Professional development program welcomes 25 staff to its 2012-13 class

Twenty-five Washington University in St. Louis staff members have been named to the 2012-13 Professional Leadership Academy & Network (PLAN), a yearlong professional development program.

PLAN launched in February 2011 with an inaugural class of 27 Danforth Campus middle- and senior-level managers. This year’s class includes staff from the School of Medicine.

PLAN, which is under the stewardship of the Office of the Provost, is intended to cultivate future WUSTL leaders who can contribute to university-wide initiatives and projects.

More than 80 staff members from throughout the university applied for a spot in this year’s class. In addition to providing a statement of support from their supervisors, another requirement was that applicants show a commitment to diversity — diversity of thought, perspective and identity.

The PLAN curriculum is designed to strengthen participants’ institutional knowledge, appreciation for the importance of inclusion and core leadership skills.

“This year’s PLAN cohort is already, in itself, an outstanding example of how diversity strengthens a university through one of its most important resources: its people,” says Shelley L. Milligan, EdD, associate provost and PLAN steering committee co-chair.

“We look forward to rich discussions and collaborations on topics like team building, leadership, strategic thinking, communications and diversity, to name a few,” says Milligan, who co-chairs the steering committee with Julia Macias Garcia, assistant director of Campus Life and assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Gail V. Oltmanns, associate university librarian, University Libraries.

The university covers the participants’ cost in the program, which includes three daylong classroom sessions and monthly “lunch & learns” with university administrators.

Their training culminates in May with group projects in which PLAN participants develop strategic solutions for different key issues at the university and present their findings to top administrators and school deans.

The group’s first event was an Aug. 22 reception at Harbison House hosted by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and his wife, Risa Zwerling Wrighton, to introduce the new PLAN members.

Upcoming sessions include a “lunch & learn” with Wrighton Sept. 27 and one Oct. 30 with Provost Edward S. Macias, PhD, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, and Barbara A. Feiner, vice chancellor for finance.

PLAN 2012-13 members

  • Nicole E. Allen, special assistant to the dean, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
  • Danielle F. Bristow, director of First Year Center Programs, First Year Center
  • Blythe A. Burkhardt, intellectual property & agreements coordinator, Office of Technology Management
  • Pete R.G. Coser, program manager, Buder Center for American Indian Studies
  • James R. Craig, professor and chair, Department of Military Science
  • Beth Elliott, manager of financial operations and admissions, Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences
  • LaShawnda N. Fields, diversity in retention coordinator, Cornerstone: The Center for Advanced Learning
  • Ben Geers, director of information technology, Brown School
  • Jennifer L. Harpring, program manager and facilitator, Gephardt Institute for Public Service
  • Leslie R. Heusted, director of the Danforth University Center & Event Management, Campus Life
  • Diana M. Hill, assistant dean and academic coordinator, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Martha F. Jones, executive director, Human Research Protection Office
  • Heidi Klosterman, JD, associate general counsel, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel
  • Rachel C. Linck, administrative officer in the Department of Chemistry, Arts & Sciences
  • Kelli R. Lively, assistant director of analysis & communications, Student Financial Services
  • Jessica R. Martin, executive director of strategic communications, Public Affairs
  • Sean McWilliams, assistant dean and academic coordinator, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Carol D. Moakley, associate director of career development, Career Center
  • Nancy B. Mueller, associate director, Institute for Public Health
  • Basia Najarro, director of business operations, Division of Medical Education in the Department of Internal Medicine
  • Susan A. Plassmeyer, assistant vice chancellor for administration and development services, Alumni & Development Programs
  • Anne M. Posega, head of Special Collections, Washington University Libraries
  • Rochelle Smith, director of diversity, summer programs and community outreach, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Hoang-Anh Tran, executive assistant to the dean, School of Law
  • Li Zou, international director, Center for Social Development, Brown School

For more information about PLAN, visit: