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January 8, 2018   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Women’s Staff Leadership Institute graduates…
Magnify 2017 Women’s Staff Leadership Institute graduates
Participants in the 2017 cohort of the Women's Staff Leadership Institute spent several months learning leadership skills. Nominations for the 2018 cohort are being accepted. Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski

Women’s Staff Leadership Institute graduates first class of participants


The first cohort of the Women's Staff Leadership Institute celebrated its graduation with a reception Oct. 26, and nominations are being accepted for the 2018 cohort.

"Opportunities to grow professionally are good for individuals, but also good for the university as a whole," noted Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten, who led the concluding session prior to the reception. "Your dedication to advancing the University of Georgia—now and well into the future—is deeply appreciated."

This annual program provides participants the chance to explore leadership opportunities, reflect upon key leadership traits and skills, and support one another in issues that female leaders face in higher education administration.

"Now we have not only a better understanding of ourselves but also this university, our potential within this university, our leadership styles and the other women who support us," said Megan Ward, participant in the 2017 cohort and administrative director of the New Media Institute in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "The collective journey we have been on is unforgettable."

WSLI is aligned with the Women's Leadership Initiative launched in 2015 by President Jere W. Morehead and Provost Whitten and is administered through the Training and Development Department with the support of executive sponsors Laura Meadows, interim vice president for public service and outreach, and Dawn Hall Cartee, director of the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. Allie Cox, director for Training and Development, coordinates the WSLI.

Nominations for the 2018 cohort close Jan. 31. Nominations may be made by deans and senior administrators.

Self-nominations also are welcome. Nomination packages should include a nomination letter, a recommendation letter and a current resume/CV and should be submitted via email to Detailed instructions are posted at

The program will run from March through November. Participants will meet monthly for leadership development sessions and discussions with senior administrators at UGA.

Participants in the 2017 cohort included Jan Barham, associate dean of students and director of the Tate Student Center in the Division of Student Affairs; Sadie Brown, director of fiscal affairs for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Carla Dennis, director of administrative services and communications in University Housing; Anjali Dougherty, associate director of Internal Auditing; Melanie Ford, director of construction in the Office of University Architects; Heather McCormick, director of gymnastics administration for the UGA Athletic Association; Emily Saunders, director of alumni relations and student relations for the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Megan Ward, administrative director of the New Media Institute in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and Cara Winston Simmons, director of the Student Success and Advising Center in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

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