DSA Conference

Join us on May 25, 2017, from 8:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. for the second annual DSA Conference. This year the focus of the conference will be on Unity: Strengthening Our Community. All DSA members are encouraged to attend!The vision for this annual conference, is to provide an opportunity for DSA staff to get to know one another better, cross-pollinate, learn from one another, and have an opportunity to share areas of expertise.

View photos from the 2017 conference!

Schedule of events

8:15 - 8:50 - Breakfast and Welcome from Chuck Klink -- Commonwealth Ballrooms A & B

8:50 - 9:10 - DSA Speed Networking -- Erin Edwards and Rebecca Halligan -- Commonwealth Ballrooms A & B

9:15 - 10:15 - Four concurrent breakout sessions -- Virginia Rooms and Salons

  • Creating a 'Great Place' Through Innovation, Collaboration, and Empowerment -- Bev Walker -- Virginia Rooms A & B
  • Understanding Connections Between Behavioral and Emotional Health, Co-Curricular Engagement, and Student Success -- Danielle Dick and Amy Adkins -- Richmond Salons I & II
  • Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Exploring Best Practices in Community Engagement -- Nicole Patterson and Lisa Mathews-Ailsworth -- Virginia Rooms C & D
  • Sense of Loss of Cultural Identity: Connecting to Our Third Culture Kids -- Kim Hanneman and Emily Yount Prusator -- Richmond Salons III & IV

10:15 – 10:30  Break

10:30 - 11:30 - Four concurrent breakout sessions  -- Virginia Rooms and Salons

  • DSA Master Plan Update -- Dr. Curt Erwin -- Virginia Rooms A & B
  • #MakingMoves: Shifting Gears Between Functional Areas in Higher Education -- Latisha Taylor, Rachel Rodney and Jorge Piocuda -- Richmond Salons I & II
  • The Truth About Conduct and Honor at VCU -- Megan Rapchick and Rocky Carmine -- Virginia Rooms C & D
  • Promoting Your Department While Promoting Student Success -- Allison Dyche, Mark Jeffries and Jacob McFadden -- Richmond Salons

11:30 - 1:00 – Lunch, Keynote speaker, and DSA awards -- Garret Westlake, Executive Director, da Vinci Center -- Commonwealth Ballrooms A & B

Suit Yourself Clothing Drive

You probably remember the moment when you got your first real job interview, the mixture of elation and nervous energy you felt as you began to prepare. At Career Services, we understand that feeling too. On a daily basis, we celebrate with students and share their excitement when they hear about their first interviews. Then we remind them the real work still lies ahead.

When preparing for an interview, one of the most common questions students ask us is, "What should I wear?"As career educators, we can offer advice. What students often need is a suit. With a sizable portion of VCU students receiving financial assistance, many do not have the means to purchase suitable business attire. Through a generous donation in March 2016, we founded Suit Yourself, VCU's free business wear closet. Suit Yourself aims to inspire self-confidence in VCU students by alleviating the stress of worrying about what to wear to an interview. To date, we've given professional attire to more than 250 deserving students.We're asking for assistance to continue our mission by hosting a donation drive for gently used professional clothing. We're seeking suits, dress shirts/blouses, pants, women's skirts, men's ties, belts, and shoes.If you are interested, please bring your donations to the DSA Conference on May 25th or bring them to VCU Career Services, University Student Commons, 1st floor, room 143 during business hours. All donations are tax deductible and directly benefit VCU students.We hope you will consider participating. To find out how to get started, please contact Jeanette Hickl, at 804-828-4846 or jwhickl@vcu.edu.


Welcome: Chuck Klink, Ph.D., Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Dr. Klink provides leadership and direction for the division and in shaping key policies for the university. He collaborates with his senior staff and others to continually promote student academic success and enhancement of the quality of life for the VCU community by creating cohesion between the various services and initiatives. 

‌Keynote Speaker: Dr. Garret Westlake, Executive Director, da Vinci Center

Dr. Westlake is contributing to the transformation of VCU into one of the nation’s leading universities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation and imagination, and the inclusion of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking as requisite skills for success in the 21st century.

Rebecca Halligan, Assistant Director, VCU LEAD, Erin Edwards, Hall Director, Grace & Broad Residence Center

Kick off the DSA Conference by getting to know your fellow DSA colleagues through a quick, structured Speed Networking opportunity. Challenge yourself to get to know new people and learn how you could support each other in your DSA roles. Keep in touch with the connections you form throughout and after the conference! 

Rocky Carmine, Coordinator of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity, ‌Megan Rapchick, Coordinator for Student Conduct & Academic Integrity

The purpose of this program is to educate our colleagues about what the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity does and how we support students who are going through some of the most stressful times in their academic careers.

Amy Adkins, Ph.D., Director of Student Engagement, College Behavioral and Emotional Health InstituteDanielle Dick, Ph.D., Director, College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute, ‌‌Emily Yount Prusator, Virginia Commonwealth University Master of Social Work candidate, 2017

VCU’s Spit for Science project (spit4science.vcu.edu) has collected information on diverse outcomes, including substance use, depression, anxiety, smoking, eating, family/friends, stressors, sleep, and general health and well-being. Drop by this session to see our latest results and to brainstorm next steps! 

Curt Erwin, Ed.D., Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Housing

Working with identified consultants, campus partners, and our division as a whole, DSA is examining goals, discussing "big picture" issues around plan development, and aligning our physical environment with our mission & goals. Come get the latest information and provide feedback as we continue this journey. 

Kim Hanneman, Assistant Director, Career and Industry Advising

Third Culture Kids (TCK) repatriate into the country of their American nationality (their passport country). As DSA professionals, we understand the 'moving-in' phase of a college transition. How well do we understand that TCKs experience a 'moving out' of their cultural identity that invokes a deep sense of loss and disenfranchised grief?   

Allison Dyche, Director, Student Media Center, Mark Jeffries, 

Production Manager, Student Media Center, Jacob McFadden, Business Manager, Student Media Center
You need to promote your department and your events, but don't employ any students with the necessary skill-sets to complete your projects. Lucky for you, the VCU Student Media Center does! Learn what creative services are offered through the Student Media Center, and how we can work together to meet your needs (within your budgetary constraints) while also supporting student success.

Lisa Mathews-Ailsworth, Off Campus Student Services Coordinator, University Student Commons and Activities, Nicole Patterson, Volunteer Programs, University Student Commons and Activities

Won’t you be our neighbor? Drawing from best practice in community engagement, come learn effective ways to develop mutually beneficial community partnerships that foster student development. Discover how to think creatively about partnerships and co-education in this interactive session.

Jorge Piocuda, Assistant Director, Career & Industry Advising, VCU Career Services, Rachel Rodney, Assistant Director, Career & Industry Advising, VCU Career Services, Latisha Taylor, Assistant Director, Career & Industry Advising, VCU Career Services

Attempting to make the transition between functional areas (i.e Residential Life & Housing, Student Activities, Career Services) can be challenging. This session will provide you with the tools and strategies on how to gain relevant experience, market yourself, and help you identify your transferrable skills to make that transition feel possible.  

‌Bev Walker, Program Manager, Career Development

The goal of the HR Redesign project is to strengthen our workplace and enhance the lives of our employees. The DSA community, with its engaged, proactive and diverse staff, is in a unique position to play a pivotal role in the Great Place Initiative. Join us as we discuss how the Division can use innovation, collaboration and empowerment to create a positive culture and supportive work environment. 

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