Thirteen Mississippi State staff members are new graduates of the university's Learning Experience for Aspiring Professionals program.
Originally known as the Staff Leadership Program, LEAP is designed to enhance professional skills by providing advanced training and direct, practical work applications for employees identified through a competitive nomination and selection process.
During the 10-month program, participants met with campus and community experts to discuss, explore and understand the goals and priorities of Mississippi State and its departments.
Session topics included university operations, building effective teams, managing employee performance, delegation and collaboration, building relationships and influence and strategic thinking.
Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president, and Meg Arnold, learning and development manager of Human Resource Management, were speakers for the graduation ceremony in the Colvard Union's Bill Foster Ballroom.
Also part of the program was a "Family Feud"-style presentation in which graduates demonstrated what they had learned. Awards were presented in recognition of their accomplishments.
The 2013 LEAP class included:
--Heather Andrews, MSU Foundation director of prospect management;
--Bobbie Baker, business manager in the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine;
--Michael Busby, Center for Distance Education manager;
--David Garraway, video program manager for Office of Public Affairs and University Television Center;
--Clay Hill, University Libraries website manager;
--NaToya Hill, recruitment, retention and program specialist with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion;
--Shauncey Hill, Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies business manager;
--Melissa Inmon, procurement card manager in the procurement and contracts department;
--Nicole Ivancic, contract and grant specialist with the computer science and engineering department;
--Mashala Pulliam, senior accountant with the High Performance Computing Collaboratory;
--Andrew Rendon, assistant dean in the Division of Student Affairs;
--Alexander Washington, financial aid counselor with the Office of Admission and Financial Aid;
--Lari Wright, associate director of Student Housing Administration.
A campus-wide request for nominations to the 2014 program will be sent in January. For additional information, contact Adrienne Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-325-3713.