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Annual Professional Development Day


2023 Theme: "Navigating Your Next"

Calling all dedicated Student Affairs professionals!
Are you eager to steer your career journey towards new horizons?

The 6th Annual Professional Development Day was on Dec. 12, 2023 – a transformative event designed around navigating your next.

Change is an inevitable part of life, and it's no different in the world of higher education. With new technology and an evolving landscape, we are presented with both challenges and opportunities. With the right guidance, embracing change in your next career move can be a rewarding adventure.

Confirmed Sessions Included:

  • Continued education opportunities;
  • Imposter syndrome;
  • Student panels; and more!

Revisit Past Sessions

Thank you to everyone who attended Professional Development Day 2023!

For those who missed a session or want to revisit one, we've got you covered.

View Presentation Files

Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Shaphan Roberts is the Director for Los Angeles City Attorney's Dispute Resolution Program and an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. An experienced leader, Mr. Roberts regularly trains city departments and community organizations on conflict management, de-escalation, and cross cultural communication.

Shaphan Roberts (LINKEDIN)

Shaphan Roberts

Full Professional Development Day Schedule

Keynote Speaker: 9 – 9:55 a.m.

Keynote: "Embracing Change: The Path to Finding Purpose"

Price Center Forum
: Shapan Roberts

This exploration centers on understanding the psychological and emotional barriers that hinder change, such as fear of the unknown, a preference for familiarity, and a natural resistance to disruption. It underscores the concept that genuine self-discovery and identifying one's purpose are frequently unlocked through a readiness to welcome change and courageously move beyond our comfort zones.


Breakout Sessions 1: 10 – 10:55 a.m.

Student Affairs Educator Certification Info Session

Student Governance Chambers
Presenters: Nic Alonzo & Kirby Knipp

Interested in becoming certified in Student Affairs? Join us for this info session on the Higher Education Consortium's certification program founded and supported by seven of the most recognized higher education associations. The certification is designed for professionals with 5+ years of experience, but all are welcome to attend.

Being Your Own Career Strategist - Salary Setting and Career Pathways

Price Center Forum
Presenter: Alex Galarza Sr., Director, People Programs & Rewards

As a negotiator for salary, factors such as market knowledge, skill evaluation, and alignment with career goals play pivotal roles in securing favorable compensation.

Breakout Sessions 2: 11 – 11:55 a.m.

Advancing Your Education (and Career) with the Rady Staff Scholarship

Student Governance Chambers
Presenter: Audrey Phillips, Director of MBA Admissions and Recruitment

Join this session to learn about the flexible format programs designed for working professionals offered by the Rady School of Management. Our FlexWeekend Master of Science in Business Analytics, FlexEvening Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration are designed to give working professionals tools to grow their skillset and develop as a professional. We will cover the logistics of going back to school while fully employed, the difference in format and content among the programs, and the Rady Staff Scholarship.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Price Center Forum
Presenter: Cristina Counts

Many of us don’t realize how much we’ve absorbed/learned in the last 20, 30, or 40 years because it seems like second nature to us now. We assume that “everyone” knows how to do what we do. But employers are willing to pay big bucks for that wisdom. The challenge is translating what you know into something that is in demand today… and convincing yourself that you’re worth every penny.

Breakout Sessions 3: 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Student Panel: The New Generation Navigating Change

Student Government Chambers
Presenters: William Maggin, Ivan Ramirez, Kathia Agustin, Tom Rufino

Interested in how Gen Z navigates major change? Come sit on this Q&A with a panel of students from first years to graduate students giving insight on how they navigate major life changes. Use this raw data for your own personal growth and to get a deeper understanding of ways to support our students.

Exploring Salary Negotiation and the Gender Pay Gap

Price Center Forum
Presenter: Hannah Aksamit, Assistant Director for Education, UC San Diego Women’s Center

Join us for this interactive workshop where attendees will learn how to research your target salary, highlight your accomplishments and find the right words — and the confidence — to negotiate for better benefits and pay, all in an effort to close the gender pay gap.

VCSA Holiday Party: 2 – 4 p.m.

Epstein Family Amphitheater

The festivities will include food, beverages, gift drawings and fun!