Campus News

Twenty-three employees complete Supervisors’ Academy

Offered twice a year through Training and Development in the Office of Human Resources, the UGA Supervisors’ Academy provides supervisors with essential skills and knowledge to manage people, whether they are new to a supervisory role or have been a supervisor for several years. (Photo courtesy of Training and Development)

Twenty-three supervisors from units across the university completed the UGA Supervisors’ Academy on March 8.

“The UGA Supervisors’ Academy is designed to help supervisors make their teams stronger, more efficient and better equipped to take on challenges,” said Juan Jarrett, associate vice president for human resources. “When supervisors invest time in their own growth and development, ultimately it is good for the whole university.”

The academy is offered twice a year through Training and Development in the Office of Human Resources. The program provides supervisors essential skills and knowledge to manage people, whether they are new to a supervisory role or have been a supervisor for several years.

Sonya Sinkfield-Dixon, administrative coordinator for the Office of Institutional Diversity and a new supervisor at UGA, was in the graduating cohort.

“I felt the program challenged my current way of thinking and introduced me to new strategies for managing myself, my team, our office culture and change,” she said.

Greg Kirby, director of campus reservations, events and technical services for the Tate Center, also completed the academy this spring.

“Every supervisor needs time to learn and reflect. This was that time for me. I needed to be reminded why I do the work that I do,” he said.

Through sessions led by Training and Development staff, the academy focused on four essential areas of development for supervisors: managing self, managing culture, managing teams and managing change. Participants also formed coaching circles as part of the program, where they met separately in smaller sub-groups to discuss real-life situations and offer support and guidance to those in similar roles.

“This program gave me a new confidence and direction. The self-reflection and exploration helped me identify and value my strengths, while readings and group discussions taught me ways of leveraging those strengths for my work, my team and my own well-being,” said Lindsay Robinson, assistant director for print and digital design with the Division of Marketing & Communications. “Even before finishing the program, I felt renewed energy and a more positive outlook on my role and responsibilities as a supervisor. I hope my team also feels a sense of security and trust, so that we might do even greater things together.”

In addition to Sinkfield-Dixon, Kirby and Robinson, the spring 2019 graduates of the Supervisors’ Academy are Carol Alexander, testing coordinator, University Testing Services; Donna Doolittle, senior operations supervisor, Recreational Sports; Joann Ellstein, assistant manager, Snelling Dining Commons; Charles Fain, building services worker, lead, Facilities Management Division; Lisa Fields, testing coordinator, University Testing Services; Jillian Fishburn, lab manager II, Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Lab; Ryan Fugett, director, CAES Contracts and Grants, CAES Business Office; Reychel Garren, office manger, CAES Business Office; Magen Martin, building services supervisor, University Housing; Chris McBride, assistant director, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory; Kim McKenzie, administrative manager I, clinical and administrative pharmacy; Veronica Monroy, building services supervisor, University Housing; P.J. Perea, SREL communications manager, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory; Mary Poland, ­assistant department head, access services, UGA Libraries; Marilyn Rodriguez, business manager II, anthropology; Neyael Rubio-Delgado, BSW supervisor, University Housing; Emily Schattler, administrative manager, Odum School of Ecology; Kellie Templeman, application analyst specialist, Office of Institutional ­Research; Debbie Tonks, IT manager, Franklin College, Office of Instructional Technology; and Markitta Willoughby, building services supervisor, University Housing.

The UGA Supervisors’ Academy is part of a larger effort to provide supervisors with the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to manage people and processes effectively. In addition to the academy, Training and Development offers the Supervisory Fundamentals program and the Supervisor Seminar Series.

Supervisory Fundamentals, which focuses on policies and guidelines for supervising, is a prerequisite for the Supervisors’ Academy. The two-day training is offered multiple times per year and lays the foundation for successful supervision.

The Supervisor Seminar Series focuses on an array of topics related to supervising, from onboarding new team members to giving feedback. The seminars are open to current supervisors, aspiring supervisors and all interested faculty and staff.

Future class dates for Supervisory Fundamentals and the Supervisor Seminar Series were announced May 7 as part of the Training and Development summer schedule. The next UGA Supervisors’ Academy will run in the fall.

For more information about training programs for supervisors, contact Training and Development or visit