Learning Cafes

Never stop learning

Employee Development and Success launched a new series in 2020 called Learning Cafes. Learning Cafes are online sessions focused on continuing your professional and personal growth whether you are back in your office or working remotely. Each one features a topic of interest, guidance from an experienced moderator, an engaging activity or reading, and time for discussion and sharing to renew your connection to the UofL family. Do you have a topic you'd like to facilitate in a learning cafe? Reach out to us at .

Upcoming Learning Cafes

virtual session Indicates that a session is virtual using Microsoft Teams.

Click to registerNurturing Closer Friendships Across Identity Lines virtual session

One of the best things we can do to create a culture of diversity and inclusion is to deepen our friendships with people who hold identities different from ours.  But why is it sometimes so challenging?  In this café, we will hear from a panel about their friendships and how they navigate challenging conversations about privilege, implicit bias and the other dynamics that can torpedo our closeness. The panel will offer tips for owning our unintended mistakes and supporting our friends without speaking for them.

Moderators:  Diane Whitlock, Diversity and Equity and Brian Buford, Employee Success

October 15, 2020 from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Click to registerFive Things You Can Do Now to Create a Welcoming Workplace for LGBTQ Colleagues virtual session

Most of us want to be LGBTQ welcoming and inclusive, but often don’t know how  to make it happen.  In this Pride Month Learning Cafe, we will look at some tangible steps everyone can take to send a message of support and to remove barriers to success.  We will also look at the organizational systems that can sometimes put people in boxes, or leave them out altogether.  The session will include best practices, stories of success at UofL, and time to ask questions in a safe and supportive space.

Facilitated by Brian Buford, Director of Employee Development and Success

October 20th from 11am-12pm

Click to registerHigher Ed: Being an Introvert in an “Extrovert’s” World virtual session

Often times, people assume that if you work in higher education (especially student service-type areas) you must be an extrovert. But there are a lot of us who are more introverted, trying to navigate through large meetings, presentations, conferences, networking events, and more. This session will be an open and candid discussion (through memes!) about what it’s like to be an introvert in higher ed and how to embrace it.

Facilitated by Katie Partin, Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

October 21st from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Click to registerThe Power of Executive Presence virtual session

Have you ever wondered how some people can walk into a room and command the attention of others? How some can get their people to go into battle with them while others can barely muster enough support to make it through the day? How you might rein in the power of executive presence to be the next impactful voice for your organization? In this Learning Café, we will discuss strategies to gain a better understanding of the culture in which we operate and how you can bring your authentic self to the forefront. We will learn how we can flex our emotional intelligence muscles to show a genuine care for others and how that empathy will build loyal support. Finally, we will learn the tools necessary to cultivate this skillset throughout our career.

Facilitated by Dr. Jenna Haugen, Assistant Professor of Management

October 27th from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Click to registerTips for Compassionate Communication virtual session

We all want our email messages to be professional and courteous, but how do we "warm" them up so that they are also relatable and friendly? You might think it means longer, rambling messages to connect with readers on a personal level, but in reality it takes no extra time and just a few adjustments to your style.  Using a few simple tricks, you can elevate your messages so that they communicate the spirit of customer service and compassion that you want every receiver to experience.

Facilitated by Brian Buford, Director of Employee Development and Success and Lindsey Roney, Arts and Sciences Deans Office

October 29th from 1:00pm-2:00pm

Click to registerTrauma Informed Management: How do we apply trauma informed care to the workplace? virtual session

Trauma informed care is gaining significant recognition in the healthcare setting for providing a set of guidelines for approaching patient experience through the consideration of trauma and the way this impacts patient care. This Learning Café will explore how to apply trauma informed care strategies in the workplace, among our colleagues, and for the people we supervise. During a time of immense pain and hardship, the ability to approach each other in supportive ways that account for all we are carrying around is essential.

Facilitated by Blaz Bush, Director, LGBT Center

November 4, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Welcoming New EmployClick to registerees with a Strategic Onboarding Plan virtual session

The old adage is true:  First impressions matter.  And in the case of new employees, what happens in the first few days on the job can make all the difference in the world.  In fact, research suggests our onboarding efforts affect retention, engagement, and overall job performance. Join Kathy Gosser to discuss easy-to-implement strategies to welcome new team members and ensure they are set up for success.

Facilitated by Dr. Kathy Gosser, Executive-In-Residence & Director of Franchise Management Program

November 10th from 1:00pm-2:00pm

 Looking for a Previous Learning Cafe?

You aren't too late! Previously held Learning Cafe sessions are recorded and available on demand. Check out the Learning Cafe channel on Microsoft Stream. Available cafes include:

  • Creating a Community of Care through Employee Resource Groups
  • How your Journaling Practice Can Lead You to Joy and Gratitude
  • Money Saving Ideas
  • What the Protests Can Teach You About Being an Ally to People of Color
  • Talking to Kids about Racism, Police Violence, and the Protests
  • Blackboard Collaborate Basics and Best Practices
  • LinkedIn: Beyond the Basics
  • and more


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