Sessions & speakers

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Masterminds, Wingmen, Queen Bees and Wannabes—Dissecting Social Group Dynamics for Boys and Girls

Rosalind Wiseman, keynote address, 9-11am

Keynote speaker Rosalind Wiseman is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World—the groundbreaking, best-selling book that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls. She is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership. Her follow‐up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents. It’s also being made into a major motion picture by New Line Cinema.

Each year Wiseman works with thousands of students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. She was a principal speaker at the 2011 White House Summit on Bullying. Other audiences have included the American School Counselors Association, International Chiefs of Police, American Association of School Administrators, and countless schools throughout the US and abroad.

This year’s keynote address is a call to action to transform the way we speak to and about boys. After 20 years of teaching teens and 2 years of working with more than 200 teen editors to write her latest book, Masterminds & Wingmen, Rosalind Wiseman gives insights into what matters most to boys—their friendships, girls, and their relationships with adults. She pulls back the curtain on what’s really going on between boys and girls and why they can be so reluctant to ask adults for help. She shares how boys’ and girls’ social group dynamics influence their interactions and offer step-by-step advice on how to teach young people to treat each other with dignity. She also gives common-sense suggestions about how to deal with the frequent struggles between boys and their parents—from video games and social networking to communication breakdowns. By the end of the presentation, Wiseman establishes a road map for parents, educators, and communities to reach boys and help them grow into the best brothers, friends, students, athletes, boyfriends, and sons they can be.

Turning Lives Around—Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

Mike Pitzen, 12:15-2pm  •  Jennifer Booher, 2:15-4pm

The Missouri Model of the juvenile justice system is nationally and internationally recognized for its humane therapeutic approach, cost-effectiveness, and ability to encourage girls to become law-abiding and productive citizens. The underlying belief system, critical elements, gender-specific approaches, and lessons learned will be covered in depth.

Workshop goals

  1. Learn therapeutic and developmental approaches to creating safety and motivating young people to change.
  2. Utilize positive youth development and trauma-informed care to reduce challenging behavior in young men and women.


Jennifer Booher has worked for the Missouri Division of Youth Services for 23 years. She has worked in several different roles in the agency, including front-line work with youth (both boys and girls), case management, training, and professional development. She works in Jefferson City and lives about 20 miles from there, in a small river town called Mokane. She lives with her husband, Chad, and three daughters, Samantha, Jaerie, and Serina. Jennifer is an alumna of Missouri State University and has always had a passion to work with high-risk youth. She couldn’t imagine a better career than with the agency of Missouri Division of Youth Services.

Mike Pitzen has been with the Missouri Division of Youth Services for 16 years. Mike began his career with the Division as a BSW student intern with the University of Missouri in a community-based group-home setting. He then moved into direct front-line work as a Youth Specialist with male clients in a secure-care setting. Mike subsequently worked as a Youth Group Leader and Facility Manager in secure care with male populations. He worked as a Service Coordinator as well, providing classification and case management functions for both male and female clients. Mike is currently working as the Northeast Regional Administrator in the Columbia, MO office, providing oversight for services in one of five geographic regions in the state. Mike attended the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mike currently resides outside of Jefferson City, MO with his wife and three young children.

Teens ’n’ Tempers: Boys, Anger & Violence—Handling It Before It Handles Them

Dr. Darald Hanusa, 12:15-2pm, 2:15-4pm

In our culture, there are groups who have power and those who do not. Among those who do not, adolescents are at the top of the list. They are no longer children and they are not yet given the privileges of adulthood. A common response to feelings of powerlessness is to overuse the power you have in an attempt to gain some sense of control. In this context, anger and violence are tools used by some teens, especially adolescent males, to accomplish that goal.

Workshop goals

  1. Teach boys to value non-violent conflict resolution
  2. Tips on how to respond to abusive boys


Dr. Darald Hanusa is in private practice in Madison, WI. He is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, a Certified Group Psychotherapist and is licensed in the State of Wisconsin as a Clinical Social Worker and a Substance Abuse Counselor. Dr. Hanusa is a Senior Preceptor and Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Work, UW-Madison, where he has taught since 1978. Utilizing approaches that focus on cognitive-behavioral, motivational and interpersonal therapies, Dr. Hanusa provides general mental health services for individuals, couples, families, and groups focusing on marital relationship issues, assertiveness/communication skills, stress and anxiety, anger management, child and adolescent behavioral problems, parenting skills, mood disorders, self-esteem and substance abuse.

Big Boys Don’t Cry, Neither Do Big Girls . . . True or False?

Cheri Milton & Jessica Shiveler, 12:15-2pm, 2:15-4pm

When children lose someone significant due to death, their grieving process can be a very different experience based upon their gender. Evidence suggests that both physiological and societal influences are factors. Come hear about the unique differences between bereaved girls and boys. In addition, you will be offered suggestions for helping them cope in healthy ways.

Workshop goals

  1. Identify specific ways in which boys/girls go through the grieving process
  2. Learn interventions that will help boys/girls cope effectively when they have lost a loved one due to death


Cheri Milton is the Grief Services Manager for Agrace HospiceCare Inc. in Madison, WI. Agrace averages a daily census of over 600 patients and serves seven counties in southern Wisconsin. Cheri attended the UW-Madison for her Bachelor’s degree in family studies and went on to receive her Master’s degree from Edgewood College in marriage/family therapy. Her experience includes 20 years of pastoral ministry and counseling. Cheri is certified in Thanatology, the study of death and dying. She is ordained for pastoral ministry by the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. This year Cheri has published her first book, Before You Go: Stories for a Better Life From Those Facing Death. She resides with her husband Mitch in Pardeeville, WI, where she enjoys waking up each day to the sunrise over Park Lake. Cheri and Mitch have one son, Derek.

Jessica Shiveler earned her MS in Education from Concordia University. She has worked at Agrace for the past 12 years and has been a Grief Counselor there for the past four years. In addition to her work as a Grief Counselor, Jessie worked for three years as an Elementary School Counselor for the Verona Area School District. As a Grief Counselor, Jessie is responsible for developing and implementing the children's grief program at Agrace, as well as facilitating all of the children's grief groups provided by Agrace. Jessie also works closely with area schools to provide individual and group support to students grieving a loss.

Gender Differences in Reactions to Violent Media

Karyn Riddle, 12:15-2pm, 2:15-4pm

In this workshop, Professor Karyn Riddle will review empirical research testing the effects of violent video games, movies, and television programs on children and adolescents. In particular, she will focus the presentation on what these studies reveal about gender differences. She will explore possible reasons why boys and girls differ in terms of their attraction to and enjoyment of mediated violence. Gender differences in exposure effects will also be discussed, in terms of fright reactions, aggressive behaviors, and desensitization.

Workshop goals

  1. After this workshop, attendees will understand the findings from decades of empirical research on violent media and, in particular, will learn what these studies reveal about how boys and girls react and respond to violent content.
  2. This workshop will provide participants with the tools necessary to debate some of the possible reasons why boys might enjoy violent media more than girls.


Karyn Riddle earned her PhD in media effects from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UW-Madison. Her research focuses on the psychology of media effects with an emphasis on the effects of exposure to media violence. Most recently, she has been studying children’s fear responses to media violence, including violence on the news. Other recent research on autobiographical memories has unearthed gender differences in the ways in which people remember violent content seen in the past. Her research on these topics has appeared in academic journals such as Media Psychology, Communication Research, and the Journal of Children and Media.