Owl Professional Development Conference

  • Going Virtual!

    To provide quality presentations without limiting capacity, the 2021 Owl Professional Development Conference will be delivered virtually over a 2-day period (February 4th and 5th). Registration has been reduced to only $5, and conference registrants will have access to all presentation materials - even those they can't attend live.

    Bounce Back

    Don't Wait! Register today to reserve your virtual spot!

    You'll need your KSU ID number to register, as this event is only open to current KSU students and KSU alums. If you are an alum and do not remember your KSU ID number, you can look it up here: https://netidlookup.kennesaw.edu/lookup/

    Featured Keynotes


    Dr. Fredenburg Speaker

    Dr. Joshua Fredenburg

    Thriving as a Professional in a Time of Crisis! 
    Five Ways to Thrive and Succeed as a Professional within a Time of Crisis!

    In this incredibly inspirational and motivational session, Dr. Joshua Fredenburg will not only talk about the impact that fundamentals of resiliency and grit can have upon us as professionals within times of crisis, but more importantly, he will provide participants with real-life experiences and practical ways that people can use the fundamentals of resiliency and grit to thrive and succeed as a professional within a time of crisis.

    Dr. Raé Lundy

    You Can Do Hard Things: Resilience in a Time of Crisis

    In recent months, we have all experienced major challenges, particularly related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These changes are impacting mental health and wellbeing, academic success efforts, and potentially thoughts about longer term success . Understanding how we define mental health and employ practices of self-care can assist in improving our quality of life as we navigate the world around us. This engaging workshop will assist participants in better understanding their personal emotional health needs, processing thoughts of uncertainty, and in learning practical strategies for self-care (so they can Bounce Back!).

    Dr. Lundy Speaker

    Schedule & Agenda

    • Conference Begins - Thursday, February 4th, 2021

      • Time
      • 1:00 PM – 1:15 PM
        Conference Welcome
        Conference Committee
      • 1:15 PM – 2:25 PM
        Keynote Speaker
        Dr. Joshua Fredenburg
      • 5 – Minute Stretch Break
      • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
        Breakout Session I
        Faculty, Staff, Employers
      • 3:30 PM – 3:55 PM
        Student Short Sessions
        KSU Students
      • 5 – Minute Stretch Break
      • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
        Breakout Session II
        Faculty, Staff, Employers

      Conference Continues - Friday, February 5th, 2021

      • Time
      • 9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
        Day 2 Welcome and Overview
        Conference Committee
      • 9:15 AM – 10:25 AM
        Keynote Speaker
        Dr. Raé Lundy
      • 5 – Minute Stretch Break
      • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
        Breakout Session III
        Faculty, Staff, Employers
      • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
        Breakout Session IV
        Faculty, Staff, Employers
      • Lunch Break – Programming will resume at 1:00
      • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
        Alumni Panel
        KSU Alums
      • 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
        Flash Networking
        Employers & Presenters
      • 2:30 PM – 2:55 PM
        Student Short Sessions
        KSU Students
      • 5 – Minute Stretch Break
      • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
        Breakout Session V
        Faculty, Staff, Employers
      • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
        Breakout Session VI
        Faculty, Staff, Employers
      • 5:00 PM - Conference Closing


      • Title
      • #BOSSMOVES - The Master Blueprint for Career Leadership Success!

        Dr. Joshua Fredenburg,
        Nationally acclaimed speaker, author of seven books, leadership/diversity consultant, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Tedx Speaker, and President/Founder of the Award Winning Circle of Change Leadership Experience

        Based on his experiences and the lessons he has learned over these past ten years as a career leadership development coach for student leaders all across the country, Dr. Fredenburg has created a transformational career leadership program that not only helps students position themselves for career leadership success after graduating, but more importantly, he talks about the keys to landing a job in the 21st Century, maximizing your professional experiences within an internship or first job, and attaining career leadership success after graduation within your area of expertise.
      • Back to Basics: The Importance of Values in Finding the Best Professional Fit

        Karen Boettler,
        Assistant Director

        In challenging times we often find ourselves reevaluating where we are headed personally and professionally. During those times it is important to know what is at the core of what sustains and motivates us but also what it is at the core of the organization we work for. By clarifying your individual values and identifying the spoken and sometimes unspoken values of the organizations you are a part of, you can better determine if you are where you should be.
      • Communication Confusion

        Dr. Diane Fennig
        Career Coach & Part-Time Instructor of Management

        Kirstie Colin,
        Career Coach & Internship Advisor, Part-Time Instructor of Organizational Leadership

         In this new world order, many are questioning the best protocols for seeking employment and related follow-up. Join Kirstie Colin and Diane Fennig for an interactive session as they discuss best practices related to LinkedIn, texting, video calls/interviews, voice mails, old fashioned phone calls and thank you notes. Be "masked", armed and ready for the next rules of engagement with employers.
      • Capitalizing Internship Experiences to Enhance Future Career Opportunities

        Lola Owokoniran,
        Program Manager of CIFAL Atlanta

        Xiaoxiao Ji,
        Program Manager of CIFAL Atlanta

         Internships give students the unique opportunity to utilize their skills from the classroom and gain practical experience necessary to embark on their intended careers. During this presentation, CIFAL Atlanta program managers will discuss the importance of practical career experience and how it can benefit students in obtaining their ideal positions after graduation. The presenters will highlight how to virtually excel while working for an organization, which has become more common due to the pandemic, and give tips for standing out and working effectively. They will also detail how teamwork and effective communication can enhance your internship experience and foster key transferable skills instrumental for any future career path.
      • Title
      • What Happens Next? Maintaining Self-care Practices With Intention
        Dr. Raé Lundy,
        Healthy Hearts Counseling Coaching
        This session will take a deeper look into wellness and self-care practices (introduced in the keynote), and assist participants in developing their own self-care plan(s). Participants will identify accountability partners to assist them on their journey and cultivate a greater understanding of how to maintain personal emotional wellbeing.
      • The Future of Remote Work: Best Practices for Impactful Interviews, Meetings, and Presentations in Virtual Spaces
        Dr. Lara Smith-Sitton,
        Assistant Professor of English and Director of Community Engagement
        Global Workplace Analytics provides that by the end of 2020, 25-30% of the US Workforce will work from home. With estimates that employers can save as much as $30 billion a day by moving to remote work models, virtual conferencing platforms will remain essential communication tools. This session will explore how to be impactful and maximize your time in virtual spaces whether participating in an interview, meeting, or presentation. You will be prepared to stand out and make an impression . . . and show that you are flexible and resilient regardless of the work environment where you find yourself!
      • When Shift Happens!
        Raushanah Butler,
        Associate Director of Alumni & Constituent Engagement
        Change is inevitable, and sometimes it forces us to make a shift we aren't ready for or don't want to make. Whether you are in college attempting to figure out a career path, an alum that's changing careers, or at a point where you feel stuck, shifting your perspective changes obstacles into opportunities and stumbling blocks into steppingstones.
      • Being Culture-ish While Professional-ish: The Virtual Workplace Sitcom

        Aleksandra Ninova-Parris,
        Assistant Director of Cultural and Community Centers

        Brandon Jackson,
        Associate Director of Cultural and Community Centers

        In this session, the presenters will examine the ways in which identity and culture play out in the virtual workplace. The session will explore various ways to honor one's culture and identity while maintaining professionalism in a virtual environment.
      • The Mamba Mentality: Building your Professional Brand
        Shantra Laye,
        Campus Programs Consultant
        As defined by its creator, Kobe Bryant, the Mamba Mentality “is the belief that hard work outweighs talent — every time". It's a mindset. A constant quest to be better today than you were yesterday. Your personal brand is a vivid indication of the best you have to offer – the performance, contributions, and value others can – and should - expect from you. The brand you communicate marks your reputation and is in some respects, your personal pledge. ‘The Mamba Mentality: Building your Professional Brand’ is aimed at helping you to assess and hone your professional brand, regardless of where you are in your career journey. Whether you are currently in the process of looking for a job, jumping into a new profession or starting a new business, your professional brand is forever critical to your immediate and long-term success as it reveals 1. Who you are 2. What your brand stands for and 3. What your brand will deliver. Most importantly, you should understand how your brand evolves and grows as you evolve and grow, becoming better each day. You will walk away from this session feeling equipped and inspired on how to best present your brand and subsequently, boost your professional reputation and advance your career.
      • Leveraging Multipotentialite Magic

        Anne Winn,
        Director of Student Success

        Jasmine Jackson,
        Student Success Manager

        Does everyone have one true calling? Are you a specialist or could you be a multipotentialite? Some find themselves at a disheartening crossroads when their many interests don't seem to lead to a singular career path. Discover how having diverse interests can add value to teams and create new ideas. This session will shed light on unique opportunities afforded to those with varying interests called ""multipotentialites"" in Emilie Wapnick's 2015 TED talk. Whether you are a multipotentialite or a specialist, learn how collaborations can help everyone achieve more. Participants are encouraged to fully connect with the presenters as we co-create a growth-centered experience.
      • Finding Your Silver Lining: How to Shine in 2021
        Diane Winslow,
        Senior Recruiting Specialist
        After attending this session, students will be able to leverage their current skills and experience and confidently display their career readiness. We will discuss creating a Personal Board of Directors, as well as getting ready for first contact with employers. Regardless of the hiring landscape, students will be able to recognize the silver lining in their own journey.
      • Using a Growth Mindset to Increase Career Resiliency
        Dr. Daniel Niederjohn,
        Faculty Athletic Representative and Associate Professor of Psychology
        Research has shown that a growth, compared to a fixed, mindset is critical in helping people strive towards their goals and develop resiliency. The pathway to one's career is fraught with challenges and some level of failure. If we can help our students and alumni recognize these failures as stepping-stones and reframing challenges as opportunities to grown, we can help build successful and resilient workers. This workshop focused on practical ways of using a growth mindset to increase success and improve mental health in the process.

    Resources from Past Events


    • Breakout Sessions:

      • Professional Networking
      • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
      • Using LinkedIn to Increase Your Impact
      • Positive Engagement in Organizational Politics
      • Aligning Values with Career Choices
      • Focusing on the Interview
      • Being Employable
      • Leveraging Your Digital Life
      • Connecting Passion to Skills
    • 2020 Agenda


    • Breakout Sessions:

      • LinkedIn & the Job Search
      • Professional Electronic Communication
      • Video Resumes & Biographies
      • Critical & Creative Thinking
      • Employability of Humanities & Social Science Majors
      • Education Abroad & Transferable Skills
      • Personal Brand Management
      • Navigating Culture in the Workplace
      • Gaining Experience Outside of the Classroom 


      • Self-Care & Wellness
      • Volunteering
      • Building Your Brand
      • Avoidance/Fear in the Job/Grad School Search
    • Special Thanks to the Army National Guard & Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for Sponsoring our 2019 Conference

      national guard logo



      federal reserve bank

    • Download the agenda from our 2nd Annual Event here. 


    • Download the agenda from our 1st Annual Event here. (New information will be available here soon, please check back often)

    • Conference sponsors: Atlanta Braves

      If your organization is interested in being a sponsor of this event, please visit our employer homepage and find the section for "Additional Sponsorship Opportunities."


    What Past Attendees Had to Say:

    • I learned some valuable information about my career choices and how to market my skills in the job market”

    • The conference gave me great tips to develop myself professionally and market myself to employers”

    • "[The Conference] was extremely helpful in making the most (professionally) of your college experience”

    • My favorite part of the conference was networking with the employers. I have a better idea of a career that I want to pursue, and I got to know the employers better.”

    • Not only did the conference provide valuable learning opportunities and networking opportunities, it was extremely motivational.”

    • Very helpful information that helps students become more career ready for a reasonable price. Any student with an interest in developing professional skills should jump at the chance to attend.”