2013 Annual Conference

Friday, May 17, 2013
University of Southern Maine, Lewiston/Auburn Campus

Using Social Media Tools in Career Development

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Opening Keynote: Lisa Severy, President-Elect of NCDA

Using Linkedin in Career Development

Afternoon Keynote; Sabrina Woods, Northeastern University

Abstracts of Sessions follow this at-a-glance!

May 17th


Check-in & Networking, Room 170


Welcome, Room 170


Morning Keynote Speaker:  Lisa Severy, Ph. D.

 Social Media: Friend or Foe


Break, Room 170

10:45- 12:00

Morning Sessions (see below for descriptions)

12 noon -1:15

Lunch / Business meeting


 1:30 – 2:30

Afternoon Keynote Speaker:  Sabrina Woods

 Using LinkedIn in Career Development




Afternoon Sessions (see below for descriptions)

Morning Sessions

Session 1:    Career Counseling:  The Intersection of Altruism and Self – Interest

Presenter:  Jim Elkins

This workshop will provide a discussion of the issues we face in balancing our own financial, wellness, and other needs with the perceived and real demands of our peers, teachers, and society. A recent study on the subject will be shared and participants will complete a brief assessment of their own altruistic orientation. Participants will be encouraged to share examples of their experiences in dealing with this issue.

BIO: Career Planning Services, operated by James K. Elkins, provides a broad range of services, including individual career planning, resume and cover letter development, interview training, and job search assistance. In addition, the company offers career planning seminars to assist organizations with employee career development and retirement planning. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in personnel counseling from Miami University; has completed advanced graduate work at The Pennsylvania State University; and is a National Certified Career Counselor and Master Career Counselor. Jim presently serves on the Board of the Greater Portland Chamber and is an active volunteer with the United Way of Greater Portland and Project Grace.

Session 2:  Using Twitter For Professional Networking and Finding Career Information

Presenter: Rich Grant

Many people think of Twitter as a site where people post mindless stuff like “what I had for lunch today.” (Tuna sandwich, if anyone’s interested). The site has evolved over time and is now a robust networking site where people can connect with other people in their industry or people with similar interests. In this session, you will learn how to use hash tags (for example, #career) to find people and find information, and how to participate in chats that take place in real time. Ideally, participants should have a Twitter account established and have spent some time getting familiar with Twitter before the session. We will cover some beginner basics to get people up to speed before diving into the fun stuff.

BIO:  Rich is the Director of Career Services at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Maine as the director of business graduate programs. Rich also has more than fifteen years of business experience, primarily with LL Bean. Rich is the president of the New England Association for Cooperative Education and Field Experience, the president of the Maine College Career Consortium, and co-chairs the “Road Trips to the Real World” committee for the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers. Rich has his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, both from the University of Southern Maine, in Portland.

Session 3:  Career Decision Making Strategies:  Using a Cognitive Development Approach

Presenter: Leigh Mundhenk

Career decision-making is a highly complex process. Many factors influence how decisions are made, but one we don’t often think of is the client’s stage of cognitive development. In this workshop we will discuss how cognitive development affects how clients think about and approach decision making and discuss developmentally appropriate strategies and tools we can use to help clients make more effective decisions.

BIO: Leigh is Associate Professor and Director of Field Experiences at the University of Southern Maine at Lewiston- Auburn College, where she has taught leadership and career development courses, and run the internship program for 11 years. Prior to that she taught graduate courses in business and counseling, and co-directed the Center for Continuing Education. Leigh is also an Organizational and Personal Development Consultant, specializing in group and career development. Her earlier work experience includes eighteen years with Johnson & Johnson, where she held various managerial positions in sales, marketing, and training.  Leigh holds a BS in Psychology from Duke University, an MS in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Psycho-educational Processes from Temple University.

Session 4:  You are What you Post: Tools and Techniques to Best Sell Your Social Self

Presenters: Jenny Green and Lisa-Marie Nesbitt

We will guide career professionals in helping improve their clients’ social media presence. Workshop Includes:

•The Misconceptions of Social Media – we discuss the myths of social media, where your client should showcase themselves, and what could be currently working against them.

•Social Media Clean-up: The importance behind keeping your “social” social media from affecting your “professional” social media through privacy settings, media cleanup, and other tools / techniques.

•How to Effectively Connect your Clients to their Prospective Employers through Social Media. We offer techniques for training your clients on how to effectively promote themselves to the right companies.

BIO: Jenny Green is the founder and owner of Three Green Pages, a social media development and consulting firm geared towards small businesses seeking to improve their on-line presence. With fifteen years of managing and operating a small business and over five years of social media management experience, Jenny brings a practical and cost-effective approach to harnessing the marketing opportunities in the world of social media. Jenny, a Maine transplant from Lexington, KY, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kentucky.

BIO: Lisa-Marie Nesbitt is a Partner at 1600 Degrees, a training and consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Excellence, Organizational Development & Project Management.   Lisa-Marie has over twelve years of experience in the service sector, both as a consultant and in-industry, training, facilitating, coaching, and leading business strategies and transformational change while remaining focused on the customer. She holds a Global M.B.A, Masters in Organizational Leadership and is certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Lean Expert, as well as in project management and supply chain management.

Session 5: Transferable Skills:  Going From ‘Have Done’ to ‘Can Do’ in a Changing Economy

Presenter: Deborah Walsh

Continued high levels of unemployment remain a harsh reality in these difficult economic times. But there is something you can do to give your clients a leg up over the competition. Successful job searchers are those who can directly match their skills to the employer’s needs and communicate them clearly, essentially “transferring” their abilities from one environment to another. In this workshop you will learn how to help clients identify their strengths and positive experiences and translate them into desirable skills in their next role. Armed with a better understanding of their skills, your clients will be better positioned to effectively communicate with potential employers to get that job offer. Join this session to experience the hands-on exercises that will benefit your clients!

BIO: Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in business consulting and career development, Deborah is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. In that role she assists persons with disabilities to attain and maintain employment that meets their unique goals, skills, and values. Deborah also has a private practice focusing on helping clients navigate those changes in life, both planned and unplanned, that we all encounter, including college search, career development, and life transitions. She has delivered many professional presentations and workshops on career selection, transferable skills, resume writing, values in the workplace, and transitioning from military to civilian life. She has an M.S. Counseling and is a National Certified Counselor.  Deborah serves on the York County Maine Military Community Network and is the current President of the Maine Career Development Association 2011-2013.


Afternoon Sessions

Session 1: Keep the Eye and the Brain on the Resume:  The employer is Your Reader

Presenter: Monica Mitchell

Many resume writers fail to design documents/screens to address brain research – how a reader’s brain and eyes work together to absorb information. Whether preparing information for screen reading via social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or blogs – or through hard copy resumes and cover letters, this workshop will give job seekers and career development professionals basic tools to help capture and keep the attention of the employer/reader – with improved results for job interview invitations.


Monica Mitchell, BS, MA received her Master’s degree in Professional Writing and Design from Carnegie Mellon University. While at Carnegie Mellon she studied under leaders in the fields of technical writing and document/screen design. Monica currently serves as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant where she applies her technical writing skills and provides other types of agency support. Monica has taught Technical Writing and Design in New England for more than 20 years and is an adjunct faculty member at Central Maine Community College.

Monica’s document and screen design workshops have primarily been employment-focused, addressing resumes, social media, email, and branding through the reader’s lens.  Monica’s design and readability guidelines for resumes and cover letters have helped to bring job interviews along with employer comments on the “professional presentation of materials”.

Session 2:  Life Beyond the Public Sector:  Is Consulting for You?

Presenter: Bill Stone

The skills career counselors practice in their public sector jobs have application in the private sector. A career counseling practice is one obvious choice, but there are alternative applications as well. This workshop will look at the opportunities in the private sector, what it takes to get started, and the temperament and skills the would-be consultant should possess

BIO: Bill worked in public high schools and in the University of Maine System for twenty six years. He spent eight years working for the MES Foundation, a provider of student loans. For the last twelve years he has been involved with Promising Futures, a successful consulting practice offering services to such companies as National Semi-Conductor, Fairchild Semi-Conductor, Barber Foods, and Cozy Harbor Sea Foods.


Session 3:   How Social Networking  can Move Your Program Forward

Presenter: Denise Smith

How social networking can help us connect with our youth on their terms while still building meaningful professional relationships.   How we can use it to recruit and promote our businesses; as well as communicate our message to the masses.

BIO: Denise Smith graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine with a degree in English and hoped to be a high school English teacher. Fortunately, that didn’t work out and her life path led her back to her hometown where she spent 5 years working at Penobscot Job Corps before coming to Eastern Maine Development Corporation, where she has been a Youth Career Advisor for 3 years. Working in Youth Services, Denise’s main responsibility is to serve the 16-21 year old population with assistance in education, training, and employment. She has also created a youth focused newsletter, Shaping WorkFORCE, and most recently started contributing to the organization’s blog: EMDC Speaks. Denise is very passionate about her work with youth and particularly enjoys building meaningful relationships with individuals and organizations, public speaking, and social networking(l)   Denise is also on the Associate Board of Directors for Maine Youth Leadership, part of the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council, and the State of Maine Youth Networking team.

Session 4:  Mentoring:  Inspiring and Challenging to Excel

Presenters: Jim Peacock, Kim Gustafson, and James Westhoff

Mentoring is a relationship between two people that is mutually beneficial. For the person who is new to a field it is wonderful to have a more knowledgeable person they can ask questions of, seek advice, and discuss pertinent issues. For the mentor, it is a chance to stay current and share their experience and knowledge with another person.

This session all 3 presenters are involved with mentor relationships currently and will discuss what works and the benefits of the relationship.

MCDA would like to institute a Mentor program. If you are interested in learning more about mentoring, either as a mentee or a mentor, please attend this session or contact James, Jim, or Kim directly.

BIO: Jim Peacock is the Owner of Peak-Careers Consulting which provides workshops, trainings, seminars, (both live and online) to career counselors, advisors, and any who provides career advising services. He teaches Career Decision Making classes at Kennebec Valley Community Colleges and works 2 days / week at Bates College in their Career Development Center as a Career Counselor. He was the Director of Advising, Career, and Transfer at KVCC for 11 years until February 2012 when he left to devote more time to his consulting business.

BIO: Kim Gustafson provides general career advising to Bates College students and alumni in all fields of interest. Prior to joining the Bates Career Development Center team, Kim served as an Associate Dean of Admission and Coordinator of International Recruitment for Bates College. Kim is certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), and is credentialed to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Strong Interest Inventory® assessments. She graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in East Asian Studies.

BIO: James Westhoff has worked in the career development field for nearly 15 years. He has specialized in general career counseling, internship development, and graduate school advising. After working at Colorado State University and completing his Master’s degree in Counseling and Career Development, he move to Maine to work at Bowdoin College and remained there for almost 10 years. In June of 2010, he started his current role as Director of Career Services at Husson University in Bangor. He is active in several professional organizations including the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (Mentoring program and Chair of Membership Committee), the National Career Development Association (Member of Ethics Committee), and the New England Association of Cooperative Education and Field Experience.

Session 5 :  Autism Spectrum Disorder and the DSM-5:  Implications for Career, Education and Service Providers

Presenter: Jessica Plourde

Recent studies have shown that at least 1 in 110 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism. With such an increase in prevalence rates of ASDs over the last 2 decades, the DSM-5, with its proposed changes to the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) criteria, promises to cut ASD prevalence rates significantly, but at what cost? It is proposed that the specific diagnoses of Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS be merged into one diagnosis called Autism Spectrum Disorder. It has also been proposed that the triad of impairments be collapsed into a dyad, combining communication impairments and social interaction deficits into a single category. These changes to the criteria essentially raise the bar for an ASD diagnosis, requiring more numerous and severe symptoms in order to qualify. While it remains to be seen how clinicians will use the new criteria in assessing children, it is clear these changes will have an impact on families and individuals currently diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including access to services, accommodations, and financial reimbursement. Those factors will likely impact career professionals across many settings. For that reason, it is important to remain informed and up to date.

This presentation will help to explain, in plain terms, the changes contained in the DSM – 5, the implications for students at various ages as well as adults, and provide an interactive environment for participants to make sense of what this means in their own environments.

BIO: Jessica Plourde received her master’s degree from Assumption College in counseling psychology with dual concentrations in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Child & Family Therapy. She has worked in the field of counseling and human services in a variety of roles as a mental health counselor, programs researcher, case manager, and vocational rehabilitation counselor. She currently works for the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services as a vocational rehabilitation counselor working with adults and transition students. She has a passion for working with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum and an interest in systems research and public policy.


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