Conference Program

2021 Spring Student Conference

** Check back soon for session links

Monday, March 29th

TimeSession TitlePresenterDescription
12:00-1:00 p.m.

SUNY Empire – Spring Student Conference

Dr. Nathan Gonyea, Officer in Charge, SUNY Empire

Please join Officer in Charge, Dr. Nathan Gonyea as we kick off the Spring Student Conference!

* Raffle for some SUNY Empire swag

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Working with People who Drive you Crazy: Understanding Others and Yourself

David Caso, Associate Director Community Standards and Engagement, SUNY Empire

This workshop will be a facilitation of a self-assessment. It will be based upon the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality type tool. Participants will walk away with a four-letter code describing their personality type. Those who sign up ahead of time will have the added opportunity of receiving an official MBTI score based on a computer facilitated tool provided after attending the workshop. This will include a deeper dive into your personality type and how you can have more effective interactions with others.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Second Chance Adult Continuing Education

Ishaq Mumin, student, SUNY Empire

This workshop will present some background information relevant to minority middle aged adults returning to school in pursuit of secondary education. It will also explore the systematic difficulties with fitting in. This presentation is aimed to shed some light on the struggles.

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Believe in Your Dreams

Liza Rochelson, student, SUNY Empire

Explore the idea that believing in your dreams is what you need to achieve your academic and professional goals. We will use Dr. Tererai Trent, who grew up in poverty in Zimbabwe as the basis for teaching about accomplishing your dreams. This session will be infused with life lessons from Oprah on gratitude and my own experiences as a student, professional, and mom, to help you see that you too can accomplish your dreams. You will learn about my experience with adversity and the top three things which I found are secrets to success as a SUNY Empire student. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to by believing in your own dreams!

7:00-8:00 p.m.

Leadership Seminar Series: Leadership is Not a Popularity Contest

Lisa D'Adamo-Weinstein, Visiting Associate Professor, SUNY Empire

Being a leader can be both a rewarding and challenging experience in any organization or group.

Leadership is hard work and includes understanding yourself; communicating effectively; managing conflict; making tough decisions; and setting vision and tone. In this session you will learn how to identify your leadership style and how to navigate these aspects of leadership with grace and tact.

Tuesday, March 30th

TimeSession TitlePresenterDescription
11:00-12:00 p.m. Introduction to Public Speaking Danielle Boardman, Coordinator of Student Life

This session is geared toward the beginner public speaker. Students with little to no experience with public speaking will learn the basic dos and don’ts, and helpful hints on how to make your presentations more engaging for your audience. There will also be an opportunity to practice these new public speaking skills.

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Thinking in Ethical Contexts

Taylor O'connor, student, SUNY Empire

What is the importance and value of thought when making ethical decisions? Moral action requires thinking- but our thoughts in this sense are so much more than just the consequences of our actions.

Using several moral philosophical theories, I discuss how ethical thinking is directly linked to our inner power and what we abandon within ourselves and society when we choose to neglect or ignore the thought process.

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Leveling Up in Your Career, Careers in Series Program

Anita DeCianni-Brown, Career Development Coordinator

Maneuvering the career ladder to progress in your career takes hard work, building professional connections/collaborations and going the extra mile. Our expert panel will share their story, experience and advice on how to create your path to advancing in your career.

Our panelists include:

  • Lexie Bonitatibus, Assistant Vice President for Administration, SUNY Empire State College
  • Robert Lento, Alum
  • Dawn Sampson, ’20, Vice President of Operations, Community Memorial Hospital
  • Keyshaun Service, ‘15, Product Control/Finance at Citi
7:00-8:00 p.m. The Power of Virtual Engagement Lydia Smith, student and Social Media Intern, SUNY Empire Are you maximizing your opportunity to engage and maintain your signature events in today's digital era? ⁠

In this workshop we will discuss:
  • how we can use the tools we have to maximize virtual engagement
  • how we can us digital marketing to support and build engagement including live-streaming and social media
  • how we can use data and analytics to drive our strategy s we move forward
  • explore interactive tools to demonstrate how we can boost engagement
Participants will be able to:
  • identify what tools the presently hold to take action
  • understand the value of digital marketing
  • explore and engage free interactive models to boost engagement

Wednesday, March 31st

TimeSession TitlePresenterDescription
10:00-11:00 a.m.

That’s it… You’re Toast: Managing Conflict

David Caso, Associate Director Community Standards and Engagement, SUNY Empire

Did you ever have that moment when you think about something someone said or did and you think, ‘I’ve had it. That’s it… you’re toast!’ You then break out your Delta Ray gun and blast them to smithereens! Conflict resolved. Well, then you open your eyes and the person is still right there in front of you wondering why you have your eyes closed and your finger pointing at them. Ok, maybe not the most effective way to resolve conflict. Conflict can include you and another person, two other people or even just you. In this brief workshop, we will work through what conflict is and how to work through it, whether it is you or another person. We will leverage the Thomas-Kilmann model of conflict management utilizing an assessment prior to the workshop.

11:00-12:00 p.m.

Non-Positional Leadership

Danielle Boardman, Coordinator of Student Life, SUNY Empire

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C.

Maxwell. This session will explore non-positional leadership as a style, and how it’s approach to leadership is one that focuses on the ability to make a positive impact from any place on the “organizational hierarchy.

12:00-1:00 p.m.

LOL or NAH … Communicating in 2021

Anita DeCianni-Brown, Career Development Coordinator

We are living in a time of communication overload.  How we communicate and the manner in which we do can leave a lasting impression.  This workshop will go over some do’s and don’ts in professional communication and things to keep in mind, especially the difference personal communication v. professional communication.

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Interim Leadership: Principles and Skills for Leading in Temporary Leadership Appointments

Dr. Nathan Gonyea, Officer in Charge, SUNY Empire

Throughout one’s career there may be opportunities to take on “temporary” leadership positions. While each interim or acting appointment is situated within a unique context and has specific requirements, timelines, and opportunities, the underlying principles and skills that will ensure your success are shared.

In this session, Officer in Charge Nathan Gonyea, Ph.D., will discuss his experiences and progression through three interim roles at SUNY Empire, including that of Officer in Charge (i.e. Acting President), his lessons learned, and principles and skills for success in interim or temporary leadership roles.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Mindful Communication Workshop

Nicola Allain, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities and Cynthia Bates, Associate Professor, SUNY Empire

Mindful communication can reduce stress, improve relationships, create more effective teams, and help with work-study-life balance. This workshop introduces the scientific basis for mindfulness and how to move from the default mode of the brain to a mindful mode. We’ll address the 5 keys to mindful communication: mindful presence, mindful listening, mindful speech, mindful relationships, and mindful responses. We’ll consider the importance of focused awareness and intentionality in effective communication. If time allows, we will recommend strategies for changing the conversation when dealing with conflict. Participants will practice short mindful communication techniques.

7:00-9:00 p.m.

Student Government Association (SGA) Student Forum

The Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Assembly Gathering is an opportunity for the student community to come together, speak about their experiences as students, and be heard by the student government. The Executive Officer candidate forum will take place during the assembly and provides students the opportunity to meet the students running for President, Executive Officer, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Thursday, April 1st

TimeSession TitlePresenterDescription
11:00-12:00 p.m.

Working with People who Drive you Crazy: Understanding Others and Yourself

David Caso, Associate Director Community Standards and Engagement, SUNY Empire

This workshop will be a facilitation of a self-assessment. It will be based upon the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality type tool. Participants will walk away with a four-letter code describing their personality type. Those who sign up ahead of time will have the added opportunity of receiving an official MBTI score based on a computer facilitated tool provided after attending the workshop. This will include a deeper dive into your personality type and how you can have more effective interactions with others.

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Thinking in Ethical Contexts

Taylor O’Connor, student, SUNY Empire

What is the importance and value of thought when making ethical decisions? Moral action requires thinking- but our thoughts in this sense are so much more than just the consequences of our actions.

Using several moral philosophical theories, I discuss how ethical thinking is directly linked to our inner power and what we abandon within ourselves and society when we choose to neglect or ignore the thought process.

2:00-3:00 p.m.

That’s it… You’re Toast: Managing Conflict

David Caso, Associate Director Community Standards and Engagement, SUNY Empire

Did you ever have that moment when you think about something someone said or did and you think, ‘I’ve had it. That’s it… you’re toast!’ You then break out your Delta Ray gun and blast them to smithereens! Conflict resolved. Well, then you open your eyes and the person is still right there in front of you wondering why you have your eyes closed and your finger pointing at them. Ok, maybe not the most effective way to resolve conflict. Conflict can include you and another person, two other people or even just you. In this brief workshop, we will work through what conflict is and how to work through it, whether it is you or another person. We will leverage the Thomas-Kilmann model of conflict management utilizing an assessment prior to the workshop.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Mindful Communication Workshop

Nicola Allain, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities and Cynthia Bates, Associate Professor, SUNY Empire

Mindful communication can reduce stress, improve relationships, create more effective teams, and help with work-study-life balance. This workshop introduces the scientific basis for mindfulness and how to move from the default mode of the brain to a mindful mode. We’ll address the 5 keys to mindful communication: mindful presence, mindful listening, mindful speech, mindful relationships, and mindful responses. We’ll consider the importance of focused awareness and intentionality in effective communication. If time allows, we will recommend strategies for changing the conversation when dealing with conflict. Participants will practice short mindful communication techniques.

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Town Hall for Students

Dr. Nathan Gonyea, Officer in Charge, SUNY Empire and Sammie Maitland, SGA Interim President, SUNY Empire

Join us for a Question and Answer session with our Officer in Charge, Dr. Nathan Gonyea.

If you'd like to submit questions prior to the event, please do so via the online form.

Friday, April 2nd

TimeSession TitlePresenterDescription
10:00-11:00 a.m.

Believe in Your Dreams

Liza Rochelson, student, SUNY Empire

Creating a project proposal as a team can be a challenge. This workshop will give you the tools you need to not only create an acceptable proposal but also understand the limitations of time, focus and energy and their impact on the end result. In addition, you will explore constructive feedback, professional presentation, data gathering, and planning and organizing your efforts to be most effective.

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Writing a Realistic Project Proposal

Danielle Boardman Coordinator of Student Life, SUNY Empire

Creating a project proposal as a team can be a challenge. This workshop will give you the tools you need to not only create an acceptable proposal but also understand the limitations of time, focus and energy and their impact on the end result. In addition, you will explore constructive feedback, professional presentation, data gathering, and planning and organizing your efforts to be most effective.

1:00-1:30 p.m.

Spring Student Conference Closing

Meg Benke, Provost, SUNY Empire

Join us as we close out our Spring Student Conference

*Raffle items to be given away

Contact Us

Email questions to:
studentlife@esc.edu