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Leadership Academy Program Begins at UW

November 21, 2011
Two men
Shaun Ziegler, University of Wyoming Auxiliary Services assistant director, left, is among 16 participants in the first Leadership Academy. John Stark, Foundation associate vice president, right, will be Ziegler's mentor throughout the program. (UW Photo)

Sixteen University of Wyoming employees are members of the inaugural Leadership Academy -- a program designed to develop and enhance the skills of current and future UW leaders.

The Leadership Academy originates in the University Plan 3 (UP3), which serves as the framework for UW's priorities.

"Growing out of an initiative in UP3, President (Tom) Buchanan directed us to design and implement a leadership development program at UW," says Douglas Vinzant, UW vice president for administration.

He says UW's Leadership Academy is an opportunity to expand the personal and professional growth of individuals with recognized potential to further the university's commitment to education, research and public service to the state. Each participant will be paired with a UW mentor throughout the program.

"Every university struggles to find enough first-rate leaders. UW's Leadership Academy will help ensure that some of our best and brightest employees anticipate leadership roles, not as burdens to be avoided, but as natural stages in their professional growth," says UW Provost Myron Allen, who serves as one of the program's mentors.

The program began Sept. 13 with an introductory session. Sessions are scheduled each month with graduation planned in May. Participants will learn about such topics as organizational stewardship, employment law and legal issues, interpersonal mastery, personal values, service and building trust. Another session is devoted to learning about UW and its importance to the state. The group also will visit the Wyoming State Legislature in February.

Representatives from Mountain States Employers Counsel (MSEC) and StarQuest Learning will deliver most of the program's content. MSEC, based in Denver, is designed to partner with employers to maintain effective employer/employee relationships. StarQuest Learning, of Evergreen, Colo., specializes in developing leaders, managers, sales professionals and customer service providers.

In the program's second year, the same participants will focus on group projects pertaining to strategic institution-wide initiatives, which will be led by UW administrators. Projects that will have university-wide impact are being developed now. In the third year, participants will have an opportunity to attend a well-known leadership program outside of Wyoming.

Vinzant says the second leadership class will begin in fall 2013.

One class member says he is looking forward to the Leadership Academy and is pleased with the focus of the program.

"Our administration has done an incredible job putting together a leadership program that incorporates the need for balancing conceptual leadership development with business-specific applications," says Steve Farkas, director of the Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Business Career Center in the College of Business. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to assist UW with addressing strategic needs and developing action plans that benefit both our internal and external constituents."

Another participant, Montica Willmschen, Institutional Marketing director, says the Leadership Academy is a direct reflection of the university's mission to promote opportunities for leadership development.

"It provides an opportunity to strengthen internal and external collaborations and better understand and promote the university's mission, vision and goals," she says.

Shaun Ziegler, Auxiliary Services assistant director, says he looks forward to the program's leadership training sessions.

"This academy represents an opportunity to identify and develop those much needed leadership skills that are not always easily acquired," he says.

Listed below are members of the first Leadership Academy program and their mentors:

Crystal Bennett, Central Scheduling manager and Susan Weidel, general counsel.

Darcy Bryant, Business Services manager and Laura Alexander, associate vice president for human resources.

Jennifer Chavez, Information Technology project manager and Bill Gern, vice president for research and economic development.

Joshua Decker, Real Estate Operations manager and Dave Cozzens, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Steve Farkas, Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Business Career Center director and Ben Blalock, Foundation president.

Nancy Fox, Environmental Health and Safety director and Maggi Murdock, Outreach School dean and associate vice president for academic affairs.

Brandon Kosine, Wyoming Union associate director and Andy Hansen, associate provost for undergraduate and graduate studies.

Paul Kunkel, Transit and Parking manager and Janet Lowe, associate vice president for fiscal administration.

Greg Livingston, Procurement Services assistant manager and Mark Collins, associate vice president for administration.

Deborah McCarthy, Coe Library head of technical services and Robert Aylward, vice president for information technology.

Maggie Morrison, Information Technology client services director and Dorothy Yates, associate vice president for research and economic development.

Debra Reed, Financial Aid, associate director and Nicole Ballenger, associate vice president for academic affairs.

Reed Scull, Outreach Credit Programs director and Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs.

Allen Trent, College of Education associate dean and Douglas Vinzant, vice president for administration.

Montica Willmschen, Institutional Marketing director and Myron Allen, provost.

Shaun Ziegler, Auxiliary Services assistant director and John Stark, Foundation associate vice president.

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