Greetings, SJR State faculty and staff!
Thank you for participating in SJR State College’s ninth annual Professional Development Institute. The 2020-2021 academic year is one we will not soon forget, and it has been a year of firsts. Our 2021 Professional Development Institute will, for the first time, be held virtually, via Zoom, and participating with us will be both full time and part time faculty and staff. As I look through the many breakout sessions being offered in each time block, like in other years, it is hard to choose which presentation to attend. This year, that decision will be a bit easier as all sessions will be recorded and posted on the PDI webpage, to enable us after the event to watch sessions that we were unable to attend live or review the sessions we did attend.
Today’s activities promise to bring you innovative strategies and methodologies designed to engage students and improve the college experience for both students and staff alike. Sessions at this year’s Professional Development Institute include a wide variety of topics and best practices. I encourage you to take advantage of today’s program of activities and to consider how you might share your own innovations and ideas at our 2022 Professional Development Institute.
Hosting a professional development day in-house for more than 375 people is never a small task, and shifting the event online presented new challenges for all. I ask that you join me in offering sincere thanks to Kara McKinley, Dr. Melanie Brown, Dr. Ellen Burns, Dr. Christina Will, Jack Hall and all who work in our Distance Learning and IT departments, and the many others who worked behind the scenes to ensure today’s event was a success.
Finally, let me close by thanking the many faculty and staff—both full-time and part-time—who have volunteered to share their expertise with us in the breakout sessions today. Without these sessions, we simply would not have a Professional Development Institute. Each year, I look forward to this event and to learning from you, my colleagues. I am confident that we will all find today’s activities to be both fun and informative. I look forward to virtually sharing the day with you.
Very truly yours,
Joe H. Pickens, JD