Arkansas State University - Newport

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ASUN Lobby
September 2020

Campus Connections: Join Us

In a time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to stay connected. Throughout 2020, ASU-Newport faculty and staff found creative ways to “visit” one another virtually. From virtual 5ks to Zoom picnics, technology granted us the ability to stay engaged while working from home.

Although we are back on campus, we are still enforcing social distancing protocols and unable to gather in large groups to enjoy professional development. In an effort to keep spirits up and provide an opportunity to learn from one another, Ike Wheeler, Vice Chancellor for Leadership and Community Engagement, along with Dr. Veronica Manning, Dean for Leadership and Organizational Development, created a weekly virtual forum so we can stay connected and engaged with the institution.

Campus Connections takes place every Monday at 1 p.m. through Microsoft Teams Meetings. It is similar to other video conferencing software and allows faculty and staff to see each other, share documents/screens, and chat. Campus Connections kicked off in August, and Dr. Sandra Massey served as the first speaker. She touched on work/life balance - something we must prioritize while navigating this new normal. More than 30 faculty and staff members participated in the first session.

Mr. Wheeler and Dr. Manning have mapped out a great lineup of speakers for the semester, and they hope to expand this activity to community members in the near future.

“We truly want these sessions to allow a bit of togetherness and share, as well as celebrate, the human-interest component of ASUN, all while highlighting the wonderful things going on in our institution and community,” Wheeler said.

Here is the lineup for the remainder of the semester.

October 5 – Dr. Holly Smith: Breast Cancer Awareness Month – A Survivor’s Journey. Dr. Holly Smith, ASUN Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will discuss her journey with breast cancer and give advice for navigating one of life’s greatest health challenges.

October 12 – Chief Johnathon Tubbs: Sharpening Skills of De-escalation. Chief Johnathon Tubbs, ASUN Campus Police, will connect us with skills for de-escalating anyone, anywhere, anytime. He will focus on the guiding principles that allow individuals to remain in control at all times, support anyone with any issue, and avoid a response that can make a situation worse.

October 19 – Dr. Veronica Manning & Ike Wheeler: Introduction to A.C.E. Culture Training. Dr. Veronica Manning, Dean for Leadership and Organizational Development, and Ike Wheeler, Vice Chancellor for Leadership and Community Engagement, will introduce us to the new A.C.E Culture Training. The previous OZ Principle training was revamped and restructured to align with ASUN’s institutional values to produce insights into institutional culture and career enhancing goals.

October 26 – Adam Adair: Remembering Our Past while Claiming Our Future. Adam Adair, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, and past ASUN Outstanding Alumni, will reflect upon the changes ASUN has undergone since he studied here almost two decades ago, as well as some personal lessons learned that have assisted him on his pathway to leadership in the very place where his educational journey began.

November 2 – Lori Hutton, Stephanie Wilson, & Candace Gross: Bridges Out of Poverty. Lori Hutton, Assistant Professor of English, Stephanie Wilson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and Candace Gross, Dean for Admissions and College Engagement, will familiarize us with the Bridges Out of Poverty training. Bridges Out of Poverty provides concrete tools and strategies for a community to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty.

November 9 – Jeff Bookout: My Journey as a Veteran. Jeff Bookout, Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Initiatives, will connect us to a broader celebration of Veteran’s Day as well as valuable lessons he learned from his two-decade military career that have assisted him in his present leadership role.

November 16 – Kristine Penix: Career Coaches – Bridging the Gap between High School and College. Kristine Penix, Director of Workforce Initiatives, will discuss the Career Coach Program and explain the valuable role our Career Coaches serve in reaching students in participating high schools.

November 23 – Dr. Veronica Manning: Creating Magic: The Disney Approach. Dr. Veronica Manning, Dean for Leadership and Organizational Development, will connect us to 10 common sense leadership principles taught at the world-renowned Disney Institute.

December 7 – Dr. Sandra Massey: Reflections of a Successful Career. Dr. Sandra Massey, Chancellor, will share her thoughts on an amazing career as she embarks on her most exciting journey of all: retirement.

“We have already received outstanding feedback from those participating in Campus Connections,” Dr. Manning said. “It’s been amazing to learn more about the professionals we work with every day, while providing an opportunity for the campus community to stay connected through social distancing. ASU-Newport has an exceptional network of people with a variety of life experiences, and I’m excited for the future of this program.”

If you are interested in joining our Campus Connections meetings, feel free to contact Dr. Manning at