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Chestnut Hill Prepares for First Annual Student Life Symposium

Chestnut Hill Prepares for First Annual Student Life Symposium

Jan Walbert
Jan Walbert, the keynote speaker

Collaborative Conversations, the College’s first Student Life Symposium will be held Friday, October 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Life, the symposium will focus on promoting personal and professional enrichment in a collegial atmosphere as well as fostering dialogue among higher education professionals for sharing the best practices and innovative approaches to the challenges faced in today’s landscape of higher education.

“After reflecting on various conferences that we have all attended, we realized some of the most valuable time was spent sitting with colleagues and having honest discussions about the challenges faced daily in higher ed,” says Chelsea Farren, assistant to the vice president for student life. “We decided that a conference centered upon this kind of discussion and collaboration would be a great way to make meaningful connections with colleagues from other institutions.”

Indeed, planning for the event was a shared effort, utilizing expertise from all areas of the division.

“The Student Life staff believes in a collaborative leadership model,” says Lynn Ortale, vice president for student life. “We came together as a group and through this dialogue, the idea of Collaborative Conversations was born.”

Programs offer something for everyone

The day’s roster of programs has been confirmed. They are: Higher Education’s Middle Child: Understanding the Sophomore Year Experience, Therapeutic Lifestyle Choices, Leading with a Learning Difference, Taking Care of the Family: Balancing Student Leadership and Wellness, Multiculturalism in Psychology: Implications for Counselors Working with Diverse Student Clients, Using Resources Wisely: Looking at Collaboration in Student Leadership Positions, Assisting College Students on the Autism Spectrum and Title IX for Those Who Think They are Afraid of Title IX.

Presenters come from Chestnut Hill College and other area colleges, and include Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP, professor of psychology, Fran Boshell ’09, Lisa Johnson, Psy.D. ’92 and a member of CHC’s Counseling Center staff, and Janice Kuklick, M.Ed., associate professor of physical education.

Jan Walbert, Ed.D., will be the keynote speaker. Walbert earned her Ed.D. from Lehigh University and is currently the senior consultant of executive search at Keeling & Associates. She was vice president for student affairs at Arcadia University for 21 years and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of campus life from security to career development and more. Additionally, Walbert served as the president of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, formerly known as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She was named a “Pillar of the Profession” and received the Fred Turner Award for Outstanding Service to NASPA in 2011.

“Jan is a national leader in higher education and her commitment to students and her engagement in the development of professionals is unmatched,” says Ortale. “We are thrilled to have her as the keynote speaker.”

All CHC alumni working in the field of higher education are invited to a post-conference reception with President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., her Cabinet, members of the Office of Alumni Relations and the Student Life staff.

The symposium is another testament and symbol of growth for the College, which continues to present itself as, in Ortale’s words, “… being at the forefront of best practices and on the cutting edge of addressing issues in higher education.”

Ortale is hopeful the College will continue to carry this mantle into the future and is confident events such as the symposium are one of the best ways to do so.

“Members of our team have received multiple invitations to present at national conferences to share the innovative programs and initiatives we are providing for our students at the College,” she says. “So we wanted to extend that invitation to have our colleagues come here and give them a different experience with a focus on the education and development of students as well as the development of the professional.”

Marilee Gallagher '14

Posted In: Around Campus