Office of Student Life

Grad Pad

Signature Sessions

GP3 Summit & Awards 2019

"Preparing for Tomorrow, Today"

North Residential District, The Ohio State University | Friday, October 18, 2019

The Grad Pad Professional Plan (GP3) Summit & Awards, a one-day conference designed to help connect graduate and undergraduate students interested in student affairs with professionals across The Ohio State University community through professional development, is one of GP3‘s Signature Events.

Through exploring various functional areas and practices, participants will be better prepared for the future of student affairs. During the Summit, we also hosted the inaugural GP3 Awards celebration, honoring emerging leaders in the OSU higher education and student affairs community, student affairs mentors, and outstanding students and staff.

Summit Details

The GP3 Summit and Awards will be held on The Ohio State University Campus at Curl Hall and surrounding halls in the beautiful North Residential District on Friday, October 18, 2019. Registration begins 8 a.m. The conference commences at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.


Call for Proposals

August 20

Deadline for Call for Proposals

September 22 (Closed)

Regular Registration Opens (Free)

September 18

Regular Registration Closes

October 6

Late Registration ($10)

October 7 – October 18

Learning Outcomes

With a number of structured sessions, participants will be able to:

  • Engage in conversation and application of higher education and student affairs theory and practice;
  • Build and increase a sense of OSU community;
  • Increase awareness of their professional, student and/or personal identities;
  • Understand their own values and measures of wellness;
  • Move toward holistic development through the nine dimensions of wellness; and
  • Navigate professional conference culture and expectations.


8:15 AM – 9 00 AM

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:40 AM

Summit Opening

9:55 AM– 10:40 AM

Program Session I

10:50 AM – 11:35 AM

Program Session II

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Awards Luncheon & Keynote Address

1:00 PM – 2:10 PM

Trends in Student Affairs: Are You Prepared for Tomorrow? | Panel Discussion

2:20 PM – 3:05 PM

Program Session III

3:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Program Session IV

Award Nominations

Join us for thethe inaugural GP3 Awards celebration, honoring emerging leaders in the OSU higher education and student affairs community, student affairs mentors, and outstanding students and staff.


Emerging Leader Award

This award recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who has made a significant impact in the classroom, a department and/or the Office of Student Life, through leadership, innovation, or extraordinary efforts in advancing the work of student affairs and our community. Through their service, they have exhibited strong leadership skills, a positive attitude, cultural competence, and a dedication to promoting the mission of the department, and/or student organization. Nominees may hold positions, but not limited to a student leader, student ambassador, peer educator, mentor, or intern, graduate administrative associate, among others.

Outstanding Student Affairs Mentor Award

This award recognizes a student affairs community member and/or Student Life staff member for their role in supporting, encouraging, and promoting a positive and inclusive environment, and for contributing to professional and personal development of undergraduate and/or graduate students. Mentors are crucial as they propel and motivate students in their interests, passions, and personal circumstances. Moreover, at times they pose constructive challenges and share critical insights while providing friendship and support. This award honors those who go above and beyond to exemplify stellar mentorship in the field.

Distinguished Service – Commitment to Excellence Award

The Distinguished Service – Commitment to Excellence Award recognizes Student Life staff who have exhibited outstanding achievement in one or more of the following areas:

  • leadership in a national/international professional organization
  • significant service to The Ohio State University
  • development and research activities
  • mentoring activities
  • long-term service to the Office of Student Life

Moreover, this esteemed recognition is the Summit’s highest honor and recognizes individuals that best exemplifies the strategic vision of Student Life: “Creating the extraordinary student experience at The Ohio State University.” Nominees should be committed individuals from any area Student Life and the higher education student affairs community who have unselfishly gone above and beyond expectations to provide outstanding service to students, the Office of Student Life, and the The Ohio State University.

Exceptional Proposal

Proposals will be evaluated by committee, ranked, and selected based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the conference theme and one or more of the learning outcomes
  • New and fresh contributions to the conference theme and/or student affairs profession
  • Engaging program format that involves the audience and stimulates discussion
  • A conceptually strong, well-written foundation, with clearly stated outcomes and appropriately documented research and/or experience.
  • Overall Proposal Presentation: Strength of writing technique (e.g., grammar, clarity, organization) and citations/references

Program Sessions

Program Sessions I | 9:55 AM– 10:40 AM 

Secure the Bag: Salary Negotiation 

You’ve gotten the job offer—congratulations! Now it’s time to consider all parts of the package, from salary, to professional development funds, health benefits, etc. Whether you’re a graduate student, a mid-level manager, or director, the negotiation phase is an important step as you consider your next professional opportunity. In this session, we will discuss tips and strategies for compensation negotiations and the significance of advocating for yourself along your journey. 

Dr. D’Andra Mull, Dean of Students & Associate Vice President 

Curl Viewpoint South 


Supporting Personal Emotional Wellness as a Professional: Between Thriving and Surviving 

Student affairs professionals are often tasked with building support systems for students while maintaining their own wellness. During this session, the presenter will highlight common areas of emotional wellness concerns amongst professionals and specific tools to enhance coping skills. Based on individualized needs and contexts, the attendees will develop an action plan targeted to address personal and institutional challenges that may negatively impact a person’s wellness. 

Pasha Sergeev, Residence Hall Director 

Raney Bolder Room 


Creating a Recovery Friendly Campus: How You Can Be an Ally in Student Affairs 

Wellness is a key factor to student success. However, more students are arriving to college that may develop a substance use disorder (SUD) or are impacted by a loved one's SUD. This presentation aims to share briefly the importance of understanding the impact of SUDs on college students, create confidence in the ability to identify and refer a student to appropriate resources, as well as create conversation around how attendees can help create inclusive environments for students in recovery or impacted by a SUD at Ohio State University. 

Mackenzie Hogan, Wellness Coordinator, Collegiate Recovery Community 

Busch Hero Room 


That's me! I am Gen Z! 

Learn how to advocate for yourself in a field that is currently adjusting to a new population. Come and discuss strategies to navigate the incoming generation of students. As a group we will create a dialogue about the student experience and how college and universities are shifting to meet the needs of a new generation. By discussing how Gen Z students will have differing needs from our current expectations, we hope to examine how we can shift as practitioners to meet the changing student population. 

Emily Collins, Assistant Hall Director  

Christopher Jayaprasanna, Assistant Hall Director 

Busch Valor Room 


Program Session II 10:50 AM – 11:35 AM 

The Music Project: Connecting Music and Spiritual Development 

Across cultures, music has enabled, inspired, and expressed the spiritual life of communities and individuals. Working from a student affairs lens, this “inner-work”shop takes a multimodal-approach exploring music’s spiritual power for personal reflection, creativity, and the role of using music as a tool of empowerment and self-authorship. The ultimate purpose of the “inner-work”shop is to discover the nature of music and its influence on spiritual development. 

Chase Moore, Program Manager 

Curl Viewpoint South 


Understanding Tomorrow's Students Using Today's Big Data 

This session will provide student affairs practitioners with insights about today’s college students to help guide best practices. Four analysts from the Center for the Study of Student Life will each discuss a different research project facilitated by this office. Participants will gain knowledge about the experiences of today’s students, relating to wellness, leadership and plans upon graduation. Participants will also learn how performing institutional assessment today allows practitioners to improve the experience for future students. 

Tori Rehr, Research Analyst 

Julia Dionne, Research Analyst 

Liz Lubinger, Research Analyst 

Scott Bradford, Research Analyst 

Busch Valor Room 


I'm Late! I'm Late! For a Nonexistent Date! 

It can be easy to feel like we are constantly "behind" in the world of Student Affairs, especially for young people who have recently entered the field. This session addresses the mounting pressures students put on themselves, explains how to identify and tend to our own stresses, and discusses why it is so important do this as we prepare to welcome new generations of students who face their own internal pressures to perform. 

Samuel Shallenberger, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Busch Hero Room 



Program Session III | 2:2PM – 3:0PM 

Finding Wellness in the Wilderness: A Look into the Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Recreation for College Students 

It is common on a college campus to hear concern over the mental health and wellness of students. How can we be proactive in helping students achieve wellness in all areas of life to create a brighter future? We believe it is important to get back to our roots! Outdoor recreation is a tool for students to connect with nature and reconnect with their own wellness. Through personal anecdotes and scientific research, this session will explore ways in which the world of academia integrates the outdoors into student wellbeing. 

Carly Mason, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Madison Anderson, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Curl ViewPoint South 


"Tell Me Your Story:" Strategies for Working with Rural First-Generation College Students 

Rural first-generation students bring a unique set of experiences and perspectives to student affairs work. These students have great skills and abilities, but they also often face significant barriers that can potentially inhibit their success. This session will provide strategies for effectively working with, supervising, and advising the rural first-generation student leaders of tomorrow. 

Karsen Kaple, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Raney Bolder Room 


Hot Topics with Hunter & Heather: Navigating Campus Culture While Maintaining Personal Values 

What values/beliefs do you hold as non-negotiables for yourself? How could those values/beliefs affect your future career in Student Affairs, especially as it relates to happiness and "fit"? Come share and learn about the connection between campus culture and job satisfaction. This session will explore things to consider when job searching or planning for the next step in your Student Affairs career. 

Heather Dwyer, Assistant Director 

Hunter Taylor, Assistant Hall Director 

Busch Valor Room 


Finance of Higher Education: Where does funding come from? 

In an age of decreasing support and funding for higher education, it is important to examine sources of revenue and expenditure. This is a complex system composed of state appropriations, tuition and fees, government contracts, endowments, and philanthropy. Specifically, The Ohio State University uses philanthropy to ensure it supports students in its core value, Access and Affordability. In this session, we will debunk fundraising myths and explore how Student Affairs Practitioners can incorporate philanthropy into their departments. 

Christina Behrens, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Elissa Kuharich, Assistant Director 

Busch Hero Room 



Program Session IV | 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM 

So, You’ve Decided to Apply to Graduate School, Now What? 

The graduate admissions process can often be daunting for students seeking to pursue a graduate education. The many required criteria can often deter students from even starting the process of applying. In this session, the presenters will shed some light on applying to graduate programs, specifically in higher education and student affairs, from searching for schools to making it through interviews. There will be opportunities for collaboration with the presenters and fellow attendees to continue conceptualizing your grad admissions process. 

Steph Charles, Assistant Coordinator, SPA Program 

Curl Viewpoint South 


Avoiding the "And I Oop!" Moments: Conference Culture for Graduate Students 

The aim of this session is to review practices that will prepare graduate students for conference season and the culture that dominates those spaces. Being a first-time attendee at a national conference can be challenging at best. Employing tactics based on your personal style and preferences becomes critical with the fast-paced conference culture and the vast number of opportunities to network. This session will provide a toolkit for navigating large conferences through hands-on activities. 

Allysa Johnson, Assistant Hall Director 

Ryan Kessinger, Assistant Hall Director 

Chelsea Whitaker, Assistant Hall Director 

Raney Bolder Room 


Team You: Navigating the Job Search Process 

Through attending this session, participants will be able to individually and within a group process the impending job search process. From transferable skills to identifying specific experiences within a resume, cover letter, and professional materials, participants will be able to ask intentional questions about their individual process, while also speaking more generally about the ability to navigate their candidacy for various positions within higher education. 

Diana Berry, Assistant Director 

Moe Samad, Associate Director 

Busch Valor Room 


The Perfect Practicum: Making The Most of your Student Affairs Internship 

This session will offer practical strategies for having a high-impact internship or practicum experience in student affairs. Through the lens of student employment and high-impact practice research, a former practicum student and supervisor will use their experience as a case to help attendees have a productive practicum or internship experience. 

Marisa Lally, Program Manager 

Sam Trapp, Graduate Administrative Associate 

Busch Hero Room 

GP3 Summit Speakers