Through one of UGA’s newest fellowship programs, Jean Martin-Williams was inspired to have more confidence in her skills, take risks and think creatively about leadership.
Just a couple of months later, the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and co-director of the Lilly Teaching Fellows program was named associate dean for the fine and performing arts in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
“It was fascinating to see how leaders go about their day and how they put their vision into action,” Martin-Williams said of the training and mentorship she received as one of nine faculty members in the first cohort of the Women’s Leadership Fellows program, part of the broader Women’s Leadership Initiative that President Jere W. Morehead and Provost Pamela Whitten launched in March 2015.
“I saw the creativity that can come into leadership,” Martin-Williams added. “As a musician, that really resonated with me.”
Women’s Leadership Fellows meet monthly to hear from senior administrators on campus as well as visiting speakers, and a concluding retreat offers opportunities for more in-depth learning.
Nominations for the next cohort of fellows are due on Sept. 28, with more information at http://t.uga.edu/1Mi.
“I was impressed, but not at all surprised, by the intellect, insightfulness and energy of our inaugural group of Women’s Leadership Fellows,” Whitten said. “They have already accomplished so much in their careers, and they’re now poised to make an even greater impact on the university.”
Ellen Evans, professor of kinesiology and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health in the College of Education, said her experience as a Women’s Leadership Fellow left her with an invaluable set of mentors, both in the upper-level administrators who spoke to the group and within the talented members of her cohort.
“It was a safe space in terms of expressing challenges and fears as well as ambitions,” Evans said. “We need more strong women in higher education, and around the table there was a large mix of us who come from a variety of disciplines and personal experiences. I know if I have a leadership dilemma, I will call them and ask them to meet for coffee.”
Evans said she also valued the opportunity to learn from others about how to balance personal and professional goals.
“The experience was really empowering,” she said.