41st Annual WCTF Career Conference

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41st Annual WCTF Career Conference

This Career Conference offers Professional Development, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and Lifestyle workshops.

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Michigan Union 530 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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About this event

  • 7 hours 45 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket


Ritu Bhasin [RIH-thoo bah-SEEN], LL.B., MBA is the CEO and Founder of bhasin consulting inc. (bci) and an award-winning speaker, author and internationally recognized expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), authentic leadership, anti-racism, and personal empowerment for people from equity-seeking communities.

Since 2010, Ritu has worked with hundreds of top organizations and senior leadership teams around the world, and as a professional speaker, she has presented to hundreds of thousands of people globally. Ritu is also a certified cultural competence coach and a certified neuro-strategies coach who has personally coached over a thousand people, and very shortly she will complete a trauma professional certification program. As a passionate advocate for authenticity, inclusion and empowerment, Ritu has won numerous awards for her work, including SUCCESS Magazine’s Women of Influence Award, The Women’s Center Leadership Award, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Diversity Award and the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations. She regularly appears on national television and radio in the U.S. and Canada as an expert on leadership, inclusion, personal empowerment, authenticity, and antiracism.

Ritu’s Amazon-bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle, was released in the fall of 2017. She is also the co-author of the ground-breaking research study, Sponsor Effect: Canada, with the Center for Talent Innovation (now Coqual), which examines the experiences that People of Color, Indigenous peoples, and women have with advocacy and sponsorship in the workplace. She is currently writing her second book, which is slated to be released in 2023.

Before founding bci, Ritu spent ten years in the legal profession, first as a civil litigator and then as the director of legal talent for the preeminent Canadian law firm, Stikeman Elliott LLP.

Ritu, who is also a yoga and mindfulness teacher and practitioner, lives in Toronto, Canada, but travels all over the world to eat, swim, hike, dance, and work.

To learn more about Ritu, visit http://www.ritubhasin.com. Follow Ritu on Instagram at @ritu_bhasin.

Schedule at a Glance

Grow. Advance. Succeed. (GAS): Refuel Your Career

Friday, March 3, 2023

8:15AM Welcome Remarks/Conference Orientation

8:30 AM Workshop Session A (Virtual)

10:00 AM Workshop Session B (Virtual)

12:00 PM Keynote Luncheon

“Women of Color, Rise Through the Authenticity Principle”

Ritu Bhasin, CEO and Founder of bhasin consulting inc. (bci)

2:30 PM Workshop Session C (In-Person)

3:45PM Conference Ends


8:30 – 9:50 AM

A1. Influence. Inspire. Impact: Reaching Beyond Your Title

Vance K. Jackson, MSW, City of Detroit, Office of the Mayor

Leadership Development

There is a leader in us all. Learn to identify and uncover your hidden leadership gifts and transform these valuable traits into leadership skills that build business and shape organizations.

A2. 5 Brilliant Elements to Power-Up Your Communication

Deborah Orlowski, PhD., Dahlia Keynotes and Workshops

Professional Development/Career Growth

If you want to ”up” your communication using simple but powerful techniques, then this workshop is for you. The key to effective dialogue is everyone hearing and experiencing the message the way the senders intend. Understanding these 5 elements is critical to that happening. Whether you’re struggling with a communication issue or merely want to be a more effective speaker, this session will leave you with improved skills.

A3. Understanding and Responding to Microaggressions

Tish Wade-Gallon, Ed.D US Department of Health and Human Services

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging/Health and Wellness

As the workplace becomes more diverse, discrimination and racism are not as blatant as they once were. This is not to suggest that workplace racism is a thing of the past. In the 21st century, both conscious and unintentional workplace biases are commonly displayed as subtle verbal, environmental, and/or transactional indignities, called microaggressions. Microaggressions, are covert derogatory offenses directed at a member of a marginalized group. Over time, being on the receiving end of microaggressions can negatively impact one’s mental health. This workshop will discuss the various types of microaggressions and provide practical strategies and interventions aimed at decreasing this modern-day tactic.

A4. Write Your Next Chapter- 5 steps to setting your retirement date

Christine Burgess, TIAA

Financial Wellness

For anyone starting to think seriously about when to retire, this webinar takes you through five steps to deciding when the time is right, including estimating retirement expenses, closing any income gap, and understanding key milestones that can impact your retirement finances.

We’ll help you think through how to: 1)Estimate what you’ll need, 2) Adjust as needed, 3) Consider key milestones, and 4)Protect your savings.

A5. U-M Asian Pacific Islander Desi/American Women in Leadership: Lessons from the Path Less Traveled

Marie P. Ting, PhD, U-M Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Neeraja Aavamudan, PhD, MAU-M Edward Ginsberg Center

Anne Cong-Huyen, PhDUniversity of Michigan Libraries

Mary Lai Rose, PhD, MS, National Center for Institutional Diversity

Dr. Connie Tingson, PhD, U-M Student Life

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging/Leadership Development

This session will feature APID/A women leaders on the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus and offer insight into how they make meaning of their own leadership experiences as administrators at U-M. In a moderated discussion, panelists will discuss how historical and current contexts (such as erasure from history, anti-Asian hate, APID/A invisibility, exclusion from diversity conversations) impact the ways they have navigated their careers in higher education. Panelists will also share sources of strength, community and support along this path less traveled.

A6. Inclusive Leadership with our teams, on campus, and beyond!

Kim C. Lijana, PhD, U-M Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Michael Turner, U-M Center for Educational Outreach

Catalina Concha-Ormsby, University of Michigan

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging/Leadership Development

At University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach, developing and sustaining a high performing team has been a multi-year strategic priority. In this session, you will learn about the ways the leadership team learns, reflects, and supports each other and our respective teams to cultivate a caring and effective work environment across our unit and with outreach colleagues. There will be an opportunity to hear about how each team and committee uses ongoing structures and rituals to support high levels of engagement and performance. Participants will have a chance to ask questions and share tested and true practices from their repertoire and organizations.


10:00 – 11:00 AM

B1. Salary Negotiation: How to Create a winning pitch as a woman of color

Dr. Ciera Graham, PhD

Career Growth and Professional Development

This 60-minute session will address the systemic challenges impacting women of color when it comes to negotiating their salary. Participants will learn tips and strategies for creating their salary negotiation pitch, and how and when to navigate difficult questions and challenges as it relates to salary in the job search process. This workshop is geared to current college students or early career professionals. This workshop is not for mid-level or advanced level professionals or those working in C-Suite level positions.

B2. Positioning Yourself for the Next Opportunity

Dr. Joslyn Johnson, PhD, U-M College of LSA

Career Growth

Preparing yourself for your next opportunity provides a practical bridge from where you are to where you would like to be as a professional. We will discuss how to prepare your application materials, identify the right people to help you within your network and hone your interview skills (and post-interview skill sets).

B3. Self-Care isn't Selfish: How to Actively Engage in the Preservation of You

LaNeisha J. Murphy, LPC, NCC, ACS, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, U-M School of Medicine

Health and Wellness

Self-care has become a buzzword in recent years, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taught us to work more efficiently and not necessarily extended hours. Another important highlight of COVID-19 has been the continued inequality of negative impacts on women of color’s mental health. It did not take a pandemic to tell us what we already know; women of color often bear the brunt of society’s woes and are expected to fix them without breaking a sweat; all the while, we are dying inside. In this session, we will learn how to shed the flawed thinking that self-care is selfish, ways to actively and regularly engage in these practices, and how to set healthy limits while still caring for others.

B4. A Woman's Guide to Saving and Investing

Jessica Burmeister, MBA, TIAA

Financial Wellness

This session will provide an introduction to the basics of investing including assessing risk and asset allocation, budgeting basics and worksheets. This seminar will also discuss savings options within the University of Michigan Retirement Plan.

B5. Do It Afraid: A Key to Curing Imposter Syndrome

Kimika Garrett, MSHROD, Kimistry

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging/Career Growth

How many times have you wanted to do something but didn't? Received recognition and felt like you didn’t deserve it? Quit the job that you are overworked and underpaid at? Accepted a job offer without negotiating your worth? There are so many things…big and small…that we miss out on throughout our lives…all due to some form of "fear”. What is surprising is that most people do not recognize "fear" for what it is….an ingredient in the Imposter Syndrome recipe. During our session, we will share, overcome, and create a path forward to SMASH our fears while creating our own FEARLESS recipe.

B6. Refresh your Resume: Writing for the Future

Ugochi Emenaha, Ed.D, Harris County Department of Education

Career Growth

Are you starting a new career? Just graduated and ready to explore your options? The first step is to evaluate your skills and get your resume ready by focusing on your strengths, and skills specific to your industry. In this session you will explore key steps for making sure your resume stands out!

B7. Let's Talk About Checks, Baby: Reducing the Racial/Gender Wage Gap

Julia Locklear, PhD, MA, The Locklear Group LLC

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging/Financial Wellness

Our relationships with money begins to form during childhood. People of color have unique and often fraught relationships with money due to a lack of generational wealth and systemic inequities. Nonetheless, it is important that we learn all we can about how money works in this country as a means of survival. This session will provide several tips and tricks about how to manage money, investments, and debt because if you don't manage your money, it will manage you.

B8. White Supremacy Characteristics in the Workplace

Grace Sekulidis, MSW, U-M Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR)

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

White Supremacy Characteristics in the Workplace is a reflective-based workshop about how white supremacy covertly shows up and impacts our workplace. We will chat about some of the common white supremacy characteristics in office culture, such as perfectionism, a sense of urgency, etc. Dialogue about how we see the characteristics show up and how it impacts us as an individual and community members. Acknowledging, reflecting, and seeking out ways to mitigate the impact of white supremacy traits on our work community is a step towards creating a more inclusive and healthy work environment.

B9. Leveraging LinkedIn to Level-Up Your Career

Tristan Layfield, Career Clarity Solutions

Career Growth

Most professionals know they need to be on Linkedin, but most don't know how to harness the power of the large professional social network. In this workshop, participants will learn the strategies I leverage to be named a Linkedin Top Voice in 2020, including: 1) The 8 sections to have an All-Star profile 2) How to strategically engage and the 3 categories of people to engage with 3) How to create content to boost your visibility


2:30 – 3:30 PM

C1. Level Up your Self-Leadership; Manage Your Inner Critic

Rosie Mishelle Rodriguez, PhD

Health and Wellness

Many professionals are effective in managing their external professional lives, but still struggle with their internal dialogue which affects their sense of confidence, clarity, and wellbeing. This can include self-doubt, self-criticism, imposter syndrome, and perfectionism. Racism and other forms of oppression impact our mind-body responses in ways that make these patterns even more common among women and people of color. This workshop will utilize embodied self-reflection and teach effective strategies to calm and coach inner critics and disrupt internalized ‘voices’ and ways of being that interfere with pursuing excellence in healthy, authentic, fulfilling and sustainable ways.

C2. It's Not About Race; But Anti-Blackness

Patricia W Coleman-Burns, PhD., University of Michigan School of Nursing

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Many scholars have written about anti-Blackness. Sometimes called “the Color Line”, the Negro Question, etc. they explore internalized as well as structural and interpersonal anti-Blackness and Misogynoir schemas. Einstein wrote on “The Negro Question”, 1946 Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices …; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the “Whites” toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes.

This session will explore that as the University enters DEI 2.0, what guidance do women of color and especially Black women offer in creating a more inclusive and equitable campus, to address the question of the 21st Century—anti-Blackness?

C3. Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation

Deborah S. Willis, PhD, U-M Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Leadership Development

Where there is a strong culture of appreciation, people are more than twice as likely to report that they feel included in their organization. An intentional system of authentic appreciation can help to build and sustain a culture that is inclusive and celebrates diversity. Additionally, studies show that when we deliberately pursue an appreciation for the goodness in our lives, the result is an increase in our well-being and happiness. This presentation offers ideas on incorporating authentic appreciation and illustrates how you can positively shift culture by doing so. Learning Objectives - Attendees will: Understand the benefits of gratitude on personal well-being Make the connection between appreciation and a sense of inclusion / belonging Learn specific strategies to shift organizational culture through appreciation

C4. Supervisors: Develop Your Staff or Watch Them Go

Mark Saine, MA, TIAA

Karyn Procter-Wicks, U-M School of Dentistry

Leadership Development

The opportunity to grow and develop is highly prized by staff and is a key retention strategy. This workshop focuses on how leaders can co-create effective growth plans with their staff and how to have conversations about their development.

C5. Wills and Trusts...WHAT DO I NEED?

Terrence G. Quinn, esq., The TGQ Law Firm

Financial Wellness

Will or Trust? Which is best for you and how do you decide when the time is right? What about Long-Term Care? As costs continue to rise, how is such care financed, and does the State take your house in the process? Through an upbeat case study approach, Attorney Quinn corrects myths commonly circulated regarding wills, trusts and long-term care planning while helping participants find solutions to these common questions. Have you ever wondered, “What will happen to my children and assets when I die?” Or “If I cannot make decisions for myself, who will - and what will they decide for me?” This session is designed to provide support through experienced legal information for you by addressing these questions. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants leave with reliable information that will assist them as they plan for their own futures and provide care for their loved ones. During this informative and engaging workshop, Attorney Terrence Quinn will work through real life circumstances that may assist in answering these questions and perhaps many more such as: - What will happen to my minor or special needs child after I’m gone? - Why blended families need to plan ASAP - Is joint ownership really that bad? - What about Medicaid and Long-Term Care? Can the State really take my house? - Am I protected from rental property liability?

C6. Dance to Enhance Your Life: For Fitness & For Fun!

Phyllis Taylor, MHealthy

Sherry Hawkins, Dance With Elegance Health & Fitness

Health and Wellness

Contrary to popular belief, everybody and anybody can dance! Dancing is a fun and easy way to get exercise as well. And while we all can't be Beyoncé, spending thousands of hours dancing and working out, we can learn a thing or two about fitness from Ms. Knowles. Come channel your inner Diva and learn tips on how to use dance to enhance your own fitness journey, even while having an office job! Then get ready to slay the stage as you learn the hottest line dances, and a few old-time favorites. You'll leave charged up, on fire, and with a plan to add dance to your daily life - for fitness & for fun!

C7. Understanding and Increasing Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Katie Reece, LBSW, U-M Organizational Learning

Tina Jordan, U-M Organizational Learning

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

This program aims to define psychological safety and provide tools for creating a healthier work environment. We will introduce the Four Quadrants of Psychological Safety (Learner, Collaborator, Challenger, and Inclusion) and discuss how psychological safety shows up (or doesn’t) in higher education, citing U-M climate data. Using a panelist format, we will learn how psychological safety has shaped the workplace experience while providing tools for creating environments that promote psychological safety and skills to navigate environments when it is not present for yourself and others. Participants will have a chance to reflect on their own experiences.

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