Virtual Brown Bag Session

Invest in Your Development: LinkedIn Learning & Toastmasters

Virtual Brown Bag Session

The University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) was proud to put on the first Brown Bag Session of FY22 on November 3, 2021, titled “Invest in Your Development: LinkedIn Learning & Toastmasters.” This informational session allowed staff members of UTHealth Houston to hear about two great resources to aid them in their professional development: LinkedIn Learning and Toastmasters. The hour-long session was held virtually on Zoom and the recording details can be found below. 

The first speaker was Syrine Joubert, Organizational Development and Engagement Consultant for the Organizational and Talent Development team in Human Resources. Joubert explained first that LinkedIn Learning was an online digital learning library of over 16,000 courses with over 150 learning paths. This paid resource is provided free to all UTHealth employees to aid them in learning various skills to grow in their careers. Apart from learning brand new material, the LinkedIn Learning system also provides UTHealth employees with the opportunity to amass continuing education credits for any of their certifications or licenses. 

Joubert explained that the content is designed to be as interactive as possible with hands-on experiences in the form of exercise files that learners can download and practice on alongside the video. There are also quizzes after sections for users to take to ensure they are correctly understanding the material. The content on LinkedIn Learning is also organized as singular courses or as pieces of a broader learning path. Another great feature is the ability to store specific courses into unique collections, based on the learner’s preference. These collections are for the individual user but can also be shared with other colleagues! 

Learning Path: a series of courses and videos that a learner completes in sequence because each course builds upon the previous course.

Collection: a group of courses or videos that learners are not required to complete in sequential order. Learners can create their own collections around a specific topic and save courses or videos to revisit later or share with other learners.

To access the LinkedIn Learning platform, employees can use the following link:  

For questions regarding activation of LinkedIn Learning at UTHealth, please contact

The second part of the Brown Bag Session focused on Toastmasters with speakers Pamela McCown, Region 2 Advisor for Toastmasters International, and Trudy Jacobs, President of UTHealth Speaks! McCown mentioned that Toastmasters is an organization that has been in existence since 1924 and exists to “help men and women become better than they were yesterday -- to become more effective communicators, more effective leaders in our community.” 

While many individuals may automatically think that Toastmasters is just an organization that helps with public speaking skills, McCown advocates that it is really a leadership organization that enhances a person’s listening, critical thinking, and public speaking skills. There are pathways for members to join in if there is a specific focus they want to select.

Trudy Jacobs, president of the UTHealth Speaks! Toastmasters group, reiterated several points made by McCown in describing her experience with Toastmasters to attendees: “Prior to me joining last year, I thought that this was a public speaking club. It is way more than that. There are so many benefits to joining and the recording can help show you some of those benefits. On a personal level I have gotten more confident in who I am and have become a better communicator and leader since joining.” 

While there is a fee to join Toastmasters, all are invited to try it out before deciding to join. The benefits of this program are much more than just public speaking, but rather a whole new leadership skill that will help staff members in any context.

UTHealth has two groups currently: UTHealth Speaks! which meets weekly on Tuesdays from 12:00 - 1:00 PM and Toasty Talkers which meets weekly on Wednesdays from 12:00 - 1:00 PM. For questions about the Toastmasters program or for information on how to join, please send an email to

Recording Link:

Recording Link Password: n7%iV.W$KY

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