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Department of Advanced Education Programs
Fort Hays State University
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Presentation Titles and Descriptions for Symposium

Keynote Address: "Trauma Informed Communities"

Speaker: Dr. Bernard Franklin 

Trauma and violence are widespread, harmful, and costly public health concerns. They have no boundaries. Trauma is a common experience for adults and children in American communities and it is especially common in the lives of people with mental and substance use disorders. For this reason, the need to address trauma is increasing and seen as an important part of effective behavioral health care. As a public health priority, focusing on trauma is one of Dr. Franklin's highest strategic concerns. Dr. Franklin seeks to reduce the pervasive, harmful, and costly health impact of violence and trauma by integrating trauma-informed approaches throughout behavioral health systems


Breakout Session #1

Title: "Working With Children from Hard Places"

Speaker: Dr. Bernard Franklin

Session Description:  In this presentation, participants will be introduced to skills that will enable them to work more effectively in a professional, therapeutic, and holistic manner with young people exposed to trauma. A partial list of topics includes: The impact of adverse childhood trauma on adolescents and adults along with the role of helping professionals in addressing trauma; Using countertransference as a gift when working with clients exposed to trauma who go from victim to perpetrator, establishing healthy boundaries to prevent vicarious or secondary trauma; and the therapeutic benefits of humor and other strategies to reduce the risk of compassion fatigue/secondary trauma.


Lunch Speaker 

Speaker: Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education

Bio: Dr. Randy Watson was named Kansas Commissioner of Education by the Kansas State Board of Education in November 2014. He assumed his role July 2015. As the state’s chief education officer, he provides leadership to the Kansas State Department of Education in carrying out the policies and programs prescribed by the State Board of Education to ensure the necessary oversight and support is provided to assist Kansas schools, educators and students in achieving their goals.

Dr. Watson began his education career in 1981 as a high school social studies teacher in Tescott, KS. He has served as a high school principal and provided classroom instruction at the university level. Most recently, Dr. Watson served the community of McPherson for 22 years — working as an assistant superintendent from 1993-2005 and as superintendent from 2005-2015.

A native of Coffeyville Kansas, Dr. Watson attended Kansas State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in science in secondary administration, staff supervision and staff development, building level certification. Additionally, he received his doctorate of education in secondary administration, school law, curriculum development and instructional leadership, and district level certification.

The recipient of many awards, Dr. Watson was named an Alumni Fellow at Kansas State and in 2015, was honored by being named the Kansas Superintendent of the Year. Throughout his career, Dr. Watson has been sought out by schools, districts, education organizations and others for his educational insights as well as his clear thinking around the issues and challenges facing policymakers, educators and students. 


Breakout Session #2

Title: "Hurt and Healing in Our Work and World"

Speaker: Dr. Bernard Franklin

Session Description:Feeling tired, disengaged or cynical? Is staff performance down and critical incidents up? Can't find ways to manage feelings of being overwhelmed by the constant pain in our work and world? Don't know how to help your staff manage the barrage of ongoing trauma so they can do their work?

We are living in an unprecedented time. There is anxiety and uncertainty everywhere, from Washington, DC to Washington State. If these questions resonate with you or your work force, then you need this work. Dr. Franklin, provides every day answers to our most difficult questions by examining the tough questions:

What does a culture of wellnes and trauma-informed care look like?

What hard conversations are necessary when focusing on workforce development?

What real strategies advance wellness and trauma-informed care with your staff?


Featured Speakers

  • Betsy Crawford & Kyle Carlin:  Using the School Psych
  • Seth Kastle:  Children of Trauma: Military Families, PTSD, and Growth
  • Donna Whiteman: Mandatory Reporting
  • Charlene Brubaker: Child in Need of Care/Foster Care/Guardian Ad Litem
  • Amy Schaffer & Kerry Wasinger:  Conflict Resolution
  • Josh Tanguay:  Community Mental Health and Schools | Self-Regulation and Mindfulness
  • Kenton Olliff:  Self Care for Adults
  • James Moffett:  School Culture | Trauma Informed Practices
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