Session 1-1 |
Work-Life Balance: Like Nebraska, it’s not for everyone

For some, the work-life balance construct presents a hidden, nearly insurmountable roadblock. Through personal stories, we hope to suggest a path forward for those who may be wired to subconsciously reject what is for many, a normal way of attaining balance for personal and academic fulfillment.

Session 1-2 |
The Working Genius Model: Finding Your Joy,
Mitigating Your Frustrations with Work

Any project, whether it is building a Mars rover or planning a vacation, goes through several phases. We wonder about possibilities, generate and vet ideas, and then work on the details to make it reality. Depending on how we are wired, some of phases bring us joy and some drain us. Using the Working Genius model, we can recognize strengths or “geniuses” that are needed at different stages of a project and appreciate how team members’ individual geniuses might best contribute.

Session 1-3 |
Creating an Enjoyable Work Environment with Hospitality Intelligence

This workshop introduces participants to hospitality intelligence, a significant foundation for creating an enjoyable work environment. Hospitality intelligence is the ability to purposefully attend to people (internal and external stakeholders) with friendliness, empathy, and kindness. What comes to mind when you hear the word hospitality? Do you think of hotels and restaurant businesses when you think of hospitality? Think again. In this session, participants will be exposed to hospitality’s true meaning, its remarkable influence on stakeholders’ satisfaction, and how to adopt hospitality intelligence dimensions for competitive advantage and a delightful work environment.

Session 1-4 |

  • Conflict Resolution – Thomas Ragland with Dean’s Office
  • Bike Tune-up – Bryan Ferguson with Campus Rec
  • Dr. Ray Gornell – Counseling Center
  • Learning & Development
  • Campus Rec (Haley Halkidis)
  • Mocktails – SOH – Katie Strain

Session 2-1 |
Avoiding Burnout: Starter Kit

Improving employee well-being and persistence at MSU Denver requires intentionality. This workshop is designed for people who are coming from a place of curiosity about keeping work life in balance and their own well-being. Note: This workshop is an excerpt from the longer Learning & Development course on the same topic. Given the brevity of the conference format, we will provide an overview of the issue and some resource suggestions as a starting point for well-being.

Session 2-2 |
Student Affairs Support in the Academic Classroom:
Faculty Interventions for Improved Outcomes

Faculty are bridging the gap between Student and Academic Affairs by integrating student support measures as credit-bearing elements of their course design. This session details preliminary outcomes of research into the positive impact this practice is having on retention at MSU Denver, and details exciting new opportunities for faculty participation in Fall 2023.

Session 2-3 |
A Roadmap for focusing on departmental employee
health and retention in the age of technology

This presentation will look at the departmental level challenges in higher education for creating an effective work-life balance. There is no simple solution to these problems, but several takeaways from this session will help guide not only managers, but employees on ways to collaboratively make this work much easier.


  1. Learn to use technology for effective work outcomes and not monitoring.
  2. Determine the best methods for creating open collaboration between managers and employees.
  3. Explore a step-by-step format for creating your own template for success.

Session 2-4 |

  • Bike Tune-up – Bryan Ferguson with Campus Rec
  • Learning & Development
  • Campus Rec (Haley Halkidis)
  • Mocktails – SOH – Katie Strain

Session 3-1 |
What Would Make You Feel Appreciated at MSU Denver?
Unheard Employees will Cause a Drop in Retention

This presentation will shed light on how influential work-life balance is beyond just an individual level. University wide success is impacted by employee’s perception of their work-life balance, so improving this would lead to a more successful, supportive, and influential school. I want people to take away the suggested solutions of how to keep employees happy with their work-life balance, how staff and faculty retention directly affects students, and how MSU Denver’s strategic plan indirectly calls for consistent and improved efforts to ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance.

Session 3-2 |
Intentional Reflection for work/life balance

In a world of constant distractions and demands, it is easy to succumb to mission creep, both in work and our personal lives. We can ward off fragmentation and become more fulfilled and productive by being clear on our goals, revisiting them regularly to ensure that we have not veered from our path. In this session we will focus on intentional reflection, providing a foundation and offering strategies for incorporating this practice in our rhythm of life.

Session 3-3 |
Transition Meditations: Resetting and Refreshing Between Tasks

This workshop will focus on the importance of taking intentional breaks and practicing transition meditations to help achieve balance in work and life.

In our fast-paced world, we often find ourselves jumping from one task to another without taking a break, which can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and a lack of presence in our personal lives. However, by practicing transition meditations, we can reset our minds and bodies between tasks, allowing us to move more fluidly and intentionally through life.

Session 3-4 |

  • Bike Tune-up – Bryan Ferguson with Campus Rec
  • Dr. Ray Gornell – Counseling Center
  • Yoga with Kiaya
  • Learning & Development
  • Campus Rec (Haley Halkidis)
  • Mocktails – SOH – Katie Strain

Session 4-1 |
How to Use Technology to Gain More You Time

Technology can be beneficial, if you know how to use it to your advantage. Join me as I discuss tools that I have implemented over time to get back time during the day. I have less student emails…Yay! In addition, you may even increase student engagement, learning, and retention in your courses.

Session 4-2 |
Helping students maintain a work-life (and school)
balance by utilizing accessible course formats

MSU Denver students come from diverse backgrounds, with many juggling work or family commitments along with their studies. Time spent commuting for in-person classes can present an additional obstacle when life events, weather, or transportation issues arise. This can lead to students falling behind or abandoning their studies altogether. This session will explore ways to make in-person classes more accessible for when life events prevent students from attending class in-person. These techniques can also be used to offer high-flex course offerings to match students’ preferred learning formats.

Session 4-3 |
How to Incorporate Your New Job (Caring for an Aging Parent)
into Your Work-Life Balance

When our parents age and start to need us more, it’s as if we just got a new job, and not necessarily one that we applied for or trained for. It’s multi-faceted, and may seem to change from month to month (or day to day).

In this interactive workshop, you will (1) Consider what your “job description” is, and isn’t. (2) Learn new tips for managing your multiple tasks with very little time. (3) Hear about 18 different sources of support.

You will walk away from this session with practical information and possibly a new perspective. You are not alone.

Session 4-4 |

  • Bike Tune-up – Bryan Ferguson with Campus Rec
  • Academic Impressions
  • Learning & Development
  • Mocktails – SOH – Katie Strain
  • Photo Headshots with Kylie Miller (LOCATION: front of JSSB)