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2022 Cohort of Aspiring Leaders Announced

41 employees will hone their leadership skills through participation in Georgia Tech’s ASPIRE program

This semester, Workplace Learning & Professional Development kicked off their third cohort of APSPIRE, one of their signature programs designed for aspiring leaders. The latest cohort consists of 41 employees representing 25 different departments across campus with a variety of job roles, ranging from Horticulturist to Grants Administrator and Academic Advisor. 

Launched in 2019, ASPIRE is intended for all Georgia Tech employees who are interested in learning to lead from where they are regardless of position. Including the 2022 cohort, ASPIRE will have developed 146 aspiring leaders. 

"ASPIRE is designed to help participants not yet in management roles foster professional development and adopt a leadership mindset,” noted Nelson Baker, dean of Professional Education. “The program will help refine their confidence to lead intentionally, strategically, and empathically with the abilities to listen, connect to, and communicate with others.” 

The program is founded on the Competing Values Framework of Organizations and centers on four competing approaches to leadership framework and case study applications, providing participants with a well-rounded leadership understanding and practice. 

“I've gotten better at listening to others’ perspectives and learning to shape my proposals to directly address those concerns and perspectives,” said one graduate from a previous cohort. “This seems like it should be intuitive, but the tools have helped me develop a formal framework that I think has made me both more intentional and more confident.” 

Combining instructor-led programming with self-directed and collaborative learning, ASPIRE takes a flipped classroom approach, consisting of six asynchronous online learning modules followed by six synchronous workshops, for a total commitment of 40 hours over four months. 

“I really enjoyed what I learned,” said another graduate. “I did a lot of growing and reflecting on my current and future career aspirations. This was a great experience learning from my facilitator and those in my cohort. Anyone going through this program will highly benefit.” 

Another key component of the program is the support and collaboration of the participants’ supervisor, or co-learner as referenced in the program. 

“Leadership is a two-way street,” said Rachel Watts, senior learning consultant for WLPD. “When a supervisor commits to co-learning alongside their employee, it not only helps the employee implement practices from the program, but it also greatly increases the supervisor's effectiveness as a leader.” 

Upon completion of the course requirements, participants will be celebrated during a closing program in April and emerge with an increased awareness of themselves professionally and an understanding of how they can lead from their current role, positioning them to take on new responsibilities. 

“Shortly completing the ASPIRE program, I took on new responsibilities as well as a completely new position,” reflected a recent graduate. “I revisited these tools when communicating with leadership and the campus community.” 

With no program cost, ASPIRE is an exceptional opportunity for the Georgia Tech employee to invest in their professional future. We are excited to witness the potential of this new 2022 cohort unfold as they cultivate their leadership mindset through ASPIRE. 

The 2022 ASPIRE cohort members are: Camille Atkinson, Brittiana Banks-Green, Chikaya Bolton, Taylor Bracale, Laurence Brennan, Andrew Chung, Sharetha Dantes, Christa Davoll, Samba Diop, Ralph Duverna, Quashavia Harper, Lauren Hunter, Miriam Jackson, Athena Jones, Tammie King Brown, Justin LaFantano, Anita Lamb, Chordae Lauderdale, Mariah Liggins, Brigit McGuinness, Nick Parsons, Melanie Paulina, Chinneta Pettaway, Steve Place, Robyn Presley, Christine Raddatz, Danielle Ramirez, Jessica Scott Amilcar, Jessica Sherrington, Evan Simmons, Svetlana Soroka,  Jonathan Spicer, Tia Stegall, Demika Taylor, Faith Taylor, Thomas Teshome, Ericka Thomas, Veronique Topping, Lexie Walters, Olof Westerstahl, and Justin Yoo. 

To learn more about the ASPIRE program, including submitting interest to join a future cohort, visit pe.gatech.edu/programs/aspire