Leadership Academy starts fifth year with 12 faculty, staff members

Members of WCU’s 2017-18 Leadership Academy. In the back row, from left to right: Kelly Tracy, Nancy Brendell, Jon Nickel, Annette Parris, Jon Marvel, Travis Bennett, Sarah Steiner. In the front row, from left to right: Alison Krauss, John Carzoli, Betsy Aspinwall, Ken Sanney, Maggie Brostic.

Western Carolina University’s fifth Leadership Academy is underway and this year’s group is an enthusiastic bunch, according to Martha Diede, director of Coulter Faculty Commons.

Twelve members of the faculty and staff are participating in the academy, which is designed to grow leaders at all levels, regardless of their title or position. Members meet twice a month throughout the academic year, engaging in sessions that are focused on real-life challenges and opportunities, as well as experiential sessions in which they will explore key aspects of the campus and Western North Carolina.

“Significantly more faculty are participating in the Leadership Academy this year, and we couldn’t be happier to see faculty and staff thinking that Leadership is an opportunity for them,” Diede said. “This year’s theme is negotiation – in the sense that people negotiate challenges, sometimes competing interests, and other challenges.”

This year’s academy members are Betsy Aspinwall, assistant director of counseling and psychology services; Travis Bennett, associate professor of horn in the School of Music; Nancy Brendell, accountant-bursar; Maggie Brostic, assistant director of student financial aid; John Carzoli, assistant professor of physical therapy; Alison Krauss, university program specialist; Jon Marvel, associate professor of management; John Nickel, technical support analyst; Annette Parris, administrative support associate with Coulter Faculty Commons; Ken Sanney, associate professor of business law; Sarah Steiner, head of research and instruction services in Hunter Library; and Kelly Tracy, assistant professor of literacy education.

The academy concludes May 7-11 with a five-day bus tour of WNC where members, along with senior administrators and another campus leaders, learn about the region WCU serves and how to strengthen relationships between the university and surrounding communities. One change to this year’s tour is that all participants will be asked to read “The Agility Shift: Creating Agile And Effective Leaders, Teams And Organizations” by Pamela Meyer for discussion, Diede said.

Applications for the Leadership Academy are accepted in the spring. For more information, visit the website.