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SkillsNOW! Free Student Conference Schedule

Gain the skills you need to enhance academic success plus impress potential employers. This one-day conference just for Eastern Florida State College students will focus on professional development and real-world skills that increase your employability quotient.

Friday March 16, 2018 ⇒ 9 AM to 3:30 PM ⇒ EFSC Melbourne Campus

Check in starts at 9 AM in the Building 10 Atrium. The day kicks off with a free continental breakfast and includes lunch. 

Check the accordion schedule below for details on all the great breakout sessions that include topics such as time management, effective leadership, the power of networking, conflict resolution, the importance of your social media presence, work/life balance, creative problem solving and more. Plus we'll wrap things up with a dynamic networking event and the chance to win prizes!

Accordian Table

9 - 10 AM: Registration, Breakfast and Opening Session

All SuccessNOW! Events are on the Melbourne Campus.

Registration and Breakfast, Building 10 Atrium
9 - 9:30 AM

Opening Session and Welcome, Building 4 Auditorium
9:45 - 10 AM
Join us as our College President, Dr. Jim Richey shares with you his vision for this conference and his goals for YOUR college. You will also gain valuable information about the flow of today’s events and a reminder about your enrichment opportunities.

10:15 - 11:15 AM: Morning  Breakout Sessions A

Choose one session from Morning Group A

Emotional Management - Bldg. 1, Room 159
Dr. Wayne Stein, Provost, Palm Bay Campus

This interesting session will define what the term “Emotional Management” means. Framed in humor, basic human emotions will be reviewed and participants will learn how to cope with the emotions of those around them and develop their happiness quotient.

The 4 Ps of Building Confidence: Practical confidence building techniques for every-day use in and out of the classroom - Bldg. 1, Room 205
Susan Houts, Associate Professor, Speech

Anxiety plagues us all at one point or another, and some people more often than others. Whether caused by public speaking, math tests or job interviews, the “fight or flight” response causes physiological and physiological symptoms that wreak havoc on our minds and bodies during each experience. This workshop will discuss the universal causes and responses to anxiety and will explore a process that will assist participants in creating a portable and personalized anxiety reduction plan that is useful in any situation through examination of the “4 Ps of Building Confidence.”

Resiliency: What It Takes to Graduate
Mark McBride, Professor, English
Bldg. 1, Room 160 

The difference between college graduates and college dropouts has very little to do with smarts. It has to do with resiliency: the ability to overcome challenges and not give up. Sure, college can be intimidating, but it’s completely doable. The secret is knowing how. In this session, participants will explore the proven strategies guaranteed to lead to the ultimate goal at EFSC — graduation.

De-stress, Cope and Connect - Bldg. 1, Room 209
Dr. Laura Sidoran, Dean of Student Academic Support Services and Emily Tonn, Coordinator, Accessibility/Disability Services

During this interactive session, participants will learn the role that stress plays in their lives, and how stress relates to anxiety and depression. Participants will leave with tools and strategies to proactively manage stress, as well as promote life balance and healthy relationships.

Leadership in the Workplace: Skills Employers are Seeking - Bldg. 1, Room 206
Karyn Ott, Professor, Humanities

No matter how technologically advanced our society becomes, the so-called “soft skills” are still important. Learning to meet expectations beyond one’s own generational group will help today’s workforce advance to positions of leadership. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore what employers are seeking in today’s workforce through discussion and activities.

Fast break! Creating fast moving teams! - Bldg. 1, Room 162  
Rich Laird, Vice President, Operations

Learn how truly successful businesses function without silos, keep organizational structures flat, develop cross-functional teams and remain as close to “the customer” as possible. This session will enhance the participants’ knowledge of the power of a small, fully-empowered team.

Time Management - Bldg. 1, Room 211
Casey Covel, Coordinator, Career Planning and Development

It seems that there is never enough time in the day. If we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management. By using the time-management techniques in this session, participants can improve the ability to function more effectively – even when time is tight and pressures are high.

11:15 AM - Noon: Morning Breakout Sessions B

Choose one session from Morning Group B

Creating a Professional Personal Brand: 10 ways to marketing yourself on and offline - Bldg. 1, Room 206
Samantha Senger, APR, Public Relations Specialist, City of Cocoa and Abby Hemenway, Public Involvement Officer, SCTPO

Perception is reality, even online. There are steps you can take to make yourself more marketable in person and on the Internet. Knowing how to properly dress, how to be more outgoing and charismatic and how to tailor your cover letter and resume can set you apart from the competition. This also translates to the digital world, where understanding the ins and outs of social media can also strengthen your employment candidacy. This session will explore best practices for creating your own personal brand.

An Introduction to Mindfulness - Bldg. 1, Room 161
Dr. Alicia Spring, Associate Professor, Biology

Mindfulness is the practice of quieting the mind, thus becoming aware of the world around us, and the thoughts racing around in our own heads. It costs no money, requires no special equipment, and can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Learn this easy technique for identifying and reducing stressful emotions. Increase your focus and concentration. Find a little more peace and happiness!

Avoiding Communication Breakdowns: Using the communication process, emotional intelligence techniques, active listening skills and verbal de-escalation tips to improve all of your human communication experiences - Bldg. 1, Room 205
Susan Houts, Associate Professor, Speech

Have you ever experienced a breakdown in communication? Arguments stemming from misunderstandings, misinterpretations or poor listening habits can negatively impact our professional and personal relationships ultimately leading to sustained stress and deep unhappiness. By learning the Seven Elements of the Transactional Communication Process, along with exploring how our own emotions impact our listening behaviors and verbal and nonverbal communication skills, we can utilize effective techniques that will positively impact the relationships and communication experiences in our daily lives.

Provost Panel on Leadership - Bldg. 1, Room 160
Dr. Sandy Handfield, Melbourne Campus; Dr. Dee Sibley, Cocoa Campus; Dr. Phil Simpson, Titusville Campus and eLearning; and Dr. Wayne Stein, Palm Bay Campus

The campus provost is the chief campus on-site administrator. Leadership is one of the most important skills that students can develop while in college to help ensure a better future. The ability to listen, value people and their differences, negotiate inevitable conflict, innovate, respect the roles others play in any organization, follow the mission and goals of the organization, set priorities, and inspire people to do better are all part of leadership. Students who develop these skills in college will have a head start in becoming leaders in their chosen careers. Our provosts will speak to each of these skills, and many more, in a wide-ranging discussion that will be both fun and enlightening.

Presentation Skills: Inside the Box - Bldg. 1, Room 166
Ilana Grimes, Instructor, Humanities

Think inside the box! In this workshop you will learn insider tips to gain confidence in your own presentation skills. Participants will break down traditional presentation techniques and rebuild a set of skills tailored to his or her particular strengths. 

True Colors: Leadership Styles - Bldg. 1, Room 162
Marilyn Cook, Manager, Staff Professional Development

In order to enhance your skills as a leader, you need to explore, identify, and communicate your way of moving through the world. By participating in the workshop, students will gain insight into their leadership identity and learn how to work effectively alongside others.

Organizational Skills - Bldg. 1, Room 211
Casey Covel, Coordinator, Career Planning and Development

Many people struggle with disorganization. While some think they can succeed amidst the chaos, disorganization can end up costing a high price – it blocks creativity, adds stress to our lives and prevents us from being as productive and effective as we could be. This session will highlight strategies for getting organized, so that participants can start living and working to their full potential.

Noon - 1 PM: Lunch and Student Resources Area

Building 10 - Atrium

Enjoy lunch and the chance to network with representatives from various student services and resources at Eastern Florida State College.

1 - 2 PM: "The Power of Networking" General Session

General Session – The Power of Networking
Bldg. 4 Auditorium
Facilitated by Suzanne Sparling, APR, CPRC, MS, Executive Director, Communications, featuring community leader panel members Dr. Desmond Blackburne, Superintendent, Brevard Public Schools; Robert Rains, President, United Way of Brevard; Sherrie Roberts-Spears, Realtor, Coldwell Bankers; and Marilyn Waters, APR, CPRC

Your net worth is directly proportional to your network. It’s true. The old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” may be even more true today than when it was first coined. Almost every success you will have in life, in business and at work is because the right person is in your network. Join this panel of community leaders to hear first-hand how networking has positively impacted their personal and professional lives.  

2:15 - 3 PM: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Choose one session from the Afternoon Group

Resiliency Driven Success: How to Cope - Bldg. 1, Room 159
Wayne Brown, Instructor, Health Sciences

This session is designed to define what resiliency actually means, the impact societal expectations have on college students today, how students respond to distress, and the role college institutions can play in addressing not only students’ academic needs, but also the emotional needs while also supporting their success. Participants will discover coping skills for coping with challenges they face in life and in college in order to succeed. 

Instradoodle: The Importance of Well-written Communication - Bldg. 1, Room 160
Dayla Nolis, Director, Academic Technology
Bldg. 1, Room 160

In this workshop, participants will learn about the importance of well-written communication. Participants will practice their skills by playing a fun, team-oriented game called Instradoodle! 

There is a solution here: Dealing with difficult people and conflict resolution - Bldg. 1, Room 166
Dr. Ramona Smith, Professor, Biology

Analyze your own people skills and natural conflict management styles to identify creative, customized ways of handling difficult situations and people with confidence. We will discuss the effects of our own attitudes and actions, learn how to address conflicts with colleagues professionally and explore useful practices for clearing up misunderstandings, recovering from mistakes, and resolving disagreements. There is always a solution; we’ll develop skills to convert frustration to positive change.

Organization and Planning? What’s that? - Bldg. 1, Room 205
Dr. Holly Wendel, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Do you have a goal in mind? What is your plan to achieve that goal? “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” (B. Franklin). In this session, participants will learn strategies to become organized, stay focused to prevent procrastination and how to plan for success. Hey - there’s an app for that!

Learning about and from each other:  Intercultural Communication in the College Classroom - Bldg. 1, Room 206
Dorothy McCalla, Associate Professor, Humanities

Intercultural communication involves the sharing of information across different cultures and social groups, including individuals with different religious, social, ethnic and educational backgrounds. It seeks to understand the differences in how people from a variety of cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them.  Being able to deal with cultural differences peacefully, never mind creatively and innovatively, is becoming a survival issue to thrive in a global world. Most importantly it's an ability current college students and prospective graduates need to work in culturally diverse environments. In this workshop, participants will engage in team activities, games, hands-on practice and personal reflection to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that increase intercultural communication competence. 

Creating a Work/Life Balance - Bldg. 1, Room 209
Kimberly Coluccio, Instructor, Education

This workshop focuses on the importance of creating that all-important work/life balance.  Participants will learn how to manage their work/life responsibilities through the POWER-ful and SMART strategy approach.  Through fun, interactive activities, students are sure to walk away with the tools and knowledge to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Etiquette in the Workplace - Bldg. 1, Room 211
Ryan Evans, Coordinator, Career Planning and Development

This session provides participants with the opportunity to learn about the unwritten “rules” that many workplaces use. Students will learn about what etiquette actually is, how it impacts our daily life and what etiquette rules should (and shouldn’t) be followed in both school and in the workplace.

3 - 3:30 PM: Closing Session (There will be prizes!)

Prize Drawings, Surveys, Completion Certificates - Bldg. 4 Auditorium

Facilitated by Dr. Ramona Smith

Let us know what you thought about today’s student conference and have the chance to win a few prizes in the process!  

View Conference Program Online

Skills Now Conference Program


Dr. Ramona Smith