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KU announces Emerging Leaders Academy graduates for fall 2015 session

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Public Management Center has announced the fall 2015 Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) graduates. The graduation ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, in the Griffith Room at the Oread Hotel.

The 44 graduates began their coursework in September and come from various public sector organizations across Kansas and the Kansas City metropolitan area, including government agencies at the local, state and federal levels, and also nonprofit organizations. The fall 2015 sessions took place in Mission and Topeka. 

ELA is a program targeted to promising, nonmanagerial staff to help them prepare for leadership roles in their departments and agencies. ELA participants meet together 10 times over five months, with classes designed to help them hone their skills for positions of increasing responsibility while also growing their effectiveness in their current roles.

“Through engaging activities and dynamic presentations, I gained increased confidence and renewed enthusiasm to continuously implement the skills I learned and to share those skills with others,” said ELA graduate Angela Harshbarger, who works for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. “ELA has been one of the best investments that I could have made in myself as a public servant and future leader.”

The classes are designed to help participants learn and enhance skills in leadership, organizational dynamics, communication and career planning to help them identify and achieve their professional goals while equipping them with tools to make even stronger contributions at work. Organizations that invest in sending staff to ELA gain a more prepared and engaged talent pool to draw from as they plan for the future.

Yet organizations can hesitate to invest in staff development due to the concern that individuals will use their new skills or credentials to seek out employment elsewhere. But in fact, research indicates that the opposite is true; individuals feel more loyal and committed when an organization cares about their growth.

“This is certainly what we’ve seen in the hundreds of graduates from the Emerging Leaders Academy,” said Noel Rasor, ELA program manager. “They return to their organizations re-energized and with a new understanding of how they can contribute to their agencies, both immediately and in the future.”

“Besides,” Rasor said, “the real question isn’t, ‘What if we develop our staff and they leave?’ Rather, it is, ‘What if we don’t and they stay?’”

The Spring 2016 ELA session begins March 9 with classes offered in Overland Park and in Topeka. For more information or to apply, visit the KU Public Management Center’s website (www.kupmc.org) or contact Noel Rasor at noel@ku.edu or (785) 864-6864.

The graduates:

Crawford County
Stephen Rosebrough, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Douglas County
Kristine Chapman, Willow Domestic Violence Center
Mark Heim, City of Lawrence
Josh Reese, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center
Angie Soden, KU Public Management Center
April Withers, Douglas County

Johnson County
Stephen Quinn Brewer, City of Olathe
Alicia Chavez, City of Olathe
Anna Collins, Johnson County Human Services
Paul Craft, City of Olathe
Sandra Hasty, City of Olathe
Austin Lamparter, City of Olathe Public Works

Prairie Village
Ben Washburn, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Preston Law, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Susan Rome, Johnson County Mental Health

Neosho County
Sharon Proctor, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

Shawnee County
Julia Baughman, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Laura Bohnenkemper, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Curtis Geiken, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Kimberly Hanshaw, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Mirel Howard, KPERS
Kenton Lewis, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office
Dondie Meyer, State Treasurer's Office
Vanessa Rine, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Sara Roberts, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office
Mynesha Spencer, United States Department of Interior
Raquel Talavera, KPERS
Wilson Wiley, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Wyandotte County
Kansas City
Racheal Botello, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City
Angela Harshbarger, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City
Crystal Her, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City

Jackson County
Kansas City
Andrea Beachem, City of Kansas City, Missouri
Khristen Evans, City of Kansas City, Missouri
Pam Opoka, Mid-America Regional Council
Ericka Saenz, City of Kansas City, Missouri
Robert Short, City of Kansas City, Missouri
Justin Sorg, Mid-America Regional Council
Vanessa Wrench, City of Kansas City, Missouri

Lee's Summit
Caleb Casteel, Johnson County Government / Johnson County Wastewater.

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