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Wilfrid Laurier University Human Resources
June 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Breakout Session Information

We invite you to review the exciting breakout sessions Staff Development Day has to offer. Please click on the links below to learn about each session and the facilitator. 

To register for Staff Development Day, please click on registration. Register early to avoid disappointment! 

Building Creative Confidence through Design Thinking

Session Title: Building Creative Confidence through Design Thinking

Session Times: 11:00am-12:00pm

Session Description:

This session will examine the emerging discipline that has people ideating, prototyping and iterating and will help non-designers understand what the jargonauts are talking about. Design thinking is an integrated set of tools, attitudes and practices that everyone can use to be more creative and innovative. In examining popular design thinking frameworks and their applications in everyday work, we can build creative confidence; and in the words of Tom Kelley from the IDEO design firm, “belief in your creative capacity lies at the heart of innovation."


Sheldon Pereira is the Director, University Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Design candidate at OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program. In his spare time, Sheldon volunteers as the Innovation Research Lead at Sustainable Waterloo Region, and enjoys spending time gardening and learning how to swim.



Game Design Made me a Better Employee

Session Title: Game Design Made me a Better Employee

Session Times: 1:00pm-2:00pm and 2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

In “Game Design Made me a Better Employee”, participants will attend a short (10-minute) presentation on balancing part-time school and full-time work, and how learning game design principles with Dr. Scott Nicholson had unexpected results on my approach to work.  The bulk of the workshop will be a small-group activity in game design, after which, the session participants will come together for a discussion on the activity and how its principles could benefit their own work.


Celine Taillefer-Travers has been an employee at Laurier Brantford since 2010.  Her passion for writing and games led her to the Game Design Program launched in 2015.  When not at work, Celine spends time with her spouse, often in game-related pursuits, or volunteering with the National Service Dogs organization by raising a puppy-in-training named Edge.  She is also owned by two very clever and adorable cats.

Innovation in the Fitness Industry

Session Title: Innovation in the Fitness Industry. How technology can help you improve your wellness.

Session Times: 1:00pm-2:00pm and 2:10pm-3:10pm

Session Description:
The advancement of technology is affecting every aspect of our life, it is no wonder that it has also become a huge part of our own health and fitness. Come learn how to incorporate fitness technologies and innovations into your everyday life. We will discuss wearable technology such as the Fit Bit, nutrition tracking apps and online personal training programs. Learn what to look for, how to use it to your best advantage and get creative in letting it help you achieve wellness.

Jennifer O'Neill is the Coordinator of Recreation Programs in the Department of Athletics and Recreation on the Waterloo campus. Jennifer has been in the fitness industry for 14 years in a variety of roles. She has presented on numerous health and fitness topics and brings a vast knowledge of health and fitness to the presentation.

Making the Most of your Mobile Device

Session title: Making the Most of your Mobile Device

Session times: 11:00am-12:00pm and 2:10pm-3:10pm

Session description:

This session will provide mobile-device users of all skill levels with a informative, fun, and interactive session on how to get the most out of their mobile device. Whether there are features you are unsure how to use, or never knew existed, our knowledgeable experts will show you how to make the most of your unique mobile device. Samsung, iPhone and Blackberry experts are available to answer your questions and illustrate fun and useful features that will enable you to optimize your mobile device use and further your understanding of each operating systems features and limitations.

Informative presentations from each expert will be followed by the opportunity to test out different features, so bring your mobile device with you.


ICT Staff

The Power of Purpose

Session Title: The Power of Purpose

Session Times: 1:00pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

Since 1993 Unleash Dreams™ purpose has been to “Empower Extraordinary Lives” (this includes yours!) We also believe that everyone was born with a purpose. “The Power of Purpose” is an impactful 2-hour workshop that teaches participants how to discover their personal purpose, how to use your purpose to guide you in achieving your dreams and how to align your purpose with all aspects of your life.

This powerful workshop focuses on what you are becoming as a person and gives you the foundation to work on your character. Graduates of “The Power of Purpose” have experienced an improved sense of clarity and creativity, which has increased their accountability and the ability to live their dreams.


Dave Inglis' is a co-founder of Unleash Dreams™. Dave’s purpose is “to be the catalyst that ignites life in those he is called to serve”. Dave has used his purpose to become a serial entrepreneur driven to change the world through education and personal development. Dave has led the Laurier Launchpad program, and is currently a business and innovation consultant. Above all, Dave lives for the adventure and special moments with his family.

Eric Goll is a co-founder of Unleash Dreams™. Eric’s purpose is “to unleash the superhero within”. Eric has used his purpose to Eric to become a charismatic entrepreneur and leader with a passion to change the world for the better. He has an MBA (from Laurier) and has experience in entrepreneurship, business management, training and development and is currently leading his family's business. He enjoys spending time with the people he loves, traveling to new destinations, and seeking out his next adrenaline rush.

Unlocking Your Immunity to Change

Session Title: Unlocking Your Immunity to Change: A New Approach to Personal Change

Session Time: 1:00pm-3:10pm

Session Description:

What change could you make that would have a significant, positive impact on your work at Laurier? Perhaps you have struggled to make improvements in an area of your work despite your best intentions and efforts, such as delegating, being a better listener/communicator, or improved time management. Maybe you have a desire to change something outside the office that will have positive impacts on your work, like improved energy from regular exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep.
This workshop will walk you through a 4-step process to uncover your personal “immunity to change” and discover what might be holding you back. The process has been developed over the past 20 years by two faculty members from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Catherine Mulvihill has worked in the post-secondary environment for 11 years and is committed to both student and staff development. She is passionate about training and is a certified facilitator for Immunity to Change™, Crucial Conversations, Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK. She has her M.Ed. with a specialization in Workplace and Adult Learning and an MBA with a specialization in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.

Using Continuous Improvement to Create Organized Workspaces

Session Title: Using Continuous Improvement to Create Organized Workspaces

Session Times: 11:00am-12:00pm

Session Description:

Continuous improvement is at the cornerstone of success for organizations today in an ever changing, complex world. This session will introduce participants to the concepts and principles of continuous improvement. Through an interactive game, participants will learn a specific continuous improvement tool called 5S that outlines a method and mindset for organizing workspaces for maximum efficiency. Organized workspaces allow space and flexibility for creative and innovative thinking.


Melanie Will is currently the Manager of Learning and Organizational Development here at Laurier. Starting her career in Student Affairs at Laurier 15 years ago, Melanie made the transition to Human Resources in 2007. Melanie completed her Masters of Education in Post-Secondary Studies in 2012 and recently received her Certified Professional Facilitator designation through the International Association of Facilitators. Melanie is also working towards completing her Green Belt certification for Lean/Six Sigma.

What do you see?

Session title: What do you see? A new seed funding program supports and challenges students, faculty, and staff to look at campus with a sustainability lens

Session times: 1:00pm-2:00pm and 2:10pm-3:10pm

Session description:

Did you know that YOU have access to a $20,000 seed fund to positively change our campus? Well, you do! This presentation will take you through our journey of developing the Sustainable Hawk Fund and will showcase what we've accomplished in it's inaugural year. We'll also seek to inspire your creativity and show you how you can pursue your own ideas to improve sustainability across all our campuses. We want to help you make your dreams a reality.


Tyler Plante is the Coordinator of Outreach + Programs in Laurier’s Sustainability Office. He is responsible for strategic communications and the development of programs that create a culture of sustainability across campus. He has been in this role since 2014 and has over 8 years of experience in public, private and not-for-profit sectors in the environmental and sustainability field. His broad experience has seen him lead a national Zero Landfill Initiative, develop corporate sustainability strategies, and oversee Environmental Assessment compliance monitoring. Mr. Plante was also the second accredited Sustainable Transportation Professional (STP) in Canada. His work at Laurier focuses on engaging students and preparing them to be tomorrow’s leaders in sustainability.

Yoga at your desk

Session Title: Inspiring creativity through creative stress release: Yoga at your desk

Session Times: 11:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-2:00pm

Session Description:

Ursula will guide participants through an interactive yoga session designed to be done right at your desk. This session will introduce staff to the principles and practice of yoga and how it can benefit in releasing stress to encourage fresh thinking and inspire creativity and innovation.

Ursula will lead staff through simple yoga exercises and basic breathing techniques that will quiet the mind and cultivate ease in the body. Through simple breathing and stretching exercises, staff will experience a more calm, clear, and focussed mind that will encourage and enhance creative exploration.

Staff will have the opportunity to engage in a fun, creative, and interactive yoga session with their peers in a comfortable, safe, and relaxed setting. Participation in the yoga session will help to build community among staff while providing a space to connect in a non-competitive environment.
No prior experience in yoga is necessary, this session will be accessible to all members of the university community. Comfortable clothes are recommended. Participants do not require a yoga mat (but may bring one if you’d like to play). Please feel free to come as you are!


Ursula Wolfe, M.A., RYT-200, is the Graduate Program Assistant for the Master of Education Program in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. Ursula is also a Registered Yoga Teacher who specializes in children’s yoga education and yoga for post-secondary students. She is a champion of student health and wellness in the university sector and has piloted a grad student yoga series at McMaster University.