Campus News

Applications for fourth cohort of Women’s Staff Leadership Institute being accepted

Women's Staff Leadership Institute
Members of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute’s third cohort celebrated their graduation with a reception on Nov. 19.

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31 for the fourth cohort of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute.

The WSLI, which began in 2017, is an annual program aligned with the Women’s Leadership Initiative launched in 2015 by President Jere W. Morehead and the Office of the Provost. The program is administered through the Office of Human Resources’ Training and Development Department.

“One thing that makes this program unique and special is that it really is a campus-wide effort,” said Allie Cox, director of training and development and coordinator of the institute.

The program will run from April through November, and participants will meet monthly for leadership development sessions and discussions with senior administrators at UGA. The institute provides participants the chance to explore leadership opportunities, reflect upon key leadership traits and skills, and support one another in issues that women leaders face in higher education administration.

To learn more or apply, visit

The third cohort of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute celebrated its graduation with a reception on Nov. 19.

“I hope you all will look back on this program as a milestone in your professional development,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach and WSLI executive sponsor. “My challenge to you is to take what you’ve learned and empower and engage the women you work with across campus.”

For Rebecca Scarbro, associate director for student conduct in the Division of Student Affairs, the biggest takeaway was that leadership isn’t a lonely endeavor—leaning on other people is a sign of strength, not weakness.

“It was absolutely what I needed,” she said. “I learned a lot from the speakers, but I think I learned just as much, if not more, from the other members of the cohort.”

In addition to Scarbro, the 2019 cohort included Siara Abdulla, senior regional director of development in the Division of Development & Alumni Relations; Cheri Bliss, director of graduate student services in the Graduate School; Victoria David, director of diversity affairs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Jenna Jackson, associate director of admissions and diversity programs for the School of Law; Heather Jordan, director of student services for the UGA Athletic Association; Toni Rogers, director of instruction fiscal affairs in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Amanda Sale, senior associate director of admissions for marketing and recruitment in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; Sarah Sorvas, special projects manager for the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel; Jen Williams, senior communications director in the College of Education; Beth Woods, executive director for the Office of Information Technology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; and Arzu Yilmaz, senior project manager and team leader in the Office of University Architects.

“I pride myself on trying to have it all together most of the time, but what I didn’t realize is that there were a couple of missing pieces,” said Abdulla. “I am incredibly grateful and humbled to be part of this program and have the tools I need to be even better at what I do and better serve the university.”

The 2019 cohort members were welcomed as alumnae at the reception by members of the 2017 and 2018 cohorts.

“You’re joining the ranks of some pretty phenomenal leaders on campus, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome you into our fold,” said Nakia Wade, human resources senior manager for the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and 2018 WSLI graduate. “Our hope is that you will continue bonding, developing and stretching yourself and each other as you move forward in your career.”