Professional Development

Supporting Our Staff

The mission of the Professional Development Committee is to bring colleagues across the Division together to enhance relationships, grow professional skills, and promote intellectual dialogue around issues important to the field of Student Affairs and Georgetown University.

Five distinct subcommittees support these efforts:

Click on each of the subcommittees above to learn more about how we are facilitating positive and intentional professional development for staff members in the Division of Student Affairs.



Onboarding Subcommittee

Goal: Create a consistent and positive experience for all new hires to welcome them to Georgetown and the Division of Student Affairs.

What that looks like this year: 
We will host four on-boarding meeting dates disbursed throughout the calendar year, to ensure that every new staff member is welcomed to the Division of Student Affairs and is equipped to feel at home in their new work environment within the first few months of being hired.

New employees should look forward to:

  • Connecting with a current Student Affairs staff member “buddy” even before their first day of work, who can help with the transition to Georgetown and Washington D.C. This buddy can answer questions related to housing, transportation to work, getting familiar with the city, etc.
  • Participating in Gallup’s StrenthsQuest assessment with other new hires - one of our many ways to help identify additional skills and interests beyond the new hire's specific position that could assist the division in certain goals and bridge gaps across the departments.
  • Receiving relevant information related to the University, including a Student Affairs supervisor checklist, in addition to the standard HR list.

How to get involved: 
We will survey all new hires prior to starting at Georgetown to help coordinate these efforts and ensure a positive on-boarding experience.  

Questions? Contact:
Amanda Carlton, Center for Student Engagement



Social Experiences Subcommittee

Goal: Create opportunities for the Division of Student Affairs to engage in social activities together to increase and sustain a culture of community, vibrancy, and celebration.

What that looks like this year:
Each month the Social Experiences committee will sponsor a few events to bring together professionals from across the Division of Student Affairs.  We have many events and activities planned throughout the upcoming year including:

  • Monthly recurring Happy Hours - Second Thursday of each month
  • Summer Softball League -  July & August 2014
  • Student Affairs Night at the Nationals - Wednesday, August 6th at 7:05 pm
  • Hoya Reycers, Ragnar Relay Team -  September 2014 (Contact Ashley Kockler)
  • Roosevelt Island Kayak/Walking Trip -  September 18th
  • Holiday Party  -  Thursday, December 18th from 12-2 in Copley Formal
  • End of Year BBQ -  Late May 2015
  • And more!

How to get involved:
All events hosted by the Social Committee will be shared through Division-wide emails, we hope to see you there! The Social Activities Committee is always looking for assistance with our events.  Whether you are a committee member or an event volunteer, your help is greatly appreciated.

Questions? Contact:
Gregory Wilson, Cawley Career Education Center



Speakers Series Subcommittee

Goal: Create space for intellectually engaging dialogue and learning for our Division by bringing in experts on various relevant topics to present in large group settings.

What that looks like this year: 
Each semester the Speakers Series committee will sponsor one external speaker to inform and energize the Division of Student Affairs on topics of interest as shared by our colleagues. For Fall 2014 our speaker will focus on multiculturalism and social justice and for Spring 2015 our speaker will focus on leadership.

Spring 2015 Event

Storytelling and Branding for Student Affairs Professionals 

Monday, March 30th from 12:00-1:30pm in McShain Large 

Format: Lunch and Learn - Panel Discussion

Ask questions live during our interactive conversation by using the hashtag: #GUbranded

**Lunch provided by the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee**
 **Please RSVP via Google calendar invitation by Thursday, March 26**

Speakers: Dakarai Aarons, Rebecca Cassidy, and Deanna Howes

Dakarai Aarons joined the Data Quality Campaign in 2013 to promote the empowering role education data play in making instructional, management, and policy decisions. He leads efforts to develop and implement strategic communications, internal knowledge management, and external relations strategies designed to support DQC’s mission. Before joining DQC, Dakarai was director of education outreach and policy for CommunicationWorks, a leading national education public affairs firm, where he led award-winning messaging, outreach, and interactive projects for national and regional education organizations. An award-winning former journalist, Dakarai worked as a staff writer for Education Week and The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Des Moines Register, and The Dallas Morning News, among other publications.

Dakarai is a board member of the Education Writers Association and a former committee chairman of the National Association of Black Journalists. He also serves as coordinator of the Urban Journalism Workshop, a high school journalism program sponsored by the Washington Association of Black Journalists and The Washington Post. A native of Washington, DC, Dakarai earned a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he serves on the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ professional advisory board.

Rebecca Cassidy is a career development professional and enthusiast with 10 years' experience coaching, training and advising undergraduate students, graduate students and mid-career professionals in both the private sector and academic settings.  Certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator, earned through the National Career Development Association, she creates and delivers career development workshops, employer information sessions and industry-based events for undergraduates, graduate students and industry professionals.  She has extensive experience in working with an international student population gained while working both in Tokyo, Japan and Washington, D.C.  Her industry experiences include consulting, entrepreneurship, non-profit management and international business.  When not at work, Ms. Cassidy volunteers with So Others Might Eat (SOME)'s Center for Employment Training, helping D.C.'s impoverished train for and gain stable employment, and also facilitates mindfulness and meditation workshops.

Deanna I. Howes is Director of Communications for AJCU, where she has been working since August 2007. She previously served in the roles of Manager of Information Services and Executive Assistant to the President of AJCU. Deanna graduated from Fordham University in 2007, with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies. In May 2012, she graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a M.A. in Communication. Deanna is an active Fordham alumna, and currently serves as the President of the Washington, DC Fordham Alumni Club. She is also a member of the Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) program, sponsored by the Jesuit Collaborative.

For questions about the Professional Development Committee's Speakers Series, please reach out to Allison Moesel.


How to get involved: 
Save the date for our Fall 2014 Speaker Series event!

Join the Division of Student Affairs Professional Development Committee on
Tuesday, November 18th from 9:30-11:00 am in Lohrfink Auditorium 
to participate in a thoughtful conversation with 
renowned priest, author and professor Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D. on

The Complexity of Our Identities:
Faith, Race, & Sexual Orientation

Questions? Contact: 
Allison Moesel, Cawley Career Education Center



Interpersonal Development Subcommittee

Goal: Create space for colleagues to gather together in small groups of up to ten to engage in conversation around formative topics that will enable the Division to learn from and model intentional conversation.

What that looks like this year:

Dialogue by Design

At its most basic level, this initiative is formatted for small groups of 8-10 student affairs professionals meeting to talk about pre-determined topics that were chosen based on survey data from the Division and are aligned with other events taking place in the Division this year.

Each month, there will be a different theme: Identity, Diversity, and Growth
Each theme has two tracks: Track One topics are more introspective, focusing on ones’ self. Track Two themes are very community focused – considering yourself in relation to others.

Tracks are not prescriptive; participants are encouraged to take part in any and all conversations based on interest and availability.

We will conduct pre- and post- assessments for all participants to measure the outcomes of program participation.

Before Your Group Meeting:
To enhance and spark conversation, we will distribute a relevant TEDtalk and/or article before sessions convene for each of the topics.

During Your Group Meeting:
To ensure that each group has a consistent experience in the program, we will also provide a set list of prompt questions for the group.

After Your Group Meeting:
In order to continue the conversation, we will create a shared hub where participants can upload other articles, video links, etc. related to the topics of discussion throughout the year.

How to get involved:
Student Affairs staff members are welcome to participate in any or all dialogue topics of interest throughout the year. If you aren’t able to participate in a topic in the month it is offered this fall, we will be repeating the themes again in the spring – so check back for another chance to participate then!


Click here to sign up for the topic and small group of your choice.

Questions? Contact:
Kelly Sargent Burns, Cawley Career Education Center

Rebecca Hantman, Cawley Career Education Center



Mentoring Subcommittee

Goal: Provide opportunities for the Division to participate in organized mentoring relationships and learn from one another either in one-on-one interactions.

What that looks like this year: 
Staff members who have taken on a mentorship role are willing to share their professional experience, highlight on-campus opportunities and resources, and act as a sounding board for career-related brainstorming for other members of the Division of Student Affairs. These mentors are paired with mentees, staff members who self-select as being interested in having someone outside of their current department who they can trust and build a relationship with.

The mentor-mentee relationships will, by their very nature, be different depending on the individuals involved. A firm commitment to the mentoring process and a willingness to invest time and energy are the most important components in a successful relationship. Participants are encouraged to meet 1-5 times per semester.

The mentoring committee plans also to host an event each semester to provide space for all participants in the mentoring program to gather and connect.

How to get involved:
If you are interested in participating in this mentoring program, either as a mentor or mentee, contact Whitney Maddox or Rebecca Hantman.

Questions? Contact:
Whitney Maddox, Student Conduct

Rebecca Hantman, Cawley Career Education Center