Conference Program

Program Agenda

9:00 – 9:45 AM

Welcome Remarks with Chancellor Christ and Eugene Whitlock

Chancellor Carol Christ: 

Chancellor ChristCarol Christ began her term as the 11th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley on July 1, 2017. A celebrated scholar of Victorian literature, Christ is also well known as an advocate for quality, accessible public higher education, a proponent of the value of a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, and a champion of women’s issues and diversity on college campuses.

Christ spent more than three decades as a professor and administrator at UC Berkeley before serving as president of Smith College, one of the country’s most distinguished liberal arts colleges, from 2002 to 2013. She returned to Berkeley in January 2015 to direct the campus’s Center for Studies in Higher Education, and was appointed interim executive vice chancellor and provost in April 2016 before being named chancellor in March 2017. Since her return to Berkeley, she has worked to foster community and improve the campus climate for people of all backgrounds, celebrate the institution's longstanding commitment to free speech, strengthen Berkeley's financial position, address a housing shortage, and develop a ten-year strategic plan for the campus.

As president of Smith for more than a decade, Christ supervised the development of the nation’s only accredited engineering program at a women’s college, oversaw a significant rise in student diversity, expanded Smith’s global activities and reach, managed a major campus capital planning program, and shepherded the college through strategic planning exercises designed to improve its academic and financial models within the context of changing trends in higher education.

Prior to joining Smith, Christ served as UC Berkeley’s executive vice chancellor and provost from 1994 until 2000. During her six years as the campus’s top academic officer, she sharpened Berkeley’s intellectual focus, strengthening many of the institution’s top-rated departments in the humanities and sciences as well as advancing major initiatives in areas including neuroscience and bioengineering.

Christ received her B.A. (1966) from Douglass College, and her M.Ph. (1969) and Ph.D. (1970) from Yale University. She joined the Berkeley English faculty in 1970, and in addition to her other roles, has served as chair of that department, dean of the Division of Humanities, and provost for the College of Letters and Science. Christ has authored two books, The Finer Optic: The Aesthetic of Particularity in Victorian Poetry (1975) and Victorian and Modern Poetics (1994), and has edited or co-edited several others, including The Norton Anthology of English Literature. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Christ was married for 21 years to Paul Alpers, a professor of English and founding director of UC Berkeley’s Townsend Center for the Humanities, until his death in 2013. She has two grown children, Jonathan and Elizabeth Sklute, from a previous marriage, as well as two grandchildren. She lives in Berkeley.


Eugene Whitlock, Assistant Vice Chancellor for People & Culture: 

Eugene WhitlockFor five years, Eugene served as Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, and General Counsel of the San Mateo County Community College District, which serves 45,000 students across three colleges. In his human resources role, Eugene led the District’s equity-focused recruitment which resulted in the increased hiring of staff and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds. He championed professional development opportunities for employees, developed workshops and training on harassment and discrimination, and led efforts to support faculty and staff in order to enhance the employee experience. As a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Eugene has been invited by the California Community Colleges State Chancellor, community colleges, and K-12 school districts throughout California to deliver training to Board members, administrators, faculty, and staff.  In 2017, Eugene’s work was recognized by his peers who selected him for the “Progress in Diversity” award given for “Outstanding Achievement in Support of Diversity in the Higher Education Community.”

In his role as General Counsel, Eugene advised the District on general litigation, privacy and data security, wage and hour rules, disability, accommodations, leave policies, contracts, the Brown Act, the Education Code, and the Labor Code. Eugene also led the District’s International Student Program, focusing on growing the program’s enrollment of students from Africa and South America.

Prior to joining the Community College District, Eugene’s professional background includes legal, investment banking, and project management roles in the U.S., Germany, Japan, and Venezuela. He has a strong affinity for academia and learning that brought him to the Community College District, and now to Berkeley.

Eugene obtained his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and earned his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan. He is also a fluent speaker of Spanish and German.

Morning Keynote with Chris Murchison


Applying 5 domains of well-being (based on Martin Seligman’s model): positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and accomplishment —as a framework for attendees to envision a future self to which they aspire.


Chris Merchison HeadshotChris Marcell Murchison is a passionate advocate for positive workplace culture. In his broad career spanning the higher education, for-profit, not-for-profit, and foundation sectors he has focused his energy on developing creative means to build community at work and practices that support an employee experience of respect, connection, joy, and generative learning. 

In 2014, Chris was named the first Visiting Leader at the Center for Positive Organizations in the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he advises, connects and convenes faculty and students to explore practical applications of Positive Organizational Scholarship. In January of 2018 Chris was additionally appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Positive Psychology Association’s Work & Organizations Division.

Chris was on staff at UCB from 1991 to 2000 and currently works as an independent creative thought-partner, experience designer, and advisor to organizations ready to reimagine the possibilities of their cultures.

9:45 – 10:00 AM

Activity Break (10 min)

Creative Visualization with Diana Acidera

Activity Break Leader: Diana Acidera

Diana Acidera HeadshotDiana Acidera currently serves as the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Office in the Arts & Humanities College of Letters and Science as Program Manager. As a first-generation to college student from Fresno-Central Valley, she remains passionate about serving diverse populations and advocating for underrepresented and underserved communities in education. She hopes to positively impact the lives of individuals by creating safe spaces to actively journey and engage in practices of mindfulness, empowerment, and healing modalities.

Diana was a Search Inside Yourself-Engage Participant and has been a Yoga Alliance Teacher since 2014. Diana has led mindfulness practice workshops for staff at Berkeley Haas, small business teams, and students. She received her BA in Chicano Studies and Political Science from UC Berkeley, as well as her MBA in Marketing and MA in Management & Educational Leadership from Mills College. 

She loves promoting wellness, cultivating connections, and encouraging conscious leadership. She is passionate about fully immersing herself in diverse cultures and customs through deep dialogue, traveling, music, food, and dance.

Move to first concurrent session

9:45 – 12:15 PM

Coaches' Corner

Recruiters' Corner

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Concurrent Sessions

Hack Your Job in 10 Days

Session Description:

This workshop takes a new perspective on career development at Berkeley by utilizing some lesser-known resources to "hack" your skills, development, and job search. You will decipher job codes, sleuth salaries, gain access to hidden campus resources, and use them to deploy a 10-day plan of attack for advancing your career at Cal. Bonus hacks include insider tips for: tapping into hidden databases, infiltrating elite staff networks, automating alerts, energizing your evaluation, and more.  

Presenter: Dave Schonenberg

Dave SchonenbergDave Schonenberg is an Administrator at RISELab, where he supports the research and development of cutting edge applications that make decisions in real-time at the interface of technology and the physical world. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, he spent a decade as the General Manager of Rivendell Bicycle Works. Dave is also an accomplished writer, cruciverbalist, and musician

Key Strategies for Upgrading Your Skills for Future Jobs

Session Description: 

Given the shelter in place orders during covid-19, there is no denying that technology is the future. How can professionals in academia rooted in tradition and in-person services innovate using technology? And what tools and skills do you need to build now to succeed for future jobs that may or may not even exist yet? Samorn Selim of Career Unicorns will share the following:

  • Her personal story of how she reinvented herself from a lawyer to academia to entrepreneur and to tech.

  • Examine the current job market given what's happening with coronavirus and what sectors will grow and what sectors will shrink.

  • Provide key strategies on how to build skills for future jobs and how to effectively execute a job search.

  • Discuss how diversity, inclusion, and belonging is even more critical during these challenging times.

  • Reflect on key learnings from working with over 1,000 clients on what strategies have been successful and what held people back from career transitions.

Presenter: Samorn Selim

Samorn Selim is the CEO of Career Unicorns.  She has successfully worked with over 1,000 clients to land dream jobs, get promotions, and negotiate raises.  

She has presented at Google, UC Office of the President, Dress for Success, National Association for Law Placement, Paul Hastings and Wilson Sonsini.  She was an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Director of Employer Outreach at Berkeley Law, and is a Berkeley Law graduate.

She is the author of “Belonging:  Self Love Lessons From A Workaholic, Depressed, Insomniac Lawyer” (available on Amazon) and “Transform Your Career From Dread to Joy Guide” (available at

Public Speaking for Introverts

Session Description:

Public Speaking is an art, a science, and  ultimately a skill that for most of us introverts seems scary at best and plain unattainable at worst. However, while we can still remain introverts in our ‘regular’ day to day lives, we can also learn techniques that can allow us to not only speak in public but can also make us shine when we communicate our ideas and projects in front of groups of people. What is it that we need to learn to be able to gather the courage to stand in front of complete strangers, or even in front of our own colleagues and families and convey to them what is important to us? What moves us to put aside our shyness and speak in ways in which we can convince others? We all need to learn this set of skills, but for us introverts, it is essential that we know how to represent ourselves more effectively so that we can project a confident image which in turn will allow us to have a better connection with our audiences.In this workshop, participants will learn techniques to project a confident image of themselves while speaking in public, organize the content for greater impact, and understand how the audiences evaluate the speaker’s confidence and credibility.

About the Presenter: Patricia Juarez

Patricia JuarezPatricia Juarez has 30 years of experience in the IT industry in both México and the U.S. Patricia has been the Business Systems Analyst for the Imagine team at UC Berkeley since 2007. The team provides enterprise document management system services to all campus departments. As the lead BA, Patricia has been instrumental in bringing departments towards paperless business processes. 

As a leader in her community, Patricia is the founder of two Native Higher Ed Institutions. She has been invited as a visiting scholar on Native Traditions to institutions, such as, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Woodland Community College, California College of the Arts, Santa Rosa Junior Community College, as well as other institutions in the U.S. and México City.

Patricia participates with an essay in an anthology of Chicanx/Latinx traditions. The anthology was published in 2019 by The University of Arizona Press.

Stewarding Your Professional Growth with Inspiration & Intentionality

Session Description: 

Goals are a powerful, foundational tool in envisioning our futures and building our careers. But where do you start and how do you stay engaged and energized along the way? In this session we share our story: how a UC Extension class served as a springboard for goal-setting, accountability, empowerment, and career growth. Together, we learned that consistency and intentionality coupled with immediate goals and shared inspiration lead to long-term success. 

Staff will learn how to leverage Berkeley resources, empower themselves and lift each other up to build their careers on campus. In this session we will share how you can identify an accountability partner; build a power plan (hand out); and practice your learnings. Key takeaways include: setting short-term goals for career growth in your current role; amplifying your personal and professional networks to your advantage; and enhancing your brand with sound bites. We hope our experience can inform and inspire Berkeley staff who want to grow their careers.


Presenters: Charlotte Cowden & Jennifer Mora

Charlotte Cowden is a Senior Analyst on the Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives team at University Development and Alumni Relations. She is responsible for stewardship, operations and strategy work, supporting frontline fundraisers as they engage with our most generous campus partners to further the university's mission. Charlotte has been a proud UC Berkeley staffer since 2012 and has held a variety of roles on campus in research units, schools and central fundraising. She received a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Bryn Mawr College, M.A.s in East Asian Studies and History from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in History from UC Berkeley.


Jennifer Mora is a Director of Development with the Student Experience and Diversity team at University Development and Alumni Relations. In her role, she is responsible for partnering with alumni and friends on philanthropic opportunities to ensure Cal students thrive and succeed at UC Berkeley and beyond. Jennifer has been on the UC Berkeley campus since 2007 and built her advancement career at the Cal Alumni Association. She received her B.A. in Chicana and Chicano studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Masters of Public Administration from Sonoma State University. Jennifer serves on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VII Board of Directors.

B2B (Bears to Bears) Collaborating Across Campus

Session Description:

How do we collaborate effectively to ensure the success of past, current, and future Golden Bears? UC Berkeley has around 139 department and academic units and additional campus units which means there are plenty of opportunities for collaboration. Seeing how we can collaborate across departments and campus units allows for us to diversify our programs, continuously learn about new perspectives, and build community with one another. Collaborations can help create sustainable programming and be an opportunity for professional development for the staff and students involved. 

In our presentation we will dive into the learning objectives giving examples of how the School of Public Health’s undergraduate department has partnered with over 15 groups and organizations from across the Berkeley campus. 

We will discuss: how these collaborations have strengthened our department, why collaboration is essential for incorporating new and underrepresented voices in our school, and how we creatively motivate ourselves to keep reaching out. By the end of our workshop participants will have moved through the essential motions of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing collaborations across campus, from bear to bear.


Presenters: Kimberly Henderson & Patricia Cruz

Kimberly Henderson (she/her) is an academic advisor/co-manager of the School of Public Health's Undergraduate Program and has been with UC Berkeley for two years.  She is a Bay Area native and went to college in Humboldt County receiving a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a minor in Interdisciplinary Dance.  From there she served a year in AmeriCorps as a CSU STEM VISTA at San Jose State University's Jay Pinson STEM Education Program working directly with MESA, Title I schools, and the Tech Museum of Science and Innovation before starting at UC Berkeley.  She is excited to have this opportunity to share her experiences from the past two years with you.



Patricia Cruz (she/they) serves as an Undergraduate Academic Advisor/Co-Manager for School of Public Health. Originally from the San Fernando Valley, Patricia earned her B.A. in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies from the Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley. She has worked with Oakland youth across different high schools and various college campuses in college access and retention at Oakland Promise through Americorps Public Allies. Having been a student and now staff member at UC Berkeley, Patricia has found that strong partnerships play a key role in creating sustainable programming and hopes this workshop will allow you to explore building effective collaborations.

11:00 – 11:15 AM

Activity Break (10 min)

Stretch Break with Lindy West

Activity Break Leader: Lindy West, MA, RN

Lindy West HeadshotLindy West’s 12 years at UC Berkeley continue to offer her great fulfillment as a Worksite Wellness Specialist. She provides wellness education, and assists building a culture of wellness with the 'on the ground' service employees: Housing & Dining (RSSP) and Facilities Services. “I am always thrilled when I observe either an employee's or their Director's “light bulb” come on, in how building a wellness culture impacts productivity, morale and cost savings.”

In her leisure time, Lindy enjoys exploring the California outdoors, bicycling, swimming, and assisting with  'GET OUT THE VOTE' efforts nationwide.

Move to first concurrent session

11:15 – 12:15 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Deconstructing Leadership- New Skills for Everybody

Session Description:

Distributed teams, work-from-home, dual-income households, sharing economy, gig employment, automation and AI, millennials and new customer expectations, increasing turnover, sustainability… these are not “your parent’s” career concerns. These new realities require an entirely new set of skills to navigate. Find out how leading entrepreneurs develop servant leadership: defining purpose and mission, building belonging, valuing diverse perspectives, and creating psychological safety. Discover the latest leadership concepts from design thinking and social entrepreneurship. These approaches can be embraced today, by anyone, even if you have never thought of yourself as a leader or entrepreneur. Let’s discuss how leading by example and creating your own opportunities to be seen. What can you learn from bad leadership decisions, and the benefits of exploring how you might do things differently. If you want to get un-stuck and plot a path to greater career satisfaction, this workshop will share techniques that  everyone can use to become a better leader tomorrow while making your job and your organization better today.


Presenter: Jill Finlayson

Jill Finlayson is passionate about leadership and innovation for all. As Director of the Women in Tech Initiative at UC, she supports research and initiatives to promote equitable participation of women in tech. Prior to Berkeley, she led mentorship and incubators for Singularity University Ventures, the Toys category at eBay, an online community for Skoll Foundation, marketing at startups, and a Striking Poverty website for the World Bank. She is enthusiastic about equitable workplaces, leadership, and impact, and has mentored global TechWomen, startup founders, and student innovators. Finlayson is a graduate of UC Berkeley. Go Bears! Pronouns: She, hers.

Working Effectively with Faculty

Session Description:

 Staff-faculty relationships are an integral part of how the university does business, presenting unique opportunities for professional growth. Seeking to reframe common (mis)perceptions about academic culture and hierarchy, this panel discussion will highlight creative approaches and strategies for leveraging and cultivating productive relationships across campus as faculty and staff work together towards our shared mission to support education and research.


Panel Moderator: Julia Nelsen

Julia NelsenJulia Nelsen, PhD is Program Manager at the Institute of European Studies, where she works with faculty, students, and campus partners on a broad range of internationally-focused initiatives. A Cal alumna, she completed her PhD in Comparative Literature and taught on campus for several years before joining IES in 2018. Julia’s commitment to career development and mentorship has led her to support staff and peers through organizations including the BSA New Professionals Network, Beyond Academia, and Humanists@Work. She is a member of the NOW 2020 Planning Committee.




Andrea Lambert HeadshotAndrea Lambert, Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, has 22+ years of education administration experience. She serves as strategic advisor to and operational manager for EVCP Alivisatos in his roles as Provost (UCB’s chief academic officer) and Executive Vice Chancellor (Chancellor Christ’s leading senior executive responsible for day-to-day operations). Andrea has served on the Berkeley campus for 12 years in various roles including director of student services, organizational consultant, and learning and development lead. Andrea is an active member of the campus community including serving as a BSA mentor, previous co-chair of BFN, and founding member of the Cal Women’s Network. She enjoys being the mom of an active one-year old, running, hiking, and wine tasting in Sonoma County, where she grew up. 


christian_gordoChristian Gordon is the Assistant Dean of Development for the Social Sciences at UC Berkeley, directing development for the 15 departments and programs of the social sciences division. Faculty partnerships have been an integral strategic component for the division, given its size and diversity. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Christian led successful fundraising programs in science & engineering, business, and the liberal arts at institutions on both coasts. He earned a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University, a certificate in professional fundraising and a Masters in Education both from Boston University.


Eric Falci HeadshotEric Falci is Professor of English at U.C. Berkeley.  He joined the faculty in Fall 2006 after finishing his PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  He is a scholar of modern and contemporary poetry. Since 2017, he has served as Associate Dean in the Graduate Division.





jocelyn_banariaJocelyn Surla Banaria, Academic Senate Executive Director, has 25+ years of higher education administration experience. At UCOP, she was the Assistant Director of the systemwide Academic Senate and was an Academic Planning Analyst. At Cal, Jocelyn worked in Admissions & Enrollment and in the Dean of Students Office. She holds a BA in Development Studies from Cal; Master’s in Higher Education Counseling from CSU Hayward; and a Ph.D. in Education (concentration in Higher Education Administration) from the University of Hawaii. Jocelyn started her career as an Orientation Counselor, and she now serves the Academic Senate in the shared governance of Cal. She spends time with her husband & three daughters, likes to ride her cargo bicycle, and plays softball.

Envision Your Bold, Big & Bad Career

Session Description:

No doubt you have had some significant career achievements. Maybe you have landed your ideal role, secured that promotion and even pursued extensive education. However, somewhere along your career journey, you got side-tracked by the day-to-day of “working in your career” versus “working on your career.” NOW is the time to envision a new career future, align your career goals with passion, purpose and strategy. Find your level of boldness and execute a personal internal mobility strategy that aligns with your career goals. Join Vaneese Johnson-The Boldness Coach ™ in this highly engaging power session as we discuss four strategies to help you be bold, big and bad in your career NOW!


Presenter: Vaneese Johnson

Vaneese Johnson, The Boldness Coach™, is a Global Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker, Brand Strategist and Author.  She teaches, empowers, and challenges professionals to step into their Bold, Big & Bad ™ and up-level their career choices and successes with intention, ownership and self-direction. 

As a powerhouse possibility creator and transformation instigator, Vaneese teaches and emboldens today’s  professionals through her proprietary success fundamentals of Branding Out Loud Daily (BOLD), Building in Your Genius (BIG), and being Branded and Distinctive (BAD) to accentuate their professional presence with authenticity and authority while making a purposeful impact in the world. Her strategic approach allows clients to better connect their talents, skills and values across diverse groups and industries resulting in relevant, high-impact engagement.

Her professional credentials include:

Certified Career Management Coach, Personal Brand Strategist, Online Brand Strategist, Small Business Advisor, Career Transition Coach, 360 Administrator and Interpreter and Crucial Conversations Facilitator

Effective Resume Writing

Session Description:

Create a resumé that gets the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention and results in an interview invitation. Learn how to create a self-marketing document that strategically showcases the highest level of your employment contributions. Learn how to effectively highlight your most transferable skills to make successful career transitions.


Presenter: Kim Sapp Dinwiddie

Kim SappDinwiddieKim Sapp Dinwiddie has been at Berkeley for 16 years. Currently, she is the Training Manager in Advancement Training and Outreach at University Development and Alumni Relations where she successfully manages the first comprehensive training program for Berkeley's advancement community. Formerly, she was a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant and Staff Career Development Trainer in Central Human Resources for nine years. She also developed and facilitated campus recruitment and hiring training curriculum for campus managers and supervisors. Previously, she was a Program Director at Extension. Kim has been training, recruiting and hiring, building career and job development curriculum, and managing related programs for 20+ years; she has a Master in Education, Counseling.

The Strategic use of LinkedIn to prepare your next job application

Session Description:

This workshop will show you how to strategically grow your network in 3 phases and connect to your future manager’s boss, before you even send in your job application. You will learn how to use LinkedIn as a marketplace to trade your personal connections for access to influential people that can help you develop your career. First, we will explore how to update your profile, creating an authentic and engaging reflection of yourself. Second, we analyze the motivations of LinkedIn users to connect with others and how to systematically grow your network through personal and professional contacts. Finally, we learn how to use combinations of filters to execute a targeted connection-strategy with the department you are most interested in. Throughout the workshop, you will be able to ask questions and share experiences. To make full use of the learning, make sure to have your LinkedIn app installed on your smartphone.


Presenter: Frederick Wehrle

Fredrick WehrleDr. Frederick T. Wehrle, Ph.D is the Associate Dean for Academic Design and Innovation for Berkeley Global. Dr. Wehrle is a researcher specialized in innate human behavior and an expert in Academic Innovation and Design. At Berkeley, he is developing fully integrated trans-disciplinary study programs that allow students and lifelong learners to acquire the specific skill set they need to succeed in their careers in the upcoming 4th industrial revolution. With his team, he brings together world-leading researchers from Berkeley and industry experts from Silicon Valley who work and teach at the forefront of academic innovation. In his prior positions, he has founded the Center for Global Engagement of Planeta Education and Universities France, he directed Accreditation and International Relations at Groupe EDC and served as Academic Director at Groupe IGS. He founded the Eye-Tracking Lab of ICD International Business School and has lectured at UC Berkeley, Grupo Planeta, Groupe EDC, Groupe IGS, University of Paris 1, Toulouse Business School, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and Groupe IAM.

12:15 – 1:15 PM

Lunch Break

1:15 – 1:30 PM

Activity Break (10 min)

Energy-Boosting Meditation with Cori Evans

Activity Break Leader: Cori Evans

Cori Evans HeadshotCori Evans joined UHS after working as a Corporate Wellness Manager where she provided fitness and health management services to companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. She oversees the Be Well at Work - Wellness Program on the UC Berkeley campus in addition to Know Your Numbers health screenings and events. Cori also manages the UC Berkeley Wellness Ambassador Program.  

Cori received her MA in Sports Management from USF and her BS in Exercise Science from UC Davis where she competed in Track and Field. She went on to play Women’s Tackle Football for nearly ten years post-college and now enjoys weekly bowling, volleyball leagues, and weekend golf and hiking excursions with friends. Cori is originally from Wichita, Kansas, home of the Wichita State Shockers.

Move to third concurrent session

1:30 - 3:00 PM

Coaches' Corner

Recruiters' Corner

1:30 – 3:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions: Workshops

Getting the Most Out of Coaching

Session Description:

This workshop will be focused on how to get the most value out of a coaching conversation from both the Coach and Coachee perspective. For the coach: Fundamental skills of a coach, coaching framework, and the things a coach need to be mindful of during a coaching conversation. For the Coachee: coachability, how to get the most out of the conversation. For both Coach and coachee: Coaching Agreement.


Presenters: Colin Gerker &  Ying Kuah

Colin GerkerColin Gerker (he/him/his) is the Project Manager and Training Lead for the Achieve Together performance development program at UC Berkeley. He works in the Berkeley People & Culture Office, supporting the team and campus through the launch of the new program. Colin serves as Co-Chair of the Cal Coaching Network Community of Practice, and as an officer on the LavenderCal leadership team. Colin recently managed organizational performance at American University in Washington, DC. Previously, he worked in Student Affairs at UC San Diego. Colin specializes in 1:1 and group coaching for high performance and professional development.



Ying Kuah HeadshotYing Kuah is an instructor, instructional designer, and coach who is passionate about helping people grow, both personally and professionally, through fun and interactive workshops, e-Learning, and 1-on-1 coaching.  In her current role in People & Culture, UC Berkeley, Ying helps hundreds of people managers and HR professionals to grow to be a better communicator, consultant, change manager, trainer/facilitator, and coach through engaging workshops.  Ying also co-founded Cal Coaching Network (Community of Practice for coaching) to further the effort to build a coaching culture at UC Berkeley by supporting all staff to grow as a coach.  

Outside of work, Ying is a foodie who loves smothering her 2 daughters (2 and 4) with hugs and kisses, and can't wait for them to grow up so that they can go snowboarding, rock climbing, camping, traveling, and let's not forget shopping and mani-pedi's, together.

Experiments & Baby Steps: Designing Your Way Forward in a Changing World

Session Description:

Getting from vision to reality rarely happens overnight, and that journey can be puzzling even in the best of times. This workshop is for people who are thinking, “I’ve got ideas for my future, but how do I move forward?” Come with one or more ideas for your future, identify where you need more information, and leave with next steps. We’ll design experiments for “trying things on” through experiences, conversations and more. Join us for these 90 minutes to set aside other concerns, prioritize your career aspirations, and practice new tools.


Presenters: Terrie Moore & Susan Hagstrom 

Terrie Moore HeadshotTerrie Moore proudly served the career development needs of UC Berkeley staff for over ten years in all.  Most recently, she was the Lead for Career Development in People and Organization Development, where she co-chaired the acclaimed 2019 NOW Conference before retiring.  She visualized UC Berkeley’s Grow Your Career model, including tools that have been adopted by organizations in North America and Europe.
Her approach advocates the importance of recognizing one’s unique combination of strengths; embracing lifelong learning; and engaging with fellow professionals.  Facilitating these career-development milestones for clients has been a truly satisfying highlight of Terrie’s professional life.
A veteran of career change herself, Terrie trained as a career counselor after an extensive career in the healthcare industry.  Her credentials include certifications as a National Certified Counselor; MBTI practitioner; and Juran Quality Improvement advisor/trainer.  She holds two Master’s degrees - in Counseling and in Health Services Administration.
While sheltering in place, Terrie is gardening, docenting for the UC Botanical Garden from afar, honing her Zoom skills, and dabbling in paint and song.



Susan Hagstrom HeadshotSusan Hagstrom is the new Manager of Advising Strategy and Training for the Berkeley campus. The focus of her work is on enhancing advising and coordinating support for the 900+ members of the academic and co-curricular student services community. Prior to her current position, Susan served as the Director of Undergraduate Advising in the College of Environmental Design and held a variety of advising positions in the College of Letters and Science. One of her most meaningful professional development activities was completing a full-time staff internship through HR and the Chancellor’s Office that focused on how to most effectively recognize staff contributions to the University. Passionately committed to the growth and well-being of Berkeley staff, Susan is a certified life and career coach and holds an MA in Educational Psychology and Counseling. Outside of work, Susan is an avid bike rider, an open water swimmer, and she enjoys singing to babies in the Kaiser NICU as a member of the Threshold Choir. She’s originally from the midwest and is inspired by the work of Quaker educator, activist, and author Parker Palmer.

POC Money Talks - Mapping Our Financial Well Being as New Professional

Session Description:

 As People of Color (POC), we face the inescapable realities of race and racism every day. Directly intersecting with our racial experiences is a long hxstory of systemic class oppression that still exists. In our collective journeys toward healing, liberation, and justice, personal finance is often left out of the conversation. From societal stigmatization to feelings of shame or guilt to simply not knowing where to start, there are many challenges to having the open conversations we need on personal finance as a part of our overall healing and liberation. This workshop will offer a brave space for new professionals to support each other as POC and get clear on what we need to be financially well and ultimately thrive as a part of a larger social justice agenda. We will each self-assess where we are with our own financial life and map the short-term actions needed that make us feel good, prepared, and values-aligned with our approach to money! This workshop will be geared towards new professionals, though all who find value in this topic are welcome to join.


Presenter: rita zhang

rita zhang (she/her/hers) is a financial empowerment educator, facilitator, and coach. She brings 10+ years of social justice experience from movement-building, direct service, and higher education settings to her financial empowerment work. rita is the founder of Community Roots Financials, a financial education service focused on supporting first-generation and immigrant communities of color on financial empowerment topics. Additionally, rita is a financial coach at Oakland Promise for low-income parents. As a Cal alum and former staff person, rita is looking forward to holdig space for the Cal staff community at NOW Conference this year!

Effective Teaming - Collaboration, Trust & Leveraging Diversity

Session Description:

The ability for teams to innovate, leverage diversity, stay agile, and create cultures of safety and trust, is a high priority for many organizations. Concurrently, the prevalence of distributed work, and the popularity of global teams adds a layer of complexity that merits enhanced cross-cultural knowledge and the additive value of humble approaches. People- the lifeblood of organizations- who understand the interplay of these areas as related to effective teaming and can utilize their knowledge and skills to advance organizational teaming capabilities, will be well poised to secure growing opportunities in the evolving future of work. 

This workshop will highlight core elements integral to high performing teams, and help participants develop necessary skills to cultivate climates where these elements can grow and thrive. This workshop will be facilitated in the context of current and future trends related to distributed work, diverse teams, and cross-cultural competence; integrating frameworks from business, medicine, and clinical psychology, prioritizing sustainability and ‘real world’ application.


Presenter: Catherine Ciano

Catherine Ciano HeadshotCatherine Ciano holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is an Executive MBA Candidate at the McCombs School of Business at University of Texas, Austin. She works as a Psychologist in Primary Care at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a Teaming Strategist where she helps people build skills to transform their teams and work better, through training and supportive community. Her passion to help people live and work more joyously and purposefully inspires her talks on effective teaming, human approaches to the future of work, and positive business. She has held leadership positions as Past President of the Santa Clara County Psychological Association and the Membership and Assessment Chair for Cal Women’s Network.

Pocketful of Stories: Career Perspective Through Story (finding, telling & listening)

Session Description:

This highly interactive workshop moves through a story approach to career, which involves story finding, story telling and story listening. It will begin with a brief exercise that reveals work values, moving into a free-writing exercise that gets participants actively engaged in story finding. By putting their work values into conversation with the memories, projects, and collaborations which comprise the lived experience of work, participants are able to gain some perspective on themselves as professionals. With a better appreciation for the breadth and depth of their own experience, tellers are better equipped to communicate this information to others. The second part of the workshop brings a focus to story telling and story listening. With a partner, participants will share some of the stories they found in the exercise described above. Listeners will give feedback about where and when aspects of work values are revealed and embodied. This opportunity to receive and provide feedback offers additional perspective in uncovering connections and broader patterns within and across experiences. Finally, the workshop will conclude with an exploration of linguistic tools that make stories perform even better: tools for effective narrative structure that take advantage of ordering, framing, perspective, and story focus. They help stories DO more for the teller in interaction.

Equipped with a greater appreciation for the power of story (not to mention a pocket full of them), each participant will leave the workshop with new insight and perspective on their professional trajectories including where they are, where they have been, and where they might want to go next!


Presenters: Anna Marie Trester & Katie Nelson

Anna Marie Trester earned her PhD in sociolinguistics at Georgetown. The author of Bringing Linguistics to Work and co-editor (with Deborah Tannen) of Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, Anna Marie has taught courses in linguistics, improvisation, and storytelling at institutions including Howard and Georgetown and the University of Alberta, as well as Washington Improv Theater and Better Said Than Done Storytelling.



Katherine Nelson HeadshotKatherine Nelson earned her PhD in linguistics at Rice University.  She taught linguistics, cross cultural communication, and second language acquisition theory at Illinois State University and was the language curriculum developer for an American Indigenous Tribe developing culturally informed language curriculum.  Additionally, she developed an English Communication Course for a start-up and published curriculum on using ethnographic methodology to help teachers gain skills to better understand their own and their students’ cultural backgrounds. 

3:00 – 3:15 PM

Activity Break (10 min)

Polynesian/Tahitian Dance with Nicole Castillo

Activity Break Leader: Nicole Castillo

Nicole Castillo HeadshotNicole Castillo joined the Be Well at Work team as the Wellness Program Coordinator after managing wellness programs and services at skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities in the senior care industry. She is an alumni of UC Davis where she earned her BS in Exercise Biology and Human Development. She will be responsible for the Breastfeeding Support Program, program publicity, marketing, and communications, as well as general support to the Be Well at Work Wellness Team.

Nicole is an active member of a Polynesian dance troupe where she dances hula and Tahitian competitively. When she's not rehearsing or performing, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and watching basketball.

Move to Keynote and Closing Remarks

3:15 – 4:00 PM

Closing Keynote with Dr. Sahar Yousef

Becoming Superhuman: The Science of Productivity 

How to Stop Draining Your Brain's Resources and Get More Done in Less Time. 

Learn a highly practical, proven set of strategies for staying focused and high-energy throughout the day based on how your brain and body work best. 



Dr Sahar Yousef HeadshotDr. Sahar Yousef is a cognitive neuroscientist and the youngest business faculty at UC Berkeley. Her 10+ years of research on 'making superhumans', featured in Forbes and Business Insider, sheds light on how to improve focus, memory, and overall human performance in as little as 7 weeks. Outside of the academic world, Sahar is the founder and managing director of Stoa Partners, a productivity training and consulting firm which helps executives and their teams carve out hours of daily, uninterrupted focus time - so they can get more done, in less time, with less mental energy.

4:00 – 4:15 PM

Closing Remarks