Buzz Talks: Webinar Series

Learn during lunch!

In 2020, the Advancement and Alumni Engagement department began offering these virtual presentations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was a great way to gather as Ambrosians in a way that honored our dedication to remaining lifelong learners.  Former presenters include alumni, SAU employees and community partners who cover a range of topics.

All past presentations are archived and available below.  We encourage you to take advantage of this fantastic content.  At this time, no additional BuzzTalks presentations are planned.  If you have questions regarding this offering, please contact the Alumni Office at 563/333-6290.

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Past Webinars (2022)

Apr. 28 - Stopping to Take in the View: Assessing Career Wellbeing and Professional Alignment

Initially presented on April 28, 2022 by Jon Sexton, PhD.
Listen to the recording of Stopping to Take in the View.

Fit is important. Anyone who has ever held a role (even if it was a "dream role") in a workplace environment that was significantly misaligned with their personal values, ethics, and internal compass will tell you just that. Considering that we spend such a significant amount of time at work, we should aspire to be relatively happy while we are there right? Join us for a session that will explore the connection between career fit and overarching wellbeing, embracing and leveraging your natural talents, job crafting, and additional concepts to help you thrive in both your career...and life overall.

Bio: Jon Sexton serves as the Senior Vice President of Culture and Leadership Development at Vibrant Credit Union. In his role, Jon focuses on facilitating employee engagement initiatives, developing leadership development programs, and leading college and university outreach for the organization's Professional Development Program. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Jon facilitates workshops and training sessions to help team members understand how to tap into their natural talents. He also provides executive coaching for leaders to help them identify and leverage the strengths of their teams. In addition to his role at Vibrant, Jon serves in Board Leadership for EveryChild and the Association of Talent Development Mississippi Valley Chapter. Jon earned his bachelor's degree from Grinnell College and his master's degree in Student Development and PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies from the University of Iowa.

Jon Sexton serves as the Senior Vice President of Culture and Leadership Development at Vibrant Credit Union. In his role, Jon focuses on facilitating employee engagement initiatives, developing leadership development programs, and leading college and university outreach for the organization's Professional Development Program. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Jon facilitates workshops and training sessions to help team members understand how to tap into their natural talents. He also provides executive coaching for leaders to help them identify and leverage the strengths of their teams. In addition to his role at Vibrant, Jon serves in Board Leadership for EveryChild and the Association of Talent Development Mississippi Valley Chapter. Jon earned his bachelor's degree from Grinnell College and his master's degree in Student Development and PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies from the University of Iowa.

Past Webinars (2021)

Nov. 2 - Getting to Know Dr. Novak

Initially presented on November 2, 2021 by Dr. Amy Novak, president of St. Ambrose University.
Listen to the recording of Getting to Know Dr. Novak

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!

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. http://doi.org/10.22215/timreview/567

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.

Past Webinars (2020)

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."

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