Emerging Leaders Academy graduates announced

TOPEKA – The University of Kansas Public Management Center has announced its most recent graduates of the Emerging Leaders Academy. The graduation ceremony was Jan. 20 at the KU Adams Alumni Center. The 29 graduates, who began their course in September, included staff from local, county, state and federal agencies from across Kansas as well as from KU. They participated in classes held in Lawrence.

Offered through KU’s Public Management Center, ELA is targeted to promising, non-managerial staff to help them prepare for leadership roles in their departments and agencies. Participants meet together 10 times over four months, with classes designed to help them hone their skills for positions of increasing responsibility while also growing their effectiveness in their current roles.

“We created ELA to support the critical need for succession planning in public organizations,” said Charles Jones, director of the PMC. “As more baby boomers reach retirement age and more public agencies offer incentives to encourage workers to retire as a cost-cutting measure, there’s a growing need for a skilled, prepared talent pool ready to take on those leadership roles.”

When Kara Winkler, compliance office for the Unified Government (UG) of Wyandotte County, arrived for the first day of ELA in September, she understood the intent of the program but didn’t know what to expect in class.

“I was excited for the opportunity to be part of a program that would support my development and connect me to public servants beyond my organization,” said Winkler. “But I wasn’t sure exactly what the classes would entail. I’m more accustomed to position-specific training.”

What she found was a program that offered classes on topics that could be applied immediately to improve performance—tools for more effective listening, for example, or for working through the challenge of having multiple generations in the workplace. She was also able to identify career goals that reflected her interests and strengths and determine a path to achieve those goals in her organization.

“We guide participants in completion of a mentor shadowing assignment and creation of a professional portfolio designed to highlight their competencies and identify skill gaps,” said Noel Rasor, assistant director of the PMC and program manager for the academy.  “ELA graduates cite these activities, together with the program’s use of the StrengthsFinder assessment, as crucial to their learning about themselves and how to attain their goals.”

The Emerging Leaders Academy will be offered again starting in late February 2012 with two location options: Topeka and Lenexa. The standard program fee for ELA is $1,000; the KU staff rate is $750. The cost covers all training days and materials. The PMC can work with departments on payment arrangements if necessary.

 For more information or to apply, visit the ELA website or contact Noel Rasor at (913) 897-8460 or by email.

Graduates are as follows:

  • Amanda Aveyard-Elo, KU Information Technology, Lawrence
  • Jeffery Boss, Johnson County Med-Act, Olathe
  • Robin Brockus, Johnson County Developmental Supports, Lenexa
  • Sean Brooks, Olathe Fire Department, Olathe
  • Jennifer Dawani, Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, Kansas City
  • Matthew Dollar, University of Kansas-Higuchi Biosciences Center, Lawrence
  • Steven Freeman, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Corrections, Lawrence
  • Stacy Gallick, Johnson County Wastewater, Olathe
  • Janet Good, University of Kansas-Higuchi Biosciences Center, Lawrence
  • Melissa Haenchen, Willow Domestic Violence Center, Lawrence
  • Carol Hedrick, KU Information Technology, Lawrence
  • Gregg Holcomb, KU Information Technology, Lawrence
  • Ryan Lester, Johnson County Environmental Department, Olathe
  • Tracy McCullough, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, Kansas City
  • Peter Moody, Johnson County Automated Information Mapping System (AIMS), Olathe
  • Timothy Morland, Douglas County Treasurer's Office, Lawrence
  • Rene' Murphy, Johnson County Government, Human Resources Department, Olathe
  • Kecia Newton, Unified Government Wyandotte County / Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City
  • Dean Ohman, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Lawrence
  • Waco Porter, Johnson County Developmental Supports, Lenexa
  • Christopher Pross, Kansas Department of Transportation, Pittsburg
  • Leslie Quillen, City of Ottawa, Ottawa
  • Laurie Ramirez, KU Academic Programs for Excellence / Supportive Educational Services, Lawrence
  • Patrick Riese, KS Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Minneapolis
  • Shane Rogers, KU Information Technology, Lawrence
  • John Roland, Olathe Police Department, Olathe
  • Christopher Schneweis, Johnson County Human Services, Olathe
  • Casey Toomay, City of Lawrence, Lawrence
  • Kara Winkler, Unified Government Wyandotte County / Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City