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UW Leadership Academy Develops Action Team Projects

May 12, 2014
Three people conversing
A UW Leadership Academy team discusses ways to strengthen relations between UW and the Laramie community. From left are Erin Olsen, Wyoming Union assistant director; Lena Newlin, University Counseling Center AWARE Program coordinator; and Miguel Rosales, Outreach School project coordinator. (UW Photo)

Members of the University of Wyoming Leadership Academy are developing projects that will strengthen community relations, identify revenue-producing opportunities, expand use of the UW Conference Center and launch initiatives in which the university could serve as a testing ground for beneficial projects.

Fifteen UW employees, representing a wide range of UW colleges, departments and offices, are members of the second cohort in the UW Leadership Academy -- a program designed to develop and enhance the skills of current and future UW leaders.

Participants have attended monthly daylong sessions covering topics such as organizational stewardship, employment law and legal issues, personal values, service and trust building. Another session is devoted to learning about UW and its importance to the state. The group attended a session of the recent Wyoming State Legislature.

Action team projects are guided by champions -- former academy members or mentors who have assisted in academy training and advising.

Leadership Academy action team projects for this year:

Town-gown relations -- Champions: Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs; and Montica Willmschen, associate vice president for institutional marketing.

Members: Lena Newlin, University Counseling Center AWARE Program coordinator; Erin Olsen, Wyoming Union assistant director; Mary Petroski, Human Resources manager; and Miguel Rosales, Outreach School project coordinator.

The team is researching the historical foundation for the town-gown relationship; exploring UW’s relation with the Laramie community; and surveying constituencies to develop a plan to optimize the relationship. The action team designed a survey instrument to gain a baseline reading of the “town-gown” relations in Laramie. The survey has been released, and the action team is encouraging faculty, staff and community members to express their opinion on this topic. The survey, open until May 31, can be accessed at:

How should UW drive more revenue? Champions: Axelson and Janet Lowe, associate vice president for fiscal administration.

Members: Cary Berry-Smith, Student Publications supervisor; Aaron Courtney, Financial Services assistant manager; and Rosalind Grenfell, UW-Casper Student Advising manager.

The team is investigating three primary areas in which to increase revenue: traditional revenue-generating sources, missed opportunities and entrepreneurship projects.

How to increase use of the UW Conference Center -- Champion: Mark Collins, associate vice president for operations.

Members: Jenn Coast, Facilities Engineering deputy director; Lisa Sherrodd, Institutional Marketing marketing/graphic design specialist; Arron Sullivent, Real Estate Operations assistant manager; and  Elaine Welle, UW College of Law distinguished professor.

Campus as a laboratory -- Champion: Jim Scott, Physical Plant director.

Members: Nick Jones, Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute senior research scientist; Sue Koller, Institutional Analysis associate director; Nancy Olson, Human Resources manager; and Joi Thomas, Athletic Department associate director of sports medicine.

Members are researching ways to use the campus as a testing ground for projects that involve students, faculty and staff. Possibilities include practices such as alternative energy, energy conservation and safety. The goal is to foster opportunities to use UW’s physical space and operations, combined with education and research capabilities, to advance scholarship inside and outside UW.

Leadership Academy members were selected through a nomination process that included a personal statement essay, appointing authority approval and selection committee review. The time period for the next Leadership Academy has not yet been determined.


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