Campus News

Fifth cohort of Women’s Staff Leadership Institute celebrates graduates

The fifth cohort of the Women's Staff Leadership Institute celebrated their graduation Nov. 15. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

Participants reflect on their experiences in the program

The fifth cohort of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute celebrated its graduation with a reception Nov. 15.

“When I met with you all in April, I predicted that this program would be a turning point in your professional career, and I think you will see that come to fruition,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach and WSLI executive sponsor. “My hope is that you come away from the program with a better understanding of your own leadership skills and opportunities to develop them, that you are more confident in your own leadership skills and applying them, and that you’ve created a great network of peers.”

The WSLI, which began in 2017, is an annual program aligned with the Women’s Leadership Initiative launched in 2015 by the Office of the President and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

“As you leave this program, I hope that you continue to learn and grow as a leader. Don’t stop here,” said Tammy Freeman, interim associate vice president for human resources. “I look forward to seeing your growth as you continue forward.”

The program is administered through University Human Resources’ Learning and Development and coordinated by Emily Saunders, a public service faculty member in the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach.

“I want to thank all of our incredible program speakers for their time,” Saunders said. “Additionally, I was a part of the inaugural cohort who participated in the program. The alumnae have been so supportive of the program and continue to be engaged. So, on behalf of all the alumnae, we offer our congratulations and support.”

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.

“I am thankful to have met so many great women leaders who are on diverse paths and are at different stages,” said 2022 cohort member Shirley Reyes, program operations coordinator with the Fanning Institute. “The knowledge that was poured into me through this program has empowered me not only on my continued leadership journey, but also helped me strengthened my foundation to empower other women.”

Natalie Glenn, senior director of alumni relations and annual giving with the Terry College of Business, also appreciated her time in the 2022 cohort.

“Two incredible components of the WSLI program are content and connections,” Glenn said. “The programming and strength of the material presented are incredibly beneficial, and the connections I’ve made among the cohort and with the presenters are truly a gift. This program is a game-changer on campus.”

The 2022 program ran from April through November, and participants met monthly for workshops and discussions. Find out more at

“While I knew the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute would be beneficial for me professionally, I didn’t realize what a personal connection I would make with amazing women all over campus, which led to such a full, meaningful growth experience for me,” said 2022 cohort member Carly Surratt, director of faculty affairs operations in the Office of Faculty Affairs. “Each woman in our cohort has added so much value. The scope of their experience and willingness to be totally open to this process has exceeded expectations. I am confident that today is not the end for these relationships, and we will continue to build on the foundation that the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute created for us.”

Additional members of the 2022 cohort include Taylor Cain, assistant dean of students in the UGA Office of Student Affairs; Angela Hurt, senior executive director for strategic institutional initiatives in the  Division of Marketing and Communications; Jenny Ramsey, chief financial officer in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; Kim Seabolt, assistant bursar in Finance and Administration; Monica Williams, pipeline program manager for Innovation Gateway in the Office of Research; and Lisa Williamson, assistant director for fitness and wellness in Recreational Sports.