Buzz Talks: Webinar Series

Join us for one of our upcoming webinars

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021
Featured Presenter: Dr. Amy Novak, president of St. Ambrose University
12 noon CST
Offered via WebEx (link emailed to registrants)
No cost

Register Now

amy novak with studentsAbout this session: Have lunch (the virtual kind) with Amy Novak, EdD during our November 2 Buzz Talks session. SAU's new president will share more about her path to becoming an Ambrosian and field questions from alumni like you!

In addition, the Alumni Office is currently securing upcoming Buzz Talks presenters for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year. Please check back soon to see our list of speakers and topics.  Possible dates for these upcoming sessions are tentatively slated for February 2022 and May/June 2022.

About this series

The Office of Alumni Engagement is pleased to offer these virtual presentations on a quarterly basis.  Speakers range from alumni to SAU employees to community members and cover a range of topics.  Past presenters have shared information about SAU's history, as well as career and professional development advice.

All members of the SAU community are welcome to take part in these free webinars. Upon registering, participants will be emailed a link to join the session.

Thank You Kate Johnson '08

Kate Johnson '08

Learn to Leverage Tools and Technology to Create a High Performing Team

Remain a Lifelong Learner

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The SAU Professional Development Center offers trainings, classes, and microcredentials

Professional Development

Webinars & Virtual Events

Become A Presenter

Want to be one of our webinar presenters? The Office of Alumni Engagement is seeking alumni who have expertise to share with the SAU community.

If you are interested, please fill out the webinar presenter form. Applications will be accepted in the following topic areas:

  • Career and Professional Development (examples: continuing education, networking, leadership, team-building, transitions, etc.)
  • Personal and Life Stages (examples: work/family and parenting, fitness, nutrition and wellness, etc.)

Once your presentation proposal is received, it will be reviewed and considered for our webinar series. If your proposal is accepted, a staff member of the Office of Alumni Engagement will follow-up with you to discuss the proposal and share more details. Not all webinar proposals submitted will be selected for the series.

Webinar Presentation Proposal

Interested in hosting a webinar?

Please fill out our webinar proposal form or reach out to Danielle Spengler, Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement, at

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be paid for hosting a webinar?
No, presenters are not paid.

How long are the webinars?
Webinars are generally 60 minutes in length: approximately 45 minutes of presentation plus 15 minutes for questions.

When are they scheduled?
Webinars are generally scheduled between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. central time.

I've never done a webinar before. How does the technology work?
The platform used for our webinars is WebEx. Presenters will be given an overview of the platform and information about what they will be required to prepare. A practice session will also be scheduled at least one week prior to the webinar.

Will you modify my presentation?
We will review your slides to make sure there will be enough time for the presentation and fits with the topic and audience agreed upon; you may be asked to modify or update your presentation accordingly.

Will the webinar be recorded?
Yes, all webinars will be recorded and posted on our past webinars page.

Who attends the webinar?
All members of the SAU community, including alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff, are invited to participate.

How do people find out about my webinar?
We will promote your webinar through our alumni newsletter and social media.

*We will not accept any application for a webinar intended to solely promote commercial products. You are welcome to mention your business and link to it in the description, but please keep in mind that our top priority is our audience.

Additional Questions? Contact Danielle Spengler, Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement, at

Past Webinars

Aug. 17 - Leveraging Tools and Technology to Create a High Performing Team

Initially presented on August 17, 2021 by Kate (Scherbring) Johnson '08.
Listen to the recording of Leveraging Tools and Technology to Create a High Performing Team

High performing teams do not manifest themselves. Creating a high performing team is a strategic and intentional process and can be achieved with the team that is currently in place. According to Hakanen & Soudunsaari (2012), it is more important to have the right plan in place than the best possible team. For a team to be successful, leaders need to create connections with each member of the team, an empowered and autonomous environment, internal motivation in their employees, and a psychologically safe, solutions-based approach to their work (Delizonna, 2017). Utilizing a plan that leverages tools such as Strengthsfinder and technology such Teams and Trello, teams can be led beyond what they thought they were capable of while increasing their overall job satisfaction in the process. A team that is empowered and solutions based operates more efficiently and with fewer leader interventions. Ultimately, this allows the leader the space and time to prepare for the next challenge or opportunity around the corner.

References: Delizonna, L. (2017). High-performing teams need psychological safety. Here's how to create it. Harvard Business Review, 24(2).
Hakanen, M., & Soudunsaari, A. 2012. Building Trust in High-Performing Teams. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(6): 38-41.

As the Faculty Support and Development Manager at the University of Arizona Global Campus, Kate recognizes that high performing teams do not manifest themselves. It is a strategic and intentional process that can be achieved with the team that is currently in place.


May 12 – Some Farewell Reflections from Sr. Joan

Initially presented on May 12, 2021 by Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD
Listen to the recording of Some Farewell Reflections from Sister Joan

As Sister Joan Lescinski prepares for her retirement in August 2021, she recalls memories from her 14-year tenure as SAU president and 50 years in higher education. She also fields questions from alumni and friends. 

Feb. 9 – Employee Engagement as a Catalyst for Business Results

Initially presented on Feb. 9, 2021 by John Spanczak '15 MSW.
Listen to the recording of Employee Engagement as a Catalyst for Business Results

Engagement drives high performance. Join us in this webinar to learn how to define and identify engagement. We'll share practical ways you can foster an environment of engagement to enrich employee's experience while achieving high-impact results.

As the Director of Employee Engagement Services for Leverage, John Spanczak understands the importance of putting employees first to inspire business growth. His background in social work offers him a unique perspective into the motivators that drive engagement. John is a part of the same Talent Enrichment Team that has helped land Leverage's parent company Clickstop Inc. on prestigious lists such as CBJ Coolest Places to Work, CBJ Fastest Growing Companies, Inc. Magazine Best Places Workplaces, Google Economic Impact Report, Iowa Top Workplaces, and many others.

Dec. 7 – Ambrose and Education: A Few Lessons

Initially presented on Dec. 7, 2020 by Dr. Ethan Gannaway.
Listen to the recording of Ambrose and Education: A Few Lessons

Among many roles Ambrose played during his lifetime, his role of educator may have been the greatest. The eminent theologian Augustine acknowledged his wisdom and spirit, witnessed no less in his own baptism at Ambrose's hand. Ambrose's own pursuit of knowledge, as you might expect, provides a ready model for any student. His insistence that education is most valuable when put to community action, however, is the truest example of the Ambrosian.

This Buzz Talk will tell some stories about Ambrose and share some of his words. And yes, we will talk about Ambrose and bees!

Dr. Gannaway teaches and researches interdisciplinary topics centered on the ancient world, using text and image to understand the past with emphasis on ancient Rome, particularly late antique Rome, and the transition from traditional Roman culture to medieval, Christian culture. He is also Associate Director for the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan.

Oct. 29 – How Champions Grow Through Adversity

Initially presented on Oct. 29, 2020 by Ed Molitor '92.
Listen to the recording of How Champions Grow Through Adversity

In this Buzz Talk, Ed dives into stories and lessons gleaned from his client work as well as shares insights from his podcasts guest during this turbulent time.

In the spirit of never letting a good crisis go to waste, Ed provides a purposeful, positive, energetic, and refreshing experience while offering powerful ideas that are immediately applicable in your personal and professional life. What's the best part? The very same things which will help you grow through the crisis will help you post-COVID19 as well. 

Ed Molitor is the CEO of The Molitor Group and host of the popular The Athletics of Business podcast. Before launching The Molitor Group, Ed spent 26 years developing his leadership skills and helping people get into their greatness while coaching college basketball at the highest level; succeeding in one of the most competitive mortgage markets in the country (Chicago); and serving as VP of Operations in an industry-leading recruiting firm where they specialized in consulting and placing former, exiting, and retired military in jobs throughout the country. Now, as a Leadership Performance Coach and Speaker, Ed helps individuals, teams, and organizations to Think, Act, and Execute at an elite level while creating a culture worth fighting for.

Sept. 25 – Welcome to Bishop McMullen's Neighborhood

Initially presented by Fr. George McDaniel '66 on September 25, 2020 as part of our Homecoming festivities.

Listen to the recording here.

In this Buzz Talks presentation, Fr. George McDaniel shares more about the founder of St. Ambrose, Bishop John McMullen. Fr. George is a proud member of the class of 1966. He began his teaching career at St. Ambrose in 1983 and officially retired in 2007 after 24 years. He is also the author of "A Great and Lasting Beginning: The First 125 Years of St. Ambrose University."

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.