2017 Conference Sessions

Below are topics of our breakout sessions from the 2017 conference.  Topics for the 2018 conference will be revealed soon.

Session 1:


I’m a student organization leader, now what?,  Katherine Friesen

Are you a leader in a student organization? Have you and your members prepared for a successful year? In this session, students will reflect on the first weeks of the semester, setting goals for the year and creating strategies to reach their goals. Pertinent information regarding university policies and procedures, as well as university resources will be shared with students to help students plan effectively for success. Additionally, student leaders will connect with one another, learn about the missions of other student organizations, and find ways to collaborate throughout the year to have the greatest impact on our students.

Exploring Core Values and Work Inspiration, Dr. Julie Snyder-Yuly

All of us are driven by something deep inside but rarely do we take time to recognize and explore this motivation. Values are the driving force behind why we get up in the morning, the choices we make and why we behave the way we do. This presentation is two-fold. First, it is designed to help students identify and explore their core values through a series of reflective activities. Second, it will discuss how these values impact our personal and professional satisfaction. In order to gain clarity and live a happy and successful life, then understanding one’s values is fundamental.

Leadership Outside of the Classroom, Holly Dunlay-Lott

This interactive session will highlight a panel of engineering students with varying leadership roles outside of the classroom. From student organizations, internships, marching band to research, the session will highlight what opportunities are available to students and how to experience these activities while balancing a full course load. The panel will also discuss the importance of leadership, what it means to them and how they have been leaders in their varying roles.

Diversity and Inclusion: Moving from Theory to Practice, Jacklin Stonewall

Often, diversity and inclusion in engineering are topics referenced in relation to the workplace – with good reason. However, the goal of this presentation is to empower engineers to take these concepts out of theory and into practice when solving engineering problems. Case studies will be presented which outline how engineers can use the principles of diversity and inclusion to build better websites, make better decisions, create accessible machines, and develop fairer assessments. Topics such as universal design and gender inclusivity in design will also be addressed.


Session 2:


Interviewing and Networking – How to Succeed, Todd Sondag

This fast paced and impactful presentation will provide you the highlights on how to succeed at a career fair. From making a great first impression in the interview to networking and making the most of your contacts.

“My dream job wasn’t what I thought. What now?!”, Rob Hanson

I would like to share my experience after undergrad of getting what I thought was a dream job, realizing it was not what I wanted, and my struggle to find what I want to do with my life. This involved (an attempt at) starting my own business, realizing that was not what I wanted either, and my decision to go to grad school to get into a field I am passionate about (renewable energy and energy policy).

Run, run far away – conflict is on its way!, Katherine Friesen

As leaders, we experience conflict every day in the teams and organizations we lead, to the class team projects we work on and even in our personal lives. Some find avoiding conflict the most manageable strategy to dealing with the situation, others aggressively handle conflict to achieve their own desirable outcomes. Still, others find themselves caught in the middle. Through an interactive activity, we will practice strategies for analyzing conflict situations and managing the
conflict that preserves relationships and resolves conflict before it starts to hinder the organization.

Are you WOKE?!, Dr. LeQuetia Ancar

Or at least awake? Socially conscious? Or the least bit concerned about the experiences of your peers that may not identify the same as you? Join us for a thought provoking and interactive peer perspective panel and discussion on what it means to be a student (leader) of color in Engineering.


Session 3:


Professional Competencies Development in Engineering-Maximize your ISU Educational Experience!, Dr. Joel Johnson

Come and discuss key professional development/core competencies employers are looking for Engineers to obtain while engaged in academic studies . Core competencies will be presented and defined, combined with identification of key professional development opportunities students should consider engaging with. Interactive discussion and self-reflection activities will be provided to allow attendees to identify key competencies to potentially work on developing; combined with development of a personalized action plan for professional development engagement.

Creating a Plan for an Uncertain Future, Dr. Brent Shanks

While anecdotal stories exist about careers that were created by a strong vision of the future, most engineers look back on their careers as having a number of unexpected twists and turns. How then does a new engineer create a plan for their future? This program will discuss creating an actionable personal plan with the clear knowledge of an uncertain future.

Does Being a Leader Get in the Way of Success, Don Broshar

This workshop will explore how leadership abilities keeps us from reaching our leadership potential. The participants will learn of different leadership types and the potential dark side of those types. Participants will identify how these leadership types impact their lives and how they can prepare for successful interactions with others.

Preconceived Notions: Do you really know who I am?, Dr. LeQuetia Ancar

Are you ever curious if you have anything in common with your peer engineer that is sitting next to you in class? Does your first impression or preconceived notion of your peers dictate whether or not you will engage with them? Choose to work on a team with them? Eat lunch with them? Participate in the same student organization? Study with them? Join us for this highly interactive session as we explore the definition of diversity, how different yet similar our identities really are, and its impact on how we engage with each other.


Session 4:


Understanding Employers; a Key Element of a Successful Job Search, Brian Larson

One of the key elements of a successful job search is understanding employers and the basic questions they are trying to answer during the hiring process. Well-qualified job candidates regularly get passed over simply because they do not highlight the right skills or fail to show connections between their interests and an employer’s position. This talk will cover the expectations that employers have for entry-level engineers; the employee attributes that are most valued; the importance of understanding your skill set and career interests; and how to effectively present skills and interests on resumes and during interviews.


Planning for the Future, Dr. Gloria Starns

How does your past inform you in making plans for your future? What can you do and what should you do now to forge your future? The answers to these questions are not ones that can be answered spontaneously. They require deep introspection and some of the deepest critical thinking you will experience. We will examine these and other questions when we meet to consider how to plan for the future.

I’m a Leader, You’re a Leader, We’re all Leaders!, Tina Prouty and Tony Moore

This interactive discussion will explore leadership in all areas of life. We will discuss the who, what, when, where, why and how to be a confident relational leader including why empowering others makes you a better leader.

The Importance of Cultural Proficiency in Effective Leadership, Nora Ryan and Isaiah McGee

From denial and destruction to integration and responsiveness, the Cultural Proficiency Continuum examines the many stages of personal and professional growth in the quest for creating an equitable environment. The continuum will be explored, along with an introduction to the dangers of the “colorblind philosophy” and microaggressions. Participants will have the opportunity to listen, learn, reflect, and share.


Session 5:

How to Create an Effective Linkedin Profile

Want to give yourself an upper hand when it comes to the job market? Come and learn how to make an effective LinkedIn profile so you can connect with companies before the career fair! LinkedIn is for anyone who is interested in taking their professional lives more serious by finding new opportunities to grow their careers and to connect with other professionals.

Leadership in the Everyday World, Dr. Paul Castleberry

This interactive session will focus on identifying Leadership Opportunities in the Everyday World around you. This session will specifically identify:
 – Examples of Leadership Opportunities in the Everyday World and how these leaders promote success.
– How do you identify and plug into Leadership Opportunities in the Everyday World as a student?
– How can you leverage these Everyday Leadership Opportunities in the Everyday World to translate to the professional world upon graduation?
– What if you are not interested in being THE Leader?  We will discuss how to lead from within or the middle.
– What does Leadership in the Everyday World look like for 2050?

The Potential Underlying Diversity, Abbey Holscher

Historically, diversity in the workforce has never been proportionate. Companies aim to hire a specific person, and that specific person often times falls under the same, specific category. More specifically, in the profession of engineering, a deep barrier was constructed in the early stages, leaving many women stuck and unable to cross it. Less than 12% of our current engineers are represented by women, and we need to be proactive now to combat this from further holding our future generations back from the impossible.