All Staff Professional Development

Once per month during the academic year, all members of the Husky Sport staff meet as a group. In addition to program updates and overviews, each meeting’s content is focused around a central topic. These topics are selected to support staff to work more effectively with, or on the behalf of the children and youth who we serve. Typically there are supplemental materials sent to the staff the week before the meetings, these materials are used to inform conversation at the meeting.



Date & Topic Objectives
September 4, 2014: Organizational Culture To identify and discuss organizational values and cultural elements of successful, people first organizations.
October 2, 2014: Behavior Management To provide staff members with the opportunity to practice communication and verbal problem solving skills.
November 6, 2014: Social Systems and Hierarchies To provide staff with a lived experience in effort to encourage a broader understanding of others’ perspectives
December 4, 2014: Critical social and societal issues To encourage collaborative dialogue and critical thought around social issues that are relevant to practice.
February 5, 2015: Organizational Capacity Building and Fundraising To educate staff on brand identity and fundraising strategies in effort to connect strategies to Husky Sport.
March 5, 2015: Connecting Literacy to Physical Activity To provide staff with skills to increase their effectiveness in classroom engagement with students and teachers.
April 2, 2015: Presentation: Center for Career Development, Careers for the Common Good To teach and improve understanding of resume building techniques and strategies of staff members.
May 7, 2015 Building Lasting Relationships To review the year’s events, recognize organizational and personal successes, and prepare for a productive summer.
Date & Topic Objectives
September 10, 2015: Organizational Culture To define and discuss organizational culture, and to create messages to share with outside audiences describing the work of Husky Sport. Staff focused on sharing the culture of Husky sport in three different areas: as an overall organization, UConn specific, and Hartford specific.
October 10, 2015: Asset-Based vs. Deficit-Based Approaches To explore the differences between asset-based and deficit-based mindsets and the importance of incorporating asset-based approaches and language into Husky Sport. Staff also discussed specific ways to realistically approach challenges that they face from an asset-based mindset.
November 12, 2015: White Privilege To engage in critical dialogue around white privilege and to examine impacts of white privilege in our society, and specifically within Husky Sport. Discussions were informed by individual experience and a pre-meeting reading assignment.
December 10, 2015: Structural Racism and Privilege To encourage collaborative dialogue and critical thought around social issues that are relevant to practice.
February 4, 2016: Developing Organizational Pitches and Fundraising To discuss Husky Sport’s mission, values and purpose and learn more about Ignite, the spring fundraising initiative. Staff worked in groups to utilize buzzwords and create pitches about the different components of Husky Sport to an outside audience.
March 4, 2016: Intergroup Dialogue about Race To examine multiple types of conversation formats and participate in a dialogue to further staff understanding regarding race. Conversation was informed by a UConn Reads art exhibit about race that staff visited prior to the meeting.
April 7, 2015: SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Education To allow staff to participate in an interactive nutrition-focused meeting in which they rotated through stations and learned about different nutrition topics relevant to Husky Sport programming. The stations included an exotic fruit taste testing and discussing information about our funder SNAP-Ed, the importance of portion control and the dangers of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Date & Topic Objectives
September 8, 2016: Organizational Culture Staff will engage in Traffic Jam (group activity), as a way to team build through active learning. Staff will discuss Traffic Jam activity and make connections to Husky Sport organizational culture. Directors will communicate upcoming events, dates and items for attention
October 13, 2016: Digital Engagement Staff will participate in a form of digital engagement to share their own knowledge of Husky Sport including pillars of Husky Sport and Husky Sport funding. Staff will work together in small groups to discuss their perceptions of Husky Sport, highlighting connection to physical activity and nutrition. Staff will discuss in small groups how they would describe Husky Sport to others.
December 8, 2016: Diversity and Inclusion in Practice: Reflection of Semester Staff will review end of semester summaries such as number of trips to Hartford, number of SNAP-Ed funded tastings that were distributed, and social media efforts focused on continuous learning. Staff will reflect on the fall semester of programming, highlighting success that they have experienced. Staff will highlight ways in which they are an inclusive practitioners while considering areas of improvement both on an individual and organizational level.
February 2, 2017: Developing Organizational Pitches and Fundraising Staff will discuss upcoming fundraising initiatives. Staff will discuss Husky Sport funding sources, including SNAP-Ed. Staff will discuss SNAP-Ed funding and the activities and programs that it funds within the larger organization.
March 2, 2017: Implicit Bias Build a shared knowledge of implicit bias. Staff will begin to recognize the impacts of socialization on everyday interactions. Staff will discuss ways in which we serve our clients in inclusive and equitable ways. Staff will participate in critical dialogue on personal biases.
April 6, 2017: TBD TBD
May 4, 2017: TBD TBD