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Professional Development

The office supports the professional development of administrators and support staff toward Vassar’s mission of providing an inclusive residential liberal arts education. The Senior Associate Dean of the College works with division personnel to foster affirming work-learning communities to enhance capacity building toward supporting diverse student communities, along with promoting inclusive leadership and well-being amongst employees.


Office Launches Diversity and Inclusion Training for DOC Administrators and Support Staff

In September 2018 President Bradley announced commitments to launch “anti-bias” training, beginning with student facing administrators and eventually for all Vassar employees.  In January the Professional Development Office initiated a series of bias awareness and education workshops for division employees, facilitated by consultants Diane Goodman and Tanya Williams. More than 160 division administrators and support staff from administrative offices, Campus Dining, and Safety and Security participated in the half-day workshops between January 8 and January 17.  Long-term, the goal is to train a team of administrators to sustain further diversity, inclusion and equity training for the division.

Understanding and Confronting Unconscious Bias

Have you ever wondered how unconscious or implicit bias can affect the campus workplace and student learning or support?  According to the Kirwan Institute, implicit bias refers to the "attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner."  Read more about implicit and unconscious bias by clicking on Implicit Bias Modules, a series of interactive lessons created by the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University.  In 2018, the Institute faciliated a implicit bias workshop for administrators and faculty during All College Day.

Harvard University’s PROJECT IMPLICIT offers an online Implicit Association Test(IAT) to begin the process of understanding and becoming more aware of our implicit biases.  It’s a good first step on the journey!

At Vassar the Professional Development Office has facilitated its own 2-hour workshops for several Dean of the College offices, including Health Services, Safety and Security, Student Growth and Engagement, and Health and Wellness.

Introduction to Gender Inclusivity and Pronouns

October 30 and November 2, 2018

For Dean of the College division office support staff members.

A “no-question-too-small” introduction into the world of gender diversity and inclusivity. Participants will leave with the ability to understand the difference between particular identities and terminology, the ability to use and ask for diverse gender pronouns, and how to continue your own self-education on the topics discussed.  In our critical roles as the first faces in many offices, we have the opportunity to make all of our students feel supported and understood for who they are. For Dean of the College office support staff members.

Facilitated by Capria Berry, Director of Transitions and Michael Drucker, Associate Director of Residential Life.

The Power of You: Women Taking the Lead

October 16, 2018

Participants will venture on a journey to maximize effectiveness---professionally and personally. This leadership retreat for women will help participants identify strengths and barriers, discover places of power, and vision a path to moving forward on specific goals. Participants will gain insights about the inherited and cultivated tendencies that can be roadblocks as well as solutions to moving beyond and excelling. This is an opportunity to create a model of success that is empowered by intentionality. Participants will develop action steps for mapping their paths and tapping into their power.

The retreat facilitator welcomes nonbinary, questioning, agender, and other gender-nonconforming participants; please note, the retreat will focus on how women-identifying individuals are socialized in our society, and their resulting relationship with power and taking the lead.

Facilitated by Wendy Maragh Taylor, Associate Dean of the College for Student Engagement and Growth.