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Learning & Development


Human Resources Learning & Development is committed to continuous learning that goes beyond training. We offer professional development programs that give you the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills so you can make the most of your career at Smith. We believe that your professional development is a shared responsibility and collaboration between you, your manager and Smith. We expect you to come to our programs with a readiness to learn and you can expect us to provide a rewarding, relevant learning experience.

We offer programs throughout the academic year designed for Smith administrators and staff. Programs will be listed as they come available.


All full-time and part-time staff and faculty at Smith along with the other Five Colleges are encouraged to enroll in these programs.


Registrations will be accepted throughout the semester on a space-available basis. Select your workshops, check with your supervisor and submit your registration in one of three ways:

Waitlist Policy

When a class is full, participants will be waitlisted in the order in which their registration was received. Participants are notified once space becomes available. If there is an adequate number of waitlisted participants, we will offer the class again as soon as feasible.


In order to better evaluate our professional development programs, we ask that you complete a Workshop Evaluation Form after attending one of the sessions. If you have questions, please contact Avril Russell in Human Resources at 413-585-2271 or email

Fall 2018 Learning & Development Offerings

Essential Skills

Service Excellence

Technical Skills

Presented by Liane Hartman, ITS

Note: Space is limited to 12 participants.

The new GMail interface has less clutter, more themes and quick access action icons. Learn the ins and outs of the new inbox, integrations with calendar, keep and tasks. Refresh your knowledge on creating labels and using the Google search for messages and calendar items. Turn off guest notifications when you can see the invitation list.

Thursday, October 4, 10–11 a.m. and Wednesday, November 14, 10–11 a.m.
Seelye B2

Presented by Liane Hartman, ITS

Note: Space is limited to 12 participants.

Let’s compare Google Drive to Team Drive, taking a closer look at sharing vs. permissions. We will look at what needs to be done with Google files when someone leaves the college.

Thursday, October 4, 2–3 p.m. and Wednesday, November 14, 2–3 p.m.
Seelye B2

Presented by Kathy San Antonio, Events Management

This demonstration will show you how to navigate the 25Live Scheduling System. In addition, it will review tips and tricks for easier use for requesting space and resources for all of your events.

Tuesday, October 30, 10 a.m.–noon
Campus Center Room 204

Online Training

(Must be signed into portal): Smith purchased a campuswide license from, a premier provider of online technology training for Smith students, faculty and staff. The Lynda library of over 1,500 courses covers all learning levels for a vast array of software, including 3D, audio, business, design, development, photography, video and web applications. Don't miss this opportunity to learn a new skill or stay up-to-date with software you already know. To start learning what you want when you want, log on to the Smith Portal and click the link on the General Info tab.

Problem Solving & Decision Making

Presented by EAP

Do you feel like you are always on the run from one activity to another? Time has become more precious as professional and personal demands increase and our ability to manage multiple tasks and schedules diminish. In this session, you will learn proven techniques for managing time effectively. You will analyze how you currently spend your time, review time-wasters and set new priorities, based on your values and goals. You will also learn how to combat procrastination and develop a personal action plan that takes into account the balance and achievement of career and personal goals.

Tuesday, November 13, 9–10 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205


Professional Development

Sixty-to-eighty percent of all workplace conflicts come from strained relationships between associates and managers. During this workshop, participants will learn skills for resolving conflicts constructively, in order to improve individual and team productivity.

Tuesday, September 25, 10-11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Presented by Katherine Hall

Note: Space is limited to 25 participants.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is all about investing time and energy in developing what already comes naturally. Based on over 40 years of research by the Gallup Organization, the 34 Talents provide a framework to help people discover and develop their unique, innate abilities. The connection between working from strengths and employee engagement is clear: people who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths at work are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life. Applying the principles of strengths-based leadership can have a positive impact on productivity and the bottom line.

Learning Goals

In this session we will begin to explore all 34 talents, each participant’s top 5 talents, and what each individual can do to build upon their unique talents both individually and on teams.

Participants Will:

  • Understand the 34 talents and how they interact
  • Understand how to develop talents into strengths
  • Explore the impact of working from strengths on personal performance and teams
  • Develop a plan to implement strength-based leadership

Tuesday, December 11, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Presented by Ombudsperson Michael Stephens

Meet with the college’s ombudsperson, Michael Stephens, to explore some of the challenges he has found that employees face when communicating with their colleagues or supervisors. Learn skills and develop strategies for discovering what another person may want or need, and build stronger relationships by listening effectively and finding solutions that may meet both your needs and theirs. Practice these skills in workplace scenarios and improve your ability to engage staff in constructive conversations.

No actual employee situations will be shared, but the discussion will review a variety of situations Stephens has observed in his ombuds work at the college and elsewhere.

Thursday, September 13, 10 a.m.–noon and Thursday, October 11, 10 a.m.–noon
Campus Center Room 205

Presented by Ombudsperson Michael Stephens

Learnings from the world of negotiation can be used to develop skills that help us work through differences with colleagues, family and friends. Successful negotiations are ones in which all parties feel they have gained something valuable. It is possible to communicate in a way that maximizes the possibilities of mutual agreement. Learn and practice several different negotiation skills that are applicable to any situation, both professional and personal.

Thursday, September 20, 10 a.m.–noon and Thursday, November 8, 10 a.m.-noon
Campus Center Room 205

Cultural Competency

Presented by Tobias Davis, SSW

As the college becomes more and more open and welcoming, we find ourselves interacting with students, faculty and staff who use a wide range of names and pronouns, including some that are different from what we might expect. We are also encountering all sorts of new terminology, such as "nonbinary," "gender expression," "cisgender," etc. What does it all mean? How do we make sure that we are being respectful? How do our own experiences with gender come up for us on campus as we interact with others? This interactive, fun and informative session with Davis will be an opportunity to learn more about best practices for interacting with transgender and gender nonconforming community members, as well as a chance to explore our own genders and experiences. Bring your questions!

Tuesday, November 27, 2–3:30 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205


Session I

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
9 a.m.–noon
Davis Ballroom

Participants will explore their own identities using a model of identity development and consider the impact of power and privilege on the ways in which we understand our sense of self and that of others. This session offers an opportunity to reflect on the importance of our own identities as we work towards intentionally inclusive communities at Smith College. This session is part one of a two-part series and is intended for any interested staff or faculty member. The expectation is that all participants will attend  both sessions of the workshop to explore identifiers including race, gender, class and sexuality in depth.

Presenter: Dina Levi, Director of Inclusive Leadership, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Amherst College

Session II

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
9 a.m.–noon
Davis Ballroom

This workshop is open to any staff or faculty member who has participated in Identity & Inclusion, Session 1.

Participants will continue to explore power and privilege as they play out in our personal experiences; this time through the lens of systemic marginalization. Participants will have the opportunity to consider how our own socialization contributes to dynamics of race, class, gender, and other identities as we work towards interrupting such systems of oppression.

Presenter: Dina Levi, Director of Inclusive Leadership, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Amherst College

Identical workshops will be offered in the spring.

Change Management

Presented by Ombudsperson Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens builds on data from meetings with college faculty and staff to present concepts and approaches that can help improve how changes are introduced and managed, including:

  • Examples of the types of concerns employees have about changes in the workplace.
  • The cycle of reactions that people typically have to changes in their work situation.
  • Basic concepts in managing change effectively—with helpful tips for both supervisors and staff.
  • The costs to you and the department that are incurred when change is not managed well.
  • Additional resources and training opportunities.

Thursday, September 27, 10 a.m.–noon and Thursday, November 15, 10 a.m.-noon
Campus Center Room 205

Change is an inevitable part of life, however, it is how people deal with the situation that may or may not cause added stress. In this program, you will be directed through a systematic process for mastering change. Topics covered include recognizing the rhythm of change, managing reactions and responses, developing coping strategies for responding to change, guidelines for managing change, as well as seizing opportunities and getting help.

Tuesday, September 18, 2–3 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Change is all around us every day from the accidental, to the intentional, to the uncontrollable. In this session, we will learn about change, how it affects us and how to develop the resiliency needed to bounce back.

Wednesday, October 10, 9–10 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

We all need to feel in control of what we do. Sometimes, however, we are only in a position to react to changes that surround us at work. Developing coping mechanisms may be our best response for dealing with organizational transformation beyond our control. In this seminar, you will learn to assess your own reactions to change, improve your ability to cope with new systems and discover different ways to feel secure within the changing work environment.

Wednesday, December 5, 10–11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205


Financial Wellness

Presented by the Five College Credit Union

There are many ways that we are exposed to the risk of our personal information being compromised, both electronically and in-person. Attend this session to learn more about trends in fraud, and to get some tips on how to minimize the risk of having your identity stolen by managing personal information wisely and cautiously.

Tuesday, October 16, 9–10 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Presented by David Carboni, DKC Retirement Associates, LLC, CFP

Though Social Security is a major income source for most retirees, most employees don’t know how to use its feature to maximize their benefits. That could be a costly oversight, costing retirees tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetimes. This session will help employees employ strategies to maximize their benefits by understanding Social Security rules and exploiting them effectively.

—Wednesday, September 19, noon–1:30 p.m.
Conference Center, Carroll Room 208

—Tuesday, December 4, noon–1:30 p.m.
Conference Center 103/104

Presented by Mary Ellen Gordon, Voya

Retirement may feel like it is a long way off but it's often closer than you think. Are you doing what you can to have the retirement you envision? Please join Voya Representative Mary Ellen Gordon, CRPC, CIS, CEBS, CFS for a discussion on the small steps you can take today to reach your retirement goals.

Wednesday, October 17, noon–1 p.m.
Campus Center Room 103/104

This workshop will help you examine your views on money and money management, review financial goals for yourself and your family, and learn to set spending priorities accordingly. You will also assess your “money personality” in order to help control unnecessary spending, put away more for savings and establish positive budgeting habits that will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, November 28, noon–1 p.m. or 3–4 p.m.
Sign up on


Emotional Wellness

Presented by Harvard Pilgrim

Learning how to manage stress effectively is essential for maintaining health and well-being. High levels of stress contribute to health problems, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, headaches and depression, so learning to manage and minimize it is important. The impact of stress can also lead to reduced productivity, absenteeism and sometimes the need for costly medications. Learning to break the stress cycle is an invaluable skill. In this seminar, participants will learn positive and appropriate coping skills to handle the stresses of everyday life.

Wednesday, October 3, 10–11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Presented by Harvard Pilgrim

“It’s not just the number of hours we sit at a desk that determines the value we generate. It’s the energy we bring to the hours we work,” states Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project. Stress, burnout and competing commitments can have employees feeling “stuck” or at best, spinning their wheels. In this seminar, participants will identify the factors that impede productivity and uncover the root causes of procrastination. They will take home valuable time management and goal-setting skills. Highlighting the art and science behind habit-forming, this session promises to help employees focus, follow-through and achieve.

Wednesday, November 7, 10–11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

Presented by Harvard Pilgrim

Juggling the demands of children, home, a partner, work, and community can be overwhelming. This workshop focuses on how to manage these many important responsibilities. By reducing our stress level, learning how to set priorities, delegating and managing time more efficiently, we are able to achieve a better balance. Topics covered in this workshop include examining our expectations, personality dynamics that interfere with reducing our stress and managing our time.

Thursday, December 6, 10–11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

When you are at work, do you have to juggle multiple demands on your time, or feel that your attention is pulled in several directions at once? Chronic busyness, combined with other work stressors, can eventually lead to dissatisfaction or burnout. This workshop will offer five strategies to reconnect with what is most meaningful to you about your work, strengthen your focus and replenish your energy. These exercises improve health, engagement and productivity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the factors that lead to disengagement and burnout, and their personal and professional impact.
  • Identify five strategies to increase flourishing at work
  • Create personal goals to help you flourish at work

Monday, October 22, 2–4 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205

We're all going so fast, sometimes we forget where we're going or what is most important to us. Our values and our "to do" lists don't align and we feel too busy to think about it. This pace can negatively affect your relationships, your mood, your work, your health. Take some time out of your harried schedules to slow down, learn concrete ways to get your life back in balance and create more time and space for well-being and increased productivity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to identify the factors that are contributing to your life being out of balance.
  • Understand the costs and risks of having our lives be out of balance.
  • Get ideas and make a concrete plan for strategies to bring your life back into balance at home and at work.

Monday, December 10, 2–4 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205

One in five adults develop a mental health condition every year. Given that statistic, you would think we would be less judgmental and more accepting of people suffering from mental illness; however, being diagnosed with a mental health condition can be a stigmatizing and isolating thing. Stigmatization prevents those who need support and resources from seeking the help they need. This seminar will discuss what you can do to help destigmatize mental illness, how to recognize if you or someone you know may be in need of help and how to develop a supportive attitude.

Wednesday, September 26, noon–1 p.m. or 3–4 p.m.
Sign up at

Many of us realize that we have habits that are not healthy or helpful, but are unsure how to promote positive, lasting change. This seminar will help you learn to:

  • Recognize habits that are negatively impacting your life.
  • Understand the stages of change.
  • Be your own coach when making changes.
  • Develop and maintain positive habits.

Wednesday, December 19, noon–1 p.m. or 3–4 p.m.
Sign up at

Physical Wellness


Presented by Certified Exercise Coach Judy Messer

Enjoy a restorative break for your body and mind: soothe your neck, shoulders, and eyes; unlock your hips and back; and release stress. Then return to work with more energy, clarity and calm. No special exercise wear is required, but don't wear tight clothing or jeans that day. It is not necessary to come to every session. You can go to one session, or all; come and go as you please! Please bring a yoga mat to each session.

Wednesdays, starting September 12 through December 12, noon–1 p.m.
Berens Leeds Dance Studio

Presented by Certified Exercise Coach Judy Messer

Walking and boxing are both wonderful ways to connect with your breathing, alleviate stress, and gain strength. In this class you'll combine self–paced speed walks with individually structured, challenging but safe upper–body training. You'll also involve your core and the lower body to balance and stabilize your stance. You will progress with the basic boxing upper–body strikes to achieve physical and emotional strength.

Equipment needed: sneaker and fabric speed–bag boxing glove wraps or traditional fabric boxing wraps. It is not necessary to come to every session. You can go to one session, or all; come and go as you please!

Tuesdays*, starting September 11 through December 11, noon–1 p.m.
Indoor Tennis and Track Facility

*No class October 9

Presented by Mary Ann Richardson

Note: Space is limited to 10 participants.

When you complete this course, you'll receive certification in first aid and CPR. In the first-aid portion, you'll learn the basics of how to behave in a variety of emergency scenarios. In the CPR section, you'll become adept at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will discover what to do if someone goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest. Learn how to save a life: sign up today!

Tuesday, October 2, 9 a.m.–noon
Campus Center 205 Lounge

Weight Watchers is a leading, global provider of weight management services committed to providing a comprehensive approach to weight loss based on the latest scientific thinking. For more than 45 years, they have helped millions of people around the world lose weight through the fundamental learnings of safe and healthy weight loss. They can help with:

  • Learning to eat more healthfully
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Learning to create and live in a supportive environment conducive to achieving a healthy weight
  • Managing the challenges involved in changing behaviors

Weight Watchers doesn’t teach you how to diet. They are dedicated to inspiring and helping you adopt a healthier way to live. For life.

Tuesdays, starting August 21, noon
Weinstein Auditorium

Bone density scans are the newest tools in detecting one’s risk for osteoporosis. Bone density screenings, performed on the heel, are quick, painless and non-invasive. In addition to receiving individual results, each participant receives personal osteoporosis educational materials and counseling.

Tuesday, December 4, 9-11 a.m.
Campus Center Room 205

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun. The good news is that skin cancer is highly curable and easily preventable if detected early. The sun damage screening uses a DermascanTM machine to help show sun damage to the face through the use of fluorescent bulbs and a magnifying mirror.

Tuesday, September 11, 2-4 p.m.
Campus Center Room 205

There is a new saying that “60 is the new 40.” The way our society looks at age is changing, reflecting longer life spans and conditions never experienced before. The manner in which we relate and interact with our surroundings makes a huge difference in our individual perception of the aging experience. In this class, we will discuss age as a state of mind and in relation to our surroundings.

Wednesday, October 24, noon–1 p.m. or 3–4 p.m.
Sign up at


Additional Resources

Smith College Technology Courses

Smith purchased a campus-wide license from, a premier provider of online technology training for Smith students, faculty and staff. The Lynda library of over 1,500 courses covers all learning levels for a vast array of software, including 3D, audio, business, design, development, photography, video and web applications. Don't miss this opportunity to learn a new skill or stay up-to-date with software you already know. To start learning what you want when you want, log on to the Smith Portal and click the link on the General Info tab.

Five Colleges

Five College Training and Development Collaborative

Faculty and staff have the opportunity to attend trainings and workshops offered by the other members of the Five College Collaborative. To enroll in programs offered at Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, please follow the registration guidelines and procedures outlined on their learning and development websites. If you have any questions about these programs or how to register, please contact Kate Harrington at or call 413-585-2268.

Local Resources

The organizations represented below conduct training in the local area. Please note that the college does not screen or endorse these providers. Please visit their websites for more information.

SIS (Seminar Information Service, Inc.)

This site consolidates course schedules from many top workplace training providers, including SkillPath, Fred Pryor and Padgett-Thompson. The database is searchable by topic, date and location.

Employers Association of the Northeast (EANE)

EANE provides public seminars, workshops, briefings and webinars on an ongoing basis for member companies throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. As a member organization, Smith College receives an automatic 30 percent discount on most training and consulting services.

E4 Health

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) includes a comprehensive training website with online courses, articles, videos, quizzes and assessments. To log in to the website, register with the name Smith College (case sensitive) and password (guest). The site is voluntary and confidential.