Pre & Post Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference - June 11, 2017

Carleton University, Tory Building

These sessions are available for an additional fee to attendees.  Meals, Nutrition Breaks and transportation to Carleton from the Shaw Centre included.

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1A. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Saturday, June 10 9:00AM – 5:00PM & Sunday, June 11 9:00AM – 5:00PM |  $269.00

Tory Building, Room 208 and Room 206

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) through LivingWorks is internationally recognized, and the world's leading suicide intervention workshop. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community. During the two-day interactive session, participants learn to intervene and help prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Over 1 000 000 people have taken the workshop, and studies have proven that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings for those at risk. For more information about the ASIST workshop, please visit the LivingWorks website:

PresentersHeather Burns-Shillington, MSW RSW, is a clinical social worker with over 7 years’ experience working in student mental health. She currently works at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus as the Residence Counsellor for the department of Student Housing and Residence Life.

Leah McCormack-Smith, MEd, is the Director of Residence and Student Life with over 15 years' experience working with students in post-secondary settings. She spends much of her time assisting students in crisis, and working with her team to create proactive programming to support student wellness and mental health.

SAS Competency: Emotional and interpersonal Intelligence (Intermediate Level); Student advising, support and advocacy (Intermediate Level)

Community of Practice Focus Areas: Campus Mental Health; Student Health & Wellness

2A. Strengths-Based Resilience: An Evidence Based Approach to Make Student Service Work Meaningful & Effective

Sunday, June 11 9:00AM – 4:00PM  |  $199.00

University Centre, Room 280

Reflecting dynamic, diverse and complex social landscape, contemporary Canadian campuses are ripe with opportunities as well as with challenges. Student services professionals on Canadian campuses is often well-trained and experienced. However, rarely they are offered professional development opportunities that focus on their boosting their resilience. Grounded in the science of positive psychology and resilience, the workshop is also well-anchored in the Competency Model recently introduced by CACUSS. The experiential exercises of the workshops (described below) aim to build concrete and contextually-relevant skills which have been shown to enhance resilience.

Relevant to a wide variety of student services professionals, this workshop will present experientially based, concrete, and contextually-relevant resilience skills which can enrich personal lives, and can make work in student services more engaging and meaningful.

Based on more than a decade of evidence and training experienced of the presenter, the current work has been developed and refined with the support of Mental Health Innovation Fund and has won two innovation awards, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited book volumes.

PresenterDr. Tayyab Rashid is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre, and an associate faculty in the graduate psychological clinical science program at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), Canada. He is co-chair of the Campus Mental Health and the inaugural president of the Clinical Division of Positive Psychology International Association.

SAS Competency: Emotional and interpersonal Intelligence (Core); Leadership, management and administration (Core); Student advising, support and advocacy (Core); Student learning and development (Core)

Community of Practice Focus Areas: Campus Mental Health; Counselling

(Organized by Campus Mental Health; Counselling Community of Practice)

3A. International Student Career Development: A Whole-campus Perspective

Sunday, June 11 9:00AM – 4:00PM  |  $199.00

Tory Building, Room 236

For international students, career development is uniquely complex and inseparable from challenges like academic planning, maintaining mental wellness navigating the immigration process, and family planning (Li, 2014). Peer networks, international offices, and career services are just a few on-campus resources utilized by international students seeking help with post-graduation goals like finding employment. Many require a level of understanding beyond traditional career exploration support. Our session will explore competencies needed to support international student’s challenges and expectations, as well as how these competencies are beneficial to support other student populations such as Indigenous, New-to-Canada, Refugee, and First Generation students.

Presenters: Robert Coffey, Ph.D. is an Assistant Director for International Students and Sponsored Student Programs Coordinator at Michigan State University (USA). Robert has worked in student and academic affairs for over twenty years across multiple functional areas, including conflict management, multicultural/LGBTQ student services, residential life/housing, and undergraduate research.

Lynn Walsh is the Manager of the Internationalization Office at Memorial University and holds a BA and MEd (post-secondary studies). She has worked in international education and student services for the past 15 years, specifically in career development and international student services. She has a strong aptitude and experience in international/multicultural settings and has worked on numerous career development initiatives, programs and services for international students.

Megan Sager is the International Student Advisor at the University of Guelph, supporting the transition and development of undergraduate and graduate international students. Megan has worked in international education and student services across multiple functional areas, including academic advising, transfer student and first-generation programming, and English language teaching & learning support. She holds a BA in English and Communications Studies and an MEd in Student Development Administration.

Arif Abu is the Coordinator of the International Student Support office of Ryerson University and the Co-Chair of Internationalization of Student Affairs CoP of CACUSS. His knowledge on the experience of international students comes from firsthand experience as well as his academic studies at the University of Windsor (MA in Political Science and BA with honors in International Relations and Development Studies).

SAS Competency: Intercultural fluency (Intermediate); Student advising, support and advocacy (Intermediate)

Community of Practice Focus Areas: Integrated Academic and Professional Advising; Internationalization in Student Affairs  (Organized by Internationalization of Student Affairs Community of Practice)

4A. The Way is Made by Walking

Sunday, June 11 9:00AM – 4:00PM |  $69.00

Join colleagues for a guided reflection walk (~20km) along the Chemin des Outaouais ending at Notre Dame Cathedral, steps from the Conference Centre. In our "on-the-go" profession, creating space for contemplation to keep us grounded while responding to challenges is critical yet often undervalued. At the end of the walk, we will debrief the experience and hear from colleagues about the impact of walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This workshop invites participants to take a deep breath and integrate inner and outer work - reflection and praxis - as a step toward the future, integrating the past.

The group will start at Carleton University and end at the Shaw Centre.  Breakfast, bag lunch and nutrition breaks are included.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a water bottle, a hat, a back pack and a light jacket.

Organizers ask delegates to speak to them about their needs and how they would best be supported in order to feel truly included in the experience.  Please email to inquire further about this session and how we can accommodate your accessibility requests.

Facilitators: Rachel Barreca is a community builder and educator with an interest in transformative learning through the arts. For more than twenty years she has worked in Canadian and British higher education, providing students with opportunities for holistic learning through co-curricular programming in residence life, orientation and transition, student leadership, student activities, and career education. She currently works as the Manager, Campus Engagement at Ryerson University’s Career Centre.

Formerly the Dean of Students at Redeemer University College, Karen Cornies has worked in Student Affairs for over twenty years at four post-secondary institutions. She has just begun working as Executive Director at Silver Lake Camp and Outdoor Education Centre.

Tricia Seifert is department Head and Associate Professor, Adult & Higher Education at Montana State University, and is interested in the role of higher education organizational structures, environments and experiences in student learning and success; international and comparative perspectives of the student affairs and services field; and higher education's role in facilitating students' journey toward life purpose and meaning.

SAS Competency: Emotional and interpersonal Intelligence (Intermediate); Leadership, management and administration (Intermediate)

Community of Practice Focus Areas: Campus Mental Health; Spirituality and Religious Pluralism

6A. Senior Student Affairs Officers Forum

Sunday, June 11, 9:00AM – 4:00PM  |  $199.00

Morning Only - $99.00

University Centre, Room 378

This Pre-Conference workshop for Senior Student Affairs Officers and has been designed based on feedback collected in January 2017. Based on the feedback received, this pre-conference opportunity will aim to address the following broad goals:

  • The Pre-Conference workshop will include a professional development opportunity, specific to the unique needs of Senior Student Affairs Officers.
  • The Pre-Conference workshop will offer an opportunity for intentional sharing of new projects, challenges, and innovations.
  • The Pre-Conference workshop will offer an opportunity to begin exploring the role of SSAO within CACUSS and identify next steps for re-engaging these leaders within the CACUSS community.

In order to begin addressing these broad goals, the following agenda for the day has been developed:

Welcome, introductions
Speaker: Charlene Bearhead - Truth and Reconciliation on our campuses

Morning debrief
Roundtable - Current successes and challenges - SSAO participants are invited to share new projects, challenges, successes, innovations. Based on this roundtable, the facilitator may choose to do breakout groups or another activity.
Discussion - Exploring the role of SSAO within CACUSS
Wrap up and networking

Presenter: Charlene Bearhead is the Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.  She previously served as the National Coordinator for Project of Heart and coordinated the Education Days within the National Events for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the primary goal of which was to inspire teachers and students to further educate themselves as well as to support and facilitate the building of positive and respectful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.

Bearhead also served as the National Coordinator for the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation at Native Counselling Services of Alberta.  She was the curriculum writer for the education program Sacred Relationship with Water with BearPaw Media Productions and the Whanau Ora Training Modules for Nga Manga Puriri in New Zealand.

Bearhead is an experienced educator and educational events coordinator with 30 years of regional, national and international experience in the field.  Charlene has served as a teacher, principal, education director, and superintendent, both on and off reserve, over the years and holds permanent professional teaching certificates from both Alberta and Manitoba.

Facilitator: Janet Morrison

SAS Competency: Leadership, management and administration (Advanced); Post-secondary acumen (Advanced)

1B. Be where the students are: Online training programs for student leader groups

Sunday, June 11 9:00AM – 12:00PM  |  $99.00

This is a Leadership Educators COP sponsored session.  Be where the students are. In 2017, this means being online. The trend to online and blended learning approaches extends outside the classroom as many Student Services units recognize the attractiveness of online learning for our ever-diversifying student populations. Through a mix of lecturettes, group work, discussion, and the insight of an expert panel, this interactive pre-conference will provide leadership educators with the opportunity to develop a draft online training program for their student leadership group.

Presenter: Holly Salmon is the coordinator of the peer tutor training program at Douglas College, British Columbia. The peer tutors at Douglas receive about 30-60 hours of training per term, delivered in a rich hybrid online/in person model. She has been using online modes of instruction across various platforms in her teaching and tutor training since 2002, and has received grants for online course development. Her expertise and experience with online learning come from her work as a faculty member at Douglas College, the University of New Haven (Connecticut), and the University of British Columbia.

SAS Competency: Student learning and development (intermediate); Technology and digital engagement (intermediate)

1C. Innovative Strategies for Promoting Student Wellbeing in Teaching and Learning Environments

Sunday, June 11 1:00PM – 4:00PM  |  $99.00

Tory Building, Room 234

Research is becoming increasingly convincing that subtle shifts within classroom contexts create a profound impact on student wellbeing. This interactive workshop will share the research, action, and innovations of three institutions who are creatively engaging faculty to promote student wellbeing. Resources will highlight outcomes from wellbeing projects, tips on engaging faculty champions, strategies for establishing effective partnerships and more. Participants will create an asset-map of their institutions to consider the opportunities that already exist to collaborate. Get ready to define, discover, dream and design new ways you can engage faculty in designing teaching and learning environments that enhance student wellbeing.

Sarah Joosse is a Wellbeing Promotion Strategist at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Sarah holds a Master of Education in Human Development, Learning and Culture from the University of British Columbia with a special concentration in Social and Emotional Learning. Prior to working at UBC, Sarah was the Provincial Coordinator for the Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses initiative at the Canadian Mental Health Association.  

Dr. Sally Willis-Stewart has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Nutrition, Health Promotion, Exercise Physiology) from UBC and is an Academic Affiliate of Dietitians of Canada and a Certified Exercise Physiologist.  She is a Sr. Instructor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC Okanagan Campus with a teaching focus on exercise and healthy lifestyles, nutrition, and health promotion.  Sally’s care for students has led to her being a core member of the UBC Wellbeing steering committee heading up the “Classroom Edition” where she is sharing and continuing her educational leadership research initiatives to enhance student wellbeing and academic success in the classroom.

Casey Hamilton is a Campus Health Specialist at UBCO coordinating the VOICE 4 research project, where the campus community is engaged through action, education, and research focusing on policy and environments in order to improve campus well-being. She is a Registered Dietitian with a strong background in population health, healthy communities, and food security. She lead the establishment of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council and is the founder and Executive Director of the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project, a registered charity with the mandate of reducing food waste, supporting those experiencing food insecurity, and building community. She is completing her Masters degree with a focus on the urban agriculture policy community in Kelowna, BC.

Rosie Dhaliwal is a Registered Dietitian and has practiced in Health Promotion at SFU since 2007. She brings together her diverse experiences as a clinician and educator to create a healthy campus community at SFU.  Her passion for teaching and learning drove her to pursue her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at SFU. This is an asset in co-leading the Well-being in Learning Environments project.

SAS Competency: Student learning and development (Intermediate)

Community of Practice Focus Areas: Academic Learning; Campus Mental Health; Student Health & Wellness

2C. Canada’s 150th Birthday in context: What does reconciliation mean for Post-Secondary Institutions in light of this landmark milestone for Indigenous peoples and settlers

Sunday, June 11 1:00PM – 4:00PM  |  $99.00

Alumni Park Tipi + University Centre, Room 376

With the 2017 CACUSS conference happening in Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory during the year of the 150th Birthday the Community of Practise for NASSA is suggesting that participants take some time to analyze the role that their institutions are playing in the ongoing efforts of reconciliation in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to share best practises about how this can be done respectfully and with an approach of Indigenizing their institutions from within.

We suggest that participants pre-read the following documents: Corntassel, Dhamoon & Snelgrove (2014) Unsettling settler colonialism: The discourse and politics of settlers, and solidarity with Indigenous nations?

SAS Competency: Equity, diversity and inclusion (Core); Indigenous cultural awareness (Intermediate)

Communtiy of Practice Focus Areas: Aboriginal Student Services Assembly (NASSA); Equity-Seeking Groups

Post-Conference: Working Together: Developing Standards of Practice for Disability Service Professionals

Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:00AM – 3:00PM  | Shaw Centre, Ottawa, Meeting Room 104 I  $50.00, includes lunch

Hosted By: Michelle, Magnusson, Coordinator, Disability Services, Brandon University & The Accessibility & Inclusion Community of Practice

Following up on last year’s successful post-conference workshop, the Accessibility & Inclusion CoP will be hosting a second full-day post-conference day to continue working on developing Standards of Practice for Disability Service Professionals. This will be an interactive, participation-based day with the opportunity to participate in working groups with colleagues across the country. Working groups will be formed in the following areas:  
•    Documentation and Accommodation Planning 
•    Policy and Procedure 
•    Education and Awareness 
•    Philosophy and Models 
•    Training and Professional Development
•    Service Provision 
•    Record Management
•    Campus Elements for Inclusion and Universal Design

If you are interested in assisting in this project, please consider attending! 

Post-Conference: Best Practices Network in Canadian Higher Education: Making a Positive Impact on Student Mental Health

Thursday, June 15 9:00AM – 5:00PM  I  Friday, June 16 9:00AM – 12:00PM  I  Rideau Canal Atrium and Meeting Room 210, Shaw Centre, Ottawa

$125, includes 2 nutrition breaks and lunch on June 15 and 1 nutrition break on June 16.

Hosted By: University of Toronto, McGill and Queens

McGill, Queen’s and the University of Toronto, are developing a national knowledge centre with resources dedicated to identifying best practices for mental health programming for university and college students.  The initiative will include a Best Practices Network and online hub that will support universities and colleges in delivering the most effective services to promote good mental health and resiliency across increasingly diversified student populations. The online hub will be dedicated to identifying and disseminating student mental health best practices and programming that are based on evaluation activities.

The Best Practices Network is launching an inaugural annual conference at CACUSS on June 15 and 16, 2017.   The conference will provide an opportunity for student affairs professionals from across the country to hear from experts and share their experiences with mental health program delivery, stepped care, integrated wellness models, campus mental health literacy initiatives, transferability of mental health programming across post-secondary institutions and assessment and evaluation in mental health programming.  In addition, we will identify gaps and needs that can be met through the Best Practices Network, and existing resources, research and networks that can be leveraged to support the success of the initiative and its benefits to institutions and students. 


Thursday, June 15, 2017



Agenda Item




Opening Remarks

Steering Committee, Johnny Morris (CMHA BC)




To Be Announced







Integrated Mental Health Services

 Andrea Levinson, David Lowe, Sandra Yuen (U of Toronto) Meg Houghton (Humber)







Poster Session: Best & Promising Practices




Stepped Care

Peter Cornish (MUN); Vera Romano (McGill); Jonny Morris (CMHA BC), Cheryl Washburn (UBC)








Lina DiGenova (McGill) & Sandra Yuen (U of T)



Best Practices Network Activity

Lina DiGenova (McGill), Jenn Dods (Queen's), Sandra Yuen (U of T)



Closing Remarks

Jonny Morris, CMHA BC


Friday, June 16, 2017



Agenda Item





John Meissner (Carleton); Tanya Lewis & Meghan Littljohn (U of T); Humber







Mental Health Literacy Curricula

U of T, UBC, Calgary & Carleton


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