Staff Conference

Staff conference returns with professional development tips

The third year of the conference features a heavier UCR line-up of speakers

March 16, 2023
Author: Imran Ghori
March 16, 2023

The UC Riverside Staff Conference is returning for its third year, continuing its focus on professional development for staff employees.

The free virtual conference, which will take place March 27 and 28, is sponsored by UCR Staff Assembly, Leaders of Excellence and Distinction, or LEAD, and Human Resources Employee and Organizational Development. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Watkins provided funding support.

It features 27 sessions and two keynote speakers organized around the themes of driving one’s career forward; self-care and mental wellness; and creating a culture of respect.

Agam Patel, UCR Staff Assembly president and associate director of the Palm Desert Center, said organizers saw an enthusiastic response from staff for professional development and networking opportunities with the last two conferences. This year’s conference expands on that theme by going deeper into the issues of mental wellbeing and a culture of respect that can impact one’s work life, he said.

“In speaking with staff across campus, these central themes came up again and again and were front-of-mind for several of our constituents,” Patel said. “The employment landscape has drastically changed over the last twenty-plus months and we want our staff to be well-equipped to take any and all professional career opportunities that come their way.”

The panel topics range from broad discussions on navigating one’s career to the factors and considerations of the University of California’s salary setting process, the latter presented by a UCR compensation analyst.

This year’s line-up has more campus leaders and representatives from different departments such as men’s basketball Coach Mike Magpayo, who will speak about building team morale just as he wrapped up a record-setting season.

Patel said he wanted to feature a strong lineup of campus speakers, who all enthusiastically agreed when asked.

“There's a campus-wide need for more professional development,” he said. “Hearing from campus leaders who are passionate about staff is inspiring to everyone who aspires to similar, future roles in executive leadership."

The first day’s keynote speech will be given by Craig Thompson, an attorney, author, and TV/radio host who also spoke at the first Staff Conference two years ago. Patel said he was impressed by Thompson’s ability to kick off the event with an invigorating message that used personal anecdotes to connect with staff.

"Craig is so inspirational,” he said. "His message will definitely encourage our staff to take the next steps in their own professional journeys.”

The second day’s keynote speaker is Jacob Ravenscraft, an associate dean in Student Services at California Baptist University, who will share his experience coaching leaderships skills.

The conference also brings back career development tools and tips that proved popular the past two years. All attendees will receive resume templates and a chance to win a resume and cover letter makeover, a $400 value. They can also sign up for headshots taken by a professional photographer that will be scheduled through April and May.

For more on the conference and a full schedule visit the Staff Assembly website or the CrowdCast site, which will host the videos. All sessions will be recorded and uploaded to Human Resource’s Learning Management System, where they will be accessible to all UCR staff.