University of Wisconsin–Madison

Connect, Learn, and Grow Series


Episode 12(32 minutes) – July 8, 2020

Setting Goals During a Time of Uncertainty

During this time of uncertainty, setting and evaluating goals is still a necessary part of our working lives. One thing that hasn’t changed is that short-term goals are often tied to larger, long-term plans. How do we adapt our goal setting habits to maintain progress if we don’t know what the future holds? In this session hosted by Elizabeth Schrimpf and Chris East, learn about how different types of people approach goals, knowing expectations when it comes to goal setting, and best practices for employees.


Elizabeth Schrimpf is a Staff Career & Education Counselor in Adult Career and Special Student services helps employees with any career-related issue from understanding what works and doesn’t work for you on-the-job to building and pursuing long-term career goals.

Chris East is an Organizational Career Development Specialist in Learning & Talent Development helps build internal tools, systems and spaces to help employees across campus engage more fully in their work.


GAINNS Model worksheet


Creating Your Professional Development Plan Resources

ACSSS – Career Counseling for Employees

Professional Development from Learning and Talent Development at UW–Madison

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 11(31 minutes) – July 1, 2020

Recognizing and Addressing Conflict

Conflict is a natural part of life. Using intentional strategies, we can begin turning conflict from a dreaded experience to an opportunity full of potential. In this recording, you will learn a few key strategies for approaching conflict in this manner and apply them to your own conflicts by completing the activities in the handout.


Julie Kovalaske is on the Learning and Talent Development team focusing on creating professional development opportunities for UW–Madison managers and supervisors. Julie is passionate about helping others be successful by supporting them through learning experiences. Her experience providing professional development training has spanned the private, public, and international development sectors.

Activity Resources

Handout: PDF | Word

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 10(54 minutes) – June 24, 2020

Personal Resiliency from an Evolutionary Health Perspective

At present, we are experiencing environmental extreme related to climate change, a novel coronavirus pandemic, and global efforts to recognize and fight systemic racism and racial injustice. Personal resilience in the form of self-care and in pursuit of gaining health is of primary importance right now.

Evolutionary (or Ancestral) Health studies the disconnect between our health and our modern environment. The Evolutionary Health perspective assumes that our health is built from information from our environment – just as it is for all other organisms on Earth. The approach is empowering, it can assist you in taking control of your own health outcome.

Main Themes

Evolutionary Health explores our health with respect to:

  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Environment
  • Movement
  • Community / Relationships

Action Steps

In this presentation, we will compare and contrast our modern environment to the environment that shaped the evolution of our species to build a personal framework for your health.

You are invited to be open and curious about what you’ve accepted to be true for your health and to identify ways that you can use this perspective to make changes in your life that move you toward natural inputs that successfully shaped human life. This information from your environment will improve your health and consequently cultivate resiliency.

Presentation Notes

Personal Resiliency from an Evolutionary Perspective


Meredith Rhodes works in the UW Office of Clinical Trials to ensure the scientific integrity and transparency of UW clinical trials and is driven by the ethical obligation to provide accurate public information to clinical trials participants.

She has her PhD in Geosciences from the UW and has subsequently studied human health from an evolutionary perspective to (successfully) heal herself. She is currently being mentored in foraging and wild foods and has a personal mission to reconnect people to nature for the purpose of healing, health, and growth. Her ultimate goal is to change the way we interact with our environment to create community health. – UW Office of Clinical Trials –

Additional Resources

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 9(60 minutes) – June 18, 2020 – Live from 2–3 pm

Courageous Conversations: The Impact of Race on Work Climate

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.” Rosa Parks

The recent tragic and violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have deeply impacted us as individuals, organizations, and communities.This session is designed to be a place where we can come together and offer space to be curious about our own and others’ perspectives given the current social and political climate. Regardless of your previous understanding, experience or comfort in talking about race and racial equity, in this moment you may find yourself seeking further contemplation, conversation and education.

These are vulnerable times that require vulnerable work by everyone. Often equated to weakness, vulnerability is actually the most scientific measure of courage, and it can actually help us thrive in navigating conflict and exerting positive change. Both of which we will need to move towards a commitment to social justice and racial equity across our campus and organization.

This space is offered for participants who are looking for a space to engage in:

  • Contemplation about what is happening around us and through us in light of this moment
  • Imperfect conversation about simultaneous emotions being experienced by self and others
  • Curiosity about opposing perspectives

The episode will be hosted by Binnu Palta Hill, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Business (WSB) and Tamie Klumpyan, Program Manager for Inclusion@UW, Office of Human Resources, UW–Madison.

In preparation for this week’s session, we invite you to take a moment to pause and share with us your questions, thoughts, and feelings. We created an anonymous questionnaire for you to share your reflections and learning needs to help make the conversation and programming richer.

“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.” Michelle Obama


With more than 20 years of work experience in the University of Wisconsin System, Binnu Palta Hill joined the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB) in 2006. In her role as Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, she works closely with the Dean to develop a diversity strategy congruent with the mission and business strategy of the school. Ms. Hill leads the school’s Diversity Advisory Board, comprised of senior executives from the corporate sector.

Under her leadership, WSB has made significant progress diversifying its faculty, staff, and student population and cultivating inclusion. Ms. Hill founded “Diversity Lunch & Learns,” discussion forums on sensitive topics such as ethnicity, race, gender, and sexual orientation. These forums integrate academic research with lived experiences of faculty, staff and students at UW–Madison. As the School’s chief diversity officer, Ms. Hill represents WSB on the UW–Madison campus diversity leadership team. In May 2015, Ms. Hill represented WSB at the White House as Wisconsin became one of the first business schools to commit to best practices for increasing opportunities in business for women and preparing a culturally competent 21st Century workforce. She has also served on the advisory boards for WI Governor’s Youth Summit and Information Technology Academy Pre-College Program. In recognition for her contributions to UW–Madison and the Madison community, she was awarded UW–Madison’s Outstanding Woman of Color award in spring 2017. In fall 2017, Ms. Hill was selected to participate in UW–Madison’s Kauffman Seminar for Leadership Development. Most recently, the broad impact of Ms. Hill’s work was recognized as she was awarded the 2018 Wisconsin Alumni Association Leadership Award.

Tamie Klumpyan (she/her/hers) supports employee learning through the Office of Learning and Talent Development/Office of Human Resources—through the lens of building engagement, inclusion and diversity (EID) in the workplace. Through education, facilitation and consultation, Tamie is committed to engaging individuals and teams in building individual and collective capacity to positively enhance work life and work environments across campus. Tamie is grateful to campus partners that she has been fortunate to collaborate with in offering EID resources, education and learning opportunities to UW employees through Inclusion@UW.

Session was not recorded.

Episode 8(31 minutes) – June 3, 2020

Ending the Awkward Silences: Creating Structure & Engagement in Virtual Meetings

With more people working remotely, unstructured conversation and discussion has shifted to more formalized meetings. While the meeting space is different, the best practices of in-person meetings still apply. This session will cover topics such as:

  • Technology considerations
  • Structure of meetings
  • Engagement activities

There will also be discussion among participants about problems they face during their virtual meetings and crowdsourced ideas on ways to overcome the challenges.


Steve Catania is the Online Training Coordinator on the Learning and Talent Development team in the Office of Human Resources. He works with experts across campus to develop engaging online training that provides professional development opportunities for faculty and staff at UW–Madison. Before arriving in Madison, he spent three years designing and facilitating training courses for both academia and industry. His educational background includes a Ph.D. in History from Loyola University Chicago, an M.A in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in History from Western Illinois University.

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 7 – May 27, 2020

Next week, we will have a newly curated episode of the Connect, Learn, and Grow series. For this week, we invite you to view a few of recorded virtual offerings highlighted on the Learning and Talent Development virtual learning website. Recordings cover topics such as career development, conflict management and negotiation, and leadership development among many others. Feel free to watch any video you are interested in and reach out to us if you have any questions. This site will be updated as more opportunities are added. Below are a few of our favorites:

The Backward Brain Bicycle (Bias/Growth Mindset)
Smarter Every Day – 8 minutes

The Danger of a Single Story
Ted Talk – 20 minutes

Finding Confidence in Conflict
Ted Talk – 11 minutes

One Simple Way to Overcome Peer Pressure
The Behavioral Science Guys – 5 minutes

Also make sure to revisit or watch our six other episodes of the Connect, Learn, and Grow Series. They offer meaningful, timely, and relevant learning opportunities that can help you connect with the University of Wisconsin–Madison community, learn new skills and information to help be successful in current and future roles, and grow through self-reflection and navigation during this time.

Episode 6(58 minutes) – May 20, 2020

Rituals of Connection

During these times, we have become simultaneously more connected and disconnected than ever. This session explores how we are connecting in various ways through our cultures, traditions and rituals. In this episode, we talk about how we are reaching back to our roots, and connecting with family and friends who are far from us.

In this interactive session, there will be two spaces for participants to connect and learn. Within the discussion space, the host and panelists will facilitate and share experiences. Registered participants will be invited into the listening circle where they can feel free to just listen to the discussion happening, or share thoughts and answers to the questions raised by discussion space.

Main Themes

  • What are the old rituals we are recreating during these times?
  • What are some rituals we are unable to replicate and that we miss?
  • What are new rituals we are creating at home?

Learning Outcomes

  • To connect with various cultures and bring diverse voices to the table.
  • To learn about and share family traditions and rituals.
  • To gain understanding that we are all in this together.
  • To think about what new rituals you want to create.


Claudia Ramly worked for 10 years as a Senior Training and Education specialist covering 18 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. She worked with various cultures in the field of diabetes education, and also speaks four languages. Her love for culture and storytelling also led her to create a walking tour in her hometown Lebanon. She is currently a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Discussion Space Panelists

Anshika Bhasin – Grad Student
Edmond Ramly – Assistant Professor
Pema Lhamo – Grad Student
James Edward Mills – Community Partnership Liaison and Journalist
Safiya Osman Jama – Grad Student
Sarah Silverman – Program Facilitator
Vaishnavi Tripuraneni – Graduate Student

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 5(29 minutes) – May 13, 2020

Yogercise @ Home

Take a short break in your work day to relieve stress and stiffness that can build up from sitting at a desk all day, especially if you’re dealing with work tensions or poor ergonomics. Explore some simple exercises to release tension, create space in the body with the breath, and feel grounded. You’ll also learn a couple of great suggestions for sitting more comfortably.

Hosted by Marina Koyen.
Marina Koyen is a yoga teacher based in Madison, Wisconsin, where she teaches group, and one-on-one classes, leads signature workshops and destination yoga retreats. Marina’s approach to teaching honors Tantra Yoga Tradition, the ancient practice that is a powerful combination of asana (posture), pranayama (breath work), and bandha (energy lock). This approach can support practitioners in moving through the modern world with confidence and contentment. Marina’s teaching style weaves insights from the fields of psychology, philosophy, anatomy, and neuroscience into a holistic practice that enlivens the body, mind, and heart. Her classes are intelligently sequenced to emphasize a mindful connection to one’s breath and a compassionate attempt to understand one’s body and mind It is Marina’s intention to create a safe and welcoming environment in her classes for every student to experience the transformational power of yoga.

Additional Activity Resources

Rec Well Group Fitness: Rec Well is offering free group fitness classes through June 30.
Rec Well Youtube Channel: Rec Well has a ton of pre-recorded workout classes lead by their certified group fitness instructors.
But First, Yoga: If you need a 5 minute Quick Stretch during the work day, this video is for you!

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 4(31 minutes) – May 6, 2020

How has COVID-19 Changed Career Conversations?

While career growth and development might not be on the top of your to-do list, conversations about the work we do, what we need to get it done and how to be effective employees are more important than ever. Being able to communicate your career needs to those around you—supervisors, staff, and coworkers—is an important skill, but reaching out can be scary. In this session led by UW career development staff Chris East and Elizabeth Schrimpf, learn about why these conversations are so critical now and get some best practices on initiating the conversations you need to have about your work. (Episode Outline)

Hosted by Chris East and Elizabeth Schrimpf.
Chris East is an Organizational Career Development Specialist in Learning and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources. He works to build and support campus-wide career development tools and training resources for all employees.

Elizabeth Schrimpf, MA, LPC, CCC is a Career and Education Counselor in Adult Career and Special Student Services. She works with campus employees on any issue related to career, from understanding their needs as employees to building and pursuing long-term career goals.


LTD – Career Conversations for Employees
LTD – Career Conversations for Supervisors
ACSSS – Career Counseling for Employees
Employee Assistance Office & UW Ombuds Office

InLearning – Having an honest career conversation with your boss (employees)
Ask a Manager – Topic: Being the Boss (supervisors)
The Muse – How to Talk to Your Boss if You’re Struggling to Get Work Done (employees)
The Balance Careers – Why Transparency is Important (supervisors)
The Balance Careers – Reacting to Change in the Workplace (everyone)

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 3(32 minutes) – April 29, 2020

Meditative Drawing in Challenging Times

The historical Buddha, Siddhãrta Gautama, taught a simple mindfulness practice: “When walking, walk; when standing, stand; when sitting, sit; when lying down, lie down”. He could as well have said “when drawing, draw”.

Mindful drawing is an embodied practice. In other words: bring yourself (your mind and your body) to the present moment and get immersed in the act of drawing without doing anything else simultaneously.

Join Wheelhouse Studios Programming staff members Taylor Franklin and Alanna Stapleton in a Live Microsoft Teams video session to engage in simple creative meditation exercises. They will walk you through two easy, calming drawing methods that can help you manage stress and anxiety during this uncertain time. This session is open to any UW staff member, no art experience or skill required. This session will be recorded to reference at any time.

Materials needed:  piece of paper, flat surface, and a drawing utensil.

The mindful drawing exercises introduced in this session will help you to:

  • Improve your attention and ability to focus
  • Cultivate mindfulness
  • Calm your mind and reduce anxiety
  • Express yourself and unlock your creativity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk for stroke and heart attack
  • Create beautiful doodles and patterns even if you have zero drawing skills

If you are interested in continuing the practice of cultivating more creativity and art-making in your life and work, please enter your contact information to receive updates on a Creativity Community of Practice being built to support our colleagues who work at UW–Madison.

Stay tuned to Wheelhouse Studios, UW’s Art Studio website for fun and engaging creative programming this summer and beyond.

Hosted by:  Taylor Franklin (M.A. in Art Education, Program Director of Wheelhouse Studios) and Alanna Stapleton (M.F.A. in Visual Studies, Arts Programming Specialist of Wheelhouse Studios)

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 2(38 minutes) – April 22, 2020

Mindfulness Practices for Exploring and Nourishing our Connections during Isolation

In this time of isolation (disconnecting from workplaces, restaurants, parks, social gatherings, etc), becoming more aware of our nourishing connections and nurturing them is integral to our well-being. In this session we explore what we habitually connect to, the quality of those connections, and how to re-focus our attention and energies on our nourishing connections through basic mindfulness practices. The session ends with a ~10-minute guided meditation. (Episode Outline)

Zach Smith is Research Administrator in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, an Academic Staff Assembly representative, and CASI member at UW–Madison. He is also a registered yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist. He is a father of a 1.5-year-old, husband, nature lover, and mindfulness practitioner in the Plum Village tradition.

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 1(54 minutes) – April 15, 2020

Unspooling: Finding Balance and Motivation

These days have many of us wound pretty tightly. We sat down and had an honest conversation to unspool the topics of balance and motivation. Panelists represented a wide range of current experiences: parents trying to work and homeschool, single people living alone, single people not living alone, some who are thriving, some who are floundering. Come watch this conversation to hear what real UW employees are doing to find balance and motivation in these challenging times.

Panelists:  Sarah Glodich, Lindsay Healless, Sara John, Theresa Kim, Cassaundra Thorpe, Becca Raven Uminowicz, Rebecca Shirley, Jing Xu

  • To access the video, please enter your email address. We will periodically email you notifications of new videos and feedback surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time.