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Sixth class graduates from HSC’s LEAD Institute

Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 9

More than 150 faculty and staff members have participated in the Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) Institute since it was created in 2005. Pictured here are fellows from the class of 2011-2012. Click on photos for larger view
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More than 150 faculty and staff members have participated in the Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) Institute since it was created in 2005. Pictured here are fellows from the class of 2011-2012. Click on photos for larger viewclear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

Twenty-four UT Health Science Center San Antonio faculty and staff members are the most recent class to graduate from the Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) Institute. The graduation reception, held March 29, is the final activity for the annual six-month leadership development program for new leaders at the Health Science Center.

“The LEAD Institute is intended to provide future leaders with the insight, practical experiences and the tools to build on their leadership skills and to be successful,” explained Adriana Segura, D.D.S., M.S., a fellow in the first LEAD class and now its director. Dr. Segura is a professor of comprehensive dentistry and associate dean of student affairs in the Dental School.
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LEAD was developed and launched in 2005 by Jerry York, M.B.A., who is retiring in May as vice president and chief information officer. “Our new leaders have great potential, but many of them don’t have an M.B.A. or any business training to know how to work with a budget, mentor employees or collaborate,” York said, noting that new department heads and administrative leaders often are expected to manage large and complex budgets with multiple funding streams and develop strategic plans, as well as direct large groups of employees.

In the program, LEAD Institute fellows attend an initial two-day retreat and six monthly programs. The fellows receive reading assignments to help them prepare for each session, which includes interaction and small-group exercises. In addition, each session features a keynote address by a Health Science Center Executive Committee member that focuses on his or her personal growth as a leader and learning experiences from their career.

“A major strength of our program compared to leadership programs offered at some other institutions is that both academic and administrative leaders are included in the program,” Dr. Segura said. “This promotes a better understanding of issues, viewpoints and processes throughout the Health Science Center. It also helps build relationships among emerging leaders in all parts of the university. Many of our fellows keep in touch and use each other as sounding boards as they progress through their careers.”

Benefits of LEAD
A number of recent graduates shared how LEAD has helped them develop their leadership skills.

Class of 2012 alumna Natalie Gutierrez, M.A., director of publications in the Office of Communications and editor of Mission magazine, said, “Graduation from LEAD was a great accomplishment. The entire experience has opened my eyes to what it truly means to be an effective leader at our Health Science Center. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate and learn so I can help advance our university to the best of my abilities.”

Another participant, Rebecca Bonugli, Ph.D., APRN, PMHCNS, assistant professor of family and community health systems in the School of Nursing, said: “LEAD has afforded a wonderful opportunity to enhance my leadership skills while providing a chance to connect with a variety of individuals from various departments within the Health Science Center. The diversity among participants in the program provided for very rich discussions as we grappled with the many facets and challenges of becoming effective leaders. A highlight of LEAD for me was hearing the personal stories of many of our current Health Science Center leaders. LEAD opened up new possibilities as I learned that leadership is not inherent in a just a select few individuals but a learned skill set available for all who engage in the program.”

Rong Li, Ph.D., a professor of molecular medicine, said, “The LEAD workshop was one of the most beneficial academic activities I have participated in since I joined the faculty here more than five year ago. The skills and knowledge that I have learned from the entire program have had a profound and immediate impact on my interpersonal communication and management style.”

Lisa McDougle, Ed.D., assistant dean for student success in the School of Health Professions, added, “The LEAD Institute really helped me reevaluate my leadership skills. I was able to see how others perceive me as a leader versus how I see myself.”

Animesh Agarwal, M.D., a professor in the Division of Orthopaedic Trauma, part of the Department of Orthopaedics in the School of Mecidine, added, "The LEAD program was a worthwhile time commitment. It allowed each of us to ‘self–reflect’ on our past behaviors as leaders and see where we could each improve. Only by understanding our weaknesses can we strive to become the type of leaders that we all desire to be and want to have."

New alumni events in the works
Dr. Segura said that a number of alumni events and additional programs are being planned for LEAD graduates, which will be announced at a later date.

Becoming a LEAD fellow
Applications for the seventh cohort of the LEAD Institute will be accepted in November. Departments can nominate candidates through their Executive Committee member. More information about the program is available at the LEAD Institute website (http://www.uthscsa.edu/lead/index.aspx) or by contacting Dr. Segura at seguraa@uthscsa.edu

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