GPC Staff "Sharpens Its Edge"

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy

For Immediate Release

Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston nursing professor Jeanette Crawford and her colleague Shahinda Cyclewala faced a packed room. Some attendees sat on yoga mats aligned on the floor, while others leaned forward to listen. The subject: stress relaxation techniques. As Cyclewala distributed bright orange and red “stress” balls in the room, Crawford joked with the group to flush their troubles and stress away, sharing a funny card with the group.

Across campus, attendees learned about personal computer maintenance and how to avoid dreaded computer viruses, receiving tips from Bryan Lykins and Toler Godwin of GPC’s Office of Institutional Technology.

And on yet another part of the campus, staff members learned about the power of positive and emotional thinking, courtesy of GPC counselors Dana Epps and Quinnisse Pettway.

The three sessions were just a sampling of the more than 45 topics offered during the 2012 Staff Development Day, “Sharpen Your Edge: GPC Navigating Change.” More than 800 staff (and some faculty) members attended the event.

The half-day program kicked off with a meeting in the Clarkston gymnasium, during which GPC’s interim president Rob Watts addressed faculty and staff. Afterward, the crowd separated and participants attended their choices of concurrent sessions .

The development day was the first of its kind geared toward staff and was the result of months of planning, said Dede Weber, GPC Staff Senate chair. The sessions were conducted by staff and faculty.

“The day provided a thoughtful setting for colleagues to develop skills and interact with peers from across the college,” she said. “A staff that perceives that it is valued by the institution is better prepared to help meet GPC’s mission of supporting student success.” Weber hoped that the day would be the first of many future annual events.

Scheduling the broad array of sessions across a two-hour period was a feat accomplished by a Staff Senate team, including Peggy Davis, Center for Teaching and Learning program coordinator, said Weber. The program was consolidated from its original full-day plan to meet budget constraints. A vendor fair also offered information on insurance, banking options and exercise programs.

“The day was awesome,” said Shanetha Dugger, who works as an admissions specialist in enrollment services. “The sessions varied, with so much ranging beyond my expectations.  I had a hard time settling for two sessions.”