“It was an amazing week!” says Lisa Merritt about the Faculty and Administrators’ Leadership Academy 2016, sponsored by the Virginia Community College System. Merritt, an assistant professor of biological sciences from Rappahannock Community College, notes “We networked with colleagues, and received mentoring from college presidents, vice presidents, deans, directors, faculty, and other VCCS leaders.”
The Leadership Academy took place at Arboretum III in Richmond, September 26-29. Its purpose was to develop the leadership potential of individuals who are committed to advancing the mission of community colleges through effective leadership and supervision. Attendance was limited to one person from each campus of the 23 VCCS colleges, chosen by the president of that college. Merritt was RCC’s Glenns Campus attendee, while dean of college advancement Sarah Pope represented the Warsaw Campus.
“The academy was an intensive course, rich in content on leadership theory and practice,” says Pope. “I came away with a strong understanding of my own leadership and communications style, and I now have the ability to identify other management styles, and know how best to work with all of my team members at RCC to serve the college’s mission.”
The event included sessions on team communication; maintaining one’s integrity while exercising power, persuasion, and influence; leadership techniques during difficult changes; leadership and communication during a crisis; understanding legislative affairs; lessons learned from corporate executives; the experiences of leading a large organization, serving as president of a college, and presidential decision making; and daily fitness workouts.
“All of the mentoring, instruction, support, and professional development made me more confident in who I am as a leader,” states Merritt, “and in my potential to improve, transform, and meet new challenges.”