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Rising leaders to receive leadership development

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Dr. Stuart Rayfield, vice chancellor of leadership and institutional development at the University System of Georgia, delivers the keynote address at the kick-off meeting of the second cohort of the Staff Leadership Development Program.

Suzanne Jabaley has participated in various leadership and training programs during her career, but none were more invaluable than the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Staff Leadership Development Program (SLDP).

"There was so much thought process put into building yourself and your leadership skills," said the associate registrar at UNG. "I grew immensely in my own leadership skills."

Now, 16 UNG faculty and staff members will increase their leadership skills in the second cohort of the SLDP. Elizabeth King, training and development specialist with Human Resources at UNG, said the program is geared for mid-level managers at the university because UNG's Cabinet members recognized the need for senior aspirational leadership development to service those in line as future leaders.

"This is targeted at directors and associate vice presidents who are expected to be the top-tier managers in the future," she said.

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Dr. Robert Robinson, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, is one of the 16 faculty and staff members who are participating in the second cohort of the Staff Leadership Development Program this academic year.

The 2019-20 cohort participants are:

  • Angela Davis, manager of UNG Foundation accounting
  • Brett Merritt, associate registrar
  • Carly Redding, interim director of Academic Engagement and associate professor of sociology and human services
  • Simon Cordery, director of Student Counseling
  • Corey Parson, managing editor of University Press
  • Stephanie Nakamura, assistant director of Auxiliary Services
  • Jessica Miles, head of the Department of Kinesiology and program director of Athletic Training
  • Jonathan Barefield, assistant director for Tutoring Services
  • Justin Turner, director of enterprise application development
  • Rebecca Rose, head librarian of UNG's Cumming Campus
  • Robert Robinson, director of Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Scott Marshall, associate chief information officer
  • Stacie Rowley, associate dean for Student Life
  • Steven Kronenberg, director of graduate programs for the Mike Cottrell College of Business
  • Tim Aldridge, assistant director of Facilities and Operations
  • Brandi Williams, assistant dean of students for student conduct

The cohort's kick-off meeting Sept. 13 featured Dr. Stuart Rayfield, vice chancellor of leadership and institutional development at the University System of Georgia, delivering the keynote address. Seven more sessions will follow as meetings rotate through UNG's five campuses. Each monthly session will have a theme and an expert on board.

"We had phenomenal speakers come in last year," Jabaley said. "Col. Lee Ellis, a former prisoner of war, came in to guide two of our courses. I had so many 'a-ha' moments with him."

Ellis is president and founder of Leadership Freedom LLC, a leadership and team development consulting and coaching company, and FreedomStar Media, a publishing company that provides leadership resources and training.

Jason Pruitt, executive director of UNG's Cumming Campus and member of the program's first cohort, said Ellis' 360-leadership assessment had quite an effect on him. He said he received candid feedback from the individuals who he reports to and from those who report to him.

"It had quite an impact because it let me know what my strengths are and the skills I need to work on," Pruitt said, adding the program had multiple advantages. "One of the best benefits was having other leaders at the university to talk with and brainstorm ideas to apply at UNG."

King said helping university leaders grow is the program's mission.

"As UNG prioritizes this investment in our influential leaders, it will impact the participants' unit and culture of the institution as a leadership innovator," she said. "It will also have a ripple effect on the future of UNG as they continue to excel and take on important and influential roles."

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