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CCU Atheneum: A group of employees accepted into the 2018-2019 Leadership Institute attended orientation for the program in late August.
A group of employees accepted into the 2018-2019 Leadership Institute attended orientation for the program in late August.

CCU Leadership Institute welcomes 86 employees

by Caroline P. Rohr
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Eighty-six Coastal Carolina University employees have been accepted to the 2018-2019 Leadership Institute, according to the Office of Training, Development and Service Excellence. More than 120 applications were received for this campuswide program.

The nine-month leadership development program is designed to engage employees in purposeful skill development to create leaders who can better serve their departments, CCU and the world around them.

“Programs like this are important for multiple reasons,” said Eileen Soisson, executive director of Training, Development and Service Excellence at CCU. “As an institution, we must advance a campuswide approach to professional development and provide opportunities for our employees to better themselves as people and as leaders. These tracks equip our faculty and staff with what they need to strengthen their individual skill sets. Creating and developing leaders on this campus isn’t just good for CCU, it’s good for our community.”

Participants met in late August for an orientation, and they will start meeting monthly in September. Those accepted into the institute are required to complete a certain number of the training sessions in order to graduate in June.

Launched two years ago, the Leadership Institute has been recently revised to function as a cohort. New leadership topics have been added, including a featured leadership book, a specific leadership assessment, and team-building activities within the training sessions.

The program is comprised of three separate tracks that build upon themselves and take an academic year to complete.

Dennis Edwards, chair of the Department of Finance and Economics, enrolled in Track I after becoming the chair two years ago and said he has always been interested in professional development.

“I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about myself and how to communicate with my colleagues in Track I,” he said.

The primary track of the program, “Leading Self,” focuses on developing basic leadership skills. Topics included in the monthly meetings for this cohort include the SELF Profile assessment, time management, a service project, goal setting, workplace etiquette, communication skills, stress management and networking skills. Participants in this track will read and reflect on the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

The second track of the program, “Leading Others,” is designed to increase the leadership impact and influence of employees on the community around them. Topics covered will include the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment, team-building, a service project, communication skills, diversity and inclusion, public speaking, multigenerational leadership and motivation. Participants in this track will read and reflect on the book “Strengths Finder 2.0” from Gallup, by Don Clifton. All applicants accepted into this track previously completed Track I.

“When applications for Track II began, I didn’t hesitate to apply,” said Edwards. “While Track II was much more comprehensive, the companionship of my teammates during the skills challenges provided both fun and learning opportunities, which complemented the training sessions.”

The final track, “Leading Change,” is the culminating leadership experience of the program and requires that employees utilize their knowledge of leading self and others to develop change management skills. Topics covered include embracing change, problem identification and solving, and implementing change among others.

This track also requires participants to be action-oriented; the cohort will be assigned a campus improvement project to explore and implement throughout the year. Participants in this track will read and reflect on the book “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter. All accepted applicants to this track previously completed tracks I and II, and Track III participants will mentor a Track I participant.

For more information about the institute or about training offered by TDSE, visit

Track I participants:
Katie Angulo, James Aucreman Jr., Michael Bacchus, Lisa Bellamy, Travis Brooks, Brentley Broughton, Tabitha Brown, Greg Capitelli, Amelia Carte, Russ Clardy, Laine Clark, Dennis Cronin, Lydia Deeck, Scott Dean, Delia Doino, Brittany Donatelli, Richard Estabrook, Ryan Failing, Susan Failing, Erin Fowler, Joey Fowler, Scott Gallimore, Elizabeth Gathings, Delvie Jude Gavilan, Amy Haggard, Michael Hall, Jessica Handy, Andrew Hieber, Benika Jones, Hilda Kelley, James Liles, Stephanie McCallum, Sharon Eagles McCants, Hailey Melton, Reagan Moore-Boyd, Elizabeth Muckensturm, Rhonda Mullins, Leo Levent Onar, Terry Powers, Davita Foushee Pugh, Megan Rodriquez, Diane Sanders, Tim Shank, Samantha Sullivan, Tyler Todd, Travis Youngblood

Track II participants:
Kathryn Caulfield, Michael Davidson, Joshua Desmond, Peter Gasca, Christina Genovevo, Grace Gavin, Samantha Hicks, Lesley Holody, James Hucks, Barry Lippman, Tiffanie Mason, Jeremy Monday, Heather Moore, Denise Oldeack, Casey Roach, Wendy Richardson, Georgia Sexton, Randy Smalls, Jim Solazzo, Jeremy Tillman, Yoav Wachsman, Katie Walbourne, Stacy Wyeth, Kay Yeakal

Track III participants:
Jean Bennett, April Betsch, Brian Carter, Dennis Edwards, Ross Foultz, Judy Johns, Gregory Johnson, Lauren Koonce, Donna Lewis, Ashley Long, Melanie McKeefery, Brianne Parker, Kelly Parnell, Caroline P. Rohr, Amanda Sturgeon, Daniel Todd


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