Leadership Experience and Vision
I have multiple experiences as a leader in department, university, and professional positions. In 2005 I took on a leadership role at Northern Illinois University (NIU) as the Coordinator of Preservice Technology Integration Courses, then became the Program Coordinator for the Instructional Technology Program in 2008. In 2011 I began working at the University of Tennessee (UT) as an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Instructional Technology Program. During the 2013-2014 academic year I worked direclty with the UT then Chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek as a Faculty Leadership Intern. In 2017, I was appointed as the Associate Head and Director of Graduate Studies in the Educational Psychology and Counseling (EPC) Department at UT. Most recently, I have left my academic departmental leadership position, and became the University Ombudsperson, where I serve the faculty, staff, and graduate students in the ombuds role as well as lead the development of the Office of Ombuds Services.
Throughout various roles that I have taken in university settings, I have led several initiatives including:
- the design, development, implementation, and marketing of a new service office;
- facilitating difficult faculty, staff, and graduate student conversations in conflict situations;
- faculty mentoring and training for tenure and promotion materials development;
- the design and development and implementation of revenue-generating programs;
- managing the budget and financing for investing revenues into the operations of a program;
- the design and development of innovative residential and online undergraduate and graduate programs;
- the coordination of interdepartmental collaborative programs; and
- the preparation of accreditation and program review materials for data-driven decision-making.
I have learned that to be a successful leader I need to first be a listener and communicator for faculty, students, staff, and administrators. Then, I need to make swift decisions based on data while advocating the people who I serve, and take actions based on those decisions.
I believe it is critical that university faculty, staff, and administrators take a role in service within their institution and the local community. My leadership activities throughout my career have been based on my core beliefs including:
- leading and establishing an equitable work environment for tenure-track faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate students for them to be their best selves to achieve their goals;
- mentoring faculty, staff, and students to help them meet their goals;
- creating optimal teaching and learning experiences for students; providing faculty with an environment that supports research and grant writing activities;
- engaging in fiscally sound, ethical, and sustainable program development;
- building community partnerships for students, faculty, and staff to gain real-world experiences in their profession;
- reaching out to alumni to cultivate strong connections to current programs; and
- contributing to ongoing accreditation and program review activities to make timely and informed data based decision-making.