Ten University of Georgia staff members have been selected to participate in the fourth cohort of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute.
Launched in 2017, the WSLI 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 Provost.
The program is administered through University Human Resources’ Training and Development with the support of executive sponsor Jennifer L. Frum, vice president for public service and outreach. Allie Cox, director of training and development, and Emily Saunders, senior manager of training and development, coordinate the institute.
“It is gratifying to see the fourth cohort of female staff members begin their journey through this program. The 10 women selected for the 2021 class represent a diverse cross section of campus, with employees from academic units, facilities management, student affairs, finance, human resources and more, bringing together a wealth of different experiences to share,” Frum said.
Juan Jarrett, associate vice president for human resources, is pleased to see the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute be able to restart after the program was paused due to the pandemic.
“The program is very impactful in providing leadership and networking skills for women and offers support as they grow and develop their careers at the University of Georgia and in higher education,” he said.
The cohort includes staff from eight units and six schools and colleges. The 2021 program runs from April through November, and participants meet monthly for workshops and discussions.
Members of the 2021 class are:
Lauren Anglin, director of experiential learning and outreach in the College of Engineering’s Office of Student Success. Since starting her position in 2016, Anglin connects engineering students to opportunities for professional development and hands-on learning. She also facilitates student participation in experiential programs such as research, internships and study abroad, and also oversees the College of Engineering’s expanding the Capstone Senior Design program and the Cooperative Experiential Learning Program.
LaRhonda Biggers, assistant director of building services (South Zone) in the Facilities Management Division. Biggers started her professional career at UGA as a campus police officer in 1999, then left to work at Athens-Clarke County Department of Family and Children Services. She returned to UGA in 2013 with the Facilitates Management Division. Biggers’ leadership and vision can be seen in an operation consisting of several departments and buildings, spanning more than 1.2 million square feet and more than 250 full-time employees on South Campus. Her management of UGA’s resources, including its budget, equipment, supplies and people, is with stewardship for efficiency, with concern for the environment and is focused on the customer.
Julia Butler-Mayes, director in the Office of University Academic Advising Services. Butler-Mayes was hired at UGA as an academic advisor in 2009, left in 2011 for a position in Washington, D.C., and returned to UGA in 2013. Her office provides guidance, support and advocacy for UGA academic advisors and the students they serve by improving advising communication, collaboration and community. Examples of this include serving as a central hub for advising-related questions; facilitating professional development for advisors; partnering on institutional initiatives that further advisor and student success; managing SAGE, the campus-wide advising software platform; and overseeing the work of the Exploratory Center, which assists students who are undecided or exploring major options.
Suzanne Graham, administrative manager at the Institute of Higher Education. Graham, who began her career at UGA in 2003, leads institute-wide activities in communications, graduate engagement, development, data analysis and reporting and major events, like the annual Louise McBee Lectureship in Higher Education. She also assists with unit-level faculty affairs and supports the UGA Teaching Academy as an ex-officio member of the executive committee, focusing on public relations.
Lisa Kelly, support services director for the Office of Research Integrity and Safety and the Professional Education Portal (PEP) global director for human resources. Kelly began working at UGA in 2010. In her first role, she provides support services for the research community to assist with their compliance to federal, state and local regulations and guidance as well as UGA policies and best practices. Some of the support services include training, occupational preventive health care services and navigation of protocol approvals. In her second role, Kelly manages the day-to-day operations of PEP and offers support for the strategic initiatives associated with PEP, which currently include the onboarding and training of additional units. She also participates in and provides administrative support for PEP’s governing committees.
Chrystal Cox McDowell, assistant director of student affairs at the UGA Griffin campus. McDowell began her career at UGA in 2014 and now leads and facilitates all student affairs functions on the Griffin campus. She’s a scholar-practitioner whose 18-year commitment to education has centered around work in college access and support for secondary and college students. Before starting at UGA, McDowell served as director of Upward Bound at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, a college readiness program funded through a $1.25 million grant focused on preparing high school students for college.
Stephanie Rosso, senior director for finance and administration within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Rosso joined Franklin College in 2018 with 20 years of experience in higher education. She provides oversight and management of the budgets and day-to-day financial operations for Franklin College and leads a team responsible for supporting the fiscal operational needs over a diverse cross-section of UGA departments.
Sharon Shannon, coordinator of student support services and state authorization for the UGA Office of Online Learning. Shannon, who’s been at UGA since 2003, works with and serves as a liaison between service units and academic departments across campus to connect online students to campus resources. She also completes reports and manages processes to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations for state authorization and the National Council for State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements.
Courtney Simmons-Dorsey, administrative manager in the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership. Simmons-Dorsey, who has managed the human resources activities of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership since 2012, also serves as the HR liaison between her unit and both universities. She works closely with the senior director of finance and administration to support both the daily operations and financial functions.
Lynh Tran, associate director of strategy and operations for the Peabody Awards in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Tran, who’s been at UGA since 2014, manages the operationalization of business strategy and the implementation of projects in support of the Peabody Awards’ viability, sustainability and recognition as a national cultural institution. She also provides the executive director with thought- and decision-making leadership while also overseeing the program’s annual awards ceremony, budgets, external funding opportunities and relationships with its boards.
“Investments in faculty and staff development help the University of Georgia excel in its teaching, research and service missions,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I congratulate these outstanding staff members on their selection to the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute and appreciate their dedication to the university.”