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, including three from the College of Humanities, make up the inaugural group of participants in the Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program.
The inaugural Inclusive Leadership Cohort Certificate program participants include:
- Abraham Acosta, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
- Sumayya Granger, Associate Director of Program Administration, Center for English as a Second Language
- Andrea Holm, Senior Program Coordinator, Writing Skills Improvement 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 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.
As associate director of program administration in the Center for English as a Second Language, 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."