14 graduate from staff development program

2011 Learning Experience for Aspiring Professionals graduates are Summer Mord (front row, left to right) Barbie Hampel, Brandy Akers, Courtney Blaylock, Edie Irvin, Meggan Franks; and Angie Waller (back row, left to right), Karin Lee, Katie Echols, Dan Whatley, Darrell Easley, Amanda Seymour, Terri Johnson and Diane Alexander. PHOTO: Russ Houston | University Relations

Fourteen Mississippi State University staff members graduated from the 2011 Learning Experience for Aspiring Professionals (LEAP) program Dec. 8.

Jerry Gilbert, provost and executive vice president, delivered the welcome at the graduation celebration held in the Colvard Student Union Foster Ballroom. The LEAP class provided a presentation detailing what they had learned, and were then presented awards for their achievement.

Formerly known as the Staff Leadership Program, the goal and purpose of LEAP is to provide advanced knowledge, enhanced leadership skills, and direct, practical work application for selected employees.

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, building relationships and influence, and strategic thinking.

"I can't say enough about the support we received from the university. We are very grateful for the administrators who took time to speak to and mentor the class. Their contributions really made the program a valuable experience," said Meg Arnold, PHR, the learning and development manager for Human Resources Management.

Chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process, this year's LEAP graduates are:

Brandy Akers, senior accountant, High Performance Computing Collaboratory;

Diane Alexander, director of academic fiscal affairs, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President;

Courtney Blaylock, accountant, Dean of Engineering;

Darrell Easley, MBA programs director, College of Business Graduate Studies and Outreach;

Katie Echols, education and outreach coordinator, Office of Research and Economic Development;

Meggan Franks, program coordinator, Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement;

Barbie Hampel, director of annual giving, MSU Foundation;

Edie Irvin, senior coordinator, Career Center;

Terri Johnson, Treasury Services specialist, Office of the Controller and Treasurer;

Karin Lee, graduate programs manager, Office of the Graduate School;

Summer Mord, coordinator, Mitchell Memorial Library;

Amanda Seymour, assistant project director, Coastal Research and Extension Center;

Angie Waller, assistant director/business operations, Facilities Management;

Dan Whatley, construction administrator, Facilities Management.

A request for nominations for the 2012 program will be sent in January.

For additional information, contact Arnold at marnold@hrm.msstate.edu or 662-325-3713.

Jim Laird | University Relations

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