Below are descriptions for the programs offered by NovakTalks – All programs can be tailored to meet your staff or volunteer 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 for:

  • Hazing Prevention Teams
  • Risk Management Teams
  • Resident Advisors
  • Campus Safety

Promoting Self Governance with Confidence: Training Standards Boards | 1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop

This program is focused on a train the trainer style session for student leaders who are challenged with developing sanctions that appropriately address chapter or individual behavior.  Additionally, the program focuses on creating conversations where the sanction becomes a step to behavior change, rather than just a pre-prescribed remedy.

Participants will be taught a sanctioning model which focuses on creating sanctions that help aid in behavior change. Additionally, the program provides techniques for utilizing the model in student conduct board trainings.

In this train the trainer session, participants will be taught a sanctioning model intended to truly change behavior, as well as techniques for utilizing the model in student conduct board trainings.

Effectively Sanctioning Hazing Violations | 1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop

The completion of adjudicating a hazing case often results in the feeling of if there is little or no hope of creating long-term sustained change. It must be recognized that the sanctions should be designed in accordance with the seriousness of the violation and the circumstances surrounding the conduct.

This interactive dialogue provides participants the opportunity to learn strategies for assigning sanctions that have a higher probability of both educating the organization and providing insight as to how the group can develop more appropriate behavior.

We Have a Program for That: How do you know what you are doing is making a difference? | 1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop

Have you ever wondered if the program you offer or speaker you hire is actually making a difference in student behavior?

This interactive session is designed to help participants apply both adult learning theory and best practices for decreasing high-risk behaviors to educational efforts. Participants will practice conducting an audit of current programming efforts and learn how to increase the likelihood that efforts are more likely to be making the change they are looking for in your community.

Do Something! Acting on reports of high risk behavior | 1.0 hour roundtable discussion

  • Using partnerships to act (headquarters, advisors, campus officials, volunteers, students)
  • When to take interim action to stop all activities or cancel events
  • How to implement interim action in such a way as to prevent problems and not punish before a case has been heard
  • Conducting an investigation to determine if official action should be taken
  • Not substituting “informal” action for system processes  because it is easier
  • How to take action outside of official systems – it is okay to have a conversation

Staff Risk Management Session: Acting on Reports of High Risk Behavior | 1.5 hours a broader dialogue on risk management

The primary barrier to engagement in proactive risk management is the way educators have approached the risk management discussion with students.  Rules, policies, and a litany of “thou shalt nots” remain the focus of many risk management programs and resources.  Even though we understand that student learning occurs best through experiential and collaborative efforts, we have not yet shifted away from the language of policy and laws that originally shaped risk management discussions.

In order to re-conceptualize campus risk management, institutions and organizations must take students beyond policies and compliance and into the shades of gray presented by ethics, value congruence, responsibility to self and others, and critical thinking. A successful system will adopt an approach that identifies potential and perceived risks involved in activities and operations while weighing those risks against the values that define the campus community. It will also include systems that monitor organization activities and provide opportunities for community members to take corrective actions and proactive steps to minimize risk.

This session will offer staff the framework for building more successful risk management dialogues with students.

Real Change | 1.5 hour session

This program is a focused on creating a plan for change to truly address a problem on campus from a staff perspective.  Whether the work is through a task force, committee, or work group meetings – the program provides solutions to create a plan for sustainable change.  Additionally, the program provides solutions on how to know if the plan for change is making a difference and/or positively influencing the problem.

Many staff and administrators are in a situation which cannot simply ignore the request or need to address concerns on campus or within organizations.  By utilizing professional skills and talents, participants will develop viable solutions for real change.  The program supports stepping away from ongoing programming to looking at the problem and developing a plan to successfully address the problem through the tools of social science. This program will challenge and empower you to think about problem reduction in a new and innovative way.

For Alcohol Specific Session: This session can be modified to include a dialogue on behavior problems related to alcohol use and the impact of environmental norms on this behavior with simple but real life scenarios where leadership evaluate what they are really trying to promote within team or organizations and how they may be missing the mark.

Integrating Action into Organization Operations | 3.0 - 4.0 hour session

This session will examine how campus leadership can develop an initiative that will empower students and student organizations to engage in pro-social behavior. Emphasis will be placed on how participants can build an action oriented culture on their campus by using research identified in the Bystander literature. Recognizing that there are researched reasons why people choose not to act the facilitator will work with participants  to develop strategies for empowering students and the greater campus community to act on community values.

This workshop will empower participants to:

  • Articulate the importance of moving through all the stages of intervention in order to bring about change.
  • How to focus 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.
  • Learn about how to teach students successful intervention strategies that will provide opportunities to respectfully and effectively intervene and provide the opportunity to de-escalate challenging situations.
  • Utilize the identified barriers to action to evaluate environments in order to identify where barriers are often reinforced.
  • Design organization operations/systems as well as basic informational programs in such a way as to remove barriers to action. ”
  • Design strategically developed training to create environments in their community/organization that empower individuals to act in alignment with the values of their organization.

The Advisor as a Teacher | 1.5 hour interactive

Learning is a dynamic process that is not confined to traditional classroom approach.  It is also applicable to the more informal situations characteristic of student organization life as such advisors, both volunteer and paid professionals should consider the importance of developing a “curriculum” they will use when serving as the teacher for the groups they interact with.

In order for learning to occur, advisors must decide on goals or outcomes and then plan “encountered situations” for, or, with students that are designed to modify the behavior of the participants in the direction of predetermined goals. Theory has taught that intellectual growth and personal growth are not opposites or mutually exclusive.  This allows approaching work with a broader perspective. Curriculum and “encountered situations” become, not competitors, but different aspects of some collegiate learning experience, each contributing something unique to the education of students. In simple terms, the advisor serves as a teacher and influences the group members through structured experiences that contribute to their intellectual and personal growth or that contribute to the intellectual growth of others.

Participants will experience a thought provoking dialogue that will challenge them to consider the context in which they advise, the influence that context has on the lessons needed to teach the students they advise, and the strategies for creating an intentional plan of action that allows advisors to rise to the responsibility of being actively engaged in student learning.

Facilitating Problem Solving with the Organization you advise | 1.5 hour

Participants attending this session will actively participate and engage in learning how to utilize the problem solving strategy focused on addressing the “real problem” within a chapter or community they are working with.  It is often wondered if the suggestions advisors or volunteers make are utilized, positively influence the problem, or help students make strides to create change.  Problem solving with students can ensure there is success.

Through this program, participants will learn from the problem solving approach, utilized by several inter/national organizations and countless college campus departments across the country, Participants will understand:

  • The application of a framework for identifying the “real problem”
  • Designing strategies
  • Developing activities that will move chapters towards solutions.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking time to speak with me and the entire University of South Carolina! In just the brief time we had together, you increased my vocabulary in regards to talking about risk management 10 fold. Your message was very powerful and you are such a dynamic presenter! Keep up the awesome work!

Amy ToccoCareer Services | South Carolina University