Pre-Conference Seminars

The ACM SIGUCCS 2019 pre-conference seminars were held on Sunday, November 3, 2019. They provided attendees with outstanding professional development opportunities.

Registration is now open.

Communication Styles in the Workplace: An Introduction to the DISC Model

DISC is the universal language of observable human behavior. The DISC model provides professionals with a powerful tool to enhance their ability to communicate more effectively with others, to build sound relationships with their colleagues and employees, and to optimize their own natural strengths. This workshop provides an introduction to the model and will build a solid knowledge of the language with basic tools for effective communication.

Participants will leave the workshop with:

  1. A basic understanding of the DISC Communication Model.
  2. An understanding of their own habits and behavioral tendencies as they relate to the four primary dimensions of behavior (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness).
  3. An understanding of the best ways to communicate with colleagues, employees, and customers.


Laurie Fox

Laurie Fox (DISC Certified Expert) is the Assistant Director and Manager of Educational Technology at SUNY Geneseo. She has over 20 years of experience leading and participating in diverse groups in higher education.

Shawn Plummer

Shawn Plummer (DISC Training Facilitator) is the Systems Manager at SUNY Geneseo. Shawn is also the Advisor of Geneseo’s Student Association, where he advises the Executive Board on issues of policy, procedure and other practices within the College and SUNY.

Laurie and Shawn frequently collaborate on projects and presentations — they are familiar faces to the SIGUCCS community. After being introduced to the DISC language several years ago, they created a dynamic, fun workshop for their campus community that they are excited to share with SIGUCCS attendees.

Re-Thinking IT: Strategic Decision Making to Improve Efficiency

This presentation will serve as an interactive, self-discovery, and example-based approach to improving organizational efficiency, specifically in the field of information technology in higher education. Institutional reliance on IT and IT’s ever-increasing complexity make it hard to provide end users with simplified processes throughout an entire IT service portfolio if functional units are not organized as effectively as possible. IT operations are often subject to challenges due to growing service portfolios, increasing user demands, difficult fiscal climates, and uncertainty surrounding employee retention. In many cases, addressing these challenges simultaneously falls on the shoulders of IT operations managers, IT directors, and other IT leaders. This seminar will help them.

Seminar participants will:

  1. Learn best practices for evaluating the climate and landscape of their institutions to better align service offerings and improve user support structures.
  2. Learn techniques for generating user buy-in and managerial support for implementing impactful changes to the organization of IT services, teams, and systems.
  3. Learn strategies that can be used to overcome institutional challenges that influence technology-related priorities, planning, and team dynamics.
  4. Gain insights into how best to identify key IT management principles and trends, and measure their value to and impact on institutional goals.


Brian Fodrey

Brian Fodrey (CIO, Stevenson University) is a Senior Information Technology and Higher Education Administrator with over 15 years of experience managing and leading organizations through policy development, strategic change, and innovative solutions. He is a proven technologist with strengths in project management, personnel management, budget management, infrastructure design, enterprise solutions, information security, service management, applications development, analytics, learning management, and e-learning solutions. Brian is a proactive and customer service-oriented professional with a record of campus technology leadership, data-driven decision making, and adapting and pursuing forward-thinking initiatives in dynamic technological environments.

Creating Breakthrough Communication and Collaboration Across Individuals, Teams, and Organizations

You have a certain way you like to do things. Guess what? So does everyone else! Participants will develop an increased awareness of the impact their behavior has on others, enabling them to cultivate more meaningful partnerships, improve communications, and modify their behavior to better work with and understand others.

Balancing technical expertise with “people skills” is challenging but essential to the success of IT in higher education. This session provides insight and a mechanism through which this balance can be achieved. The University of Georgia has seen great success in implementing the People Skills program, resulting in the central IT group serving as the culture change agent with regards to emotional intelligence and collaboration skills. We are eager to share how we feel the concepts of this program can benefit your campus, and how your IT organization can be a critical part of the culture change.

Seminar participants will:

  1. Learn to cultivate more meaningful communications and partnerships across the organization.
  2. Intentionally and situationally modify their behavior in order to work better with and understand others.
  3. Better understand the difference between their intent and their impact, and the critical role of trust and respect.


Jonathan Hardy

Jonathan Hardy is an IT Director within EITS at the University of Georgia, providing strategic and technical leadership for the communication and platform engineering teams. Jonathan’s key leadership competencies revolve around mentorship, culture change, process improvement, change management, service delivery lifecycle, performance coaching, operational efficiencies through automation and R&D, customer service, fostering cross-functional collaborations, and employee development strategies. Jonathan is passionate about bridging across organizational silos through evolving the traditional roles of IT in higher education. He co-facilitates the emotional-IQ professional development program (People Skills) at the University of Georgia, helping faculty and staff foster stronger relationships and collaborations across the organization.

Stacy Boyles

Stacy Boyles is an IT Program Manager for the Office of the CTO at the University of Georgia responsible for managing complex cross-functional projects and programs for EITS and University-wide initiatives. Stacy’s areas of expertise include business analysis, project management, process improvement, training and development, organization change, and organization development. Stacy is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), and she is a Six Sigma Green Belt. She leads project management training and co-facilitates the emotional-IQ professional development program (People Skills) at the University of Georgia, helping faculty and staff foster stronger relationships and collaborations across the organization.

Considerations and Tactics in Building Executive Presence

What is Executive Presence and how do you build it? Executive Presence is not only about projecting and inspiring confidence, it’s about “showing up” with excellent communication skills, humility, and self-awareness. We’ll start with an introduction to foundational skills rooted in your ability to translate your emotions into thinking and behavior in ways that improve leadership aptitude. Then, through case studies and hands-on exercises you’ll be introduced to proven, actionable methodologies to implement in real, workplace scenarios. You’ll leave this workshop with a tool kit and action steps to expand your Executive Presence aptitude.


Headshot of facilitator Dianna Sadlouskos.Dianna Sadlouskos is known as a catalyst for innovation leadership in higher education. She brings 25 years of experience advising universities and colleges on strategic planning and operation improvement initiatives to her executive coaching practice. Dianna has a unique coaching framework that blends her vast subject matter expertise in university and community college organizations with traditional leadership coaching methodologies. Her results-oriented approach resonates with her clientele that includes provosts and other academic leaders, vice presidents, CIOs, and high potential and aspiring leaders. She is certified to administer the EQi 2.0 and the Hogan Leadership Assessments.

Sadlouskos holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA from Prescott College and is a resident of Santa Monica, California. An avid open water swimmer, she has swum on relays from Catalina Island to Los Angeles, and on a few occasions, has swum from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

For more information, please visit