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When and How to Say No with Confidence

When and How to Say No with Confidence

September 21, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Online Event
Register below to receive Zoom link.
Aric Lane


In this session, we will explore a process of discernment that can be applied to deciding whether to accept invitations to take on additional work, assume new roles, participate in service activities, and other requests that require a yes or no response. We will discuss pressures and fears that lead some people to become overcommitted, considerations that should factor into the decision-making process, and tips on how to say no with confidence and grace.


  1. Please bring a short list of things that you are currently committed to that you should have said “no” to when asked, and your ideas on specific barriers that prevented you from being able to decline the request.
  2. Please watch this short YouTube video on The Art of Saying NO.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify pressures and fears that contribute to a sense of obligation to say yes.
  2. Describe key factors that should be considered when deciding whether to accept requests to do more.
  3. Practice using definitive and graceful statements to communicate decisions.

Schedule of Activities

  • 12:00-12:05pm – Welcome/Introduction
  • 12:05-1:25pm – Presentation and Q&A
  • 1:25-1:30pm – Thank You and Feedback Survey

About the Speaker

Dr. Mia Bertagnolli is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Advising (CTA) and Professor of Biology at Gonzaga University. She received her PhD in Biology in 1993 from the University of Utah and has spent her career at Gonzaga teaching undergraduate students and leading a research program focused on cellular adhesion and disease conditions that alter normal adhesive processes.

Over the last decade, Dr. Bertagnolli has assumed increasing levels of academic leadership at Gonzaga, serving as Chair of both the Biology Department and the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and three years as Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences before becoming the CTA Director last year. In all of these leadership roles, Dr. Bertagnolli has mentored colleagues and developed programs to support their professional development and foster diversity and inclusivity.

She is currently the Co-PI of an NSF ADVANCE Partnership grant focused on supporting the advancement and leadership development of mid-career women faculty in STEM fields through the formation of inter-institutional peer mentoring networks in the Northwest, Midwest and Southeast.

Event Video