Flex Week Fall 2022

Creating Connections and Cultivating Excellence

August 15 — 19, 2022
Flex sessions will include in-person, online, and hyflex (in-person and online) options.

Flex activities are open to all faculty and staff. Please register for all Flex sessions at ProLearning, your personalized professional learning site. Simply log into MyCOM and choose ProLearning from the list of applications. From the Workshop Calendar, you can view and register (REQUEST) workshops, and find Zoom links. After each session, please complete the short evaluation.

Employee Excellence (EE), Equity (EQ), Institutional Effectiveness (IE), Online Instruction (OI)
Student Success (SS), Teaching and Learning (TL), Technology Training (TT)

Pre-FLEX Week Benefits and Wellness Sessions - August 8—12, 2022


Program Descriptions


10 am — 11 am
OMNI 403(b)/457(b) Administration — What You Need to Know

General overview of OMNI's administrative services. During this session, we will walk through the OMNI website and review the most used features of Marin Community College District's 403(B) AND 457(B) Page. This will also be a great time for employees to ask any questions that they may have. 

Session Outcomes
  • Learn where to go in order to start, stop, or change 403(b) contribution amounts, as well as which providers are approved vendors for Marin Community College District
  • Learn where to go in order to ask questions or get assistance with their 403(b) account
  • Learn where to go in order to submit transaction requests such as loans, hardships, withdrawals, and more
  • Learn some basic financial literacy information 

Ryan Phillips
OMNI Business Development Manager

10 am — 11 am
Your Retirement Plan at Work

In this workshop, you will learn how your CalSTRS or CalPERS pension, Social Security Benefits, and individual retirement savings complement employer pensions and help you maintain your lifestyle well into retirement. In addition, the presenters will discuss the reasons people delay saving for retirement, how much you should save for retirement, the benefits of participating in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, and planning for your retirement early or mid-career. 

Session Outcomes
  • Gain a better grasp on how much to start saving for retirement based on multiple factors, including age, tenure, and cost of living 
  • Learn the different investment risks and know how these risks will affect long-term goals 
  • Have a better understanding of how each retirement benefit works together with the others to provide a comprehensive path to retirement 

Dave Creech
District Vice President
VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc.

12 pm - 12:45 pm
Mindful Moment Break

Join us and throughout the fall semester as the COM Wellness Program offers Mindful Moment Breaks where we focus on a different aspect of emotions, stress management, or resiliency. In addition, we will talk about how to take better care of ourselves at work, school, and/or at home.  Taking a few minutes to recharge and refresh during your busy day can also help you reframe your thoughts and feelings and prepare for the busy semester ahead. 

Session Outcomes
  • Use the time and opportunity to slow down, breathe, meditate, and reflect 
  • Discuss and share how the meditation exercise resonated and the lessons learned from the exercise 
  • Better understand the role wellbeing can play in our happiness and the importance of meditation and reflection as a consistent habit

Dayna Gowan
Keenan, Health and Wellness Manager

2 pm – 5 pm
AC 255
AC Courtyard
CPR and AED Training

This CPR training will give you the lifesaving skills you need to help others during breathing and cardiac emergencies. The instructor will teach current CPR methods, and participants will learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) device. Participants will practice on a training mannequin. This session is limited to 20 people. 

Session Outcomes
  • Learn how to respond to cardiac emergencies
  • Practice CPR
  • Use an AED device

Paul Stewart 

12 pm - 1 pm
Improv for Self-Care

We know the importance of self-care and have the best of intentions to take better care of ourselves, but life and our endless to-do lists often get in the way. Sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to find the perfect self-care routine and plan that we forget to actually do the self-care activities. Let's stop over-thinking self-care and start practicing it now!  In this interactive workshop, we will use the tools of improvisation to help us shift our mindset, let go of perfection, and embrace creativity. Try something new and different and learn easy ways to practice self-care during busy and tough times.

Please note: This is a highly interactive workshop, meaning no multi-tasking allowed. Participants will be asked to join breakout sessions and participate in the activities. Everyone will have a chance and be asked to contribute. However, participants always have the option to just watch and listen if requested. 

Session Outcomes
  • Use the concept of "Yes, and…" to develop better positive self-talk and self-acceptance skills
  • Use the concept of "Yes, and…" to brainstorm ways to incorporate small bouts of play and creativity into daily lives
  • Understand the importance of movement and how even small body movements can help with focus and being more present
  • Learn how to embrace mistakes and let go of perfection by practicing low-stakes situations where it is acceptable to make mistakes and then move on quickly

Dayna Gowan
Keenan Health and Wellness Manager, Improviser, and Facilitator of Fun

10 am – 11 am
Benefits 101: Medical Benefits

During this educational workshop, Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC) will present an overview of the medical benefits available to College of Marin employees.  Attendees will learn more about the added value services available through SISC JPA. This is the perfect time to ask all of your benefit-related questions!

Session Outcomes
  • Leave with a basic understanding of plan terms and benefits
  • Identify the importance of staying in-network
  • Describe SISC added value services  

Cassady Clifton
SISC Account Manager

11 am - 12 pm
Benefits 101:  Health Savings Accounts

Attendees will obtain a deeper understanding of Health Savings Accounts, HSA-Compatible High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP’s) and their benefits. Learn the rules and eligibility guidelines for opening an HSA, and receive answers to your personal questions!

Session Outcomes
  • Identify basic facts about the HDHP Terms and Benefits
  • Identify the differences between an HAS and an /HSA-Compliant HDHP
  •  Identify HSA Eligibility and Rules

Cassady Clifton
SISC Account Manager

Beto Borja
Sterling Administration Account Manager

1 pm – 2:30 pm
CalSTRS – My Retirement System and CalSTRS Pension2

This CalSTRS webinar, designed specifically for Marin Community College District[CK1] [BP2] [BP3]  employees, combines two of our most essential webinars into one:  

My Retirement System, designed specifically for new or mid-career employees, will provide you with the foundation you need to know as a CalSTRS member. You will learn important topics that include understanding the CalSTRS hybrid retirement system, contributions, creditable services, and other resources CalSTRS offers based on your career stage.

Start Saving Now with Pension2 provides information regarding the one voluntary component of the CalSTRS hybrid retirement system that may seem optional, but for almost all employees, is crucial for ensuring a comfortable retirement. CalSTRS Pension2 is CalSTRS’ voluntary defined contribution plan. Pension2 offers the opportunity to invest through tax-advantaged payroll deductions in low cost, flexible 403(b), Roth 403(b), and 457(b) plans for additional retirement savings. In this portion of the webinar, you’ll understand how valuable saving even a little money today will benefit you hugely by the time you’re ready to retire.

Session Outcomes
  • Understand CalSTRS contributions, creditable service, and retirement formula
  • Learn about other CalSTRS resources available
  • Learn how saving through CalSTRS Pension2 complements your CalSTRS retirement benefits
  • Discover how CalSTRS Pension 2 features low fees and tax-advantaged contributions and a variety of investment plans

Marcus Hoey
CalSTRS Defined Contribution Specialist

9 am – 3:30 pm
Equity in Mental Health Symposium: Creating a Culture of Community

Join us at the first annual College of Marin Equity in Mental Health Symposium as we tap into ancestral wisdom, the power of nature, culturally responsive pedagogy, healing, and mental health to create a culture of community rooted in equity.

Featuring a diverse group of leaders in mental health, participants will engage in hands-on activities in preparation for the upcoming academic year. The conference is open to the public and specifically designed for those working in education, community colleges, mental health, mentoring, and social and youth services.

Questions? Email umoja@marin.edu

Umoja Equity Institute

Psychological Services

Monday, August 15, 2022


Program Descriptions


9 am – 10:30 am
AC 247 & Zoom


What Admissions Offices are REALLY Looking For: Helping Students with Their Transfer Admissions Essays

Many students turn to their professors and mentors for support on their transfer applications; this application season be even more prepared to give them the best and most up-to-date advice!   Sofie Totapudi, COM’s Transfer and Career Center Coordinator, will provide training on supporting students with both the Common App essay and the UC personal insight questions. She will illuminate how the UC PIQ writing style, prompts, and expectations are vastly different from the Common Application personal statement, research papers, creative writing samples, and other types of essays. The UCs are not looking for poetic language, thesis statements, or many over-used topics. To find out what they are looking for, how they differentiate from a typical “personal statement,” and how you can best guide your students, join us at this workshop.

Session Outcomes
  • Give impactful advice to students writing their admissions essays
  • Understand what makes a great Common App and UC PIQ topic
  • Identify style differences between different types of admissions essays
  • Guide students to effectively discuss challenges and obstacles in their transfer applications

Sofia Totapudi

10 am – 3 pm
AC 255
Department Chairs’ and Coordinators’ Meeting

All chairs/coordinators, deans, and directors should attend.   This meeting will offer a concentrated, dedicated time for chairs and coordinators to discuss important topics for the semester. The information and discussion will be applicable to share at department meetings.

Jonathan Eldridge

10:45 am – 11:45 am
AC 246 & Zoom
UndocuAlly Training: Supporting Undocumented Students

This presentation will provide participants with knowledge, tools, and resources to support undocumented students at COM. We will cover common terms, state and federal laws affecting undocumented students, resources available on and off-campus, and share best practices.

Session Outcomes
  • Learn state and federal laws that impact undocumented students
  • Connect undocumented students to resources and support services

Hugo Guillen

1 pm – 2 pm
AC 114 & Zoom
Canvas Updates and New Releases

Stay current with upcoming changes to Canvas. In this session, we will introduce and demonstrate Canvas new releases and updates pertaining to assignments, accessible pages, gradebook, Speedgrader, Canvas Support, and more!

Session Outcomes
  • Apply new Canvas features to course Pages, Assignments, and Speedgrader

Stacey Lince

2 pm – 5 pm
AC 116
New Faculty Orientation

Are you new to teaching at COM? If so, welcome! We’re glad to have you as part of our faculty. We want to give you the support and information you need to be successful, so please join us for this orientation session. You will meet other new faculty and learn important information about COM policies and procedures to help ensure that you are ready for the first day of classes and beyond.

Session Outcomes
  • Gain key information about College policies and procedures
  • Learn about resources and support services
  • Meet new colleagues

Cara Kreit

Cari Torres

3:30 pm – 5 pm
AC 247
Faculty Diversity Internship Program: Information and Training Session

In May, COM successfully completed its first cohort of interns finishing the Faculty Diversity Internship Program, a program designed to give faculty interns professional practice and help the college build a faculty that reflects our diverse student population. This session is a training session for the next group of mentors and mentees. In addition, this workshop is an opportunity for interested faculty to learn about the program and possibly participate in the next cohort and program.

Session Outcomes
  • Learn about the Faculty Diversity Internship Program
  • Connect mentees to the College of Marin community
  • Discuss the purpose of the program and how it supports equity
  • Recruit possible mentors for next year's cohort

Patty France

FDIP Mentors

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
FH 110
OER: A Voyage Beyond Textbook Adoption

Would you like to improve access and student engagement with your course textbook and improve student success in your course? Join COM’s OER Librarians for a discussion about the value of Open Educational Resources, Open Pedagogy, and Zero Textbook Cost degrees in today’s academic environment.  The conversation will touch on the basics of OER, but the emphasis will be focused on faculty OER support at COM, open pedagogy, and creation of OER through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens.  We will discuss current OER efforts at COM and ways to get involved to serve COMs diverse student population. We’ll also have a few OER textbooks at the session for you to view. Although the format will be informative in nature, interactivity and comments from the attendees will be highly encouraged.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify training and support available at COM for OER adoption and development
  • Use OER and open pedagogy to improve student engagement and success in the classroom
  • Describe ways that diverse voices and perspectives are represented in OER


Michele Alaniz

Ron Oxford

Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Program Descriptions


9 am – 10 am
FH 110 & Zoom
Library Services and Resources: Textbooks, Ebooks, Controversial Books, Just Plain Books, and More!

Join us to learn about how the library can support you and your students with textbooks, online resources, instruction, laptops, and more. We will discuss the library’s three textbook initiatives, our most popular online resources (Yes, The New York Times online is available for free!), vaccinating our students against the pandemic of disinformation with information literacy instruction (in person, online, synchronous or asynchronous!), and what we are cooking up for Banned Books Week in September.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify three ways the library can help you with free or cheap textbooks
  • Use library instruction to inoculate your students against disinformation
  • Describe library services that support your teaching and your students’ learning 
  • Celebrate the struggle to keep the conversation around controversial or complicated topics going 

Sarah Frye

David Patterson

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
AC 240
Understanding White Supremacy and Racial Justice 101

White supremacy is often discussed as a "thing of the past" or a “taboo topic.”  With the pandemic came the stark understanding of how deeply rooted systemic racism, classism, and oppression is for marginalized communities, which stems from practices and policies steeped in White supremacy.  Join us in a conversation about how institutions of higher education are rooted in White supremacy and how we can individually and collectively work to counter and dismantle racist systems to create equitable access and support for students who historically and currently experience the most impact.

Session Outcomes
  • Learn about the historical and current context of White supremacy and racial justice in the U.S. higher education system
  • Reflect on current practices in teaching and/or positions at the college
  • Take away tips and tools to actively dismantle oppressive practices in their teaching and/or professional positions

Sadika Sulaiman Hara

Patty France

Teresa Reiko Perales

1 pm — 2 pm
Shattering the Ceiling of STEM Undergraduate research at COM: New Visions and Opportunities

In this session, faculty from biology, mathematics, engineering, and physics will share information about working with outside agencies to promote the development of STEM skills among our students. The panel will include Antonino Cuchiara, a former COM faculty member who now works for NASA.

Session Outcomes
  • Promote student learning
  • Encourage cooperation among faculty
  • Provide resources to students to incorporate equity in learning

Fernando Agudelo-Silva

Eric Dunmire

David Everitt

George Rothbart

2 pm – 4 pm
FA 214
Expanding Learning through Drawing

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty?

In this hands-on activity, participants will gain a new way of experiencing seeing by drawing and focusing on the connections of shape and light. This process reveals the universal relationship between visual skills and the application to other subjects and demonstrates how it can be a transformative experience. No prior experience with drawing or charcoal is necessary.

Session Outcomes
  • Participate in a transformative learning experience
  • Move out of your comfort level

Carol Lefkowitz

2 pm – 3:30 pm
Meeting Basic Needs and Supporting Student Wellness

What are Basic Needs?  Come and learn about the various services and resources available to support students' food, housing, mental health, and financial wellness and how this impacts student success in the classroom.

Session Outcomes
  • Learn the landscape of Basic Needs
  • Learn about resources at COM and in Marin County to address basic needs
  • Learn ways to support students in the classroom as needs are disclosed

Sadika Sulaiman Hara

Community Partners

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Welcome Center
830 College Ave.
Student Services Open House

The Student Services open house provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to get acquainted with the locations, services, and staff behind many of the student services offered at College of Marin. This is a chance to navigate the campus in-person and put names and faces to a multitude of services provided by the college so you can feel more confident in connecting students with the services they need and the people who provide those services.

Session Outcomes
  • Understand the locations, hours, and services provided for a variety of student services. 
  • Feel more confident about how to best refer students to student services. 
  • Develop stronger relationships with the people who provide various students services. 
  • Understand remote options for accessing various student services.

Student Services Staff and Faculty

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Time Program Descriptions Presenter/Facilitator

8:30 am – 9 am

Bill and Adele Jonas Center


Pre-Convocation Breakfast
9 am – 11 am
Bill and Adele Jonas Center


Join us at the Jonas Center at IVC as we kick-off the new academic year. Catch up on College updates, meet with colleagues, and learn about our The 1619 Project, our new COMmon Read. After convocation, we'll have a health and wellness fair, campus tours, a welcome back lunch and more.

David Wain Coon

11 am - 12:30 pm


Various Locations


Self-Guided Campus Tours


11 am – 1 pm
Jonas Center Parking Lot
Health and Wellness Fair


Come enjoy live music, art, and activities as you learn about the health and wellness programs available to COM employees.  Participate in tours of the IVC Organic Farm and Garden and Miwok Aquatic Center.


12 pm — 1 pm


Bill and Adele Jonas Center


Employee Lunch

All employees are invited for lunch at the Jonas Center. 

1 pm — 3 pm
Various Location
Department Meetings

Join your department meeting for updates and planning information. Check ProLearning for room locations.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm


Bill and Adele Jonas Center


UPM Meeting

Faculty are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear the latest on the UPM activities.

Patrick Kelly

4:15 pm — 5 pm
President's Welcome Back Reception 

After a full day of activities, all employees are invited to take some time to relax and mingle with colleagues in this social hour hosted by Dr. Coon and UPM.



Thursday, August 18, 2022

Time Program Descriptions Presenter/Facilitator
9 am — 10 am
FH 110 & Zoom
COMmon Read Call to Action: The 1619 Project

Join us to discuss how The 1619 Project can be incorporated into your curriculum this academic year. We’ll discuss events that we are planning for fall and for spring (and events you might want to lead!), brainstorm ways you and your students can participate, and empower one another to take diversity, inclusion, and equity to the next level – into our curriculum and into our hearts. 

Session Outcomes
  • Identify major themes in The 1619 Project
  • Consider ways to easily include the themes of the book in your curriculum 
  • Learn how you and your students can get a free book and attend events

Sarah Frye

David Patterson

9 am – 10 am
AC 247
Protecting Your Voice: Tips for Teachers

Learn how to protect your most precious tool - your voice. Teachers are in a high-risk profession for vocal problems. This presentation will cover some basics of vocal anatomy, vocal behaviors to avoid, and ways to protect your precious instrument, including good habits, using voice amplification, and designing instruction to minimize damage.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify basic vocal structures and their function
  • Discuss the causes of vocal problems
  • Adopt healthy vocal teaching practices
  • Identify vocally harmful behaviors

Magda Levin

10:10 am – 12 pm
AC 255
Effective Strategies for Addressing Student Disengagement

This interactive session is based on experts' work to understand what is fueling student disengagement and what faculty and colleges can do about it. Practical, implementable strategies will be provided, and participants will have an opportunity to share issues and their own strategies about how to re-engage students post-pandemic.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify reasons for student disengagement in the classroom
  • Learn concrete strategies to combat disconnection
  • Understand issues--and solutions--shared by colleagues

Jonathan Eldridge

Stormy Miller

12:30 pm – 2 pm
AC 255
Giving Students a Voice and Getting Them Invested

In this panel discussion, Drama Program faculty and students will share strategies and techniques that give students a voice in their educational experience and get them personally invested in the journey.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify student-centered strategies for classroom activities
  • Implement techniques in your classes that create student buy-in
  • Increase student engagement

Erin McBride Africa

Drama Program Students

2:10 pm – 3:30 pm
AC 114
Accessing the Data at Your Fingertips with PRIE's Interactive Dashboards

Learn how to query PRIE's new Fact Book dashboards in this hands-on session. Our new interactive Tableau dashboards allow easy, immediate access to customized, disaggregated data on student enrollment, retention, success, completion outcomes, and course-taking patterns which can be used for program planning, evaluation, equity, and continuous improvement.

Session Outcomes
  • Navigate interactive dashboards on PRIE's website
  • Produce simple queries to answer data questions
  • Understand where to find specific types of data in the new Fact Book format

Holley Shafer

Katie Mills

2:10 pm – 3:30 pm
Brave Spaces: A Proactive Approach to Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

This presentation covers foundational information about sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Participants will examine their knowledge and beliefs, critique paradigms that are harmful to LGBTQIA people, and gain practices that can help cultivate affirming spaces at College of Marin and our larger communities.

Session Outcomes
  • Learn foundational terminologies of the expansive LGBTQ+ community 
  • Practice using inclusive and affirming language 
  • Take away tips and tools about how to cultivate brave spaces in their classrooms and communities

Teresa Reiko Perales

3:40 pm – 5 pm
PE 60
Discover the Healing Power of Breathwork

This session will introduce you to the Reset breathing technique. Our bodies take 20,000 breaths per day. You will learn how to create a daily breathwork practice as a tool for relieving anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue and managing hypertension. This session is limited to 16 participants.

Session Outcomes
  • Apply breathing techniques to manage stress
  • Connect their breath to relieve pain and fatigue

Kathleen Smyth

Carolyn Smyth

Friday, August 19, 2022

Time Program Descriptions Presenter/Facilitator
9 am – 10 am
Making Assessment Meaningful

How do we make SLO assessment more meaningful? How can SLO assessment better inform our equity-minded practices? Come join us to learn about what's working with SLO assessment across the College, what's next, and contribute your ideas and questions. We will highlight examples from English, Math, Fine Arts, Business, and CTE about how SLO assessment, along with other student success data, can be used to explore thorny questions about student learning, and measure impacts of curriculum change. Interested in looking at our new assessment dashboard? We'll be demonstrating that too!

Session Outcomes
  • Use assessment data to identify equity gaps
  • Use assessment data to understand impacts of curriculum change
  • Use assessment data to learn about our new assessment dashboard

Logan Wood

Paul Cheney

Alex Jones

Nancy Willet

Farhad Zabihi

10 am – 11 am
Mandatory Revision in eLumen

This workshop will provide step-by-step instructions about how to complete mandatory revision in eLumen for faculty who need a refresher or are new to eLumen.  We will also review criteria for revisions that require a presentation to the Curriculum Committee when there are substantive changes to a course outline of record. 

Session Outcomes
  • Refresh your knowledge of or learn to use eLumen
  • Understand when changes require presentations to the Curriculum Committee

Gina Cullen

Cari Torres

Grace Mengqi Yuan

10 am – 11 am
COM Care: Balancing Classroom Management and Student Support

In this session, participants will learn about and discuss the best practices for supporting students in crisis, identify red flags and warning signs, and work on student intervention skills. We will also discuss resources at the College and in the community so that you can more effectively provide support for your students.

Session Outcomes
  • Identify resources, both on-campus and off-campus, that can support students facing a crisis
  • Recognize concerning behaviors of students that may require additional support or intervention
  • Model intervention strategies to use with students in crisis

Sadika Sulaiman Hara

11 am – 12:30 pm
Become a Program Review Data Wizard

Understanding the data in your Program Review data report can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be! In this lecture/interactive session, PRIE will walk you through the metrics included in the standard Program Review data report, how to interpret the data, and identify key questions and takeaways for programmatic improvement, specifically focusing on equity.

Session Outcomes
  • Understand the metrics in the Program Review data template
  • Use data findings to set goals for program improvement

Holley Shafer

Katie Mills

1 pm – 2:30 pm
Promoting Accessibility in Canvas

Accessible course design is essential to student learning – not to mention it is the law! In this session, we will introduce participants to a newly integrated Canvas tool called Pope Tech. We will explore how to verify and correct accessibility errors within Canvas pages; discuss the benefits of using Canvas pages over PDF and Word documents; and demonstrate how to use built-in Adobe and Microsoft accessibility features.

Session Outcomes
  • Review the accessibility checklist
  • Identify Canvas pages and document accessibility issues
  • Correct accessibility issues using various accessibility tools including Pope Tech, the Canvas accessibility checker, and built-in Adobe and Microsoft accessibility features

Stacey Lince

Kathleen Smyth

Elle Dimopoulos