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2/10/2018 » 2/12/2018
2018 Winter Meeting

PDI: Professional Development Institute
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Started in 2009, the Professional Development Institute (PDI) is an intentional professional development seminar featuring a range of activities for professionals with 3 to 5 years full-time experience. These intense workshops will be administered by faculty, who are seasoned professionals in the field of Student Affairs. Over the years, over 175 professionals have participated in the seminar and it has expanded from 2 days to 3 days.

Activities during the Institute are designed to allow time for informal interactions in addition to the scheduled sessions. To offer the appropriate mentoring environment, only 20 participants will be accepted. Participants will be placed into small groups and assigned a faculty member who will provide individual advice, support and suggestions for future professional growth, involvements and activities.

PDI is generously sponsored by Southwest Contract.

The 2018 Professional Development Institute will take place February 9-11, 2018.

Learning Outcomes

Participants engaged in PDI will:

  • Develop skills and perspectives needed to progress in the field of Student Affairs;
  • Receive guidance in mapping out short- and long-term career goals;
  • Connect with faculty who are veteran professionals in residence life and related fields;
  • Provide one-on-one and small-group mentoring time;
  • Create an environment conducive to making connections with other professionals, providing support and the foundations for lasting collegial relationships.

At PDI participants will attend sessions facilitated by veteran professionals in housing/residence life and student affairs and gain valuable, practical information about surviving and thriving at the next level.

Example Topics

Topics for PDI will vary from year-to-year depending on the expertise of the selected faculty members. However, in general, all topics are relevant to professionals at this point in their careers.

Some examples of past featured topics:

  • Conflict Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Decision Making
  • Organization Culture
  • Budgets
  • Politics of Higher Ed
  • Facilities Management
  • Supervision

This Year's PDI Faculty



Josh Lawrie
Interim Director of Residence Life 
Bowling Green State University


Topic: Change Management Leadership


Stacy Oliver-Sikorski
Senior Associate Director of Residence Life
Lake Forest College


Topic: Housing Operations/Social Justice Focus


Kelly Thacker
Associate Director of Housing Operations
Wayne State University


Topic: Creating Sustainable Business Practices


Amanda Knerr
Executive Director, Residential Life
Indiana State University


Topic: Assessment/Planning


Shruti Desai
Assistant Vice President
McKendree University


Topic: Identity Conscious Supervision


How To Apply as a PDI participant