What’s New

Organizational Development Consortium Formed

ODC logoThe Wake Forest University Professional Development Center recently partnered with professional and organizational development colleagues from across North America to form the Organizational Development Consortium (ODC).  The ODC will consist of colleagues from higher education institutions, whether their focus be on learning, training, professional development, or organizational development for faculty and staff.  Members will be committed to sharing best practices in an effort to see our institutions succeed.

The idea for such a group grew from the Professional and Organizational Development Conference hosted by the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest for since 2010.  The original idea for this conference was to bring together people who are doing similar work to have more focused conversations than other professional conferences sometimes allow.

The ODC will continue to hold yearly conferences and will likely explore more frequent regional events.  The 2016 ODC Conference will be held at Colorado College in Colorado Springs August 7-9.  The 2017 conference will be held in May on the Wake Forest University Campus.  The event will rotate between the WFU campus and other ODC member campuses every other year.

Registration for the 2016 conference opens April 18th.

5th Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference

The Professional Development Center at Wake Forest University was happy to welcome attendees from across North America for the 5th Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference.  What began as a small gathering of colleagues in 2011 has grown to a nationally-known conference drawing learning and organizational development professionals from 28 higher education institutions from the United States and Canada.  From March 8th through 10th, colleagues networked, shared best practices, and collaborated on various professional and organizational topics.

The event began on Sunday afternoon with “The PDC Story,” an opportunity for attendees to learn more about WFU’s Professional Development Center and its programs.  The group then moved to Zick’s for a welcome reception on one of the first beautiful spring evenings of the year.  After dining and conversing on the patio overlooking Hearn Plaza, the conference case study was introduced and participants were given time to discuss the case with their diverse groups.

room is preppedMonday morning conference-goers gathered in Kirby Hall for the conference sessions which included:

  • “Excel at CC” presented by Lisa Brommer from Colorado College
  • “Human Performance Technology in the OD Setting” presented by Nathan Strong from the University of South Carolina
  • “Transforming Performance Management” presented by Wanda Hayes and Randall Lucius, both from Emory University
  • “Building Bench through Knowledge Transfer” presented by Jackie Greenlee from Guilford Technical Community College

The last session of the afternoon featured a Roundtable Discussion on various topics:  the Great Colleges to Work For survey, staff mentoring programs, employee onboarding, useful assessments, HR Liason/Representative programs, and more.groups discussing the case

Tuesday morning six groups presented on how they would hand the fictional organizational development case study that presented three challenging people/departments for a newly hired leader.  The presentations were extremely well done and presented multiple facets of OD and different approaches to difficult situations.

The Professional Development Center staff offers its deepest appreciation for the individuals who were able to attend!

Additional conference photos can be found here.

Attendee quotes:

“”This conference exceeded my expectations on every level!  I have already told several colleagues about it and encouraged them to attend next year.  The effort and care you put into planning and facilitating speaks volumes about  WFU’s deep commitment to learning and development.”

-Susan Coan, Director, Organizational Development and Learning, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“This was the best conference I have attended. From the handwritten welcome note, to the facilitated round table discussions every aspect of this conference was thoughtful and robust.”

“I felt this conference was a huge value for a low cost, much more so than larger conferences.”

Institutions in attendance:  Appalachian State University, Bucknell University, Colorado College, Concordia College, Elon University, Emory University, Forsyth Technical Community College, George Mason University, Guilford Technical Community College, James Madison University, North Carolina State University, South Piedmont Community College, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Denver, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina – Asheville, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina – Greensboro, University of Richmond, University of South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Technical Community College, Western University

2015 CORE Honorees


On Friday, February 13, the 2015 CORE Honorees were recognized for their achievement at a luncheon held at Graylyn International Conference Center.  Nine individuals from across campus completed the necessary requirements for CORE Certification.  In attendance were supervisors and colleagues who have provided guidance and support to the honorees as they attended classes and workshops focused on personal, professional, and community development.

The 2015 CORE Honorees include:

John Champlin, Professional Development CenterIMG_3348

Robin Godwin, Sports Medicine

Tomma Guastaferro, Professional Development Center

Karen Logan, Physics

Ellen Meachum, Registrar’s Office

Barbara Meredith, Office of the Provost

Leslie Spencer, University Theater (not pictured)

Steven Wicker, Instructional Technology Group

Kim Widener, Financial Services

CORE, which stands for “Cultivating our Organization to Realize Excellence,” was launched in September of 2011 as an outcome of the climate survey to offer more sustained developmental options for faculty and staff on campus.  CORE is built around 5 competencies that are meaningful and relevant to our campus:  communication, community, leadership, organizational acumen, and personal progression.

PDC Authors Article for CUPA-HR Publication

An article describing the Professional Development Center’s partnership with the Wake Forest Human Resources Team was featured in the Winter 2014-2015 edition of The Higher Education Workplace magazine. The periodical, published by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), highlights best practices being utilized by Higher Education institutions across the United States.

CUPA Article Cover

PDC Team Member, John Champlin, wrote “Growing Staff in the Forest” after being asked to submit an article detailing the Career Planning Series utilized at Wake Forest University. This series was also the topic of the PDC’s most recent presentation at the 2014 CUPA-HR National Conference in San Antonio, TX.  “I’m honored that we were able to spotlight the fantastic collaboration of the Recruitment and Organizational Development Team,” John said.  “We strive to provide a workplace that fosters growth and development opportunities.”

The Career Planning Series (which includes classes on Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviewing, Career Planning, and Navigating the Recruiting and Hiring Process for Managers) continues to be successful and will be offered again in April of 2015.

The full article is available here.  Many thanks to The Higher Education Workplace magazine and CUPA-HR for this opportunity.


PDC Presents at FTCC



On October 15th, faculty and staff members of Forsyth Technical Community College gathered for their biannual Professional Development Day.  The theme for the day was “Leading Others with Impact.”  For the second year in a row, PDC staff member, John Champlin, was asked to lead a session.  In front of an audience of about 55 faculty and staff gathered in an auditorium at the Oak Grove Center on the FTCC campus, John presented his workshop entitled “Winning with People.”  Based on John Maxwell’s book of the same name, this class offers tenets for building strong relationships with friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers.  Individuals in the audience engaged in discussion about the idea of giving with no strings attached and the critical importance of first starting with a healthy idea of one’s own value.  “I was very much impressed by the wonderful examples brought to light by the attendees.  They made the concepts come alive that helped other people grasp the information.” says John, Manager of Recruitment and Organizational Development.  “I’m very thankful for the invitation to come and speak with the faculty and staff at one of WFU’s neighboring institutions of higher education.”

2014 CUPA-HR National Conference

CUPA-SATXAndrea Ellis, Director of Recruitment and Organizational Development, and John Champlin, Manager of Recruitment and Organizational Development, attended the 2014 CUPA-HR National Conference in San Antonio, Texas in late September.  While there, they presented during a concurrent session on the topic of “An Unusual Cross-Utilization of HR Resources.”  The session outlined the “Career Planning” series that was launched in the fall of 2012 and the collaboration between the recruiting function and the professional development function within the Wake Forest Human Resources Office.  The series has been extremely successful and has grown to include five different career-oriented classes and a number of small-group coaching events.  Additionally, John and Andrea detailed the “Facilitator-Expert Model” of presenting.  The approximately 35 attendees were engaged in the discussion and remarked how applicable this model could be at their institutions.  This marks the third year in a row that a member of the Professional Development Center has presented at the National CUPA-HR Conference.

CUPA-JCACE2While at the conference John and Andrea were able to catch-up with colleagues from across the nation including several attendees of the Professional and Organizational Development Conference held annually at Wake Forest University.  In particular, congratulations to Anne Meyer and her team at Texas A&M University for receiving the HR Innovation Award presented by PeopleAdmin!  This same award was presented to Andrea Ellis at the 2012 CUPA-HR National Conference for her creation of the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest University.

PDC Q&A Featured on Inside WFU

The Professional Development Center was recently featured on Inside WFU, the home page for all important Wake Forest University happenings.  The Q&A was organized by Kim McGrath, Associate Director, News & Communications.  The questions provided by Kim were insightful and educational for the campus community.  Insight was provided into how the PDC selects classes, popular courses, and how individuals across campus can offer a class.

Professional Development opportunities are an important part of occupational well-being, one of the eight dimensions of wellness included in Wake Forest’s Thrive initiative.  Staff and faculty members who take advantage of development opportunities are more engaged and are able to bring the best of who they are to the workplace.

Q&A Link:  http://inside.wfu.edu/2014/07/the-pdc-empowers-wake-foresters-to-learn-grow-and-have-fun/

Congratulations to the 2013 – 2014 Leadership Development Program (LDP) Participants

Program participants included 18 faculty and staff from various departments across campus that serve in leadership roles.



The nine-month program kicked off last August with a two-day intensive session structured around a 360-degree assessment for each member. The developmental topics offered throughout the year included: Leading Authentically, Communicating Authentically, Powerful Conversations, Reinventing Diversity, Thriving in Times of Change, Leading with Your Strengths, and Leading Authentically: Putting it all Together. The program concluded with a capstone project presented to the Reynolda Cabinet on Creating a Global Wake Forest. The capstone encompassed:

  • Defining a Global Wake Forest
  • Framework for a Global WFU
  • Key Recommendations
  • Measuring the Impact
  • Guiding Principles
  • Program Design

*Opportunities to learn more about the capstone project will be offered in the fall.

LDP Participants:

Miriam Ashley-Ross Nate French Allison McWilliams
Tim Auman Anne Hardcastle Paige Meltzer
Alessandra Beasley Von Burg Robert Hellyer Matt Merrick
Andrea Bohn Beth Hoagland Lori Messer
Christy Buchanan Brad Jones José Villalba
Thomas Dowling Angela Mazaris Ron Von Berg


TALA Conference Presentation

TALATALA picThe Triad Academic Library Association (TALA) held their inaugural Paraprofessional Conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  The theme was how academic libraries could stay relevant in times of change.  Attendees were present from several triad-area institutes of higher education including the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, Elon University, Guilford Technical Community College, High Point University, Guilford College, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and more.
At the request of Wanda Brown, Associate Dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, John Champlin lead a concurrent session entitled “Serving Different Types of Patrons.”  During his interactive session that focused on customer service, attendees learned about the importance of treating each library patron as an individual and the critical nature of knowing your customer groups to best anticipate their needs.  “The group in attendance was clearly passionate about treating their patrons well.” John, Manager of Recruitment and Organizational Development, states.  “They were able to share and discuss great ways of working and serving their various constituent groups.”

4th Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference

nameplates14zoomWake Forest University was honored to host representatives from institutions of Higher Education from across North America for the 4th Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference.  The event, which ran from February 16th to February 18th, was organized by the Professional Development Center.  Participants attended sessions, networked, and shared best practices related to staff and faculty development in Higher Education.

Festivities began on Sunday night with a welcome reception and dinner in the Autumn Room in Reynolda Hall.  Previous attendees welcomed new-comers and offered a glimpse into what they could expect over the next few days. The group then moved to Farrell Hall, home of the Wake Forest University School of Business, for introductions and “The PDC Story.”  This session offered a brief glimpse into how the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest grew from a one-person unit into the department it is today.  

Monday morning began with a welcome from Wake Forest University’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Carmen Canales, before moving to the first session led by Anne Mayer, Director of Employee and Organizational Development at Texas A&M University.  For the 2013 conference, Anne spoke on the Leadership Development Programs offered at Texas A&M.  This year her session was titled “Oh No. . . Not Another Boring New Employee Orientation!”  Texas A&M employs an innovative on-boarding process that incorporates an exciting New Employee Welcome (NEW).  The NEW introduces staff to campus life and Aggie culture.POD Conf 14 - Jackie G.

Dr. Jackie Greenlee, Director of Organizational Development at Guilford Technical Community College, offered clear data and a definitive process during her session entitled “Successful Succession Planning.”  Jackie’s findings, direct from her dissertation research, could assist many higher educations institutions in becoming more aware of developing talent from within and planning for the future.

After lunch, attendees were offered insight into Leadership Development in a session led by Tamara Sole, Director of Employee Development at the University of Virginia.  Many leadership functions were gathered and discussed and a leadership timeline was offered that ranged from the “Great Man” theory of leadership to shared/distributed leadership.

Online training and development is a fast-growing trend in Higher Education and can be difficult to do well.  Kathy Bryant, Senior Director of HR Communications and Talent Development at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, led the group through her department’s experience in building and offering online training for their campus.  She spoke to the virtues of teamwork leading to success and the potential pitfalls that surround bad equipment.

POD Conf 14 - Group Shot

The afternoon concluded with a Roundtable Discussion.  Effectively, a “lightning round” of questions posed by attendees and answered by attendees.  Topics included how to work with groups with generational differences, membership and participation in professional organizations, train-the-trainer programs, learning management systems, relevant books and articles for this profession, and more. For dinner, groups went out to explore the eateries of Winston-Salem and continued the conversations that and sharing that began earlier in the day.

POD Conf 14 - Nick

After Tuesday morning’s breakfast, Nathan Strong, Director for Organizational and Professional Development, and Nick Elzy, Organizational and Professional Development Consultant, shared the partnering model that they use at the University of South Carolina during a session entitled, “Strategic Partnerships that meet Customer’s Genuine Needs.”  They described the various individuals on their campus who have become champions for the work that they do and how those champions have proved to be invaluable to the success of the department.

The conference closed with one final Roundtable Discussion and a wrap-up that led to discussion regarding further communication among attendees and information-gathering for next year’s conference.

The Professional Development Center Staff are extremely grateful for all of the conference attendees for sharing their knowledge and best practices.

Attendee Quotes:

“We gained a tremendous amount of insight from the presentations and discussions and the hospitality was extraordinary.  I think the bigger group really changed the dynamic and added a lot of richness to the exchange.  We cannot wait until next year!”

~Nathan Strong, University of South Carolina

“I enjoyed the networking, hearing about other programs and sharing some of our best practices here at GTCC relative to succession planning management.  I look forward to hearing about the 2015 conference.”

~Jackie Greenlee, Guilford Technical Community College

“I had a great time learning and making connections and am looking forward to next year.”

~Lisa Adams-Verge, Bucknell University

Institutions in Attendance: Bucknell University, Case Western Reserve University, Colorado College, Colorado State University, Elon University, Forsyth Techical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina State University, South Piedmont Community College, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of Guelph, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, University of North Dakota, University of Richmond, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, Wake Technical Community College, Wilfred Laurier University, Wor-Wic Community College

Higher Education Partners in Attendance:  PeopleAdmin, RTI International