Friday, April 27, 2012

Advanced Leadership Academy enhances skills

Santosh Pant, a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, put in some extra Saturday class time at UT this semester. It didn’t have anything to do with the mechanical intricacies of engineering, but it had everything to do with building an outstanding career in his chosen field.

Pant and about 50 other UT graduate students in Business, Law, Engineering, Pharmacy and Education participated in the annual Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA), presented by the College of Business and Innovation.

“Being a graduate and international student, Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA) was a great learning experience for me,” Pant said. “Successful and distinguished personalities in different fields not only taught how to be a leader, how to cope with problems and move towards success.”

“We truly appreciate the opportunity to pull graduate leaders together from across our campus to learn from each other about the importance of leadership across all of our discipline, to discover what leaders can and must do to make the world a better place,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, UT COBI professor of management.

Students were invited to participate based on their academic and professional records and the recommendation of graduate faculty. Sessions and COBI faculty presenting were: Careers in the 21st Century, by Dean Thomas Gutteridge; Leading and Developing Yourself, by Dr. Margaret Hopkins; Into the Trenches: Leading Your Team to Great Performance, by Dr. Jenell Wittmer and Dr. Robert Yonker; and Leading for Results, by Dr. Longenecker.

Participants also learned from leading area business professionals, including Joe Feudi, financial services professional with Caputo & Associates; UT Head Football Coach Matt Campbell; and Randy Oostra, President and Chief Executive Officer, ProMedica.

“With such talented faculty members and key community involvement, including ProMedica’s CEO Randy Oostra as our concluding speaker, the 2012 ALA certainly accomplished its goal of fulfilling what is the key COBI goal of developing lifelong leaders for the world of business, and, in this case, in other key disciplines across the University,” Dean Gutteridge said.

Participating students obviously agreed.

“The best part of the ALA experience was learning from the business college students and professors,” noted Kathryn Crawford, doctoral student, Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service “They presented a different aspect to leadership that is more organizational than my current focus on educational leadership. I realize now how much more I have to learn to become an effective leader in an educational organization.”

“I loved Coach Campbell and how he applies leadership to his life, and Mr. Oostra was incredibly down to earth, showing us that you still need to treat everyone you meet with respect,” said Laura Bradey, who is working on her MBA in human resources. “We learned about the importance of communication, networking, and how it is important to get results. It was an honor to be invited.”

“The best part of ALA for me was getting to meet and work with graduate students from disciplines outside of business. I had no idea about the great things going on in the medical, pharmacy, education and engineering graduate programs. What an impressive group of graduate leaders,” observed Trent Miller, a Captain in the US Army and an MBA candidate.

Chris Trabbic, Ph.D. Program in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said “My primary training in science includes dissecting hypothetical science proposals, translation of theory into practice, and staying up to date on innovative techniques. The ALA was extremely useful because the science was put into perspective. As with any other field, a leader with precise oral communication skills is vital. A leader with ‘emotional intelligence’ will be rewarded with quality results and hard work. “

“The ALA was a successful effort to expand the exposure to broader and practical learning,” said Nick Fasciana, CFO at Pinnacle Technologies and an MBA candidate. “This world-class program completely exceeded my expectations because it not only delivered relevant information designed to enhance my leadership skills, but also provided me an invaluable opportunity to network with senior business leaders in our region. An awesome learning experience.”

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