Duke Leadership Academy Scholars Tap into Campus Network

Program event at Duke Lemur Center offers staff and faculty a chance to build connections across Duke

Duke Leadership Academy members at a table.

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The nomination process for the next Duke Leadership Academy will begin in October.

Tyler and Dye met at a Duke Leadership Academy networking event held at the Duke Lemur Center on May 16. Tyler is a member of the academy’s current cohort, the 14th, while Dye participated in the academy in 2013.

Their conversation occurred at the gathering of current and former participants, hosted by Duke’s Learning & Organization Development, the unit in Duke Human Resources that manages the academy and other programs.

The networking event, an annual part of the Duke Leadership Academy, drew around 40 current and former scholars of the program. Following a regular coaching session for current Duke Leadership Academy members earlier in the day, the late afternoon networking event featured a tour of the Duke Lemur Center and light refreshments and conversation in one of the center’s outdoor spaces.

Duke Assistant Vice President for Learning & Organization Development Keisha Williams speaks to Duke Leadership Academy members at May's networking event at the Duke Lemur Center. Photo courtesy of Duke Learning & Organization Development.

The yearlong Duke Leadership Academy is designed to develop Duke’s emerging leaders through a comprehensive self-assessment, individualized coaching and group projects. A benefit of the experience is the network of new connections with Duke Leadership Academy participants – both past and present – from across Duke who can provide helpful perspective on solving problems or bringing new ideas forward.

“There’s a real synergy among those who have been part of the shared experience of the Duke Leadership Academy,” said Duke Assistant Vice President for Learning & Organization Development Keisha Williams. “It helps them navigate Duke as a whole. It gives them a group they can bounce ideas off of. It provides our scholars past and present a safe space to talk through things and ask how things have impacted others. 'Have others dealt with this challenge? This shared network and camaraderie bonds the group.”

Ana Anderson, an Investment Manager with DUMAC and a scholar in the current Duke Leadership Academy class, said she experienced the value of the Duke Leadership Academy network while working on a project with her group about innovative approaches to recruiting and retention. In speaking with leaders in Duke Human Resources, among other areas, she said she has often encountered former Duke Leadership Academy participants who offered valuable help.

“Years down the road, I want to do the same thing,” Anderson said about helping her fellow Duke Leadership Academy alums. “I’m only halfway through the program, but I already know that you get out what you’re willing to put in. There’s a lot that I’ve already gained personally and professionally.”

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