Spring ’21 Professional Development

We invite you to the Spring 2021 University Advising Professional Development Series:

Cultivating the Seeds of Success:
Facilitating Transformative Advising Now

Tuesdays/Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., beginning February 17, 2021


About the Professional Development Series

The 2020-21 Professional Development Series has been developed in order to enhance both faculty and staff advisors' professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions and topics were selected after receiving feedback and input from advisors on their immediate needs, particularly those around student support and advisor development in the virtual space.

Series at a Glance

(sessions occur on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00 a.m., unless otherwise noted)

Each session will be recorded and made available to advisors after each session.

REGISTER for each session below!

Test Optional Policy

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 from 10:00AM-11:00AM

Join us for an interactive discussion on UConn's new holistic test-optional undergraduate admissions process and the implications for advisors in their work. Presented by Vern Granger, Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Register HERE!

WebEx Recording HERE



Student Mental Health and the Role of Advisors, Part Two

Wednesday, March 3rd from 10:00AM-11:00AM

As a follow up to our conversation in the Fall, we will share tools and resources to aid in identifying student mental health issues. We will also discuss how to support and connect with students once an issue is identified, particularly in today's virtual context. Presented by Jessica Groves, Academic Advisor in Psychological Sciences.

Register HERE!

WebEx recording HERE

Session Worksheet

Video Resource:



Student Admin 9.2 Advisor Training

Tuesday, March 9th from 10:00AM-11:00AM

This training will focus on how academic advisors can navigate the functions most critical to their work in the newly upgraded Student Admin system, both advisor and student-facing. There will be a focused list of topics. However, advisors are encouraged to ask any questions they may have regarding SA 9.2. Presented by Dana Ziter, Assistant Director of Student & Faculty Engagement, School of Engineering.

Register HERE!

WebEx Recording HERE!

Advisor Student Admin 9.2 Cheat Sheet


Advising Students of Color Series: Part One

Wednesday, March 17th from 10:00AM-11:30AM

After this session you will be able to:

  • Define implicit bias and microaggression and give examples of these concepts.
  • Examine your own biases and their effects on yourself and others through your work as an academic advisor.

Register HERE!

Anti-Racism Resources -Office for Diversity and Inclusion

Resources-Office for Diversity and Inclusion 



Best Practices in Academic Advising: Practical & Supportive Collaborations Between Academic & Student Affairs

Tuesday, March 30th from 10:00-11:00AM

In this session, the presenters will respond to some case studies and some questions (some pre-planned, and others through audience participation), highlighting resources and partnerships available to support academic advisors and other student support staff in their work.


WebEx Recording HERE!

Advising Students of Color Series, Part Two: Amplifying UConn Student Voices

Wednesday, April 21st from 10:00AM-11:30AM

NOTE: Date changed from April 14th

This session includes a student panel followed by small and large group discussions.

Note: Attendees may still attend if they did not attend Part One in March.

Learning outcomes:

  • Attendees will understand microaggressions and associated definitions
  • Attendees will further reflect on their own experiences with microaggressions

Register HERE!

WebEx Recording HERE.

Jolene Addi (She/Her/Hers) is a senior Psychological Sciences major from Middletown, CT. Jolene has been active at UConn as a McNair Scholar, a Resident Assistant within the WiMSE Learning Community, a mentor in PA2SS and METAS, a REM Scholar at UConn Health, and President of UConn Curls.  Jolene has completed research both in Dr. Laurencin’s lab under Dr. Paulos Mengsteab, as well as in Dr. Sarah Hird’s lab, studying the gut-brain axis and its role in psychological disorders. Jolene plans to take an enrichment year working in a related field before entering graduate school.


Hind Fares (She/Her/Hers) is a senior Nutritional Sciences major and Political Science minor from Middletown, CT.  Hind’s involvement at UConn has included enrollment in the SSS program and the WiMSE Learning Community, serving as of President of UConn’s chapter of RESULTS (a non-profit focused on passing anti-poverty legislation), and teaching at the Islamic Center of UConn.  Hind also interned at RESULTS, Inc., serving as a REAL Change Fellow.  Her future plans include enrollment in medical school and business ownership.


Le’Asia Gaskin (She/Her/Hers) is a senior Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies major with a Sociology minor. From Waterbury, CT, Le’Asia has held several leadership roles during her enrollment: President of UConn Urban Impact, New Student Orientation Leader, Parent Orientation Leader, Parent Program Supervisor, CLAS Student Leadership Board Project Team Leader, UConn Voices of Freedom Gospel Choir Member, Pack Leader, and Husky Ambassador.  After graduation, Le’Asia plans to take the LSAT and attend law school.







Joel Lopez (He/Him/His) is a senior Psychological Sciences major from LaSalle, IL. Joel is a McNair Scholar and an Army ROTC Cadet.  Joel has also served as FYE Mentor, a participant in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Summer Research Internship program, and the Treasurer of the Intercollegiate Psychedelic Network.  In the future, Joel plans to be a Research Assistant for an FDA Expanded Access program using MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD.  He also plans to continue his research regarding racial trauma and addiction, and to apply to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs in the fall.


Guymara Manigat (She/Her/Hers) is a senior Allied Health Sciences major with a double minor in Psychology and Urban & Community Studies. From Stratford, CT, Guymara is the Senior Advisor for the NAACP UCONN Chapter and the Vice President of MedLife Movement UConn Chapter.  Her previous leadership roles include WOW Leader, SSS Mentor, President of NAACP UConn Chapter, and Treasurer of MedLife Movement.  Guymara plans to enroll in a Physician Assistant program after graduation.







Shane Young (He/Him/His) is a senior Finance major with a double minor in Africana Studies and Economics.  From South Windsor, CT, Shane has served as the President and Founder of Business Leaders of UConn, the Director of Diversity of the UConn Consulting Group, a tutor for Student Support Services (SSS), and an Intern at Goldman Sachs.  After graduation, Shane will continue his work with Goldman Sachs as an Investment Banking Analyst.

Resources-Office for Diversity and Inclusion 

Financial Aid and Academic Advising

Tuesday, April 27th from 10:00AM to 11:00AM

The Office of Financial Aid will share relevant financial aid updates and information between their office and academic advising.

Register HERE!

WebEx Recording here

Presentation here



Special Livestream Event: NACADA Webinar: When Black Girl Magic Isn’t Enuf: Supporting Black Women College Students

Tuesday, May 4th from 10:00AM-11:00AM 

Note: University Advising will be live-streaming this event through Webex.

Register HERE!

LINK to Webinar


NACADA Webinar Overview: https://nacada.ksu.edu/Events/Web-Events/Web-Events-Coming/Web-Event-April-2021.aspx


In 2013, CaShawn Thompson coined the term “Black Girl Magic,” resulting in a social movement to honor Black women’s beauty and brilliance. Within postsecondary education, Black Girl Magic is characterized in ways Black women college students battle stereotypes, navigate hostile environments, and earn college degrees in a system that has ignored them. Black women have attained bachelor’s degrees at an increasing rate and are the only population, second to Latina women, to achieve this academic level. Despite the ability to excel academically and socially within campus life, Black women college students still contend with discrimination, stereotyping, isolation, and tokenism. The paradox of their success and their marginalized identity has stifled conversations surrounding strategies on how to support them holistically.

When working with Black women college students, it is essential that advisors, success coaches, and administrators use a unique approach that conveys inclusivity and an awareness around the cultural influences Black women students experience during their academic career. Sponsored by NACADA’s Inclusion and Engagement Committee, this webinar is a continuation of the When Black Girl Magic Isn't Enuf: Gendered-Racial Battle Fatigue and the Experiences of Black Women Advisors & Administrators presentation given by this team at the October 2020 NACADA Annual Conference and connects with the Advising Black Male Students in 2020 and Beyond presented in the Webinar venue. The presenters will highlight the unique experiences of Black women college students to assist advisors and coaches in recognizing their challenges, celebrating their successes, and connecting them with appropriate resources. Utilizing existing research and their personal experiences, the presenters will ensure viewers gain insight, understanding, and valuable resources that they can incorporate in their roles.

Academic Advising Core Competencies that will be addressed in this presentation include:

C3 Understanding of theory relevant to academic advising
C4 Understanding of academic advising approaches and strategies
C6 Understanding of how equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
I5 Knowledge of the charactistics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
I6 Knowledge of campus and community resources that support student success
R2 Ability to create rapport and build academic advising relationships
R3 Ability to communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner.

Dawn Yvonne Matthews, Associate Director, Advising First, Florida State University

Dawn Yvonne Matthews is the Associate Director of Advising First at Florida State University. She is responsible for supporting the supervision of academic advisors and college life coaches, managing, leading advisor trainings, and conducting departmental assessment. She also serves as a co-coordinator and instructor of a first-year seminar course designed to promote student success and decision making early in college. Prior to her current role, Dawn has worked in residence life, orientation, advising technology, curriculum and instruction, and campus programming. Her research and work as a practitioner serve to promote the continued need for services and assessments surrounding diversity, inclusion, equity among undergraduate and graduate students, with an emphasis on Black women and HBCUs.

Dawn received both her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and her master’s degree in Education Administration from Virginia State University and earned her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University. She considers herself a lifelong learner, an advocate for marginalized populations, and a champion for equity centered policies and practices.

LaShae Roberts, Assistant Director, Advisng First Center fo College Life Coaching, Florida State University

LaShae Roberts leads the Center for College Life Coaching, manages a team of professional college life coaches, and hosts the annual College Life Coaching Institute. She has worked with the college life coaching program for 10 years, serves as a teaching assistant for the College of Social Work, and previously worked in housing and the Center for Academic Retention and Enhance first-generation program. LaShae enjoys working with her students as they set and achieve their personal and professional goals, connecting students to opportunities, and mentoring professional staff. She is passionate about advocating for the mental health of the Black community, especially Black women.

LaShae received all of her degrees from Florida State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Sociology and two master’s degrees, one in Criminology and the other in Clinical Social Work. LaShae works part-time at a crisis stabilization center and is in the process of completing her licensure requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

CyNedra Nina Flanagan, Assistant Director, Advising First Center for Exploratory Students, Florida State University

CyNedra Nina Flanagan leads the Center for Exploratory Students and manages a team of professional advisors and support staff. She also serves as the co-coordinator and instructor for a first-year seminar course designed to promote success in major declaration and decision making early in college. She has been in the academic advising field for 10 years and previously worked as a Pre-health/med advisor in the FSU College of Medicine. She is passionate about seeing students’ dreams come full circle through academic major exploration and supporting Black women students through their undergraduate journey.

CyNedra received her bachelor’s degree in Communication–Electronic Media from the University of North Florida and her master’s degree in Higher Education from Florida State University.

Rose-May Frazier, Director, Advising First, Florida State University

Rose-May Frazier serves as the Director of Academic Advising and College Life Coaching at Florida State University. Throughout the past 15 years, Rose-May has developed a deep understanding and appreciation for the organizational process of supporting students and professionals to achieve their goals. A material part of this expertise was developed while working as an advisor and college life coach from 2005-2011, followed by her work as an Associate Director in the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement, guiding first-generation students toward personal, professional, and academic success. Rose-May’s most significant rewards come from seeing students succeed, which most often begins with the advising process.

Rose-May is the first in her family to graduate from college and earned both her Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Florida State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.