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WELD participants announced for 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky Women’s Executive Leadership Development (WELD) program has announced its 2023 cohort of faculty and staff participants. The eight-month WELD program seeks to develop a new generation of higher education leaders who can adeptly navigate our complex environment and successfully chart the university’s future through retreats, monthly meetings, conversations with upper-level administrators, and other group interactions.

WELD is supported and organized through the Office of Faculty Advancement and is in its ninth year. Current Faculty Trustee Hollie Swanson was the initial director of the program, followed by Professor Chana Akins, who currently serves as the chair of the Department of Psychology. This year’s director is Jennifer Bird-Pollan, professor and associate dean in the J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

To date, over 180 faculty and staff members have participated in WELD. Between 20 and 25 faculty and staff join the cohort annually with about half and half faculty annually.

To kick off the 2023 WELD program, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman will be giving a talk titled: “Women Leaders: The Willingness To Act.”

Plowman became the ninth chancellor of the University of Tennessee in 2019. She returned to Rocky Top after nine years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she served as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. In that role, she oversaw academic affairs, student affairs, the Office of Research and Economic Development, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. She served for over six years as the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of UNL’s College of Business Administration.

The kickoff address will be hosted in the Grand Courtroom in the College of Law at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 27, with a small reception afterward starting at around 5 p.m. This event is open to the UK community, but participants are asked to register in advance here.

From an extremely strong pool of over 50 candidates, 22 individuals were selected to participate in the 2023 WELD cohort. This year’s participants are:

  1. Molly Blasing (faculty); Arts and Sciences, Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  2. Ramona Carper (faculty); Health Sciences, Physical Therapy
  3. Jagriti Chadha (faculty); Medicine, Internal Medicine
  4. Monica Diaz (faculty); Arts and Sciences, Hispanic Studies
  5. Maureen Dreckman (staff); Campus Planning
  6. Rae Goodwin (faculty); Fine Arts, SA/VS
  7. Meg Grady (faculty); Engineering, Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering
  8. Tanya Graf (staff); Medicine, director of Communication
  9. Catherine Hayden (staff); Communication and Information, director of Communication
  10. Emily Lee (staff); Internal Medicine, associate dept. administrator
  11. Fadiya Lowe (staff); Student Success, associate director of Student Wellness
  12. Andrea McCubbin (staff); Medicine, associate dean for Research Administration
  13. Stacy Miller (staff); CAFE, director of Extension HR
  14. Johné Parker (faculty); Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  15. Amanda Potterton (faculty); Education, Educational Leadership Studies
  16. Molly Reynolds (staff); Student Success, Transformative Learning
  17. Jenny Rice (faculty); Arts and Sciences, WRD
  18. Sarah Simpson (staff); Financial Services Administration
  19. Liz Swanson (faculty); Design, Architecture
  20. Kim Taylor (staff); Registrar
  21. Virginia Valentin (faculty); Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Studies
  22. Meredith Weber (staff); Office of Philanthropy

To learn more about the WELD Program, click here.

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