Below are descriptions for the programs offered by NovakTalks – All programs can be tailored to meet your organization or chapter needs. Sessions can be combined to meet the needs of multiple contingencies over a period of consecutive days. Sessions can also be repeated for different audiences or a combined audience. Custom programs can also be developed. 

Chapter Rehabilitation Workshop

The Chapter Rehabilitation Workshop focuses on work with chapters that have engaged in significant high-risk behaviors.  The workshop supports chapter leadership, alumni, and intern/national organizations in the rehabilitation of the individual group.

Chapter Leadership | 2.0 – 2.5 hour

During the program, chapter leadership meet with facilitators to discuss past behaviors, decisions, events and the standards they are expected to operate at as established by their fraternity or sorority and campus community. The session involves a problem analysis to identify barriers (individual, chapter, community) that may make the changes needed difficult. The problem analysis is accomplished through a compilation of data about chapter from inter/national organization, campus data, and student leadership insight. The facilitator will lead the session and provide an environment for frank and open dialogue (which often means students only in the session) in order to get to the real issues. Facilitator will work with the leadership to develop an action plan on site to overcome barriers as well as identify additional resources necessary to lead chapter through needed change.

Chapter | 1.25 – 1.5 hour

This program focuses on meeting with the chapter and issuing the challenge that the changes required of the organization cannot be the responsibility of the leadership team only.  During the program specific behaviors, standards and strategies are discussed and chapter members are provided the opportunity to contribute to the plan for change.

New Member Class | 45 minutes

This program focuses time with the new member class, providing an opportunity to engage the new members in chapter efforts. The focus is not on the “incident” or past behaviors, rather on the importance of knowing what it means to be a member of the chapter and what their obligations are and will be to the chapter and the greater organization.

Chapter Advisor(s) | Optional (1.0 hour)

This program focuses time with chapter advisor(s) to discuss their role in supporting the chapter or provide insight into supporting their effort to help the chapter.

Campus Program | Optional (2.0 hour)

As part of the Chapter Rehabilitation Workshop the facilitator can provide a program for members campus community. This is not intended to sanction the entire community for the actions of one chapter, rather to provide a chance for the organization to give back to their community.This program cannot be an “80% must attend community session”however can be any one of the following:

•Risk Management and Social Chair ed session

•New Member Education Officer ed session

•Targeted sessions for other officer positions or smaller session of students

•New member education ed session (or new members of the community)

•Staff development program on a variety of topics

•Advisor education program on a variety of topics

This session can be modified for non-fraternal student organization.

Real Change

(1.5 – 2.0 hour session offered for organization leaders, also a great option for judicial board training)

This program focuses on creating real change – change which addresses the behavior of the individual, a group, or creating sustainable change within a campus culture and is also applicable to executive boards who spend a great deal of time talking about individual member behavior which never seems to change.

Thinking about the following: How many executive team meetings are spent talking about one chapter member’s behavior that never seems to change? How many times do you leave those meetings feeling as if all that has been accomplished is a dialogue about the problem and a new project has been added to your plate? Have you ever wondered if what you are doing has actually made a difference or positively influenced the problem? This program addresses these questions.

Many student leaders have found themselves in these situations, and cannot simply ignore the need to address these concerns within the organization. Student participants will leave the program will skills to utilize a strategic problem–solving framework and build their leadership skills to find viable solutions and make real change.

For a hazing specific session: This session can be modified to include a new member education review with simple, but real life scenarios. Executive leadership can use this session to evaluate what they are really trying to accomplish with new member education, and strategically design a program that precludes hazing. Many groups have had success from this session as a result of focusing on work with new member educators to better develop a new member program and addressing the real issues and understanding that older/active members are often major contributors to the problem.   

For behavior specific session: This session can be modified to include a dialogue on behavior problems related to alcohol, drug use or hazing and the impact of environmental norms on this behavior. Simple but real life scenarios are used so leaders can evaluate what they are really trying to promote within the team or organization and where they may be missing the mark. 

This session can be modified for non-fraternal student organization.

The Linear Equation for Leading Change | 1.25 - 1.5 hour workshop

Organization leaders often find themselves struggling to implement change in operations. A key factor to consider when leading change whether in risk management practices, organization event participation, or new member education is the importance of using multiple entry points into the problem. In other words, what are the various ways in which the problem needs to be addressed and that contributions are made to create the problem.

In an interactive dialogue, participants will practice in a strategy of identifying multiple intervention opportunities for incrementally leading change within their organization.  Using a simple linear problem analysis, organization, team, chapter and council leadership will learn how to dissect a problem and identify multiple strategies for bring about change.

The Community Voice: An Introduction to the Realities of Bystander Behavior | 1.5 - 2.0 hours

This presentation or workshop challenges students to find their voice and not stand by when the values of their organization are not reflected in actions or voices of individuals, chapters or campus communities. Using the principles of Bystander Intervention as a foundation the facilitator empowers participants to find their voice by accepting their responsibility to act as positive members of their organization, community or chapter. Recognizing the real barriers as identified in Bystander research that prevent individuals or leadership from speaking up, students develop the skills needed to act. This is a critical conversation to focus on creating a community of care.

This dynamic program will empower participants to:

• Articulate the importance of moving through all the stages of intervention in order to bring about change, focusing on the final two stages of Bystander Intervention: Stage 3–Feel Responsible for Solving the Problem & Stage 4–Possessing the Necessary Skills to Act;

• Challenge themselves and their community to feel responsible for acting when behaviors or incidents are not aligned with values; and

•  Learn about successful intervention strategies that will provide opportunities to respectfully and effectively intervene and provide the opportunity to de-escalate challenging situations.

Removing Barriers to Action: Bystander Intervention

(2.0 hour interactive workshop) Portions of this workshop can be added to any other workshop or extended program if the client desires.

This program examines how communities can use collective knowledge of why people choose to not intervene as well as strategies for empowering leadership, members and community members to act. By establishing intentional efforts to remove the barriers to action you can increase the probability that organizations will mitigate the impact of bystander behavior. This is a critical conversation to have as we set out to intervene in hazing and other high-risk behaviors on the college campus.

It is not enough to tell individuals to not be bystanders. We must create environments that empower individuals to act. Faculty, staff, students and volunteers that work with organizations would be welcomed to join in this dynamic program that will empower participants to:

• Utilize the identified barriers to action to evaluate organization environment in order to identify where barriers can be reduced and people can be empowered to ACT;

• Design organization operations/systems as well as basic informational programs in such a way as to remove barriers to action;

•  Create initiatives to communicate what behaviors your organization/ community sees as a problem and wants individuals to take action against; and

•   Design strategically developed training to create an environment that empowers individuals to act.

Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP)

(2.0 hour interactive program)

ASTP is unlike most alcohol programs because it acknowledges that some college students drink, and rather than try to impose abstinence on college students, it acknowledges that any steps toward reduced risk are steps in the right direction.

The goal of ASTP is to educate students about alcohol-related behavior while increasing their interest in critically examining their drinking patterns and eventually implementing the skills they learn. In doing so, participants can learn to recognize high-risk situations and to minimize the potential negative consequences through prevention action, reduced consumption, or abstinence.

Hazing in Today's World | 1.5 - 2.0 hour workshop

Recent incidents of hazing on college campuses and in military organizations have elevated attention paid to hazing as a high-risk issue that must be addressed. Join a nationally recognized hazing prevention expert in a reality based conversation about hazing as a risk issue that students need to understand is not acceptable. Using current research the facilitator will help students better understand the unintended consequences of hazing, strategies for eliminating hazing practices as well as sustaining as a non-hazing organization and opportunities for the student voice to inform hazing prevention efforts on college campuses.

Let's Talk Values! | 1.5 - 2.0 hour session

(Workshop to Compliment Keynote or offered as a stand alone program)
“Focus on your Values” is often a suggested solution for engaging members in improving chapter operations and yet for students leading chapters and councils this task can be more difficult than it seems. Facilitator will provide an interactive session during which students will learn how to engage their chapter or community in meaningful dialogues about what values “look like” in action.  Learn how focusing values conversations on what your chapter or community is supposed to look like instead of what it cannot look like will improve operations and increase involvement from membership.   Strategies for getting the chapter or member’s voices into the room and actively engaged in advancing values-based experiences will be provided.

Empowerment not Fear: The Right Approach to Welcoming New Members Into Your Community | 1.25 - 1.5 hour session

Research tells us Fraternity & Sorority Communities are the highest-risk populations on today’s college campuses. This program is designed to teach chapter leaders how to develop a community program that engages new members in a meaningful conversation about their rights and responsibilities in this high-risk environment. Facilitator will provide tips on how to use both national and available institutional data to challenge new members to embrace not only their rights as new members but also their responsibilities. 

Participants will learn how to provide a reality-based description of the current fraternity/sorority experience as well as what a healthy experience looks like. Students will also learn how to empower new members to make choices that reduce personal risk while upholding the values of their perspective chapters.  Content will be provided on the following issues: hazing, alcohol and other drugs as well as sexual assault.  

This workshop can be utilized for new member educators, recruitment officers, council leaders  or a specific chapter that is seeking to improve their new member education process.

Kim Novak is an exceptional speaker who constantly engages her audience. She did a phenomenal job addressing relevant issues in a way that captivated the students. My personal one-on-one meeting with her, in which we discussed various issues regarding hazing, was honest and open as we discussed how we as a community can move forward.

Kaitlyn LaxerPresident Alpha Lambda Chapter Delta Delta Delta at University of South Carolina