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Paul takes part in HERS Leadership Institute

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Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president of student affairs for UNG and dean of students on UNG's Cumming and Gainesville campuses, recently completed the HERS Leadership Institute.

Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president of student affairs for the University of North Georgia (UNG) and dean of students on UNG's Cumming and Gainesville campuses, recently completed the HERS Leadership Institute.

Paul spent four three-day weekends at the higher education leadership development program in Wellesley, Massachusetts, between October and March. For Paul, it was her first event geared solely to female leaders.

The focus of the institute was change management, and it finished right as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to alter the spring 2020 semester at UNG.

"It was very timely. I try to communicate to my own team that I hear their concerns and can validate those concerns, but to remind my team that we have a shared mission to serve our students and encourage their success," Paul said. "The strategies for facilitating student success may look very different right now, but they are no less necessary or important that we remember that purpose. People need to be reminded of our mission because it gives them purpose and hope."

Dr. James Conneely, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at UNG, suggested the event to Paul. Conneely and Dr. Bonita Jacobs, UNG president, served as references for Paul to the event organizers.

"I rely on Dr. Paul and trust her instincts as we continue to create an outstanding student engagement experience at UNG. Additionally, she has a tremendous future ahead of her as a leader not just in student affairs at UNG, but also as a leader in student affairs and higher education nationally," Conneely said. "I believe this program allowed her to interact with some outstanding leaders throughout the country that challenged her as she continues to grow. She also challenged them to think differently and look at issues from multiple perspectives."

The HERS Leadership Institute "is a transformational leadership development program for women in higher education, founded to fill leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic women, each capable of ushering their respective institutions into a more inclusive and equitable future," according to its website.

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