Professional Development Workshop Series
The Professional Development Workshop Series has been designed to meet the needs and interests of a diverse audience. Issues from contemporary society serve as the foundation of these timely topic offerings. Undergraduate, graduate students, and practicing professionals from counseling, psychology, social work, nursing, education, sociology, business, and a variety of other fields will find these workshop series to be of professional and personal value.
Mindfulness: Promoting Personal and Professional Wellbeing
Mindfulness, the awareness of present experience with acceptance, is rapidly gaining attention with applications across a variety of settings. This highly experiential course will provide an introduction to mindfulness, its benefits, and clinical and personal applications. The course will focus primarily on developing mindfulness and meditative skills with special attention to how participants can develop their own sustained mindfulness practice.
Sarah Johnson completed her master’s degree in Counselor Education from Winona State University with focused study in Community Counseling. She has worked as a mental health therapist for 10 years and is currently employed in the Behavioral Health Department at Gundersen Health Systems in La Crosse, WI. Sarah has a strong background in prevention and youth development. Much of her professional work has been with adolescents and their families, and the approach she takes is heavily influenced by her prevention background. Sarah uses client-centered theories as her base and tends to utilize experiential, cognitive-behaviorally focused activities in her work. She has had extensive training in mindfulness and meditation practices as well as acceptance & commitment, dialectical behavioral and motivational enhancement therapies.
LGBT Issues in Focus
During this two-day workshop, LGBT issues will be brought into focus as participants learn what it means to be LGBT. Through lectures, films, small group discussions and personal accounts, workshop participants will grow in their understanding of LGBT issues. The goal of the workshop is to provide students with the necessary skills to enhance their interpersonal effectiveness and relationships with members of the LGBT community.
Kelly Kirby, MS, LPCC
Kelly Kirby works at Winona State University Counseling & Wellness Services as a licensed professional clinical counselor. She formerly had her own private practice in Winona and Rochester. She teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the Women and Gender Studies Department having developed the undergraduate course “Intro to GLBT Studies.” Her graduate work focused on sexual and social identity development issues, which continue to be part of her specialized practice as a mental health counselor. Kelly also frequently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the WSU counselor Education Department.
Counselor Education Department Presents… Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT): The Healing Power of Animals in Mental Health Counseling
In recent years Animal Assisted therapy (AAT) has become a widely recognized and used mental health counseling intervention that is applied across all age groups and in a variety of setting. In AAT, a certified therapy animal works in partnership with a qualified handler to provide a unique counseling environment and experience for individuals and groups in homes, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and other community settings While attending this workshop, students will be introduced to and be able to identify: 1) the qualifications that distinguish AAT from other animal related activities, 2) the history of AAT, 3) the congruence of AAT practices with specific counseling theories and techniques, 4) the benefits and challenges of AAT, 5) examples of AAT with Steve, a certified pet handler, and his canine friend, Lambeau, a certified therapy dog, 6) ways to establish an AAT program in one’s own community, 7) special consideration for therapy animals, and 8) local opportunities for individuals wanting to pursue AAT training.. This hands-on workshop is a must for anyone who loves animals and wants to know more about how animals can promote healing and health in mental health counseling.
Steve Kurschner, MS
Steve Kurschner received his MS degree in School Counseling from the Winona State University. He is a therapy dog handler and owner. Steve has a deep passion for working with children and dogs, and hopes to combine his counseling skills with his interests in Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) in a school counseling setting. During his graduate studies Steve had the opportunity to start Pals of Paws, a community based counseling group for youth that promotes animal advocacy and training while helping children overcome challenges in peer relationships, develop communication skills, learn behavior management techniques, promote leadership development, and grow in self-confidence.
The Model Minority: Dispelling Myths and Stereotypes about Asian/Asian Americans
This course introduces students to the model minority myth. This stereotype frames Asians/Asian Americans as hard working and highly dedicated to the pursuit of academics, and often as a race who excels well beyond their peers. In order to achieve the course goal noted above, the course instructor will use video/film as data, and cultivation theory as a lens for interpretation and learning about this dangerous stereotype. Cultivation theory posits that heavy television viewers will begin to have beliefs about the world that reflect what is displayed on television, and therefore offers one avenue through which the representation of Asians/Asian Americans may be discussed.
Nicholas Hartlep, Ph.D.
Nicholas Hartlep has a Ph.D. in Urban Education (Social Foundations of Education) from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Urban Education Doctoral Program. Dr. Hartlep is an assistant professor of educational foundations at Illinois State University. He is the author of Going Public: Critical Race Theory and Issues of Social Justice and The Model Minority Stereotype: Demystifying Asian American Success. He is co-editor of Unhooking from Whiteness: The Key to Dismantling Racism in the United States and lead editor of the forthcoming Killing the Model Minority Stereotype: Asian American Counter-Stories and Complicity.
Outreach & Continuing Education
Somsen Hall 106