New cohort begins MSU Leadership Development Program

Contact: Carl Smith

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A new class of 16 Mississippi State employees recently began a training program to help prepare them for future leadership roles.

The Leadership Development Program’s Class of 2023 features staff members from a variety of units and departments, from the MSU Foundation to the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. These employees will meet nine times during the academic year to sharpen their skills through a variety of professional development sessions and team-building activities.

The LDP, a MSU Human Resources Management-led initiative, empowers new supervisors and high-performing employees with heightened self-awareness, advanced knowledge and value-added leadership. Eligible applicants include employees preparing for mid- to senior-level leadership roles; directing major tasks, projects and initiatives; and having at least one year of service in their current position and support of their dean, director or department head.

“The program offered a challenging and rewarding experience for my colleagues and me to grow as leaders. In addition to the program, I was finishing my master’s, growing as a leader in the community and entering my 10th year at MSU’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, making it a perfect time to learn about my leadership style,” said nSPARC Research Program Manager Kara Herman, who also was one of 12 employees honored with a Donald W. Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award this spring. “The program taught authentic leadership, personality strengths and weaknesses and camaraderie.”

Members of the LDP Class of 2023 include:

—Kevin Anderson, Web Development Services manager, Information Technology Services

—Christina Childers, associate director, Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory

—Paula Estes, employment services coordinator, Human Resources Management

—Delaney Foster, associate director for planning and assessment initiatives, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

—Alvin Franklin, assistant athletic director for development, MSU Athletics

—Leah Gibson, marketing coordinator, MSU Online

—Kenneth Graves, facilities manager, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

—Lilli Harris, graduate student development coordinator, MSU Graduate School

—Tockie Hemphill, project manager, Social Science Research Center

—Joseph Iupe, director of finance and budget, MSU Foundation

—Kimberly Peeples, assistant director, Student Counseling Services

—Kayla Pineda, assessment coordinator, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

—Blair Reed, research development specialist, Office of Research Development

—David Saucier, research engineer, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems

—Kathi Smith, business coordinator, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

—Erica Way, marketing manager, MSU Foundation

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