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Institute Shares How to Advance Strengths for Colleges and Organizations

Virtual Series Helped Answer Questions About CliftonStrengths®
Institute Shares How to Advance Strengths for Colleges and Organizations
Student strengths coaches meet in the Clifton Strengths Institute in Hawks Hall. The success of the coaching program for all first-year business students was a focus for a six-session virtual summer learning series in 2021.

The Clifton Strengths Institute (CSI) team created a live virtual learning series for colleges and organizations to share the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s strengths-related programs and help answer questions about how to advance CliftonStrengths® within higher education and the workplace. The CliftonStrengths Assessment helps students and employees discover what they naturally do best.

“Our goal with the conference was always to feature our students as much as possible because they are the magic of our story. Not only do they coach their fellow students on individual talents, our alumni also bring strengths education into graduate school and provide meaningful consulting to employers. But we also wanted to feature the logistics of training and the reasons why we do it, so other campuses can replicate it,” said Jasie Beam, ’18, and former Clifton Builders program coordinator involved with the planning. “With a virtual series, we created broader, more flexible sessions relevant to on-campus, alumni and business partners as well as other institutions. With this online series, we achieved that goal.”

The free, three-day event included six live webinars that explored topics such as garnering support for bringing strengths to higher education campuses, student strengths coach and Clifton Builders panels, and what employers need to know about why Nebraska business students are different. More than 130 people registered to attend the series, hearing from student and alumni panelists, faculty, staff and employer partners.

“Most of the attendees had some strengths awareness, but there were some new names too. We had a good group of Nebraska faculty, staff, students and alumni online – but over half of attendees were from outside the Nebraska community, providing a great opportunity for outreach,” said Timothy Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management.

Hodges received positive feedback from multiple participants including Val McPherson of Omaha, Nebraska, a community liaison in international programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. McPherson, also a certified Gallup Entrepreneur Acceleration System mentor, shared that he attended all six sessions and looked forward to helping further the strengths mission in the future.

“I loved every minute! The Clifton Strengths Institute team assembled a very impressive group of panelists. The incredible successes of the CSI’s programs were evident through their passionate testimonials. But I must confess, there was a down side: It made me regret that there was no CSI when I attended college,” he said.

To view recordings of the summer 2021 Zoom sessions, visit by December 31. The CSI plans to host an in-person conference in the summer of 2022 in Howard L. Hawks Hall in Lincoln. More information will be coming soon.

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Published: December 22, 2021