Leadership Development a Priority at Wellesley

October 28, 2013

Programs for Students, Staff, and Faculty Develop Skills and Awareness

graphic quote: Leadership development is person development, part of the lifelong learning process that everyone is involved in.

Throughout the academic year, members of Wellesley’s student body, faculty, and staff engage in personal development and leadership training, learning in diverse ways how to more effectively make a difference on campus, and in the world.

Student Leadership Training

In September, more than 135 student leaders from Wellesley’s student-run organizations gathered for a revamped version of the annual training for organization presidents. The event was organized by the Office of Student Involvement and College Government Vice President Celine Hu ’14. Students heard from keynote speaker Terri Houston, former senior director for recruitment and multicultural programs at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who spoke about the challenges and opportunities that lie in motivating others towards a shared vision.

The presidents also participated in interactive workshops, as Hu explained. “This year's Presidents’ Training moved us from a logistics training session to a leadership development workshop, fostering stronger student leaders across Wellesley’s diverse organizations.” In the long term, she said, “I really hope that this revamped training will not only build support for student organization presidents, but also encourage collaboration among organizations with similar goals for the year.”

Faculty Leadership Training

Faculty have opportunities to grow, including a new opportunity through Three College Collaboration mini-workshops organized by Associate Provost and Director for Diversity & Inclusion Robbin Chapman in coordination with her Babson and Olin colleagues. The first workshop was held on October 16 and was titled, “Building Your Professional Faculty Development Plan.”

Leadership and professional development are important issues for Chapman. “Leadership development is person development,” she said. “It’s part of the lifelong learning process that everyone is involved in. It increases your ability to engage with all kinds of people.… Someone who intentionally develops leadership skills will acquire different ways of learning. It’s a very human activity.”

This program is one of several development opportunities available to faculty; others include informal programs run by Professor of Psychology Margaret Keane and resources available in the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center.

Staff Leadership Training

Members of Wellesley’s administrative staff continue in the college’s unique Leadership Development Program in the second year of the program’s existence. “The program offers a cohort of approximately 15 participants the opportunity to enhance leadership skills, experience working on cross-institutional teams and initiatives, gain understanding necessary to manage effectively in a diverse workplace and prepare for future leadership opportunities,” said Carolyn Slaboden, interim co-director of human resources and director of employment, diversity and inclusion. “Based on the first year’s experience, including significant data gathering and program evaluation, we have developed a program for the second year that utilizes lessons learned, while keeping intact the most effective and highly-regarded components presented in the inaugural year.”

Themed “Wellesley’s House Blend: A Triple Shot of Leadership, Creativity & Collaboration,” the year-long program consists of nine days of workshops distributed over two terms. The first term addresses strengthening supervisory and management skills, using participants’ current work situations to apply new skills and tools. The second term focuses on leadership concepts and skills, and will include practice opportunities within cross-functional learning projects.  

Wellesley values a strong understanding of leadership practices, and puts that value into action among all its populations.


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