Doctoral Students to Present at SoACE Conference

Left to right: EJ Presley, Toni Avant, Whitney Woods, and Destini Jones.

Left to right: EJ Presley, Toni Avant, Whitney Woods, and Destini Jones.

UM Higher Education EdD students Toni Avant, EJ Presley, Whitney Woods, and their co-worker Destini Jones, will participate in the upcomingSouthern Association of Colleges and Employers(SoACE) conference in Atlanta, Georgia in December.

The conference will run from Dec. 2-5. Avant will moderate a panel titled, Women of Color Leading the Charge in Career Services. 

A former executive board member of SoACE, Avant has been active with the organization since its inception and has a vested interest in helping young professionals progress into leadership roles within the field of career services. 

“There are a number of women who serve in key leadership positions in our field, but not women of color,” she said. “I would like to see more professional women from ethnically diverse backgrounds competing for the director’s or executive director’s seat. Hopefully, this panel of dynamic leaders will help to begin the conversation on how our younger professionals can prepare themselves to do just that.”

Woods, Presley and Jones will present in a breakout session their study Out and Accessible: Self-Efficacy in Career Decisions for LGBTQ+ Populations and for Students with Disabilities.

This presentation will explore barriers LGBTQ+ populations and students with disabilities face as they make career decisions. The presentation will cover recommendations for how career services can implements programming, counseling techniques, and other initiatives to help remove those obstacles.

Jones, Presley, and Woods said they hope this presentation will be able to make institutions aware of the obstacles that our LGBTQ+ students and students with disabilities face as they approach career decision-making and how career professionals, can better provide the resources for students.

Laura Beth Lott