Established in 1995, the President’s Staff Leadership Institute is an intensive program that centers around interdisciplinary staff interaction. The program focuses on leadership concepts, experiences, and interaction with leaders on and off campus. While I felt privileged to be a member of the 2012 class, once I met my fellow classmates I was absolutely honored to be among them. The knowledge, talent, dedication and enthusiasm of this group were remarkable! My classmates came from a variety of departments across campus: Laura Bageant, Jeff Beeson, Lori Logan-Bennett, Cindy Childs, Heather DeFilippis, Jimmy Duffy, Daniel Fox, Rita Fromm, Raquel Frye, Jeff Haas, Michael Heasley, Fran Kateley, Kevin McKenna, Brittany Miller, Curtis Pendleton, Lisa Reagle, Grady Sheffield, Todd Spahr, Karen Stukes, Gerald Thomas and Patrick Young.
During our opening retreat we discovered that part of our commitment entailed a class project. We had to decide ourselves exactly what the undertaking would be. On the second evening of our session, we were fortunate to spend some extremely valuable time with President Loeschke, a service-oriented leader. She expressed concern that some students were anxious and uncertain at times, and in need of more mentoring. So, before the end of our weekend session, we had some terrific ideas for our project.
With excellent input from Deb Moriarty regarding our initial student audience, the highly collaborative group forged ahead at mach speed (or so said Institute leader Dan Leonard) to establish a pilot mentoring program to connect transfer students with staff mentors during the 2012-13 academic year. The goals of the program for both students and staff mentors are to enhance connections to campus, facilitate a supportive and professional network, and improve leadership skills.
The program was well received and approved by Dr. Loeschke, so we are off and running. The program will hold its official Kick-Off on October 2 with special guest speakers, including Dr. Loeschke and Jesse Trahan, Director of Graduate Marketing.
Additionally, a fund has been set-up to sustain this valuable program. Contributions may be made to: The President’s Leadership Institute Mentoring Program Project # 14957.