What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Making Information Accessible: New Section 508 Standards
July 26, 2018

Making Information Accessible: New Section 508 Standards

ByTamara Neff, MA | July 26, 2018
E-Learning Curriculum Developer, ETR

One of our core values at ETR states, “We believe everyone should have the same access and opportunities in life.” This resonates with me deeply, as it directly connects to one of my personal tenets as an eLearning specialist and instructional designer: to provide quality learning experiences for everyone and anyone with a desire to learn. At ETR, I want people to easily find the valuable information and training we provide, and to be able to meaningfully apply it.

By Tamara Neff, MA
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Tags: Health equity, Equity, Accessibility
Tips for Supporting Attitudinal Shifts
July 5, 2018

Tips for Supporting Attitudinal Shifts

By Michael Everett, MHS | July 5, 2018
Project Co-Director, ETR

Why do we deliver trainings? To share information, to build new skills—and sometimes, to help people get a whole new attitude. In my previous post, I discussed the ways emotions and feelings can influence attitudes, along with the importance of helping training participants succeed in achieving positive attitude shifts.

When participants can look honestly and thoroughly at the emotions and feelings that shape their attitudes, they’re in a better place to make a shift.

By Michael Everett, MHS
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Tags: CISP, Training design, Professional development, HIV, Attitudes
When the Problem is Not the Problem: Emotions, Feelings and Attitudes
June 26, 2018

When the Problem is Not the Problem: Emotions, Feelings and Attitudes

By Michael Everett, MHS | June 26, 2018
Project Co-Director, ETR

Are you a trainer? If so, you are likely to already know this truism. Changes in knowledge come pretty easily. Changes in skill take a little more effort. But let’s face it—changing attitudes sometimes feels impossible.

By Michael Everett, MHS
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Tags: HIV prevention, Emotions, Attitudes, Professional development, Training
Messing Up: Using Humility to Become a Better Trainer
June 20, 2018

Messing Up: Using Humility to Become a Better Trainer

By Sarah Axelson, MSW | June 20, 2018
Director of Training, ETR

It’s 10:30 on a Thursday night, and I’m somewhere over the Midwest, flying home. I’ve spent the last few days training a group of professionals who, for the most part, I haven’t worked with before. The training as a whole was fantastic. Well-planned, intentional, engaging, and the list goes on. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for putting it together. 

What I wasn’t proud of was my own section, or more specifically one activity within the day-long session that I delivered.

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Tags: Facilitation, Training, Professional development
Multiply the Good Through Your Leadership
June 4, 2018

Multiply the Good Through Your Leadership

By JT Perez | June 4, 2018
Transgender Advocate & Prevention Educator, Alianza of New Mexico

For some reason, I am seen as a leader. This isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but it’s a role I’ve done my best to step up to. I’ve received help in this effort from mentors, friends, community and family, and it’s made a world of difference to me.

Leadership is transformative. I’ve seen it change individuals, organizations and communities. It can save lives. It can lead the charge for social justice.

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Tags: LGBTQ youth, Transgender issues, CISP, Leadership
Putting Intentional Advocacy Into Practice: Two Examples
May 29, 2018

Putting Intentional Advocacy Into Practice: Two Examples

By Michael Everett, MHS | May 29, 2018
Project Director, ETR

I believe in the power of advocacy. It fits nicely within my belief system. But more than that, I’ve seen the power of advocacy at work. This is a strategy that can transform and empower organizations.

Today, I’m pleased to share two stories with you from organizations that participated in the Intentional Advocacy project.

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Tags: CISP, HIV, HIV prevention, Intentional advocacy, Advocacy
Intentional Advocacy in the South: Success Starts with Trust and Community
May 22, 2018

Intentional Advocacy in the South: Success Starts with Trust and Community

By Michael Everett, MHS | May 22, 2018
Project Director, ETR

Advocacy is an extraordinary and powerful tool. This is a strategy that can tailor itself to the unique needs and culture of any service-related organization. It’s also genuinely exciting to offer technical assistance to organizations interested in putting advocacy to work.

These are just some of the reasons ETR’s team embraces any opportunity we are given to support organizations in building advocacy skills and practices.

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Tags: Capacity building, HIV-AIDS, HIV, CISP, Advocacy
Currently Reading: Keeping the Magic in Facilitation
May 15, 2018

Currently Reading: Keeping the Magic in Facilitation

By Sarah Axelson, MSW | May 15, 2018
Director of Training, ETR

I’m a training and facilitation nerd. Anyone who knows me knows I embrace that label and use it lovingly. I’m constantly trying to think of new, more engaging ways to help people learn.

I’m so entrenched in this work that at a recent dinner with friends, as we were settling our tab, I found myself digging through my purse searching for my wallet. It finally turned up under a copy of one of the books I’m currently reading.

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Tags: Currently reading, Facilitation, Professional development
Facilitation Quick Tips: 3 Tips to Enhance PowerPoint Slides
May 10, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tips: 3 Tips to Enhance PowerPoint Slides

By Lia Cassanego | May 10, 2018
Professional Learning Services Specialist, ETR

Here’s a different type of quick tip: a set of tips to help any trainer deliver more effective PowerPoint presentations. If you’re newer in the PowerPoint world, or you’ve never had a chance to learn about best practices in slide development for trainings, these tips can help.

In 15-20 minutes, you can learn to give your slides a whole new attitude!

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Tags: PowerPoint, Graphics, Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips, Training design
May the Fourth Be With You: Did You Feel Resistance to Change When Star Wars Changed the Resistance?
May 3, 2018

May the Fourth Be With You: Did You Feel Resistance to Change When Star Wars Changed the Resistance?

By Vignetta Charles, PhD | May 3, 2018
Chief Executive Officer, ETR

Star Wars fans—this post is for you. And anyone exploring new partnerships—this post is also for you!

When the first teaser trailers for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hit the internet in 2015, I was gleeful. More Star Wars! Yes, please.

But I must admit that I didn’t know how I’d feel about the new characters in the Star Wars movies.

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Tags: Community partnerships, Star Wars, Organizational development, Healthy organization
Facilitation Quick Tips: Group Haiku
May 2, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tips: Group Haiku

By Debra Christopher, MSM & Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 2, 2018
Ambassador for Health and Learning (DC) & Senior Editor (MQ), ETR

Sometimes, you want training participants to spend some moments in reflection to distill the essence of a message. This Group Haiku activity does exactly that! Groups work together to synthesize an essential point of information. In the process, they are likely to connect to each other with a shared understanding and vision as well.

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Tags: Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips
Workplace Wellness? Step 1: Deal with Stress!
April 19, 2018

Workplace Wellness? Step 1: Deal with Stress!

By Shawn Moore, MBA | April 19, 2018
Senior Vice President for Product Management at ActiveHealth/ETR Board Member

Everyone wants a healthy workplace, right? In a healthy workplace, workers are more productive. Missions are supported. It’s a more pleasant environment for everybody.

So why are there so many challenges to establishing a healthy workplace? Especially workplaces like health organizations, service organizations and non-profits. What’s holding us back?

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Tags: Stress, Worksite wellness
Facilitation Quick Tip: The De-Escalation Line Dance
April 17, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tip: The De-Escalation Line Dance

By BA Laris, MPH | April 17, 2018
Program Manager, ETR

In a recent training on Crisis De-Escalation, the simplest activity we did turned out to be the most effective at helping participants think about how to “take it down a notch.” The De-escalation Line Dance is a quick, fun and powerful activity that gets participants talking about the obvious and subtle messages we send—and receive—in crisis situations.

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Tags: Crisis, Crisis de-escalation, Training design, Facilitation Quick tips
De-Escalation Techniques: Coping with Students & Clients, Coping with Our Lives
April 10, 2018

De-Escalation Techniques: Coping with Students & Clients, Coping with Our Lives

By BA Laris, MPH | April 10, 2018
Program Manager, ETR

The news and my social media feed keep screaming at me. FINANCIAL CRISIS! POLITICAL CRISIS! ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS! PERSONAL CRISIS!

It feels like everyone is facing a catastrophe. This barrage of uncertainty is highly distressing (especially for this “the glass is always half-full” ETRian).

By B.A. Laris, MPH
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Tags: CISP, HIV, Crisis, Professional development, Crisis de-escalation
Growing the Organization: Choosing a Distributed Workforce
April 3, 2018

Growing the Organization: Choosing a Distributed Workforce

By Vignetta Charles, PhD | April 3, 2018
CEO, ETR

ETR is a national organization—one with global aspirations. You might not have guessed this if you’d peeked in on one of our all-staff meetings a few years back. These were held in a single conference room, with a minority of our team joining from two smaller rooms at “satellite offices,” along with a few team members joining from home offices.

No longer!

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Tags: Creativity, Organizational development, Distributed workforce
Intentional HIV Advocacy in the South: Our Newest e-Learning Resource
March 29, 2018

Intentional HIV Advocacy in the South: Our Newest e-Learning Resource

By BA Laris, MPH & Nic Carlisle, JD | March 29, 2018
Program Manager, ETR (BAL) & Executive Director, Southern AIDS Coalition (NC)

When you hear the term “HIV and AIDS advocacy,” what do you think of? In our work we have found there are typically two responses:

“Yes! This is how we get our voice heard!”

“Umm, well, I am glad people are working on these issues, but I don’t really know how that all actually works.”

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Tags: E-learning, Advocacy, HIV-AIDS, HIV
How to Design an Effective Staff Retreat: A Lesson from Life
March 13, 2018

How to Design an Effective Staff Retreat: A Lesson from Life

By Sarah Axelson, MSW | March 18, 2018
Director of Training, ETR

When is the last time your organization held a staff retreat? Did it help you accomplish your organizational goals?

A few weeks ago, ETR held its annual staff retreat. I was genuinely inspired. The planners of this event offered some valuable lessons for any organization on how to design effective and engaging retreats.

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Tags: Staff retreat, Training design, Professional development
What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex
March 8, 2018

What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex

By Mia Barrett, MEd | March 8, 2018
Research Associate, ETR

I spend a lot of time traveling for my work as a research coordinator. I’m in airports and on airplanes all the time. I board my plane, find my seat and listen to the flight attendant deliver the pre-flight safety speech. As a sexuality educator, I’d like to see us teach that sexual interactions should come with a similar safety briefing.

By Mia Barrett, MEd
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Tags: Sex education, Safer sex
Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This
November 16, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This

By Gina Lepore, MEd | November 16, 2017
Research Associate, ETR

Here’s an engaging and powerful activity that’s a great way to introduce a learning process related to consent in sexual or romantic relationships. It’s ideal for a Training of Educators or Training of Trainers. With adaptation, it can also be used as a classroom activity with teens or young adults.

By Gina Lepore, MEd
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Tags: Affirmative consent, Facilitation Quick Tips, Facilitation, Training design
Facilitation Quick Tips: Say the Color, Not the Word
October 5, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: Say the Color, Not the Word

By Lia Cassanego, MPH | October 5, 2017
Professional Learning Services Specialist, ETR

Here’s an activity will energize and engage your group. But wait! That’s not all! It will also astound participants with the mysterious workings of our brains.

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Tags: Training design, Professional development

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