Dixie Development Day “Elevate Dixie”

The 2nd Annual Dixie Development Day will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. This half-day conference supports the University’s Strategic Plan to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

The conference is free for all DSU part-time staff, full-time staff and faculty and is being sponsored by the Classified Staff Association, Exempt Staff Association and Human Resources.

To enjoy the free continental breakfast and served-plate lunch, please register by April 21, 2017. Space is limited, so don’t wait. Register today! To register in advance, please click on Advance Registration.

Conference Schedule

Time Event Location
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast, Registration Gardner Center Ballroom
8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Kick-off Keynote – Nicole R. Robinson, Ph.D. Gardner Center Ballroom
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. Breakout Session 1 – A, B, or C TBA
11:00 – 11:50 a.m. Breakout Session 2 – A, B, or C TBA
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Served Luncheon Gardner Center Ballroom
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker – Brandon Kelly – “Elevate Your Efforts” Gardner Center Ballroom
1:45 – 2:45 p.m. President’s Panel – Questions & Answers TBA

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote – Nicole R. Robinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Robinson is currently Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Leadership Fellow, and the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Presidential Endowed Professor of Elementary Music Education at the University of Utah.  Prior to joining the faculty in 2014 (visiting appointment 2013-2014), she held positions at Syracuse University, University of Memphis, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Robinson has earned national recognition for her outreach and partnership models and her ability to create sustainable, large-scale professional learning communities in urban districts. Robinson researches issues of access to quality music education for low-income students of color, social justice in music education practices and programs, and social inequalities in music education.

Keynote: Shifting the Diversity Paradigm from Incremental to Transformative Change on University Campuses Due to current demographic trends and a growing awareness of the profound benefits of diversity, academic institutions are beginning to embrace diversity as a mission imperative and not just a social justice cause. The task before us all is to find ways to integrate diversity into the core mission of academic institutions and create systems that enable all students, faculty and staff to thrive and achieve their maximum potential


Closing Keynote Speaker: Brandon Kelly

Brandon is a master at triumphing against all odds. He fought and won a battle against cancer once at fifteen and then again at twenty two. He survived being hit by a drunk driver. He has survived two major accidents with two dump trucks and had to learn to walk and talk again. His positive attitude and driving focus enabled him to enjoy success when others thought the plug should be pulled.

Brandon has completed a Bachelors in Business, an MBA, and a Doctorate in Entrepreneurial Acquisitions from London, England. Brandon is a sought after professional speaker and trainer, as well as a business survival expert. He is the author of the self-help book 101 Ways to sell your house and keep the commission and is finishing his second and third book The Distinctive Watermark Principles for Everyday Success, and The ABC’s of Business Survival, Revival, and Thrival: in the modern economy.


Session 1 – 10:00 – 10:50 A.M.

Session 1A

“Elevate Your Energy”

Presented by Jennie Ritchie


The energy drains in life can keep you from feeling happy, fulfilled and accomplishing your goals. What is draining your energy? In this presentation, you will identify potential energy drains that may be holding you back, and be given processes for moving beyond them to feel empowered. You’ll leave this session with specific action steps for greater success in your business and your life. If you want to discover what is draining your energy and how to make changes, this presentation is for you!

Jennie Ritchie is a certified life coach with WholeFIT, best-selling author, educator, speaker and owner of Mental Peak Performance Coaching. She lives her passion of inspiring others to maximize success through her coaching and workshops. She resides in St. George, Utah, with her husband, Wally, and their three children.

Session 1B

“Elevate Your Strengths”

Presented by Robert O’Connell


Using a strengths-based model to cultivate a culture of engagement, this seminar reveals how individuals and teams can create a positive work environment and foster engagement to achieve personal, departmental, and university goals. This session will be of special interest to supervisors that want to strengthen their teams.

Bob O’Connell helps school administrators, teachers and students create a culture that honors differences and looks for what’s right in others through Strengths-based leadership. He is a Master Coach for Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment tool. He believes that the culture of any group can foster or inhibit engagement of the participants, so it must be carefully developed and maintained.

With over 35 years of experience in starting and managing financial and business services, consumer products and technology driven enterprises, Bob has served as CEO and board member of two public companies, senior manager of two public firms and founding Chairman/CEO of one private firm.

Session 1C

“Elevate your Financial Literacy”

Presented by Dr. Nathan Staheli


Everybody wants it. Nobody understands it. Albert Einstein supposedly once called compound interest the most powerful force in the universe. But don’t take Einstein’s word for it. Get the money fundamentals you need from this presentation, focusing on:

  • Managing money through budgeting and investing
  • Maximizing wealth while minimizing taxes
  • The hidden costs of debt and the value of home ownership

Dr. Nathan Staheli is Associate Professor and Chair of the Accounting Program in the School of Business & Communication. He has been teaching full-time at Dixie since 1999. Nate has served in Faculty Government as Faculty Senate President and currently is serving as the Faculty Athletic Representative for the Athletic Department and chairs the Accounting Education Advisory Committee of the Accounting Department.

Nate received a Bachelor’s degree and his Master’s in Accountancy from SUU. His Doctorate Degree is International Management with an Emphasis in Accounting from the University of Hawaii. Additionally, Nate is currently a partner in the Accounting firm of Staheli & Jacobsen, CPAS, LLP.  They specialize in Tax Preparation, Business Accounting, Consultation, Financial Planning and Expert Witness Services.


Session 2 – 11:00 – 11:50 A.M.

Session 2A

“Leveraging MS Outlook”

Presented by Craig Southwick, TJ Griffiths, and Richard Robbins


Do you want to organize and master Microsoft Outlook, slap down spam, and find long-lost emails? In this seminar presented by DSU’s Systems Administration Group, you will learn:

  • Tricks and tips on searching Outlook
  • How to combat and reduce spam
  • Create rules to organize email
  • Useage Outlook’s Best Practices tools

Craig Southwick is the Director of Systems Administration at Dixie State University, and has been in the IT industry for 20 years and a systems administrator for 13 years. He is a Microsoft Certified IT Professional and certified in v2 and v3 of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

TJ Griffiths is the Senior Systems Administrator at Dixie State University. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional. Having been in the IT industry for 17 years and a systems administrator for 7 years, he’s better than Google for IT related questions!

Richard Robbins is the Systems Administrator at Dixie State University. He has been in the IT industry for 18 years and a systems administrator for 5 years. He was featured on TechTV’s Screen Savers for a record-breaking multi-boot operating system configuration. He also won “Rig of the Month” from Maximum PC.

Session 2B

“Embracing our Differences”

Presented by Nicole Robinson (also our Opening Keynote Speaker)


As students bring variant backgrounds, unique histories, linguistic cultures, gender identities and sexual orientations, and political and religious affiliations into the fold of institutions of higher learning, universities must develop a critical consciousness around understanding the “lived” student experience in order to meet the social, emotional and academic needs for ultimate success.

Dr. Nicole Robinson is currently Interim Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Leadership Fellow, and the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Presidential Endowed Professor of Elementary Music Education at the University of Utah.

Nicole has earned national recognition for her community engagement projects, university-district partnership models, and her ability to create sustainable, reform-oriented professional learning communities particularly in large, urban districts.

Session 2C

“What Everybody… Except You… Knows About You”

Presented by Sandy Petersen


Few of us spend much time analyzing our own personalities, and all of us are masters of self-deception. This session will focus on self-awareness and uncovering parts of our personality that are obvious to everyone else, but hidden from our own eyes. Get ready for a shocking bit of self-analysis (and a little bt of fun!)

Dr. Sandy Petersen has been a DSU faculty member in the Department of Education since 2008. She has served as a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and was instrumental in launching the DSU Teaching and Learning Center. Sandy is currently the Associate Provost for Academic Quality and Success and an Associate Professor of Education. She has taught workshops across the country on the relationship of personality characteristics to personal and professional success.


President’s Panel – Questions & Answers


President Richard Williams


VP of Academic Affairs/Provost
Dr. Michael Lacourse


VP of Administrative Affairs
Paul Morris


VP of Student Affairs
Dr. Peter Gitau

President Richard Williams and his cabinet will outline their visions and plans to move Dixie State University into the future. Once the presentations have been completed, there will be a question and answer period.


THANK YOU

We want to thank all the sponsors who contributed to the success of this event: Classified Staff Association (CSA), Exempt Staff Association (ESA), Human Resources, Information Technology, Advancement/Development, Athletics, Marketing and Communication Department (UMAC), DSU Bookstore, Campus Dining, volunteers, and the Dixie Development Day committee members. Also, a special appreciation to President Williams and members of his cabinet for their support.