Thank you to all presenters and participants

for making this a great event! See you in the new year!

RICDA Annual Conference (Virtual): Rebuild, Refresh

Friday, December 3rd, 2021   


After over a year of managing professional change and uncertainty, we'll rebuild our professional career development toolboxes and refresh our passion for the meaningful work we do. Participants should leave this conference with tools to support clients and an even stronger connection to the field of career development. 

  • Reconnect to your own career journey

  • Celebrate diversity and advocate for justice 

  • Understand post-pandemic career development

  • Learn tools for student and client success

  • Share your favorite tools during lunch


See below for general topics and presenters. Detailed program will be emailed to all registrants one day before the event and available here soon.


9:30am-9:45am  |  Welcome and Warm-Up Activity


10:00am-11:00am  |   Presentations (Attend 1)                       

  • Diversity, Equity, and Racial Justice

       Thomas Gaines, M.Ed., Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University

  • Neurodiversity Among Our Students and Clients

       Jonathan Steele, M.Ed., Assistant Director of Career Connections, Landmark College 

  • Engaging SSI and SSDI Beneficiaries to Say Yes to Work! 

       Vicki Ferrara, M.A., Coordinator of Access to Integrated Employment, Sherlock Center on Disabilities, RI College 


11:15am-11:45am  |  Presentations/Discussions (Attend 1)

  • Employment Placement Challenges and Solutions, Post-Pandemic

       Leah Morrison, Employment Specialist, Year Up 

  • Employer Needs and Trends, Post-Pandemic

       Kyla Hanaway-Quinlan, Chief Operating Officer & Head of People, Feast & Fettle

  • Leadership Academy Meet and Greet 

       For Leadership Committee and Leadership Academy participants


12:00pm-12:30pm  |  Presentations/Discussions (Attend 1)

  • K-12: Junior Achievement Programs - Middle and High School Pathways 

       Erin Cheschi, M.P.A., Director of Programs and Community Partnerships, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island

  • Revised NACE Career Readiness Competencies

       Kevin Gaw, Ph.D., Executive Director, Amica Center for Career Education, Bryant University 

  • Resume Writing ATS and Post Pandemic Considerations 

       Audra Lavoie, M.P.A., Career Education Specialist, University of Rhode Island 


12:30pm-12:55pm  |  Virtual Lunch & Sharing

  • Tell us about your favorite tools and strategies for client/student success. A compilation of your suggestions will be sent to all conference participants following the event.  


1:00pm-2:30pm  |  Keynote Speaker

  • Reconnecting to Your Own Career Journey

       Sabrina Woods, Holistic Career Coach & International Trainer / Speaker 


2:30pm-3:00pm  |  Closing




Sabrina Woods - Holistic Career Coach & International Trainer / Speaker

I help people to navigate challenging, or sometimes even mystifying, career and life transitions. I focus on career and life possibilities, but also what might take the edge off the stress in this moment. It's a holistic and resilient approach to career change and job search. In addition to coaching, I facilitate webinars and train-the-trainer sessions ranging from the Myers Briggs to Mindfulness to Linkedin. My desire is to educate, engage and inspire participants. During a session, you might sense my authenticity, down-to-earth nature, and (hopefully) infectious energy. I have taught sessions in the U.S., U.K. and Middle East. My background includes 20 years’ in the career services field at universities including Harvard, Northeastern and the University of London. I am also the President of the Career Counselors Consortium based in Boston.  For more info: www.sabrina-woods.com or www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawoods.

Reconnecting to Your Own Career Journey 

In a poll conducted by Gallup last year, it was revealed that only 36% of a random sample of American employees report genuine enthusiasm and commitment to their job. Are you one of the actively engaged, or has some of your passion and energy been snatched by the past year’s multitude of challenges? 

This session will provide the space and literal breathing room to pause and assess your own work life in the wider context of the pandemic and in the specific framework of your own career progress. We will use mindfulness, reflection and journal writing to tap into what you love about your work and what talents make you feel alive, and break into small groups to offer and receive suggestions about how to renew your satisfaction with work. Flow, values, and daily gratitude are some of the concepts we will discuss as paths to increased happiness and engagement.