On Tuesday Jan. 9, Case Western Reserve University held its first ever Professional Development Day in the Tinkham Veale University Center (TVUC). The event included programs such as the Expo, the Solutions Slam and the Innovation Jam. The event was open to staff, graduate students, postgraduates and faculty.
The programming for the day was held on the second floor of the TVUC in the ballrooms, the Senior Classroom and the first floor conference room, while presenters for the Expo had stations set up near the steps.
One organization present at the Expo was the CWRU Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters provides students the opportunity to develop communication skills through educational programs and speeches to the club, both impromptu and prepared. An evaluator will give presenters feedback about timing, grammar and points to improve on.
Toastmasters can be of special help to graduate students intending to pursue a job in which they propose research presentations. Members of the club offer advice on the presentations for improvement and to provide practice for an actual presentation.
The Writing Resource Center, available to all CWRU affiliates, had a station at the Expo to advertise their offered services. While commonly seen as a resource for undergraduate students, the center is available to graduate students, postgraduates and faculty as well. The center offers students up to two hours of help per week for writing and improving academic papers and written work, as well as reviewing non-academic work, like resumes.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences had a station to show off its degree program, study abroad options and the Nonprofit Management program, available as a master’s degree, certificate or non-degree classes.
The Office of Research and Technology Management was promoting Research ShowCASE, an annual event held in the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center which involves hundreds of posters and presentations available to faculty, students and other members of the community with the goal of bringing together the CWRU community and learning about the research conducted at the university.
The Office of Student Activities and Leadership was present and sponsoring the Spartan Strengths Quest, an inventory used to find what top five character strengths a person has out of a total of 34 strengths which can then be used to improve professional skills.
The Center for International Affairs had a table to help acclimate international students and deal with any culture shock, as well as to advertise their study abroad programs.
With this many offerings, attendees had a multitude of options to choose from in terms of programs and resources.
Happening alongside the Expo were the Solutions Slam and Innovation Jam. The Slam focused on problem-solving around the university while the Jam’s goal was to bring CWRU members together to find a solution for a presented problem.
In addition, there were several training and educational events to help attendees improve their public speaking and presentation skills, gain knowledge about the professional deficit in disability education and the use of positive psychology and strength-based strategies for team development.
Overall the University’s first Professional Development day served to provide professional opportunities, create career connections for faculty and students and increase engagement for all members of the campus community in a way that facilitates growth and learning.