Ninth cohort of Vanderbilt Leadership Academy commences

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Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente met with members of the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy’s ninth cohort on Aug. 19. (Susan Urmy/Vanderbilt)

The Vanderbilt Leadership Academy welcomed its ninth cohort of learners this fall.

VLA is a nine-month learning experience that brings together a diverse group of university leaders from both the academic and administrative areas to increase their knowledge in leading at Vanderbilt as well as their passion for furthering the institution’s values and mission.

“Vanderbilt Leadership Academy is designed to build relations and connections among current and rising leaders across our university and to equip them with new skills and knowledge to advance our mission,� Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente said. “These individuals represent the future of Vanderbilt and play an integral part in ensuring our long-term success as a leading American research university. I’m excited to welcome the new cohort and wish them a successful and productive year.�

Senior leaders addressed Vanderbilt Leadership Academy participants for 2019-20 at the cohort's first meeting in August. (Susan Urmy/Vanderbilt)Senior leaders addressed 2019-20 Vanderbilt Leadership Academy members at the cohort’s first meeting in August. (Susan Urmy/Vanderbilt)

This year’s participants were nominated by Wente, vice chancellors and other university leaders. Throughout the academic year, they will participate in sessions featuring internal and external speakers, roundtable lunches with senior leaders, and case studies relevant to leadership, management and personal performance.

More than 200 members of the Vanderbilt community have completed the program since its inception in 2011.

The 2019–20 VLA class includes:

  • Phillip O. Brown, associate athletics director and chief business officer, Athletics and Campus Recreation
  • James Byrd, associate dean for graduate education and research, chair of the Graduate Department of Religion, and associate professor of American religious history, Divinity School
  • Hollis Calhoun, executive director of strategic affairs and communications, College of Arts and Science
  • Evelyn Cate Galletti, director of capital planning, Projects and Operations, Division of Finance
  • Derek M. Griffith, director, Center for Research on Men’s Health; professor of medicine, health and society, College of Arts and Science
  • Ben Harris, Faculty Senate vice chair-elect; senior lecturer in music, Blair School of Music
  • LeAnne Huber, chief of staff, Office of Investments
  • Audrey Jones, director, Business Services, Division of Administration
  • Michael R. King, J. Lawrence Wilson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the department, School of Engineering
  • Maggie McHugh, executive director, Brand Engagement and Governance, Division of Communications
  • Catherine McTamaney, Faculty Senate chair-elect; associate professor of the practice of teaching and learning, Peabody College
  • Richard Milner IV, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Education, Peabody College
  • Kevin D. Owen, senior director, Information Technology
  • Cynthia B. Paschal, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, associate professor of biomedical engineering, School of Engineering
  • Julia Phillippi, director, Nurse-Midwifery Specialty; assistant professor of nursing, School of Nursing
  • Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Antonio M. and Anita S. Gotto Professor of Teaching and Learning, chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development, Peabody College
  • Johnathan Shaw, director of tax, Finance
  • Lizzie Shilliam, chief of staff and legal operations, Office of the General Counsel
  • Erik Smetana, executive director of compensation and talent, Human Resources
  • Dinessa Solomon, executive director of corporate and foundation relations, Development and Alumni Relations
  • William Teets, outreach astronomer, Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, Division of Government and Community Relations
  • David ter Kuile, executive director, Business Services, Division of Administration
  • Michelle R. Towns, assistant athletics director for HR operations, Athletics
  • Nikki S. Younger, chief of staff, Office of the Chancellor Emeritus