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Human Resources & Inclusive Community

Professional Development

Professional Development Programs

Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy program overview

The Leadership Academy is a professional development program for staff and faculty with an emphasis on developing the leader from within. This six-month program consists of half-day sessions of learning modules, discussions and practical applications of leadership and personal development principles with an emphasis on self-awareness. In addition, this program requires vulnerability, hard work, dedication and commitment and includes a group project and individual commencement speeches at graduation. This program is coordinated by the People Development team in HRIC.

Program Outcomes
By participating in this program, you will gain a renewed self-awareness and skillset to:

  • Improvise and embrace change
  • Collaborate with others
  • Function effectively within a group
  • Lead with emotional intelligence
  • Handle challenges under pressure
  • Reflect and learn from your experiences
  • Overcome self-created barriers, and
  • Reconnect with your authentic self

You may apply if:

  • You are a benefitted employee with a minimum of one (1) year of employment at the university, and
  • You are currently in a leadership/management position or actively working towards one, and
  • Your supervisor/manager sees value in your participation in this program and is willing to give you the necessary time off.

* Please note that should we get inundated with applications, we may have to limit the selection to only one member per department.

Time Commitment

  • The Leadership Academy is a six-month commitment (January-June), which includes a group project.
  • This program begins with a two-day (overnight) orientation retreat (Thursday through Friday).
  • Coursework consists of half-day morning sessions (every three-weeks) plus some additional hours of outside work (i.e. group projects, accountability team time reading, etc.).

Effective leadership is more than doing: it is also about being – the expression of the essence of the whole individual, including one's mind, heart, body, and spirit. In other words, to be successful at 'doing', leaders must have a profound sense of who they are at the core of their being. Thus, there is an interdependency between personal growth and leadership effectiveness. - Marcia Ruben & Lori Silverman

In order to successfully graduate from the Leadership Academy, each participant must:

  • Attend all six class sessions, including the orientation overnight in January
  • Actively engage in all class sessions
  • Meet between sessions with your accountability team
  • Complete all assignments, readings, and assessments
  • Complete the Personal Compass workbook by graduation
  • Be actively involved in the group project
  • Present a graduation speech on your experience

Group Projects
In addition to the coursework, the group will be responsible to develop, plan and implement a group project that gives back to DU. In the past, the cohorts have coordinated (each with their own spin), a storytelling event for students, faculty and staff. It will be up to Cohort-5 to decide what their project will be. The project gives
participants an opportunity to apply their insights and learning from the program while contributing to DU's strategic plan.

Curriculum Topics:

  • Orientation Overnight
  • The Collaborative Way
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leading Change
  • Team Building
  • Improv(e) to Innovate
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Leading at DU
  • Completion Ceremony / Individual Presentations


Leadership Academy Brochure - INTRODUCING COHORT-5


Anne Amati
Laura Dean
Michelle Fryer
Phuong Phan
Erin Toothaker
Alexis McClain
Katie Schroeder
Jill Pasion
Alex Martinez
Amy Downing
Victoria Veres
Amy Roberts
Ashley Davis
Dan Fischer
Waltrina DeFrantz-Dufor