Staff Leadership Development Program Gains Momentum, Endorsements

August 15, 2019 | UToday
By Christine Wasserman



Twenty-one University of Toledo staff members who are in the second cohort of the Staff Leadership Development Program are nearing the end of the yearlong program, which will conclude with their capstone projects and a graduation ceremony in November.

Participation in the program requires a commitment of at least three hours each month; this includes classroom discussions, reading assignments and completing a capstone project.

Earlier this year, Dr. Janell Wittmer, associate professor of management in UToledo’s College of Business and Innovation, discussed emotional intelligence with members of the Staff Leadership Development Program’s second cohort. Throughout the yearlong program, numerous faculty members and subject matter experts cover a wide variety of topics trending in higher education.

“We’re very pleased this program has elicited such strong participation during its first two years,” said President Sharon L. Gaber. “Our goal is to develop the next generation of leaders by offering a formal program through which our staff can have direct exchanges with leading experts and discuss topics currently trending in higher education.”

Testimonials from current Staff Leadership Development Program participants point to myriad benefits of the one-year program.

“I wanted to further develop my skills and better serve the University,” said Shawna Babula, success coach for the Center for Success Coaching. “It’s exciting to apply new skills to help refine the institution and better serve our students. Also, my personal network is growing thanks to the connections I’ve made.”

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to interact with experts in leadership development, emotional intelligence, diversity and customer service,” noted Jon Pawlecki, director of student services and transfer partnerships for the College of Engineering. “The program has served as a hub for sharing best practices, many of which I have been able to apply to my current role.”

Colleen Miller, contract compliance officer for the Office of Legal Affairs, agreed. “The biggest benefit to me, both professionally and personally, has been the focus on actually applying the knowledge we’ve learned. The concept of getting results is carried through the Staff Leadership Development Program.”

In addition to Babula, Pawlecki and Miller, members of the program’s second cohort are Nicole Baden, Facilities and Construction; Keith Grindle, Technology and Advanced Solutions; Laura Hallauer, Finance/Controller/Grants Accounting; Stacy Jenkins, College of Business and Innovation Office of Graduate Programs; Aleiah Jones, Office of Multicultural Student Success; Stacy Ann Latta, Faculty Labor Relations; Monica Leppelmeier, Orthopaedic Surgery; Heather Lutz, Intercollegiate Athletics; Lindsay McLaughlin, Controller’s Office; Pamela Moore, Research and Sponsored Programs; Sharon Murphy, UToledo Medical Center Pathology; Cameron Norton, Marketing and Communications; Katrina Nottke, Title IX; Douglas Queenan, Facilities and Construction; Jonathan Rethorn, College of Engineering; Leslie Rhegness, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions; Rachel Stanford, Finance and Administration; and Mingli Xiao, UToledo Online.

“If you’re serious about becoming an effective leader, I highly recommend you take part in the program,” said Craig Turner, career recruitment advisor for the College of Business and Innovation, who was a member of the first cohort.

Current full-time staff members with two or more years of UToledo service who have demonstrated high potential as an emerging leader are encouraged to apply for the program’s third cohort, with course work starting in mid-October.

In you are interested in participating in the Staff Leadership Development Program, watch for a call for applications in mid-September. UToledo leaders also may nominate a staff member to be considered for participation. All applications are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team, with selections made by mid-October.