Professional Development

Student Affairs supports and encourages the ongoing professional and personal development of all employees.

Professional Development Work Group

The mission of the Professional Development Work Group (PDWG) is to provide comprehensive professional development (PD) resources and opportunities for staff members, including graduate assistants, from which they can create their own plans for enrichment for their careers within Student Affairs.

Many options are available when considering your path for professional development. PDWG has developed this flowchart to assist in choosing your path and taking advantage of all available opportunities.

Student Affairs awards program

Student Affairs awards will be presented at the end of the academic year at the Spring Summit and are intended to recognize employees who have demonstrated excellence in performing their jobs as well as showing great teamwork and collaboration with others.

Any Student Affairs employee can submit a nomination form for someone they think should be considered for an award. Award nominations forms should be filled via our online submission form in Qualtrics or via email. All handwritten submissions should be fully completed and legible. All submissions are due to the Student Affairs HR Manager, electronic or via email, no later than April 8 and should include the accomplishments of the employee that justify the award they are being nominated for. The nominee forms will be presented to a committee made up of employees who are not assigned to Student Affairs but may have knowledge of the Student Affairs mission. The HR Manager will also be part of the committee but only as the facilitator and serves as an ex officio member.

The Senior Vice-President of Student Affairs or his/her designee will present the Student Affairs awards at the Spring Summit.

Click here for the Student Affairs Awards Descriptions and printable forms.

All submissions are encouraged through the online Qualtrics form

All handwritten forms must be returned to Trey Lightner at

New Employee Orientation

PDWG aims to make all new Student Affairs staff members feel welcomed and informed.   The committee hosts Student Affairs orientations for all new full-time employees.  The orientations include Student Affairs overview information such as: messages from our senior leadership, an Assessment 101 introduction, an overview from Student Affairs Human Resources, ways to get involved within the Division and elsewhere at AU, and tours of campus buildings that house student affairs departments.

Professional Development Workshop Series

PDWG offers a series of workshops available for all Student Affairs staff to attend as well as the rest of the Auburn community. Speakers are invited from a variety of campus departments to share information and knowledge.

Search Committee Guidelines

Search Committee Guidelines

Jobs ListServ

The Professional Development Working Group is pleased to share a new approach for communicating about job openings. Rather than sending positions to one individual’s email address for compilation and distribution, you can now email postings directly to the listserv for direct dissemination to the Student Affairs staff. We look forward to this new method allowing for more timely sharing of postings as individual staff members become aware of them.

Conference Calendar

This calendar provides listings of professional conferences for fields within Student Affairs. There are offerings for all levels of personnel. PDWG invites you to check it out and see what opportunities are available for you.

NASPA Annual Conference

Are you considering attending the next NASPA Annual Conference? If so, PDWG has assembled the resources below to help you make the most of your trip. First-time attendees, this information may be especially helpful to you.

Auburn University Spirit of Excellence Award

PDWG seeks to provide recognition opportunities for staff members’ hard work within Student Affairs.  The committee oversees the Student Affairs Awards nominations and selection process.  Additionally, PDWG manages the nominations process for submitting  Student Affairs staff members as potential recipients for the university-wide Spirit of Excellence Award each month.  PDWG invites you to nominate a colleague for the Auburn University Spirit of Excellence Award.  Please submit your nominations to Trey Lightner by the 10th of each month by emailing him a completed version of this nomination form.  PDWG will review all nominations and submit a nominee, from each of the appropriate personnel categories to AU HR.  The award categories include: Service/Maintenance; Secretarial/Clerical; Technical; and Administrative/Professional.

Graduate Assistant Professional Development Funds Request Form

PDWG seeks to provide opportunities that encourage and stimulate the professional growth of graduate assistants working in the Division of Student Affairs. To this end, PDWG offers limited funding to assist with professional development expenses, including conference registration, trainings, travel, and meals. To apply, return a completed copy of Graduate Student Professional Development Funds Request Form to Trey Lightner

Placement for Graduate Students

PDWG encourages development opportunities for all Student Affairs staff members, including graduate assistants. Check out this information about the Placement for Graduate Assistants program provided by AU Student Affairs.

Click here to visit the Placement for Graduate Students website

Placement for Graduate Assistants is designed to help graduate students find assistantships within Student Affairs and other Student Support Services. This event allows potential graduate assistants the opportunity to learn about Auburn University and position openings.


Meeting Minutes

PDWG wants to keep Student Affairs up-to-date on its work and initiatives. We invite you to review our minutes and learn more about our group.

PDWG Committee Members

Brit Bowen
Media & Marketing

Andrea Brothers
Human Resources

Teresa Carden

Ashley Carr, Ph.D.
Academic Support

Cameron Eaves
Student Involvement

Abigail Hickey
Health Promotion & Wellness Services

Abby Langham, Ph.D. 
Assessment & Strategic Planning

Trey Lightner  (Chair)
Human Resources

Chris Lucas
Greek Life

Lindsay Ollis
Greek Life

Brandy Smith, Ph.D.
Student Counseling Services

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Last modified: 04/09/2019