For the past six years, a Development Team has assembled with a representative from each department and one director to plan what we all know and love--the ASR all-staff events.
The past two years, co-chairs have been appointed to the teams. The 2010-2011 co-chairs were Tara Fricke and Shelley Parker. The 2011-2012 co-chairs were Kim Doberstein and Paula Seeger. Ingrid Nuttall in Continuity and Compliance also serves on the team annually as an administrative resource.
Each year, a fall event (scheduled in December) and a spring event (scheduled in May) are held. Typically, the fall event is short and informative, often including a talk from Sue Van Voorhis, director of ASR. Recently, the spring event has resembled a half-day "micro-conference," incorporating multiple sessions that pertain to the interests of ASR staff.
"Planning the fall event was much harder than spring, even though it took longer to plan the spring event," Tara said. "It takes time to 'gel' together as a group. Once you begin planning the spring event, you've already been working together for quite awhile and have a better understanding of how to plan a successful event."
To plan the ASR staff events, post-event feedback from participants is taken into account. A "lessons learned" document is created from the previous year's Development Team and surveys are sent out to ASR staff for feedback after each event.
"Once we had some things planned, we put out a feeler survey to see if what we had planned was in line with what ASR staff wanted," Kim said. "Utilizing News and Notes and surveys were huge communication tools."
Shelley and Tara said they also utilized News and Notes, but also made general announcements at various meetings, including the ASR-IT all staff meeting, to receive input from staff.
The planning of the events differs with each group. Tara and Shelley's team first met in August, but didn't start planning until October for the fall event. They planned both the fall and spring events at the same time and even had so much content that they planned summer brown bag events. Kim and Paula's team began planning in August, but they created more content for fall and, if it wasn't used, they moved it to spring.
"Each committee is made up of the same areas, but the events are always different because you bring in different people with new ideas and interesting perspectives," said Shelley Parker, co-chair of the 2010-2011 Development Team.
Paula added that not only is it a different staff compilation, but the focus and goals change with each team. "We spent considerable time developing a team charter and goals for the year. This was where we could really put thought into how to align ASR mission, vision, and values with the development demands and requests of staff members."
Both teams found it challenging to balance their everyday workload and the planning of the events. Most team members also have little event planning experience.
Members of the team plan two events, but also inadvertently develop working relationships with new people.
"I had never really worked with anyone on the Development Team before, but I found professional reasons to interact with my fellow team members that I would not have known about previously," Shelley said. "You learn about everyone's unique contributions to ASR and how you can utilize their skills in the future."
All four former co-chairs said they would join the Development Team again. "It was a chance for me to branch out and show my leadership skills," Tara said. "It got me involved and helped me to learn what other people do in ASR."
Though there are co-chairs on each team, Shelley, Tara, Kim, and Paula stress the importance of the team as a whole. "We were co-chairs, but we put a tremendous amount of effort to make sure everyone was heard on the team," Shelley said. "The entire team and their unique contributions are incredibly important to the success of these events."
Do you want to join the next Development Team? To become a member of the Development Team, speak with your supervisor and submit a Professional Development Request. A representative from each department and one director is selected. If you have specific questions about what it's like being involved with the team, feel free to speak with a co-chair or member from a previous year, or Ingrid Nuttall.
"Being on the Development Team gives everyone an opportunity to have a true professional development experience," Shelley said.
2011-2012 Development Team:
Melissa DeWees, The Cluster
Kim Doberstein, ASR-IT, Web Team
Nastassia Leigh, One Stop Student Services
Sue Johnson, OTR, Academic Records
Ruth Newman, OSF, Fiscal
Ingrid Nuttall, ASR, Continuity and Compliance
Paula Seeger, OCM, Classroom Support
Julie Selander, One Stop Student Services (representing ASR directors)