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2023 IPAC Conference

July 23 - 26, 2023

Washington, D.C.


Please join us on Sunday, July 23, 2023 for pre-conference workshops before the conference gets underway! These workshops are outside of the 2023 program and offer attendees additional exposure to topics in which they may be interested in. We will be hosting two workshops, one from 8:30am-noon, and the other from 1:30pm-5:00pm.


Workshop A – 8:30 a.m. to Noon

Barrier Analysis:  A Practical Approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) Research

Presented by Martha E. Hennen, Ph.D., Personnel Psychologist & Romella Janene El Kharzazi, Ph.D.

Barrier analysis research and investigation into policies, practice, or procedures impacting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, is required by law and regulation for federal agencies and other entities. The process is complex from a research standpoint and in light of the many areas of potential focus. The workshop will address key research decisions and provide practical experience-based advice. Discussion topics include: prioritizing projects; research methods to find common root cause; available data sources; data collection approaches; stakeholder engagement; and integrating data as a strong base for continuous improvement. Participants will take away practical suggestions to implement these methods in their own and evaluate their program for continuous improvement.

Learning Objectives

  • Locate resources of benchmark information from government sources for the participation of minorities and women
  • Gain practical experience in designing and conducting interviews and focus groups to gather qualitative data on different employee groups
  • Practice collecting data, coding the results, and sharing summary information to provide a sound data driven base for continuous improvement in the affirmative employment program

Information about the Presenters

Martha E. Hennen, Ph.D. is a Personnel Psychologist with a large federal financial regulator based in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Hennen conducts research to analyze and understand the aspects of workplace experience for different employee groups that may facilitate or impede individual and organizational performance.  She previously held roles focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, leading data analytics and barrier analysis functions.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Hennen served in a variety of talent management, assessment, and human capital analytic roles in large federal agencies across sectors.

Dr. Hennen is a licensed Applied Psychologist and a member of the International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC), Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and of the American Psychological Association.  She holds a Master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Romella Janene El Kharzazi, Ph.D. is a Social Science Research Analyst with a federal civil rights agency based in Washington, D.C. Dr. El Kharzazi conducts research to improve and promote equal opportunity in the federal government, where her work includes developing barrier analysis tools. She previously held various roles in human capital, including as personnel psychologist and as a leader of a civil examinations unit.

Dr. El Kharzazi is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the Society for Human Resource Management. She holds a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Wayne State University and a BA in Economics from Occidental College.


Workshop B – 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Developing Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS)

Presented by Kristen Pryor & Emily Steinau

This workshop provides an overview of decision points, methods, and steps to develop behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) that allow for objective evaluation.  Attendees will learn about the BARS format, different types of BARS, when to consider using BARS, and the steps to develop BARS.  Concepts will be applied in interactive discussions and exercises.  Practical strategies for developing, refining, and retranslating BARS will be discussed.  Templates for developing and validating customized BARS will be provided.  The session will end with a discussion of best practices, efficiencies, and pitfalls.

NOTE:  Participants should bring a laptop or notebook and be prepared to develop a set of BARS during the workshop.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) 
  • Use cased for BARS
  • Review and apply the steps to develop BARS
  • Discuss pitfalls, efficiencies, and best practices

Information about the Presenters

Emily Steinau is a personnel psychologist with over 15 years of experience designing human capital solutions in the federal and local government space. Emily has experience in job analysis, competency modeling, selection process design, content development, survey development, data analysis, assessment validation, and program evaluation. She has led the development and implementation of high stakes selection processes and performed comprehensive job analyses for a myriad of positions. In her current role, she develops competency models using a job analytic approach, supports the development of assessments, designs surveys, and analyzes data.

Emily is a member of the International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC) and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).  She holds a Master's degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Xavier University.

Kristen Pryor is a Principal Consultant with DCI Consulting. Kristen has over 15 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating human capital systems in both the private and public sector. Her primary expertise is in selection-related work, which includes conducting job analyses; developing, validating, and recommending the use of a variety of pre-employment and promotional assessments; and conducting complex data analyses to evaluate the performance of human capital systems. A substantial portion of Kristen’s current work is focused on the evaluation and improvement of selection systems, including work with federal contractors. These evaluations typically involve sourcing/recruitment, pre-employment, promotional, leadership development, or performance management systems and processes, often with a DEI lens or component of evaluation.

Kristen has presented at professional and scientific conferences and has published work in the Handbook of Employee Selection and Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice. Kristen received her M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University Central Florida.

Thank You to the 2023 IPAC Annual Conference Sponsors!




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