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Leadership Fellows Program Leads to New Opportunities

Information Sessions to be Held this Month

Dr. Laura Portnoi was looking for new opportunities to make a difference on campus when she read about a new program aimed at developing the next generation of university leaders.

“I had been on campus for about 10 years and was looking for ways I could contribute to our student success efforts both outside of and within the College of Education,” she said.

She attended an information session on the Leadership Fellows Program, applied, and became one of 13 people selected for the first cohort in 2013.

Now as the 2016-17 academic year begins, applications are being accepted for the fourth cohort. Led by Karen Nakai, chief of staff in President Conoley’s office and Dan O’Connor, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts, the program strives to develop the next generation of university leaders who can anticipate future trends, respond systemically to critical issues in higher education and advance CSULB’s strategic priorities and goals.

The two-year program offers faculty and staff a unique opportunity to link theory to critical issues affecting higher education and demonstrate leadership through the development, implementation and assessment of a project linked to the university’s strategic priorities and goals.

Projects have addressed issues ranging from enhancing graduate education to linking study abroad and career development. Aysu Spruill, Director of Internal Auditing Services/Campus Information Security Officer and a member of the second cohort, created online fundraising training modules. They cover everything from the philanthropic structure of the university to data and management reporting tools available for fundraising activities. Both Portnoi and Spruill said they gained problem solving skills and established a broader network on campus – something that Portnoi says has helped her in her new role as associate dean in the College of Education.

Both Portnoi and Spruill said they gained problem solving skills and established a broader network on campus – something that Portnoi says has helped her in her new role as associate dean in the College of Education.

“Going through the program reaffirmed for me that we have a collaborative environment on campus and that people really care about our students,” Portnoi said. “The Leadership Fellows Program is a great opportunity to explore your own leadership development while also building a bridge to the next step you want to take. I didn’t have a specific goal in mind, but once I was in the program and the associate dean position opened up it seemed like it was the right fit.”

Faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about the Leadership Fellows Program are invited to attend an Information Session in the Anatol Center (AS-119) on Tuesday, August 30, at 12 p.m. or Wednesday, August 31, at 4 p.m. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, September 11. Additional information is available on the Leadership Fellows Program website.

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