Educational Resources: Connecting the Dots Annual Conference

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The 10th annual U-M Work/Life Connecting the Dots Conference will be held on Friday, October 16, 2015 from 8:15-4 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI 48108


9th Annual Work/Life Connecting the Dots Conference for U-M Staff
Friday, October 10, 2014

8:15-9:00 a.m. - Registration/Morning Snack/Resource Tables Open

9:00-10:15 a.m. - Opening Session/Introduction and Welcome/Keynote address

Changing Your Life On Purpose
Dr. Vic Strecher - Professor, U-M School of Public Health

Dr. Strecher will talk about enhancing your life while finding your purpose. He weaves scientific health research with personal experience to find self-discovery and renewal. He will show us how self-directed, positive change is possible and how we all can achieve work/life balance while improving our physical and mental health.

10:15-10:30 a.m. - Break/Morning Snack/Resource Tables Open

10:30-11:45 a.m. - Block 1 Sessions

1. Linking Your Core Values to Life Purpose  
Dr. Vic Strecher - Professor, U-M School of Public Health

In this breakout session following his keynote address, Dr. Strecher will take a deeper dive into finding your purpose, helping you look at your core values and aligning your purpose with the way you live your life each day. This session will explore self-transcendence – focusing on something bigger than yourself, resulting in personal growth.

2. Your Career Recipe – Making the Best Use of Your Pantry  
Ron Sober - Learning Specialist, U-M Human Resource Development (HRD)

Become energized to whip up a fresh batch of the future you! Learn how to pursue new directions by rediscovering skills you have used in the past and may have forgotten about. Pulling items from your career pantry may just be what you need to energize your career.

3. An Eye Towards Retirement 
Doreen M. Murasky, L.M.S.W., A.C.S.W. - Senior Manager of Student Programs, U-M Center for the Education of Women (CEW)

The decision to retire can lead to excitement and relief or fear and dread. Many focus on their financial plans, but fail to consider other significant aspects of post-retirement life. Actively planning your post-work life helps make the transition to retirement a positive and joyful one. This session draws on Doreen's popular Retirement Success Workshop series. Go beyond financial planning and come learn how to plan for a fulfilling retirement. 

4. Parenting (and Grandparenting) Through the Challenges of Life  
Anupama Agrawal, L.M.S.W. - Social Work Supervising Faculty, University Center for the Child and Family at the Mary A. Rackham Institute (U-M)

All parents/grandparents are concerned about the well-being of the children as they face challenges, which may include separation/divorce, loss, and family changes or conflicts. This workshop will deliver practical advice to help adults understand children's needs during difficult transitions, in a collaborative and caring environment.

5. Mindfulness-Based Meditations  
Mariko A. Foulk, L.M.S.W., A.C.S.W. - Clinical Social Worker, UMHS Social Work/Geriatrics Center

This session will start with a brief introduction of what mindfulness is and how it can be beneficial to your health and well-being. Then, a variety of Guided Meditations (e.g., Breath, Body, Sounds, Movement, Loving-Kindness) will be practiced as time permits, followed by discussion.

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch/Resource Tables Open

1:00-2:15 p.m. - Block 2 Sessions

6. Surviving the Transition that Follows Change  
Joan Curran, B.S., M.A. - Lead Training Specialist, UMHS Service Excellence

We all adapt to change in our lives – we must. But we are not always adept at handling the subsequent transition – that emotional, psychological phase that follows a change. During those times we may feel low-energy, unproductive, disconnected or adrift. In this workshop, we will explore why we feel that way and how best to cope with and plan for transitions, referencing the well-known framework suggested by author William Bridges, Ph.D.

7. Tell Two Jokes and Email Me in the Morning: A Prescription for Getting Through the Day
Wendy Shepherd - Jollyologist, ALFAB Services

It's not easy being a grown-up – too many responsibilities, too little time, not enough fun. Whether it is work, your personal life, or the world at large, it is sometimes hard to find the bright side. This class will help you see that a good dose of humor therapy will help you put life events in perspective! We’ll focus on the power of positive psychology and the importance of laughter and humor.

8. Caring for the Caregivers: How to Look After Yourself When Everyone Seems to Need Your Help         
Susan E. Watts, A.C.S.W. - Director of Social Work Training; and JoAnne Shipman and Melissa Q. Meyer - Therapists/Post-M.S.W. Clinical Fellows, Psychological Clinic at the Mary A. Rackham Institute (U-M)

This session will offer practical ideas about what is helpful for caregivers to sustain them for the long haul. Participants will have opportunities to talk about the content in smaller groups, and how it relates to them.

9. Budget! Are You Kidding?  
Kathryn Greiner, A.F.C.® (Accredited Financial Counselor) - Director of Credit Education, University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU)

Do you sometimes feel like no matter how much you earn there's never enough? If you dread the thought of setting up a budget, take heart. Come to this light-hearted session to see where your money's going and make a plan for spending, bill paying and saving. Get tips on how to cut spending and still enjoy life!                                                                                                                                                                       10. Essential Tai Chi  
Karla Groesbeck - Tai Chi Instructor, Good EnerChi Studio and MHealthy

Tai Chi is a great way to relax and have fun. It is an engaging body/mind activity, rich in substance and healthy humor. It is also a peaceful, flowing, low impact exercise ideal for calming, centering, stress relief, balance and toning. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a series of simple movements (optional), as well as come away with a deeper understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of this intriguing and beneficial art/exercise.

2:15-2:30 p.m. - Break/Afternoon Snack

2:30-3:45 p.m. - Block 3 Sessions

11. Strategies for Creating Winning and High-Performance Teams 
Tonya Bailey, M.P.A. - U-M Flint

Do you lead a team? Are you part of a team? Do you want strategies to help create an effective team? In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss the role that they can play as a leader in guiding group dynamics.

12. Forgive to Live: The Benefits of Forgiveness and Gratitude for Well-Being  
John Sonnega, Ph.D. - Program Director, MHealthy Thrive!

People who report greater levels of forgiveness and gratitude tend to have lower stress. Forgiveness and gratitude bring benefits such as better sleep and more happiness, particularly to the forgiver. In this session, we will explore these positive dimensions, and suggest practices and strategies to foster them in our lives. Participants will be encouraged to foster stress relief by embracing forgiveness and cultivating gratitude. 

13. Can’t We All Get Along … At Work? 
Ramona Ward, S.P.H.R. - Human Resources Director, UMHS Human Resources

Obtain strategies to facilitate positive work relationships with supervisors and co-workers, identify different personality styles, and learn how to maintain your professional reputation in challenging work situations.  Also, learn how to assess career options when deciding whether to stay or develop exit strategies to a new career opportunity, and learn about resources for assistance.

14. Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney: What Do I Need?  
Terrence G. Quinn, Esq. - Attorney, TGQ Law Firm

This session explores:  1) what will happen to assets and/or children at death, and 2) when one becomes incompetent, who makes medical/financial decisions for that person? Among other matters, we will discuss basic planning, Medicaid, elder law, rental property, and joint ownership myths. Participants will leave confidently armed with information that will help resolve these issues.

15. Ready, Prep, Go!   
Katherine Briggs Goldberg, M.S., R.D.; Elizabeth Burt, R.N. (ret.); and Sheree Thibault - Nutrition/Health Educators and Culinary Specialists, MHealthy Nutrition

Learn great tips and techniques for making quick, nutritious, and delicious meals with fresh ingredients. We will show you our favorite time-saving kitchen tools that are inexpensive, fun, and easy to use. A demonstration of basic cooking methods and recipes will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to make your own variations of these tasty homemade dishes, that you and your family will love!