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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2014 / 05 

Women's Leadership and Mentoring Program helps female employees recognize potential

May 6, 2014

A group of 21 Virginia Tech women are being recognized for successfully completing the university's 2013-14 Women's Leadership and Mentoring Program.

Now in its seventh year, the program is sponsored by the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech in collaboration with senior administrators and faculty.

"This year’s talented members were identified by supervisors and colleagues as strong leaders who would benefit from the content knowledge and professional network-building offered through the Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program," said Anna LoMascolo, co-director of the Women's Center at Virginia Tech. "While the seminar content is invaluable, the best part of a program like this is the opportunity for women to learn from one another, share the unique aspects of being women in the workplace, and forge long-standing relationships with one another, with senior mentors and program faculty to support their professional and personal growth into the future."

The cohort-based program is designed for women who have already earned graduate degrees and aspire to be in leadership positions at the university. Many of the women accepted into the program each year are either new in their position, new to supervising people, or new to Virginia Tech. 

Monthly workshops taught by senior administrators focus on a series of topics, including managing people, budgeting, governance and institutional decision-making, supervision, performance management, team building and collaboration, career development, and mentoring and peer coaching. Each participant is paired with a mentor at the start of the program in the fall.

The 2013-14 cohort includes

  • Robin Atkins, executive assistant, Rice Center for Leadership Development;
  • Janice Austin, director, graduate admissions and academic progress;
  • Samantha Boyd, business manager, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; 
  • Jennifer Brill, program leader and associate professor, Instructional Design and Technology Program;
  • Katie Bylenga, coordinator, Office of Student Conduct;
  • Jessica Filip, training and project manager, Dining Services;
  • Rachel Gabriele, assistant to the assistant vice president, budget and financial planning;
  • Kristin Gilbert, human resources generalist, Office of the Vice President for Research;
  • Stacy Harvey, outreach program manager, Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center ;
  • Laura Laughlin, residential learning coordinator, Fraternity and Sorority Life;
  • Leigh Anne Leist, senior assistant director, Career Services;
  • Suzanne Lo, research faculty, Institute for Policy and Governance;
  • Elaine Matuszek, associate director, academic advising and orientation programs, university studies;
  • Laura Neff-Henderson, employee communications manager, University Relations and Department of Human Resources;
  • Dale Pokorski, director of information technology, engineering;
  • Ashley Roberts, project manager, Continuing and Professional Education;
  • Anna Steen, pre-award administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs;
  • Jeananne Tiffany, residential learning coordinator, Housing and Residence Life and Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets;
  • Jenny Wagstaff, assistant director, Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center;
  • Sarah Umbarger-Wells, assistant director, Talent Search; and
  • Diana Wu, assistant director of instructional technology, School of Education.

More information about nominations for the 2014-15 program will be available this summer. For more information contact LoMascolo at 540-231-7806.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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