Schedule-at-a-Glance for 2019

What happened at the WILD Conference? The schedule below offers a brief overview of the conference in 2019.

Educational Workshops

9:30 - 10:00 AM Check-In & Registration
MSU Union Ballroom Foyer
10:00 - 10:45 AM Opening and Welcome
MSU Union Ballroom
10:50 - 11:35 AM Workshop Session 1
MSU Union Meeting Rooms
11:40 AM - 12:30 PM Networking Luncheon MSU Union Ballroom
12:40 - 1:25 PM Workshop Session 2
MSU Union Meeting Rooms
1:25 - 1:40 PM Coffee/Tea Break
1:40 - 2:25 PM Workshop Session 3
MSU Union Meeting Rooms
2:30 - 3:30 PM Keynote Speaker: Lauren Bealore
MSU Ballroom
3:30 - 4:00 PM Closing and Evaluation
Don't forget to pick up your WILD t-shirt!

Educational Workshop - Session 1


Designing Your MSU Workshop   (RE)IMAGINE

Christine Beamer (she, her, hers), College of Music Director of Career Services & Samantha Jackson (she, her, hers), Career Consultant in the College of Social Science

Let’s be real: college is a big investment of your time, talent, and money…so, how will you make the most of your MSU experience? This interactive workshop will help students begin to answer this question, and many others like it (e.g., What kind of life do I want to live? Which careers am I going to pursue? How can MSU help me reach my goals?). This session will offer sets of innovative “life-design” tools and exercises to help students imagine the kinds of lives they want to live…and how MSU can help them get there.

As MSU College of Music Director of Career Services and Music Entrepreneurship, Christine works with music students to develop their portfolio career plan, identify skills and abilities, and match them with needs and opportunities in the arts. She has created and developed MSU’s Running Start music entrepreneurship program, including an annual arts entrepreneurship workshop series, a pitch competition for music students, the Entrepreneurial Musical Artist in Residence program, and new entrepreneurship classes for music students. She also serves as faculty for MUS101-Foundations for Success in Music. 

Samantha is a Career Consultant for the College of Social Science. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Alma College and a Master of Science in Higher Education from the University of North Dakota. Samantha is passionate about helping students navigate through their career decision-making process to find purpose and is focused on making career services and the career process more inclusive and equitable for all students.

Women in the Intersection of Food and Social Justice  (RE)IMAGINE

Emma Hayes (she/her/hers), Masters of Social Work student

I will talk about women who are pioneering the field of food in social justice, from food therapy, to sustainable agricultural practices, to food justice and access. I will talk about the importance of centering food and nutrition in the future of social services and social justice and the ways in which that can be done.

Emma is a first year Organizational and Community Leadership Masters of Social Work student. She attended the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill for undergraduate, and is a North Carolina native. She has always loved to cook and bake and is excited for a future career in a food-centered social work practice. 

Building a Community of Strong Social Support  (RE)IMAGINE

Jaimie Hutchison (she/her/hers), Lifespan & Family Services Coordinator at MSU WorkLife Office

During busy or challenging times at in your life, people may say, "Just let me know if you need anything." Sometimes it feels like an empty offer for help. Other times it can be hard to figure out exactly what we need. Join us for an interactive presentation about building a strong community of support. Find out how you can be a good friend and how you can build a strong network of friends around you. That way, you'll know how to identify what you need and who can help you accomplish that goal.

Jaimie Hutchison is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Global Career Development Facilitator with over 20 years of experience working to empower women. Jaimie has her MA in Community Counseling and works to empower people to reach their goals.

Doing Feminist Transformational Leadership within the University RESIST


Dr. Lucy Thompson, Assistant Professor, Psychology; Senior Research Fellow, Center for Gender in Global Context & Dessie Clark, Doctoral Candidate in Community Sustainability; Managing Editor for Gendered Perspectives on International Development

In this session, we consider how notions of ‘successful’ leadership can be reimagined in local and global contexts. In dialogue, we reflect on our recent experiences working together as editor and author for a Special Issue exploring ‘Feminisms and Leadership’, and our work at Michigan State University’s Center for Gender in Global Context (Gen Cen).

Lucy Thompson is a feminist psychologist with interests in work, institutions, and power. Her current research is focused on developing feminist psychological perspectives on work, organizations, and leadership.

Dessie Clark is currently a doctoral candidate in Community Sustainability. Her area of interest is gender-based violence and its impact on health outcomes for survivors. 

Resilience as Resistance RESIST

Dr. Portia Watkins (she/her/hers), Assistant Director of Student Life, Student Organizations and Activities

In this session, we will define resilience and the many ways that it can manifest in our lives. We will look at several examples of resilience in recent history and society and discuss how the practice of regaining resilience can be viewed as forms of resistance.  Through engagement in this session, participants will be able to: self–define resilience, set personal and professional boundaries for resistance, and build capacity for enacting resilience in one’s own life.

Dr. Portia Watkins (she, her, hers) is an Assistant Director in Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late Night Programming. She earned her bachelor‘s degree in Communication Studies from EdInboro University of Pennsylvania, her masters from Indiana Wesleyan University, and her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include: Black Women professors and Staff in higher education, Othermothering, Black Feminist thought, Critical Race theory, group dynamics, access in higher education, social justice, supervision and assessment. In her spare time she enjoys reading, napping, catching up on Netflix, and spending time with her family.


Educational Workshop - Session 2


Advocacy vs. Inquiry  (RE)IMAGINE

Karlee Moxley (she/her/hers), Community Director Bailey/Emmons, Residential Education and Housing Services

Do you have strong beliefs? Do you get upset when people think differently than you? Do you take time to learn other's beliefs and experiences? This session explores the fine balance between advocacy and inquiry and reimagines the ways in which new understanding can occur through mutual learning. By examining these skills, you can discover the most effective ways to advocate for the things that matter most to you by recentering your beliefs to explore other's perspectives. 

Karlee received her masters in Student Affairs Administration from MSU in 2019 and has experience working in academic advising and housing and currently works as a community director here on MSU's campus. Karlee values direct student interactions and opportunities for growth and development. She has a passion for student wellness and hopes to continue being a support to students while they navigate the various identity development and periods of transitions coming to college brings. 

 Women*s Student Services Listening Session  (RE)IMAGINE

Becky La (she/her/hers), Rachel Paris (she/her/hers), & Courtney Holland (she/her/hers) Student Affairs Administration Office Consultation Project Students

The new department of Women*s Student Services was created in the summer of 2019 in the division of Student Affairs and Services in response to growing student needs after the closure of the Women’s Resource Center several years prior. In this session, we are providing space for students to help us (re)imagine what student services for women-identified students (including undergraduate and graduate students) might exist within and in collaboration with the department.

From Stressed to the Max to How to Relax (RE)CENTER

Jaimie Hutchison (she/her/hers), Lifespan & Family Services Coordinator at MSU WorkLife Office

There are ebbs and flows to the intensity of our stressors in our personal and academic/professional lives. Learn tools and strategies for identifying stressors, prioritizing responsibilities, and managing stress throughout your life. Participants will leave with an action plan for handling even the most stressful moments.

Jaimie Hutchison is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Global Career Development Facilitator with over 20 years of experience working to empower women. Jaimie has her MA in Community Counseling and works to empower people to reach their goals.

Discouraged Activists: How to Avoid Feeling Depressed in a Depressing World  (RE)CENTER

Jessica Mariano (she/her/hers), Licensed Professional Counselor 

We are inundated with social media and news that are discouraging and disheartening which can lead to feeling depressed. I will work to provide tips and tricks on how to balance staying informed, aware, and feeling empowered to continue being an advocate for the people and topics you are passionate about.  

Jessica Mariano is counselor that has worked in the following areas: inpatient psychiatric hospital, correctional facility, abortion clinic, suicide hotline, sexual assault response team, and currently private practice. She has focused her advocacy career over the years and worked to find the balance of pushing to feel like she is making change and avoid burnout. Most recently she has been a leader of the advocacy for Licensed Professional Counselors for HB4325. 

Queering Interracial Intimacies while Advancing as Queer Womxn of Color in Higher Education RESIST

Sharon Chia Claros (she/her/hers), Associate Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Michigan State University

Oprah Jrenal (she, her, hers), Asst. Director for the LBGTQ RC,

Kris Surla (she, her, hers), PhD Candidate, HALE & Coordinator for Student Leadership Training Course,

Kirby R. Gibson (she, her, hers), Asst. Director for North Neighborhood,

Dr. Christine Mata (she, her, hers), MSU Alumni and Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, UC Riversid

Micshel’s (2016) study explored whether discrimination occurs against queer* women (relative to straight women) when they apply to jobs in the U.S. revealed that the women with LGBTQ indicators on their resumes were discriminated against and received 30% fewer job callbacks. Additionally, only 14% of women of color hold senior administrator positions at four-year colleges and universities (Johnson, 2016). This session brings to life the narratives of queer women of color (QWoC) and how they have navigated the culture of whiteness, patriarchy and heteronormativity while advancing in Higher Education and holding space for their interracial intimacies. Our speakers represent MSU community members from diverse walks of life and understand that although there are lived commonalities for QWoC while in interracial intimacies in higher education, no singular trajectory for a “QWoC’s experience” of leadership or interracial intimacies exist nor one path to advancement or sustaining those intimacies.

Sharon Chia Claros serves as REHS' first associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion. The role was created to strengthen the division’s collaboration across the university on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as well as efforts to create safe, sustainable and inclusive living environments for all members of the MSU community. She is a proud immigrant from the Philippines and embraces her queer womxn of color identity. 

Oprah Jrenal works as the Assistant Director in the LBGT Resource Center. She enjoys conversations about justice, equity, and how we can all serve each other better. 

Kristen Surla is a PhD student in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) Program at Michigan State University. Her research interests include Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Teaching and Learning, practices of Applied Critical Leadership amongst senior academic officers, and impacts of the academic socialization process upon Women of Color graduate students. Through the Department of Educational Administration, Kristen serves as the course coordinator and teacher for EAD 315, a long-standing undergraduate student leadership training course offered at Michigan State University.

Kirby R. Gibson is a student affairs practitioner of 5 years and pays homage to many mentors, faculty members, supervisors, and peers that played an instrumental role in helping her navigate her collegiate career. Their teachings serve as a guiding light and source of inspiration for helping students and staff discover their passions and develop wholistically. Some of her professional interests and contributions include: the decolonization of whiteness and its pervasiveness in higher education, residence education and curriculum development, social justice education and facilitation, supporting marginalized students in higher education, and lifelong learning and “professional” development of student staff and full-time practitioners. When Kirby is not busy being the ‘Olivia Pope of Student Affairs’ and spreading Black Girl Magic everywhere, she enjoys playing video games, watching anime, reading, traveling, cooking, and being a creative. 


Educational Workshop - Session 3


Reimagining Social Identities: Utilizing Intersectionality to Create Inclusive Spaces (RE)IMAGINE

Amber Benton (she/her/hers), Director of Diversity Programs and Student Engagement, James Madison College

In this session I will lead the attendees in a social identity wheel exercise to explore their own identity. Next, we will discuss how these identities intersect and compare this to Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw's concept of intersectionality. Finally, we will have a dialogue on how to be conscious of and helpful to people with multiple, marginalized identities.

Amber Benton is an experienced higher education professional interested in exploring the intersections of identity and social inequities facing underrepresented students. She currently serves as the Director of Diversity Programming and Student Engagement in James Madison College. In addition, she is a PhD candidate for the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program in the College of Education.

For Graduate Students By Graduate Students: The Leadership Institute as a Graduate Student-Led Community of Practice  (RE)IMAGINE

Makena Neal (she/her/hers) Co-Coordinator, Leadership Institute & Madeline Shellgren (She/Her/Hers) Co-coordinator, Leadership Institute

Too often graduate students are an under-visibilized population in higher education, bridging both student and professional worlds. This session will utilize a case of a leadership community of practice that was designed and facilitated for graduate students, by graduate students in an effort to create a structured, collaborative space to grow in and engage with action, change-oriented leadership at our institution. Our case will be utilized to discuss the strengths and opportunities of this model, and participants will have the opportunity to engage in facilitated activities that aim to help them think critically about graduate student capacity and development as leaders.

Makena is a doctoral candidate in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program at MSU where she focuses her scholarship on social learning and communal knowledge. In addition to her role as a student, Makena is the co-coordinator of the Graduate School's Leadership Institute and a Lead Ambassador for the #iteachmsu Commons. 

“Leaning In” as Wonder Women: Popular-Culture Images of Women in Leadership (RE)IMAGINE

Dr. Heather Shea (she, her, hers), Director, Women’s Student Services, Student Affairs and Services

In this session, we will explore how books, films, and other media from popular culture influences women’s experiences in leadership and perspectives on the barriers women face in leadership roles. Participants will discuss how these media influences self-concept and how they might see themselves in leadership roles. In addition, we will also provide tools to investigate and become critical consumers of these images in media.

Dr. Heather Shea (she, her, hers) is the director of Women*s Student Services at MSU. She is a transplant to the midwest: she grew up in the western U.S. and came to MSU in 2013 and recently completed her PhD at MSU in higher education administration. In addition to working in Women’s Student Services, each summer she leads an undergraduate education abroad program for students in teacher education to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France.

The World Needs You to Lead as You (RE)CENTER

Sarah Schultz (she/her/hers), Director, My Spartan Story, Undergraduate Education

Today more than ever, students need to lead from the passion and talents they possess. This session will help students explore who they are as a leader through discussion and interaction around the Student Leadership Challenge tenets. 

Sarah Schultz serves as the Director of My Spartan Story, where she oversees Michigan State University’s new co-curricular record. In her role, Sarah works with the MSU community to help capture the out-of-class experience of undergraduate students through My Spartan Story, allowing students to discover opportunities, engage in Spartan experiences, and reflect on their learning. Sarah has dedicated her career to help students grow and transform through co-curricular experiences to positively shape their college experience and life beyond graduation. 

Get Engaged on Campus in Gender Equity RESIST

Women's Council, DreaMSU, PERIOD. MSU, Mission Menstruation

Introduction by Gabby Wahla (she, her, hers), Graduate Assistant, Women’s Student Services

Has WILD inspired you to get involved in initiatives to create gender equity at MSU and beyond? In this session you’ll learn about why getting involved and doing something is an important way to engage in social change. Then, student leaders from four different student organizations on campus will share a bit about their missions and visions for change.

Gabby came to MSU to get her Master’s in Student Affairs Administration to work toward her goal of educational equity and social justice. She is very passionate about this position because it allows her to work toward her goal of social justice in higher education through an intersectional feminist lens. She grew up in Metro Detroit then came to Michigan State for her undergraduate degree in the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities. After graduating in 2017, she moved to Kalamazoo to be a college adviser in a high school. She found a passion for equity in access to higher education, so she came back to Michigan State University to get her Master’s in Student Affairs Administration.