Duke Leadership Academy Welcomes 10th Class

Class of 26 employees begin year-long development program

The 2019 Duke Leadership Academy class features 26 participants from across the University.
The 2019 Duke Leadership Academy class features 26 participants from across the University. Photo by Jonathan Black.

Duke University President Vincent E. Price began the Duke Leadership Academy opening ceremony by describing three facets of leadership with which every person should identify: cause, character and work culture. 

He said knowing an organization’s cause guides leaders in decision making. Understanding work culture helps leaders connect with colleagues. Finally, leaders must know their own characteristics to play to their strengths.   

“Being a leader is understanding it’s about so much more than you,” Price told the class. “It’s about Duke and the unit you oversee.” 

The Duke Leadership Academy is a year-long program based on ideas from the Fuqua/COLE Leadership Model. Throughout the program, participants learn from Duke’s senior leaders, undergo a comprehensive analysis of their work and personality styles as well as collaborate on group projects offering solutions to real-world concepts relating to Duke and Durham. 

Duke Learning & Organization Development, a division in Duke Human Resources, runs the program, which began in 2010. There are currently about 250 alumni of the program across Duke.  

Participants are selected from nominations from Duke deans and vice presidents.  

“It’s important we’re creating opportunities for Duke employees to grow,” said Kiesha Williams, assistant vice president of Learning & Organization Development.  “The academy helps people maximize their potential and strengthens Duke’s talent.” 

Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, chief operating officer for the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, is one of the Duke Leadership Academy’s 26 participants. She’s most excited to learn about her personality assessment and to meet people from across Duke.

“It’s amazing to learn just how many different sectors there are within Duke,” she said. “The academy is taking an interdisciplinary approach to teach us how to be effective leaders.” 

 This year’s class members are: 

  • Paula Batton – Director of Customer and Technology Support, Office of Information Technology
  • Todd Blandford – Director of Alumni & Development Systems, University Development
  • Jill Cordell – Director of Financial Aid, Duke University School of Nursing
  • Kurt Cumiskey – Associate Director of Development, Duke University Libraries
  • Jennifer Gallina – Senior Executive Director of Foundation Relations and Corporate Giving, Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs
  • Gwen Hall-Difabio – Director of Financial Training, Financial Services
  • Doug Heron – Associate Vice President for State Relations, Public Affairs & Government Relations 
  • Oleg Kobelev – Assistant Dean for International Studies, Duke Law School
  • Todd Maberry – Senior Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Student Finance, Duke Divinity School
  • Nate Martinez-Wayman – Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, Financial Services 
  • Doreen Matters – Program Director, Duke University School of Nursing
  • Miranda McCall – Senior Associate Director of Financial Support, Undergraduate Financial Aid
  • Mary McKee – Director of Identity Management, Office of Information Technology
  • Shila Nordone – Director of Research Development, Nicholas School of the Environment 
  • Amanda B. Parrish – Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, School of Medicine’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and Quality
  • Anneli Richter – Associate Dean of Admissions, Duke Graduate School 
  • Sean Saunders – Assistant Director of Building Systems, Facilities & Maintenance 
  • Nicole Schramm-Sapyta – Chief Operating Officer, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences 
  • Katherine Stanley – Chief Administrator, School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery
  • Victor Taylor – Associate Director of Corporate Relations, University Development
  • Ana Valverde Vidal – Administrative Director, School of Medicine’s Marcus Center for Cellular Cures 
  • Kent Wicker – Assistant Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program, Duke Graduate School 
  • Emily Wiegand – Director of WaSH-AID, Pratt School of Engineering
  • Dudley Willis – Assistant Director for the Office of Project Management, Facilities & Maintenance
  • Jack Winters – Executive Director of the Iron Dukes Annual Fund, Duke Athletics 
  • Deb Wojcik – Director of Graduate Students Programs & Services, Pratt School of Engineering 

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