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Learning and Development

Current Programs: Fall 2014


All full-time and part-time staff and faculty at Smith along with the other Five Colleges are encouraged to enroll in these programs.


Registrations will be accepted throughout the semester on a space-available basis. Select your workshops, check with your supervisor and submit your registration in one of three ways:

Waitlist Policy

When a class is full, participants will be waitlisted in the order in which their registration was received. Participants are notified once space becomes available. If there is an adequate number of waitlisted participants, we will offer the class again as soon as feasible.


In order to better evaluate our professional development programs, we ask that you complete a Workshop Evaluation Form after attending one of the sessions. If you have questions, please contact Marquita Dulan in Human Resources at (413) 585-2268 or e-mail hrdev@smith.edu.

Professional Development

Dealing with the Difficult Caller (482)

Lisa Abend and Christine Stevens, Firebird Coaching & Consulting

Are you challenged by demanding or perhaps even unreasonable customers? Are you inundated with calls at a particular time of year? Have you ever had to deal with a difficult call and then lacked time to "reboot" before the phone rings again? This Service Leadership workshop will teach you techniques to calm consumers and remain calm yourself. With entertaining and informative demonstrations, such as safe and structured role–play exercises, you’ll learn how to provide outstanding customer service by means of strategies that result in less stressful experiences. Do take this opportunity to discover how to be at your best when put to the test!

Friday, October 31, 10 a.m. to noon
Campus Center, room 003

Time Management (483)

Martha Deering, E4 Health

Do you feel as if you’re always on the run? Time is a precious commodity when professional and personal demands increase and our ability to manage multiple tasks decreases. In this session, you’ll learn techniques for effective time management. You’ll analyze how you spend your time, review time–wasters, and determine priorities based on your values and goals. You’ll also learn how to combat procrastination and develop an action plan that takes into account a balance of career and personal goals.

Thursday, November 6, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Campus Center, room 103/104

Generations at Work (484)

Chris McKenzie Willenbrook, UMass Amherst

Do you have an older colleague who refuses to accept change? Does your inexperienced, fresh–out–of–college coworker have you tearing out your hair by the fistful? Intergenerational differences can cause conflict and misunderstanding in the workplace; tensions arise when people of different generations working side by side don’t understand one another. You can diffuse friction by understanding the differences among your colleagues, appreciating those differences, and making an effort to interact with all generations in a way that suits everyone’s work ethic and communication style.

Tuesday, November 11, 10 a.m. to noon
Campus Center, room 205

Team Building to Meet your Department Goals (485)

Mary Hulbert, True Directions

Come learn or refresh key team skills. During this lively, interactive workshop, we’ll discuss the common elements of high–performing teams and develop crucial team skills. You’ll also increase awareness of both your strengths and areas for development, as well as practice some important team behaviors and skills. When you’ve completed this workshop, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to your current team.

Wednesday, November 19, 9 a.m. to noon
Campus Center, room 205

The Art of Listening, two–part series (486)

Christian McEwan, author of World Enough & Time

This is the first of a two–part series exploring the art of listening as it plays out over the course of a face–to–face interview. You’ll learn from analyses of interviews Christian conducted and study short excerpts by way of illustration. You’ll also receive handouts that outline common interview tactics. Then you’ll work in pairs to practice being both interviewer and interviewee. A discussion of your experiences in both roles will follow.

Fridays, December 5, 2014 and March 6, 2015 10 a.m. to noon
Campus Center, room 205

Managerial Effectiveness (for managers and supervisors)

Conflict Resolution (487)

Richard Dufresne, LICSW, Vice President, Clinical Operations, E4 Health and Jenny Silver, Human Resources, Smith College
Update: This course has been cancelled.

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Although it can interfere with performance, job satisfaction, and productivity, there’s an upside as well: it can lead to innovation, collaboration, behavior change, and win–win solutions. This workshop is designed to alleviate the stress associated with initiating and engaging in conflict. You’ll learn the principles of effective conflict resolution, and in the process gain an understanding of your own conflict style and how to use that knowledge to achieve meaningful, mutually beneficial resolutions.

Friday, October 24, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Human Resources, 30 Belmont Avenue, conference room

The Manager as Coach: Roundtable (488)

Mary Hulbert, True Directions; and Jenny Silver, Human Resources, Smith College

Managers can have a powerful, positive influence on their teams — and their organizations as a whole — when they adopt what’s called a coaching style. Coaching, which entails a collaborative approach, empowers employees to do their best work as the manager delegates, encourages questions, and then gives specific and constructive feedback. In this workshop, you’ll learn the advantages of being a manager-coach, one who uses empathy, integrity, and detachment to inspire a committed and productive team.

Friday, November 7, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Human Resources, 30 Belmont Avenue, conference room

Giving and Receiving Feedback (489)

Larry Hunt and Jenny Silver, Human Resources, Smith College

In life as much as in work, it’s important to know how to provide feedback to others, effectively and constructively without causing offence. This program focuses on the process of communicating with someone about something that they have done or said, with a view to change that behavior.

Thursday, December 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Human Resources, 30 Belmont Avenue, conference room

Money Matters

Retirement 101 (490)

David K. Carboni, DKC Retirement Associates, LLC, CFP

Regardless of your retirement date, you’ll want to know how best to plan for your future. In this 90–minute workshop, you’ll learn the following:

  1. Basics of Retirement Planning

    a. How much money you may need
    b. Why starting early can ensure success
    c. Investment terms and options
    d. The importance of asset allocation: your investment mix
  2. Smith College’s Retirement Plan

    a. How it works
    b. The pretax advantage
    c. The value of compounding

Thursday, October 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon (and 3:30 to 5 p.m. <<- cancelled)
Campus Center, room 205

Target Funds and Mutual Funds ING (491)

Mary Ellen Gordon, CRPC, CEBS, CFS, financial adviser, ING

What are target funds and mutual funds? The short answer is that both are designed to help manage risk while increasing retirement savings. Here you’ll learn a straightforward approach to a sophisticated problem: how to invest for retirement.

Wednesday, October 8, noon to 1 p.m.
Campus Center, room 103/104

Consolidating Retirement Plans (492)

Nick Cantrell, UMassFive College Federal Credit Union

Few investors would argue against the benefits of a diversified portfolio, but sometimes putting your eggs in just one basket works to your advantage. During this hour, you’ll learn about the perks — beyond simplicity and convenience — associated with combining your assets under one roof.

Thursday, October 16, noon to 1 p.m.
Campus Center, room 103/104

Life Enhancement

Walk and Box (493)

Judy Messer, certified exercise coach


1. Sneakers

2. Fabric speed–bag boxing–glove wraps or traditional–fabric boxing wraps

Note: If you opt for glove wraps, make sure they’re a snug fit.

Class Description

Walking and boxing are both wonderful ways to connect with your breathing, alleviate stress, and gain strength. In this class you’ll combine self–paced speed walks with individually structured, challenging but safe upper-body training. You’ll also involve your core and the lower body to balance and stabilize your stance. You’ll progress with the basic boxing upper–body strikes to achieve physical and emotional strength.

This class is for all levels. Please be as punctual as your schedule allows you to be, so you’ll get the most out of the course, and make the commitment to attend all classes: you’ll be glad you did!

Noon to 12:10 p.m.

Power walk, warm–up. Walk the indoor track at your own pace. This will get your blood flowing into the muscles and elevate your heart rate.

12:10 to 12:25 p.m.

Group upper–body strength training with cross–box fitness. You’ll learn proper boxing stances, jabs, crosses, upper cuts, and hooks. After the initial drills, you’ll be using dumbbells and speed–bag paddles. After you’ve learned the basic moves, we’re incorporating partner drills with handheld focus mitts.

12:25 to 12:35 p.m.

Power walk. Walk the track at your own pace.

12:35 to 12:55 p.m.

Round two of group upper–body cross–box fitness. After this session, you’ll cool down and stretch.

Wednesdays, October 1–December 17, noon to 1 p.m.
Indoor Track and Tennis Facility

Securing your Computer and Personal Devices (494)

Ben Marsden, ITS, Smith College

It’s in the news almost every day, and it’s an issue for all of us both at work and home. So what should you know and what can you do to protect the information you store on our computer and personal devises? Come hear about best practices that you’ll find useful for both work and home, and get your burning security questions answered.

Friday, October 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Campus Center, room 205

Gentle and Restorative Yoga (495)

Judy Messer, certified exercise coach

Note: Maximum class size is 25.

Enjoy a restorative break for your body and mind: soothe your neck, shoulders, and eyes; unlock your hips and back; and release stress. Then return to work with more energy, clarity, and calm. No special exercise wear is required, but don’t wear tight clothing or jeans that day. And please drink a glass of water before class begins!

Mondays, October 6–December 8, 12:10 to 12:55 p.m.
Neilson Browsing Room

Cholesterol and Glucose Screening (496)

Cindy Wong, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Cholesterol. This type of fat is found in the blood. Your body uses cholesterol for many reasons, but a high level of it, called hypercholesterolemia, can lead to serious problems, such as heart attack and stroke.

What are the components of cholesterol?

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good cholesterol," helps clear bad cholesterol from your blood so it doesn’t clog any blood vessels.
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol," can build up in blood vessels. This clogging increases your chance of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.

What do the numbers mean? The higher your total cholesterol reading, the greater your chance of developing heart disease. The higher your HDL cholesterol reading, however, the lower your chance of developing heart disease.

Glucose. Your body breaks down many of the foods you eat (such as carbs) into glucose (sugar). Insulin, produced by the body, helps move the glucose from the blood to individual cells to be used for energy.

What does it mean if your blood sugar is high?

High blood sugar can be the result of a number of factors: what you ate recently, the medicine you’re taking, an illness, and stress. These are examples of temporary high blood sugar. Levels that remain high, however, may mean that your body is having difficulty making enough insulin or is having trouble using the insulin it does make. This condition can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.

Tuesday, October 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Campus Center, room 205

Avoiding Trips, Slips, and Falls: Staying Safe on Campus (497)

Terry Buckhout, Meadowbrook TPA

It’s not just an icy sidewalk in the heart of winter that can cause us to land on our rears. There are many other reasons why we slip and fall. For example, sometimes it’s poor lighting (if you notice a lightbulb that’s out, please report it), distraction (maybe you’re responding to a text message as you walk), a surface that’s wet or oily, a change in flooring from carpet to tile, short step–downs in older buildings, footwear that grabs or catches. In this class, you’ll learn how to stay safe: to avoid slips and falls and to be proactive in reporting to our facilities management group any area of concern. You’ll also have the opportunity to win one of five pairs of winter shoe grips!

Thursday, November 13, noon to 1 p.m.
Campus Center, room 003

First Aid and CPR, two–part series (498)

Mary Ann Richardson

Note: Space is limited to 10 participants.

Update: This course is full. Please register for First Aid and CPR (499)

When you complete this two-session course, you’ll receive certification in first aid and CPR. In the first-aid portion, you’ll learn the basics of how to behave in a variety of emergency scenarios. In the CPR class, you’ll become adept at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will discover what to do if someone goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest. Learn how to save a life: sign up today!

Fridays, November 14 and November 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Campus Center, room 205

First Aid and CPR, two–part series (499)

Mary Ann Richardson

Note: Space is limited to 10 participants.

Update: This course is full. If you register, your name will be added to a waiting list.

When you complete this two-session course, you’ll receive certification in first aid and CPR. In the first-aid portion, you’ll learn the basics of how to behave in a variety of emergency scenarios. In the CPR class, you’ll become adept at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will discover what to do if someone goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest. Learn how to save a life: sign up today!

Thursdays, November 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and November 20, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Campus Center, room 205