By Joel Delgado ’12, MS ’17
A group of 28 FIU staff and faculty members from across the university successfully completed the inaugural Presidential Leadership Program, a professional development program designed for employees under 50 years of age interested in solidifying a career track in higher education.
Each member of the cohort received a certificate of completion at a closing reception hosted by President Mark B. Rosenberg at the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House on May 16.
For the members of the inaugural class, it was a distinct honor to be the first class to complete the program and to pave the way for future participants.
“I love being part of something from the ground up,” said Helen Gonzalez ’07, a business analyst at the Student-Athletic Academic Center. “It’s exciting to see how we can work together to help move the university move forward into the future.”
Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, each participant in the program attended four sessions that were moderated by Rosenberg and Breny DaParre Garcia, assistant vice president of Institutional Relations.
These sessions ranged on a wide variety of topics, including FIU’s history, role in the community and vision for the future, that allowed participants to get an in-depth look at how the university operates at an administrative level.
Each participant also attended at least four different cohort learning experiences, which ranged from athletics events to Board of Directors meetings, that allowed them to gain insight into university operations.
Miguel Asencio ’12 M.S. ’14, director of the Digital Library of the Caribbean, said the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the university functions and how departments across the university work together was an invaluable experience.
“One of the most important things was to see the leadership at our university actually has an interest in seeing that the university is successful way beyond their tenure,” Ascencio said. “They’re invested and they want to build up the people who will be here for the next 20 to 30 years.”
During his remarks to the first cohort gathered together with family and friends during the reception, Rosenberg reminded the cohort that their work is not done and that their leadership is urgently needed.
“You have a destiny to fulfill here at our FIU, a destiny that is going to impact and improve the lives of thousands of students and their families,” Rosenberg said to the inaugural cohort. “We believe deeply in you and we acknowledge and we’re happy that you believe deeply in yourselves. Your leadership is needed. Your leadership is welcomed.”
The next cohort of the Presidential Leadership Program has its first meeting scheduled for June 14.