The inaugural cohort of CSU Leadership Fellows. Photos by John Eisele/CSU Photography
The inaugural cohort of Colorado State University Leadership Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year was announced earlier this month. This new program was developed by President Joyce McConnell and university leadership to reach out to and support the many tremendously talented leaders among CSU faculty and staff to help them strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their understanding of higher education, and gain experience that will benefit them in current and future positions.
The program identifies those leaders and future leaders, then links each fellow with a senior mentor from President McConnell’s leadership team. Fellows will participate in a series of monthly professional development sessions where they can share challenges, successes, insights and experiences. In addition, each participant will work directly with a member of the university leadership team on a project in a specific area of focus. Fellowships will account for 50% of a fellow’s workload during the program.
“This is a tremendously valuable opportunity for both the university and the fellows,” said President McConnell. “It really highlights the quality of our faculty and staff and provides each of them with the time and resources to take an in-depth look at an issue they almost certainly will encounter as they move into leadership positions of greater responsibility. In a very real sense, we’re helping prepare the next generation of leaders and shaping the future of our institution.”
Meet the fellows
The inaugural cohort of CSU Leadership Fellows, their mentors, and the areas of focus for their respective projects are:
Erika Benti, a transportation professional in Parking and Transportation Services, will work on internal communications, mentored by Yolanda Bevill, vice president for university communications.
Allison Cantwell, the associate director of research in the Institute for Research in Social Sciences, will be mentored by Alan Rudolph, vice president for research, focusing on strategic transformation and planning.
Sonali Diddi, associate professor of Design and Merchandising and core affiliate faculty member with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, will be mentored by Blake Naughton, vice president for engagement and extension, and work on community development.
Andrea Duffy, special assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts, will be mentored by Jenelle Beavers, vice president for strategy, and will work on university strategic planning.
Emma Eckley, a developer on the Student Information Systems Team in the Information Systems department, will be mentored by Brandon Bernier, vice president of information technology and chief information officer. The focus for Eckley’s project will be campus engagement.
Amber Krummel, an associate professor in the College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Chemistry, who was named a Monfort Professor, will be mentored by Rudolph, focusing on strategic transformation and planning.
Scott Shrake, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, will be mentored by VP Beavers and work on university strategic planning.
Elizabeth Sink, a master teaching instructor for the Communication Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts, will be mentored by Blanche Hughes, vice president for student affairs. Sink’s focus will be basic needs and food insecurity.