ʿⱦapp Launches President’s Emerging Leadership Institute


On Sept 19, 2023, ʿⱦappnical Community College launched its  President’s Emerging Leaders Institute, which will identify and develop emerging leaders for growth and advancement within the College now and in the future. Twelve employees were selected to participate in the advanced, yearlong program, which is funded by the College’s Foundation.  

“I am extremely pleased that we have developed this opportunity to invest in our employees,” said ʿⱦapp President J.B. Buxton. “This helps ensure continued growth within the College and will strengthen the College in the future. This first cohort is a curated group. Each is here for a reason and we want to invest in them.

The Institute’s launch was opened with comments from Buxton and included an overview and expectations of the program.

“The launch was so well organized.  I am excited and honored to be a part of the first group for PELI,“ said Marisa Sullivan, one of the employees selected for the first cohort. “I look forward to collaborating with colleagues as we explore new topics. I hope to learn practical aspects of leadership that will afford me the skill set to lead current and future initiatives at ʿⱦapp.

“Leaders have the responsibility to lead well and grow others. The selection by President Buxton shows his trust in us as leaders to be part of the legacy of developing leaders here at ʿⱦapp. We're doing great things,” added Ulric Hill, another selected employee.

The eight monthly sessions will be led by community leaders, industry partners, government partners, nationally and locally recognized community college subject matter experts and Buxton. Participants will build cross-functional, collaborative skills and gain greater insight into the College’s impact on its service community.

To gauge the impact of the program, specific competencies were created by the Organizational Development and Learning department, led by Vice President, Chief Talent and Equity Officer Dr. Angela Davis and Dr. Cathy James-Springer, director of Organizational Development and Learning.  Participants will earn competency badges as they progress through the program, which they can prominently display in email signatures and other platforms, such as LinkedIn.  

“Our Leadership Competencies were based on our ʿⱦapp core values and aligned with the American Association of Community Colleges’ national leadership competency model,” James-Springer said.

Along with the badges and monthly leadership enrichment sessions, participants in the program receive a personalized leadership plan and take part in a capstone project.

The President’s Emerging Leadership program is designed to grow and retain the talent at ʿⱦapp.

“We are committed to grow leaders from within the organization,” said Davis. “We look forward to seeing our leaders impact the growth of our college and hope that programs like this will attract top talent.”

Participants in the inaugural President’s Emerging Leadership Institute are:

Holly June

Shaundria Williams

Jen Servi-Roberts

Olu Ariyo

Maryah Smith-Overman

Stesha Little

Al Leaston

Telicia Hunter

Anna Sanders-Bonelli

Marisa Sullivan

Joseph Derilus

Ulric Hill