Classes started this week for the second cohort of the UMD-Smith Leadership Academy. However, some thought last Friday’s orientation was an exciting kickoff and served as the unofficial launch of the program.
“Orientation was amazing!” said Bobvita Salters, Director of Human Resources and one of the three ‘architects’ of the program, including Program Director Andrea Morris and Gary Cohen, assistant dean, Office of Executive Programs. “This will be a great class. These students came through a competitive selection process and have reason to celebrate.”
Dean Alex Triantis welcomed participants and thanked them for their commitment and dedication to the program. “This is going to be an exciting journey,” he told the group. “Leadership Academy will add to your professional development portfolio and open up new vistas as to what is possible at the Smith School.” Triantis taught Finance in last year’s inaugural cohort, but won’t be able to continue due to his responsibilities as Smith School dean. However, he remains a strong advocate for the program and will be as visible as his new role allows.
The Leadership Academy is modeled after our internationally ranked EMBA and custom executive education programs, and coursework is geared toward team Action Learning Projects (ALPs) that address viable solutions to Smith School challenges. The ALPs are presented to Smith School leadership, colleagues and other key stakeholders at the conclusion of the program.
Cohort 1 alumni are actively involved as program ambassadors. They’ve participated in info sessions and were invited to join Cohort 2 during their first week of the program to share tips on what makes a successful ALP. Recommendations made by Cohort 1 teams have already influenced long-range strategic planning for the Smith School.
Leadership Academy students are taught by top Smith faculty - among them Vice Dean Joyce Russell - who are so dedicated to the program that they receive no compensation. This week, Professor Curt Grimm led the class in Strategic Thinking, and Professor Joe Bailey covered the principles of Project Management, the foundation course for structuring and implementing team ALPs. Future modules include customer service excellence, financial acumen, negotiations and leadership.
Students are already expressing excitement about what they’re learning in Leadership Academy. Sandra Staub of the Office of Career Services said, “Yesterday’s strategic thinking class was eye-opening. It was fascinating to be able to compare the University of Maryland’s strategic plan with the Smith School’s.” Aubrey McLaughlin of the Office of Smith Programs and Events said classes have been “highly engaging” with “a lot of insightful discussion. I learned a lot about having the mindset to move forward.”
Let’s all celebrate our Leadership Academy colleagues today and cheer them on over the next few months as they embark on this exciting personal and professional development journey!
Introducing…UMD-Smith Leadership Academy Cohort 2 Participants:
Program Manager, DO&IT and CHIDS
Communications Manager, MBA & MS Admissions
Event Manager, Office of Smith Programs & Events
Associate Director, Marketing, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
Program Coordinator, MBA & MS Admissions
Manager, MBA & MS Admissions
Media Relations Manager, Office of Marketing Communications
Assistant Director of Smith Fellows Programs, Office of Undergraduate Studies
Director of Employer and Business Development, Office of Career Services
Manager, College Park Scholars
Advisor/Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Studies
|Kim Robertella Glinka
Assistant Director, Center for Social Value Creation
Technology Manager, Office of Career Services
|Lizeth Gonzalez Smith
Customer Account Manager, Office of Career Services
Coordinator, Office of Finance and Administration
Executive Assistant to the Dean, Office of the Dean