NLTA 2019 Breakout Session Descriptions

NLTA 2019 Breakout Session Descriptions2019-04-01T16:02:48-06:00

Tuesday, April 16 Afternoon 

Breakout Session Descriptions


Check out the full schedule here

Breakout Session Period #1 (1:30-3:00pm)- Choose from one of these four sessions

1A: Understanding the Dynamics of Network Synergy: Evidence-based Practices for Network and Team Governance Approaches 

In this session, we will explore the practical benefits of working as a network to address complex societal challenges. Through small team-based scenario exercises, network research application, and real-life examples, participants will: 1) Identify the type of work that will most benefit from a network approach, 2) Examine how to intentionally align and leverage network structure, composition, and expertise for maximum effectiveness, and 3) Explore the establishment of an effective collaborative process through which teams and networks achieve their best results.

By the end of this session, participants will have a take-home illustration of the empirical value of collaboration, will recognize the importance of collaborative factors such as facilitative leadership, and will have an understanding of how – done well – collaboration allows us all to achieve more together than we would apart.

  • Presenter: Dylan Mroszczyk-McDonald, National Park Service

    Dylan grew up in a small town in scenic Vermont and traces his values and interests to the small community and rich natural environment in which he was raised. For the past 12 years, he has dedicated himself to the care and protection of our National Parks; from Acadia, to Yosemite, to Boston. He has worked in visitor education, leading tours and facilitating conversations on natural and cultural history, served as a leader of technical search and rescue teams, in wildland firefighting, emergency medicine, and as a federal law enforcement officer. He currently works on employee engagement, relevancy, diversity, and inclusion challenges, as well as process improvement through data analytics. Dylan is a summa cum laude graduate of Vermont Law School’s prestigious program in Environmental Law and Policy. He holds a specialization in Design Thinking for Innovation from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and Yale School of Management’s Accel Leadership Development Program. He is a guest lecturer at MIT Sloan School on topics of leadership, teams, creativity, and innovation.


SESSION FULL:  1B: Facilitation Skills for Network Leadership

Often times, network leaders are thrust into positions where they must facilitate group discussions and group decision making with limited training in facilitation. We will cover some of the basic theories of group dynamics, introduce a selection of facilitation models, and share some easy-to-use facilitation tools. Including many references, resources and training opportunities for you to explore later. Discussions will identify when it’s most appropriate to use these theories and tools. For experienced facilitators, this may be a great refresher!

  • Presenter: Lisa VanRaemdonck, University of Colorado Denver-School of Public Affairs 

    Lisa VanRaemdonck serves as the Executive Director of the School of Public Affairs Institute at the University of Colorado-Denver. Her work is dedicated to supporting the intersection of SPA and public service professionals through strategic partnerships, leadership development & training, peer networking, capacity building, and policy communication. Prior to her role at SPA, Lisa served as Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials for more than 6 years and performed group facilitation through a small consulting practice. She has worked in public relations & marketing, and has experience with non-profit & business-to-business communication. She earned a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

1C: Sparking Action through Agile Implementation 

Agile implementation is a method of project management that supports frequent communication, learning and redesign of plans. This session will introduce you to the principles of agile and provide you with tools that you can incorporate into your frameworks to drive your networks towards results.

  • Presenter: Kyla Hoskins, Trailhead Institute

    Kyla manages and provides technical assistance to the organization’s community engagement programs, with a primary focus on cross-sector workforce collaboration. She also supports other programmatic work and program development. Kyla comes to us from working in management consulting where she managed and lead cross functional teams, specifically in health care. Prior to diving into the consulting world, Kyla worked for Connect for Health Colorado through its start-up phase and into its sustainability phase. She has a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy.

1D: The PARTNER Platform: Tools for Evaluating your Network (Danielle Varda)

PARTNER is a social network analysis tool designed to measure & monitor collaboration among people & organizations. The tool demonstrates how network members are connected, how resources are leveraged & exchanged, levels of trust, and to link outcomes to the process of collaboration. The tool includes an online survey and a mobile application that you can administer to collect data and an analysis program that analyzes data in online dashboards. In this workshop, we will introduce you to the PARTNER Platform and walk you through the 4 steps required to use the tool in your organizations and communities.

  • Presenter: Danielle Varda, Visible Network Labs & CU Denver-Center on Network Science 

    Danielle is a scientist turned start-up founder, leading the VNL team as CEO. Her combination of 20 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health, 10 years as a tenured professor, and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science came together in one big idea to start VNL. Danielle spends much of her time building partnerships, managing resources, finding opportunities, and staying on top of the latest science and findings that lead the company to new products and services. She is lead fundraiser, a regular keynote speaker, and the mother of three spirited girls.

Breakout Session Period #2 (3:15-4:45pm)- Choose from one of these four sessions

2A: Navigating Network Conflicts

Join this session to build a set of critical skills and techniques that you can use right away to navigate network conflicts and foster collaborative decision making.  Together we will explore the dynamics of network conflicts and utilize evidence-based principles and strategies of negotiation and conflict resolution in a variety of collaborative decision making contexts. The session is designed to foster one-on-one interaction that lets you apply your new knowledge and sharpen your skills.

  • Presenter: Robyn Mobbs, CU Denver- Center on Network Science & School of Public Affairs 

    Robyn Mobbs is a Senior Instructor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, where she teaches courses in the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree program.  Dr. Mobbs’ teaching interests include public management and administration, leadership, public policy, health policy, research methods, and systems science. She especially focuses on the application of theories to practice, and aims to foster knowledge, skills and techniques needed to successfully implement policies, projects, and programs to address problems within organizations and in society.  Dr. Mobbs’ research interests and expertise focus on health and public health systems, interorganizational relationships, networks, policy implementation and collaborative governance. Her research has been supported by the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

SESSION FULL 2B: Increasing and Sustaining Engagement within your Network

This interactive session will guide you through examining what you are currently doing to engage your network participants, dig into what you’ve learned so far at the NLTA, and develop strategies to improve network engagement across your network. During Monday and Tuesday morning sessions, be sure to jot down ideas on how to engage your own network and use this session to compile them into tips and action steps.

  • Presenter: Rick Winter, Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance

    Rick Winter joined ECCLA in March 2016 as Director of Data, Evaluation, and Member Support. His responsibilities include data quality assurance, aggregate reporting, and analysis to inform Councils and ECCLA in decision making around public policy and program.

    Rick has over 20+ years of international education administration and teaching, curriculum design, data analysis and programming, business development, and writing achievements. Before joining ECCLA, he was a Curriculum Specialist for the Peace Corps in the Department of Education in Micronesia. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver.

    Rick is passionate about early childhood learning, helping early learning professionals, increasing access to comprehensive health care and mental health services, and providing families with meaningful community and parenting supports.

2C: Digital Marketing for Networks: Tools & Tactics to Share your Story Online 

We all have a network story to tell: The work we’re doing, the impact it’s having, and how others can support us. For some networks, communication goes even further; where fundraising, education, and collaboration with the public is critical to their core mission. With the rise of social media, blogging, podcasts and the internet, network leaders have countless options when deciding how to tell their story online. In this session, Alex will share some of the foundational strategies and tactics to create an online presence for your network, engage with your community of interest, and share your story through this communication stream. 

  • Presenter: Alex Derr, Visible Network Labs

    Alex Derr is Visible Network Lab’s Communications Coordinator. He manages the day-to-day affairs of our communication and marketing efforts, including our website, email engagement, social media and content. He enjoys sharing helpful resources and content with our community and users to do more with less and improve their work! Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Political Studies & Environmental Studies, and is finishing his M.P.A at UC-Denver. When not working, Alex enjoys gardening, exploring Denver’s breweries, and climbing 14ers in the Front Range! 

SESSION FULL-2D: Moving the Needle on Community Issues: Demonstrating your Contributions towards Network Outcomes

Funders want to see that outcomes and impacts can be attributed to your project or initiative, but networks leaders know that it takes a whole community of interventions to move the needle on today’s wicked problems. Rather than attribution, today’s network leaders need contribution analysis – a scientifically valid method that supports you in demonstrating your efforts’ contribution to an outcome. Join this session to learn about contribution analysis and start building your own contribution story. 

  • Presenter: Paige Backlund Jarquín, Visible Network Labs

    Paige supports VNLs programs and operations as Chief Operating Officer. Paige’s passion for community engagement and network leadership is a thread through her 20-years of experience. She has had the opportunity to serve community-based and community-led initiatives with organizations such as the Peace Corps, Planned Parenthood, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), and the Regional Health Connector Program at the Colorado Health Institute. Paige earned a master’s degree in public health (MPH) in 2010 and her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in community and behavioral health in 2016, both from the Colorado School of Public Health. In her free time, you can find Paige leading workshops on how to facilitate authentic community engagement, learning how to use her new bead drill, and trying out a new hiking trail with her partner and their kids.E