The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Staff Resources

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences encourages all staff to pursue professional development opportunities. There are many in-person and online resources that help bridge skill gaps and explore new topics. Compiled below are several professional development resources that staff may find useful. If you have any suggestions for resources not listed, we encourage you to reach out to Saulo DePaula.

Workplace Learning and Development

Workplace Learning and Development (WLD) promotes employee and organizational growth, development, and empowerment by providing innovative, high-quality programs and services. These workshops, offered free to UMass Amherst staff members, represent a significant university benefit.

WLD urges employees to take the initiative for their own professional development by reviewing their workshopsseries, and services and developing an ongoing course of study. Contact WLD if you would like assistance.

The Partnership for Worker Education

The Partnership for Worker Education develops partnerships with employers and unions that address the changing workplace: new skills for employees, as well as employee advancement, engagement, retention, and morale. Learn more about the their classes and career ladders.

Online Resources

There are hundreds of online professional development resources that address a range of topics, including effective communication, computer skills, emergency preparedness, research methods, among others. Many of these resources are free, while some may require funding. Below are links which include over 200 resources that may be of interest to staff.


Resources include: Fundamentals of ManagementFinance for Non-Finance Professionals, and Introduction to Negotiation.

Computer Skills

Resources include: Excel for Windows/MacIntroduction to HTML and CSS, and Data-Driven Decision Making.

Emergency Preparedness

Resources include: Emergency Planning, Workplace Security Awareness, and CPR Course.

Personal Development

Resources include: Introduction to Public SpeakingLearning How to Learn, and Psychology at Work.

Research Methods

Resources include: Quantitative MethodsIntroduction to Probability and Data, and Basic Statistics.

Excel Tutorials

Starting Spring 2020, SBS has offered a series of Excel tutorial sessions throughout the semester. Tutorial and practice files, as well as a variety of helpful resources, can be found online. Staff are encouraged to check in with Saulo DePaula if they have any questions related to the sessions or Excel in general. 

Conference Opportunities for Staff

There are a variety of higher education conferences offered throughout the country in any given year, many of which are highlighted in the SBS Conference Catalog. If and when possible, we encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities. Likewise, staff should consider applying for an SBS Staff Professional Development Award if receiving one could provide support toward attending a conference.

SBS Faculty and Staff Professional Development Awards

SBS provides the following staff awards throughout the year:

SBS Staff Professional Development Award

These awards are open to all full-time staff within SBS and are intended to provide professional development opportunities not otherwise available through existing units. Opportunities may include conference attendance, trainings, webinars, bringing in outside speakers or trainers, and other forms of professional development. We anticipate at least ten award recipients per year, of up to $1,000 each from SBS, to be matched 1:1 by departments, for a total maximum award of $2,000 per person or group. Departments that provide staff with professional development funds can redeploy those funds towards the departmental match.

SBS Outstanding Staff Award

The SBS Outstanding Staff Award was instituted in 2015 to recognize the contributions and impact of SBS staff members. Recipients have demonstrated impact through one or more of the following:

  • Growth in areas of responsibility.
  • Improved a work process or system that significantly increated efficiency or resulted in a fiscal savings.
  • Performed duties with superior integrity and dedication.
  • Favorably represents their office, administrative unit, SBS, and university.
  • Fosters collaboration.
  • Creates a positive and motivating work environment.