Conference Recognizes Sac State’s Administrative Professionals


“I love professional development and always want to learn more.” – Lynne Koropp, participant

Event Details

More than 100 staff members from 48 departments at Sacramento State attended the inaugural 2018 Administrative Professionals Half-Day Conference. The event took place on April 30 at the College of Continuing Education.

“This event is being held to recognize and thank Sacramento State’s amazing administrative staff for their hard work and dedication to fulfilling our mission throughout the year. It is through these efforts that we are able to so successfully deliver on our commitment to transform lives by preparing students for leadership, service and success.” -  President Robert S. Nelsen

This event was presented by the Office of Organizational Effectiveness; The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and the College of Continuing Education.


Here’s what some of the participants had to say:

“I loved this course! I would like to attend more like this. There’s so much to learn in this area.”

“The instructor was passionate, used quotes, images and examples to make points.”

“The best presentation I have seen. The instructor was a very engaging, entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. I had an amazing time!”

“I can apply the concepts.” 

“I learned a new way to make effective decisions.”

“I really like the data that was shared and the opportunity to explore some of the techniques.”

I really enjoyed how interactive it was. This opened up a safe space to be challenged and learn about myself and others.”

“I came away with actual, real life examples.”

Course Descriptions

Participants were able to choose from among four breakout sessions.

Session One: Strategic Risk Taking Inside Your Organization
Instructor: Nicole Welch

Successfully innovative organizations seek ideas from everyone in the organization. They minimize cultural and structural barriers to risk-taking and encourage learning from mistakes, failures and success. Often staff are on guard to escape negative perceptions and press, the pressure to avoid costly mistakes and failed initiatives leads to organizational cultures fearful of intelligent risk-taking and innovation. You will explore behaviors and strategies that will promote risk-taking, learning from mistakes and challenging the status quo.

Session Two: Make Better Decisions Using Grid Analysis
Instructor: Tyler Wade

Imagine that your boss has put you in charge of taking on a new outsourced IT supplier. You’ve already identified several different suppliers, and you now need to decide which one to use. You could decide to go with the low-cost option, but you don’t want to make your decision on cost alone – factors such as contract length, underlying technology and service levels need to be taken into consideration. So how can you make sure you make the best decision, while taking all of these different factors into account?

Whether you’re buying a vacuum cleaner, hiring an employee, or choosing a strategic policy option, Grid Analysis is a simple and practical tool to help you make better decisions. It’s particularly powerful where you have a number of good alternatives to choose from and many different factors to take into account. This makes it a great technique to use in almost any important decision where there isn’t a clear and obvious preferred option.

This workshop will offer fun and hands-on scenarios and experiences for you to try the tool before applying it to a real-life decision.

Session Three: Lead with Conversational Intelligence®
Instructor: Carrie Demuth

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens in conversations!” Judith E. Glaser Research shows that 9 out of 10 conversations miss the mark. Conversations are critical to the way we connect, engage, navigate and transform the world with others. Learn to make each conversation count by experiencing conversation dynamics that inspire trust and tap into the collective intelligence of your teams. In the absence of trust, we may be not be considering options that could contribute to the success of the organization.

Come experience Conversational Intelligence® and explore how it can help you guide teams to trust and higher performance. Bring your willingness to experiment, try out new tools and techniques and uncover what Conversational Intelligence® can do for you.

Session Four: Intergenerational Communication – Maximizing Workplace Communication between the Generations
Instructor: Sasha Joseph Matthews

This breakout session will focus on communication within intergenerational teams. For the first time in U.S. history organizations have four generations in the workforce: The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. 

This session will discuss value systems across these different generations and focus on how understanding varying perspectives and targeting communication to embrace those perspectives can improve workplace communication. It will also educate you on how specific company policies, management styles and even work environments can affect how different generations interact with each other and management. You will explore effective communication strategies between generations with the specific aim of fostering inclusion, involvement and understanding across generations. These strategies will focus on creating environments that both stimulate and excite multiple generations, while taking advantage of the unique perspective and value each generation brings to the workforce.

Keynote Speaker

Diana Tate Vermeire, J.D. is the Executive Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) and Chief Diversity Officer at California State University, Sacramento. The office and position were created in summer 2016 and Vermeire became the first permanent Executive Director of OEDI at Sacramento State in November 2017.

Diana Tate Vermiere addresses participants at Sacramento State’s inaugural Administrative Professionals Half-Day Conference, April 30, 2018. (Katie Riley/College of Continuing Education)

Vermeire came to higher education after more than 17 years as a practicing attorney working in both private firms and nonprofits on issues related to racial and identity justice.

In particular, Vermeire’s racial and identity work has involved litigation, legal and legislative advocacy, public education, organizing strategies, and policy advocacy to combat and eliminate bias and to otherwise remove institutional and structural barriers to achieving diversity and inclusion.