complete emotional and physical healing from the birth experience has occurred. Learn from others who have navigated this transition, incorporating their new lifestyle - hello, breast pumping and sleep deprivation - and continued their career trajectory.


  • Share workplace policies on parental leave and childcare
  • Discuss experiences women have in transitioning back to work after having children
  • Employ strategies for maintaining a career path throughout one's childbearing years
  • Identify biases and misconceptions associated with this time period
  • Explore the way the work experience changes during and after the fifth trimester
  • Encourage women who are or are planning on eventually managing this portion of their career

Target Audience: All levels of women who have or may in the future experience the postpartum transition back to work

Presenter(s): Elizabeth Edney, M.D., Assistant Professor- Radiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center

E. Strategic Doing

Strategic planning can be tricky. Including the “right” stakeholders, keeping the work moving forward, and actually making it all happen take tremendous amounts of effort and even then the process might not go as planned. Enter the concept of Strategic Doing- a process designed at Purdue University for more effective city planning. In this session trained Strategic Doing facilitator Jillian Krumbach explains the Strategic Doing process, intended outcomes, and provides practical advice for implementing the process.


  • Identify the core elements of Strategic Doing
  • Apply practical tips for implementing the Strategic Doing process.

Target Audience: Administration, Faculty, Staff,

Presenter(s): Jillian Krumbach, DNP, MSN, RN, Chief Student and Community Engagement Officer, Nebraska Methodist College

Lunch, Panel, Networking, NWHEL Updates, and Awards (12:30-1:15)

Serving as Interim Leaders

Our key lunchtime wisdom consists of a panel of women who have served, or are serving in interim leadership roles. Each woman brings a unique perspective to this type of leadership transition role and offers their insights about the interim leader experience. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Jennifer Bossard, Dean of the College of Business and former Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Doane University
  • Dr. Marjorie Kostelnik, Senior Associate to the President and former Interim Senior Vice Chancellor (Campus Provost), University of Nebraska at Lincoln (via prerecorded responses)
  • Dr. Aubray Orduna, Interim President, Clarkson College
  • Dr. Kari Simonsen, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor- Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Abby Vollmer, Associate Dean of Students and former Interim Dean of Student Affairs, Doane University.

Session III (1:30-2:30 p.m.)

A. Concerns and Challenges of Faculty Members During Various Phases in Their Careers

This panel presentation will provide an overview of the phases of identity construction as it applies to teaching in higher education. Representatives from each phase will share her journey and allow participants to engage in a discussion about advancing their own careers and identities.


  • Earn and examine the five phases of identity construction (Fernandes, 2017)
  • Listen and engage in discussion with representatives from various identity phases
  • Assess own identity construction and determine next steps to help advance as they desire.

Target Audience: Faculty and staff

Presenter(s): Erin McDonnell-Jones, Associate Professor, Bellevue University

B. Mom Guilt or Shame: Are Semantics Getting in the Way of Our Success?

Have you ever, even once, felt guilty as you attempted to balance your professional role with that of motherhood? This presentation will examine the messages we tell ourselves as moms, the emotions that are wrapped up in these feelings of guilt (or shame) and the history of why we so often feel this way. How much of these inner emotions are holding us back from our own successes? Together we'll dig in to what we can do personally and collectively to change the rhetoric!


  • Differentiate between what is shame and what is guilt.
  • Identify personal emotions that lead to feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Apply the historical context of motherhood to modern expectations.
  • Create at least one goal to address mom guilt or shame.

Target Audience: All

Presenter(s): Bev Cummins, Vice President of Student Services/ Lincoln Campus Director, Southeast Community College

C. Aligning With Your Values

Your values are your ability to see your worth and strengthen your leadership acumen. This presentation will take attendees on a journey to better understand how personal and team values can increase campus harmony, improve personal and team wellbeing and buffer against burnout.


  • Develop increased self awareness and identification of personal values and aspirations
  • Identify biases and hot buttons
  • Develop a plan for living your values and engaging coworker support to buffer against burnout

Target Audience: All


  • Stacy Riley, M.S., Dean of Students/ Assistant Campus Director-Milford Southeast Community College
  • Theresa Webster, M.Ed., Dean of Students/ Assistant Campus Director - Lincoln Southeast Community College

D. Transitions Equate to Stress: Improved Emotional Health is the Way to Not Just Cope But Thrive

During times of stress/change or transition it is crucial to have a healthy emotional response/system. Research indicates an ever-growing need for authenticity, increased mindfulness and improved communication for all human beings, especially during times of change. Join me for practical/applicable techniques.

Objective(s): Learn practical steps to improving authenticity, mindfulness and communication.

Target Audience: Faculty but all are welcome

Presenter(s): Nicole L Trevena Flores, MA, Therapist, Lincoln Wellness Group and Faculty, Southeast Community College

E. NWHEL Institutional Representatives Business Meeting

This session is reserved for current NWHEL Institutional Representatives, and those wishing to serve in this role for institutions lacking a current representative. Regular business matters will be addressed.

CLOSING (2:45 – 3:00 pm)

More Strategic Doing

For the past year NWHEL has been undergoing strategic planning with mixed results. This past summer, a few of us engaged with Jillian Krumbach to try our hand with the Strategic Doing Process. We’ve engaged in a few early steps but now need the engagement of our membership to help move the process forward. We will share our insights, update you on our plans, and put forth a call to action for greater participation and input.

Date and Time


Southeast Community College

8800 O Street

Lincoln, NE 68520

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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