Faculty & Staff Resiliency Task Force

Join the task force for a free webinar series on college health and wellness professionals' resiliency!

For many years, higher education professionals have been focused on the resiliency of our students. But what about the resiliency of campus faculty and staff?

The ACHA Faculty and Staff Resiliency Task Force is hosting a series of presentations on a broad array of topics that professionals can use to improve their own resiliency and well-being. Please see below for session details.

Registration links and recordings/slides will be posted as they become available. ACHA Members: when registration opens, you'll receive an invitation by email. Non-members can subscribe here to receive alerts about these sessions and other ACHA news.

Radical Self-Care for the Director During an Era of Chaos and Challenge: Connecting with Resilience and Courage When You are Running on Empty

This event is over. Recording and slides coming soon!

Presenter: L. Megan Kersting, PsyD, Clark University

Directors are currently charged with the impossible. They are expected to ensure that centers meet campus demands of providing rapid and adequate mental health care to a never-ending volume of students who present with ever-increasing acuity. Job burnout is often discussed and is defined as "consequence of the perceived disparity between the demands of the job and the resources that an employee has available to them." Based on this definition, the role of the college counseling center director is a recipe for burnout. Oftentimes, when the concept of professional resilience is discussed, conversations rarely go beyond superficial tips and ideas for selfcare. Therefore, in thinking about the institutional expectations of counseling centers, a question arises: How can a director perform their job without facing potential burnout?

This interactive session will be facilitated by three directors who have struggled with difficult work demands and burnout and have utilized creative means to maintain their creativity and passion for their jobs. Concepts such as empowering compassion, vulnerable and authentic leadership, creative outreach, values exploration, and boundary setting will guide the discussion and help participants learn different ways to manage the day-to-day demands of their job over a long period of time.

Student Affairs Administrators of Color in the Academy: Building on Resilience Through Counter Narrative

Date and time: Thursday, February 11, 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST
Presenter:  Stella Smith, PhD, Prairie View A&M

Register Here

The purpose of this session is to stimulate discussions among members of the broader higher education community about the importance of professional identity and its implications for the success of diverse faculty, staff, and administrators in predominantly White institutions. Additionally, the synergy created by the powerful personal counter narratives provides essential information for those who seek to understand how diverse faculty, staff, and administrators successfully integrate their personal and professional selves.

Engaging faculty in prevention, early intervention, and resilience initiatives that promote student well-being and academic success

Date and time: Thursday, March 11, 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST
Presenter: David Reetz, PhD, Rochester Institute of Technology

Faculty are among our most significant student mental health partners in promoting a campus culture of prevention, early identification, and early intervention. This session will present an effective, campus-wide approach to engage faculty and academic departments in identifying the personal, non-cognitive barriers students bring to the classroom. Insights into the “faculty dilemma” will be presented, along with practical tools that resonant with our campus instructors. Outcome data and faculty feedback will also be presented. The result will be a practical blueprint for creating a learning environment that inspires students to manage challenges and setbacks more effectively and exercise their full academic potential.

From Trauma to Resilience: Utilizing Lifestyle Data to Facilitate Client Growth and Change

Date and time: Thursday, April 8, 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST
Presenters: Monica Nicoll, PhD, and William G. Nicoll, PhD, Resilience Counseling and Training Center

Resilience involves the development of those psychological strengths that facilitate social-emotional well-being and mental health. It serves as a “psychological vaccine,” immunizing against the negative effects of stress, change, loss, failure, trauma, and other adverse life experiences. Simultaneously, resilience functions as an antidote for psychosocial difficulties and empowers us to recover, adjust, adapt, and continue forward in a positive, fulfilling life direction.

Resilience Tree: Growing Pathways to Senior Leadership

Date and time: Thursday May 13, 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST 
Presenter: Shauna Sobers, EdD, The University of Texas at Austin

Ever wondered why there are so few women (and women of color) represented in senior leadership? Do you know how to avoid burning out before you reach a senior leadership position? How can you empower a staff member in whom you see potential? The presenter will lead a discussion about pathways to persist towards and sustain in senior leadership with the Resilience Tree (environment, roots, branches, and leaves), based on qualitative research and the lived experience of a mid-level practitioner scholar.

Leading in Many Dimensions: Staff Expect Self-Care. Your Boss Demands Grit. You Desperately Need Resilience.

Date and time: Thursday September 9, 2021,12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST
Presenter: Micky Sharma, PsyD, The Ohio State University

One of the most challenging aspects of serving as a counseling center director is managing the multiple, ever-expanding components of the role. As directors we are expected to attend to and advocate for our staffs, while at the same time managing an environment in which we are challenged to meet rising clinical demand and complexity. This session will discuss the challenges that leaders face and the dynamic tension they experience while responding to the staffs’ need for self-care. The presentation will discuss the incredible challenge that can come from effectively working with the director’s administrative supervisor, who may not fully understand the nature of the work. Conveying this complexity when a supervisor may just want the director to be more “gritty” and get the work done is never easy. The presenters will share their experience and strategies for “managing up.” Finally, as directors we must focus on cultivating the resilience we need to be effective leaders. The presenters will share their experiences about how they have maintained their own ability to bounce back.

If you would like to learn more about this group or have a question related to this topic, contact the chairperson listed below. Please search by last name in the Membership Directory to locate an email address or contact them through the online member forum ACHA Connect [login required].

Please note: ACHA Regular Individual and Student members may be appointed by the ACHA President to Board Advisory Committees and Ad Hoc Committees (usually Task Forces) unless otherwise specified in the ACHA Bylaws. Associate members may not be appointed to these committees.

View committee and task force charges here.