New Program for Emerging Leaders Incorporates Diversity and Inclusion
A new professional development program aims to train the UA's emerging leaders while instilling diversity and inclusion as core values.
The Inclusive Leadership Program, managed by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement and the Office of Leadership & Organizational Development, began rolling out its programs in the fall. They include the HSI Fellows program, the Future Leaders Workshop Series and the Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program.
Nineteen UA employees make up the inaugural group of participants in the Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program.
The Inclusive Leadership Program is designed to meet a growing demand for leadership development opportunities for UA employees, said Laura Hunter, associate diversity officer in the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. The certificate program is meant to provide leadership-training opportunities to employees who want to focus on inclusion or who may not have enough leadership experience to be selected for the highly competitive Academic Leadership Institute, Hunter said.
The Inclusive Leadership Program "is different in that it really centralizes the role of diversity and inclusion," she added. "It's also trying to build a pipeline of more diverse leaders – our next generation of leaders – and it targets emerging leaders."
The Inclusive Leadership Program was approved last summer. The HSI Fellows Program and the Future Leaders Workshop Series started during the spring semester. The first cohort of the Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program begins this fall and will run for the entire academic year.
After attending a program orientation, participants will create their own Leadership Development Plan, with the program's mentors, based on participants' interests and experience. Creating the plan, Hunter said, involves identifying participants' leadership strengths and areas for growth.
Participants will be required to attend at least eight of 12 Future Leaders Workshops each academic year. The workshops are open to all faculty and staff, but participants in the program receive a more in-depth learning experience, Hunter said. Past workshop topics have included building diverse teams, navigating difficult conversations, and the fundamentals of project management for employees who aren't project managers.
The workshops are led by UA employees, and workshop topics were developed with the help of ALI graduates, Hunter said, who were interested in giving back after going through ALI.
"This is a way for them to enhance their own leadership competencies even further," Hunter added.
Tomas Nuño, a research assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, is one of the participants in the upcoming Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program. Nuño's work involves intervention programs aimed at preventing heart disease and diabetes, particularly among Hispanics. That work, he said, relies on community and governmental partnerships to ensure information reaches patients.
Nuño said he hopes his time in the certificate program will help him "get out there on a leadership level with the different governmental organizations, health care organizations, and private health organizations to be able to show the positive changes that can be made" through intervention programs.
As associate director of program administration in the Center for English as a Second Language, Sumayya Granger often interacts with people from different cultures and with people in leadership positions. Granger, another participant in the certificate program, said she sees it as an opportunity to hear from people with different perspectives and to identify her strengths and areas for growth.
"One thing that I always appreciate is learning and developing my awareness of all of the kinds of diversity that are there," she said. "I always appreciate the opportunity to be made aware of my own blind spots, because we all have them."
The inaugural Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program participants are:
- Abraham Acosta, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
- Damian Baca, Associate Professor, Department of English
- Tiesha Glover, Executive Assistant and Administrative Support Staff Manager, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Sumayya Granger, Associate Director of Program Administration, Center for English as a Second Language
- Noel Hennessey, Assistant Director, Academic Affairs
- Andrea Holm, Senior Program Coordinator, Writing Skills Improvement Program
- Heather Ingram, Assistant Director of Education, Arizona State Museum
- Laurel Jacobs, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Anna Josephson, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
- Brandon Marshall, Lecturer, Department of Management Information Systems
- Sonji Muhammad, Assistant Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, College of Medicine – Phoenix
- Tomas Nuño, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
- Amanda Parkman, Coordinator of Leadership Programs, Student Engagement and Career Development
- Tanisha Price-Johnson, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, College of Medicine – Tucson
- Sofia Read, Assistant Director of C.A.T.S. Life Skills, Arizona Athletics
- Ashley Rubin, Senior Academic Advisor, School of Art
- Manisha Sharma, Associate Professor, School of Art
- Devon Thomas, Senior Coordinator of Student Engagement, Student Engagement and Career Development
- Dan Xayaphanh, Director of Global Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement