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UF Academy

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The Emerging Leader: The UF Academy

Please note:

  • Participants are selected via a competitive applicant process
  • Applications will be considered by the UF Leadership Development Selection Committee, with selection being announced in late May 2018

The Emerging Leader: The UF Academy

Designed for emerging leaders at our institution, the UF Academy is a 9-month program that provides a UF-specific approach for up to 15 recognized star achievers who are “emerging leaders” at our institution. Entering its thirteenth year, the UF Academy focuses on immersion in the university culture and exposure to its organizational structure.

To participate in the Academy, an employee must be exempt with at least two years of supervisory or decision-making responsibility at the University of Florida and meet the additional criteria described below. Assistant directors and above, as well as interested faculty members with fewer than two years at the university may apply.

Program Structure and Content

In this 9-month program, participants will meet with various representatives from the university and Gainesville. Typically, Academy members meet with the university president, UF vice presidents, and other key UF leaders. They travel to Tallahassee to meet with key legislators. Participants meet approximately two to three times a month over the course of the academic year. Total monthly time commitment ranges from 4 to 12 hours.

Part of the program includes self-development—both a reading group to discuss relevant issues related to effective leadership as well as an all-day “Leadership Foundations” workshop. Job shadowing, observing key meetings, and other interactive activities round out the experience.

Additionally, members of the participant group will be responsible for scheduling the identified meetings as part of their Academy experience—to include coordinating among the group for acceptable dates, times, and locations. This responsibility typically will rotate among group members, with assistance from the Academy Director, Tricia Bachus.

Expected Outcomes

  • Develop future managers at the University of Florida by increasing participants’ knowledge of our university as a whole
  • Provide future leaders with skills and tools to more effectively manage and lead people
  • Inspire participants and influence greater commitment and loyalty to UF
  • Reinforce Human Resource Services’ mission to “retain and develop world-class faculty and staff”

The UF Academy is designed to prepare participants for higher-level responsibilities at the University of Florida. Participation, however, is not a guarantee of future promotional opportunities. Instead, the Academy is a training and leadership tool.

Benefits to Participants

  • An increased understanding of high-level issues that affect the University of Florida—managerial, legal, academic, community—as well as an increased understanding of the governance processes and systems in place on our campus
  • A better appreciation of the relationship between administrative and academic units on campus. This will be enhanced by networking and teamwork experienced by the participants
  • Opportunity to develop key leadership and managerial skills

Participant Criteria

Candidates for the UF Academy must meet the following criteria (at a minimum):

  • Supervisory support
  • Satisfactory performance reviews and attendance records
  • Two years in a supervisory or decision-making role at the University of Florida*
  • An exempt employee up to and including the director level

* The “two years of experience” criterion is waived for employees at the assistant director level and above as well as interested faculty members.


<!–The online application is here. Applications will be accepted until April 30.

Fee to participate

This year, the fee to participate is $500. All materials (including a 360-degree evaluation pre- and post-program), facilitation fees, and meals included when travel extends outside of Gainesville.

Selection Committee

Frank Bova
Past Chair, UF Faculty Senate
Jodi Gentry
Vice President for Human Resource Services
Charlie Lane
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Angel Kwolek-Folland
Associate Provost
Diane McFarlin
Dean, College of Journalism and Communications
Elaine Turner
Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


UF Academy 2018-2019

  • Karen Dooley, Director of Communications, College of Medicine
  • Cynthia Mendoza, HR Manager UF Human Resources
  • Amber Allen-Ingram, Financial Analyst II, CFO Office/University Budget Office
  • Jennifer Blackburn, Manager Health Care Administration, College of Dentistry
  • Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Associate Professor, Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management
  • Leela Kumaran, Research Coordinator II, School of Teaching & Learning, College of Education
  • Bobby Lee, Assistant Director, Operations UF Small Animal Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Laura Quintana, Academic Program Specialist II, Department of Physical Therapy
  • Jamie Sims, Research Administration Manager, Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics
  • Cydney McGlothlin, Project Manager III, Planning, Design and Construction
  • Ying Zhang, Application Developer Analyst 4, UFIT Research Computing
  • Carree Musgrove, Assistant Director, Administrative Services Extension Administration, Business Services
  • Danny Moore, Assistant Director, Facilities Services
  • Kiran Motaparthi, Assistant Professor and Associate Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology
  • Martie Gillen, Assistant Professor, IFAS, Family, Youth and Community Sciences

UF Academy 2017-2018

  • Jennifer Andrew; Assistant Professor; Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Brian Ausgood; Sergeant; University of Florida Police Department
  • Brian Danforth; Director of Development and Alumni Affairs; College of Education
  • Martie Gillen; Assistant Professor; Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences
  • Keith Gouin; Director of Finance; UF/IFAS Extension Administration
  • Miyuki Hall; IT Analyst III, Enterprise Systems; UFIT
  • Nicola Heredia; Assistant Director; Procurement Services
  • Carol McAuliffe; Associate University Librarian; University Libraries
  • Alisha Mitchell-Roberts; Associate Director, Research Administration; CTSI-SECIM
  • Caryn Plummer; Associate Professor; Small Animal Clinical Sciences
  • Janette Rawls; Employee Relations Specialist III; Housing and Residence Education
  • Dustin Stephany; Sustainable Building Coordinator; Planning, Design & Construction
  • Allison Vitt; Communications Coordinator; Office of Sustainability
  • Katherine Vogel Anderson; Clinical Assistant Professor; UF College of Pharmacy

UF Academy 2016-17

  • Sheila Austin; Administrative Coordinator, IRB03
  • Ines Aviles-Spadoni; Research Coordinator III, Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering
  • Tammy Bleeker; Pediatric Medical Education Manager, College of Medicine
  • Melissa Allen; Director, UF Online Enrollment Services, Enrollment Management
  • Roland Estrella; Manager, Clinical Research, Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Medicine
  • Cynthia Futral; Associate Director, Accounting; College of Law
  • Hal Grieb; Emergency Management Coordinator, Emergency Management
  • David Jennings; iDigBio Project Manager, Florida Museum of National History (NH-Ichthyology)
  • Keisha Jones; Employee Relations Manager, Human Resource Services
  • Briton Summers; Law Enforcement Lieutenant, UF Police
  • Stacey Willenborg; Director of Corporate Relations, Warrington College of Business
  • Sandra Gonzalez; Assistant Professor Medical Director CSC, Anesthesiology
  • Trysh Travis; Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, CLAS

UF Academy 2015

  • Mike Barsaleau; Director of Facilities; Office of Development and Alumni Affairs
  • Cathy Carr; Director, Alumni and Career Services (Asst In); Dean’s Office; College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Amy Jo Coffey; Associate Professor; Telecommunication; College of Journalism and Communications
  • Jason Ferrell; Professor (ASO CHAIR & PROF); Agronomy – IFAS
  • Krista Fields; Director of Faculty and Academic Support (ACADEMIC SUPP SVCS, CRD 2); Faculty and Academic Support; College of Law
  • Audrey Geoffroy; Senior Director of Data Services (UFF Employee); Office of Development & Alumni Affairs
  • Julie Henderson; Director of Technology, Communications, International Relations (EDUC/TRAINING PROGS, CRD 1); P.K. Yonge; College of Education
  • Ann Horgas; Associate Professor; Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science; College of Nursing
  • Jack Judy; Director and Professor; Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technology
  • David Lucier; Assistant Director; O’Connell Center; Business Affairs
  • William McGinn; Assistant Director; Business Services Division; Business Affairs
  • Barbara Sedesse; Associate IT Director; UFIT
  • Keith Stanfill; Engineer and Director, IPPD Program; Engineering Innovation Institute; College of Engineering
  • Nicole Stedman; Associate Professor; Agricultural Education and Communication; IFAS
  • William Strnad; Coordinator, Budget & Finance (BUSINESS SERVICES, CRD 3); Office of the Vice President, Business Affairs
  • Brijesh Thapa; Professor; Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management; College of Health and Human Performance
  • Alicia Turner; Business Relationship Manager; Enterprise Systems; UFIT
  • Alvin Woodbury; IT Manager; TSS, UFIT

UF Academy 2014

  • Kent Berg; Assistant Professor; Department of Anesthesiology; College of Medicine
  • Melissa Blouin; Director of News and Publications; UF Health Communications
  • Angela Brown; Communications Manager, Human Resource Services
  • Ronnie Cooper; Coordinator 3; IFAS Facilities Planning
  • Stacy Ellis; Associate Director; Baby Gator
  • Chris Hass; Associate Professor; Applied Physiology and Kinesiology; College of Health and Human Performance
  • Cindy Heesacker; Administrative Services Coordinator 1; Department of Psychology; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Amanda House; Clinical Associate Professor; Large Animal Clinical Sciences Department; College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Kelly Jordan; Assistant Professor and Director; UF Training Reactor; Materials Science and Engineering; College of Engineering
  • Thomas Livoti; Director; Network Services; UFIT
  • Joseli Macedo; Chair and Associate Professor; Department of Urban and Regional Planning; College of Design, Construction and Planning
  • Juan Nino; Professor; Materials Science and Engineering; College of Engineering
  • Daniel Sanetz; Coordinator 2, Administrative Services; College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Aimee Struk; Clinical Research Coordinator (Coordinator 3); Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; College of Medicine

UF Academy 2013

  • Stephen Anton, Assistant Professor and Interim Chief, Aging and Geriatric Research, College of Medicine
  • Shalon Buchs, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Physician Assistant Studies, College of Medicine
  • Craig DeGarmo, Division Administrator; Nephrology, Hypertension, and Renal Transplantation; College of Medicine
  • Luisa Echeto, Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry
  • Anne-Marie Hollingshead, Senior Accountant, UF Libraries
  • Nicole Iovine, Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Disease and Global Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
  • Kelly Jacoby, Research Administrator, Division of Sponsored Research
  • Michele Manuel, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Cathy Martyniak, Audiovisual Archivist, Special Collections, UF Libraries
  • Shane Massey, IT Senior/Application Support Manager, Enterprise Systems, UFIT
  • Charles Nelson, Assistant Director of Data Management, Institutional Planning and Research
  • Julie Neubig, Benefits Manager, Human Resource Services
  • Victoria Peprah-Asante, Coordinator 3, Accounting, Payroll and Tax Services, Finance and Accounting
  • Philip Pharr, Executive Director, Gator Boosters, University Athletic Association
  • Eric Segal, Education Curator of Academic Programs, Harn Museum of Art
  • Rasa Williamson, Manager, Continuing Medical Education, Faculty Group Practice, College of Medicine

2012 class


  • Brian Berryman, Coordinator 3, Administrative Affairs, College of Medicine
  • Rhondafay Brazil-James, Assistant University Registrar, University Registrar
  • Elayne Colon, Assistant Scholar, Director of Assessment and Accreditation, College of Education
  • Chelsea Dinsmore, Assistant University Librarian, International Documents, UF Libraries
  • Todd Fraser, Associate Director, Medical/Health Admin, College of Nursing
  • Dieter Haager, Coordinator 3, Accounting, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sheri Holloway, Assistant Director, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Iskande Larkin, Research Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Aquatic Animal Health
  • Terry Moore, Coordinator 4, Accounting, College of Engineering
  • Stephanie Nielsen, Coordinator 2, Budget, Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Irina Olsen, Assistant Director, Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Medicine
  • William Smith, Coordinator 4, Senior Project Manager, UF Facilities Planning and Construction
  • Bradley Spatz, IT Senior, Enterprise Data Services Manager, Enterprise Systems, UF IT
  • Patricia Xirau-Probert, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Dentistry

2011 class

  • Scott Blades, myUFL Training Manager, Training & Organizational Development, Human Resource Services
  • Mallori Cain, Coordinator of Records and Degrees, Office of the University Registrar
  • David Christie, Associate Controller, University of Florida Foundation
  • Pam Hightower, Coordinator, Administrative Services, Department of Recreational Sports
  • Bart Knowles, Police Lieutenant, University Police Department
  • Ruth Mckoy Lowery, Associate Professor, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education
  • Scot Matusz, IT Director, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • John McGrath, Director of Development, Warrington College of Business Administration
  • Daniel Miller, Coordinator, UF Computing and Networking Services
  • Tracey Phillips, Business Manager, College of Health and Human Performance
  • Shari Robinson, Assistant Director/Clinical Assistant Professor, Counseling and Wellness Center
  • Jeremy Sibiski, Assistant Director, Administration, Department of Medicine
  • Evelyn Straka, Exchange Coordinator, UF International Center
  • Brandon Vega, Business Applications Manager, Housing and Residence Education
  • Amber Wuertz, Recruiting Coordinator, Recruitment and Staffing, Human Resource Services

2010 class

  • Cindy Belknap, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, UF Foundation
  • Adam Boudreaux, Assistant Director, Facilities Planning & Operations, IFAS
  • Pamela Dickrell, Director UF EDGE and Assistant Engineer, College of Engineering
  • Jodi Geiger, Assistant Director, Medical/Health Adm, College of Dentistry
  • Micaela Gibbs, Director, Division of Community Based Programs, Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
  • Brenda Harrell, Accounting Coordinator 3, Controller’s Office, Finance and Accounting
  • Susanne Hill, Executive Director, UF International Center
  • Lauren Garber Lake, Associate Professor, Assistant Director, Graduate Coordinator, School of Art and Art History
  • Laura Ling, Accounting Coordinator 3, Treasury Management
  • Allen Masters, Manager, Central Stores and Receiving, Physical Plant Division
  • Pamela Pallas, Director, Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center
  • Jonathan Peine, Accounting Coordinator 3, University Registrar
  • Dawn Riedy, Budgeting Coordinator, Provost and Sr. VP Office
  • John Sun, Recruitment and Staffing Manager, Human Resource Services

2009 class

  • Dianna Brook Covington, Accounting Coordinator, Purchasing and Disbursement Services
  • Lauren Pasquarella Daley, Associate Director for Career Development, Career Resource Center/Student Affairs
  • Christopher Easley, ERP Infrastructure Manager, Computing and Networking Services
  • Lynda Fender Hayes, University School Professor, PK Yonge Developmental Research School
  • Joseph Mandernach, Director of Development, IFAS Development Office
  • Brook Mercier, Director of Employee Relations, Human Resource Services
  • Michael Richards, Assistant Director, College of Medicine, Dean’s Office
  • Uma Sethuram, Accounting Coordinator, Office of the VP for Research
  • Grace Strawn, Accounting Coordinator, Smathers Libraries
  • Julie (Xiaohui) Wang, Budget Coordinator, CFO’s Office
  • James Webb, Assistant Director, Medical/Health Admin, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Michael Weigold, Professor, Advertising, College of Journalism
  • Alan West, Controller, UF Foundation
  • Chris John Whitehurst, Accounting Coordinator, Physical Plant Division

2008 class

  • Aigi Adesogan, Employee Relations Manager, Human Resource Services
  • Kenneth Allen, Emergency Management Coordinator, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Kathy Bergsma, UF Information Security Manager, Computing and Networking Services
  • Hui Bian, Data Manager and Research Director, Addictive and Health Behaviors Research Institute
  • Jacob Burks, Assistant Center Director, Oral Biology, Dentistry
  • Steven Carrico, Chair, Acquisitions and Licensing Department, Smathers Library
  • Lauren Dukes, Account Executive, College of Journalism—WRUF
  • Dorothy (Dolly) Haertling, Coordinator, Retirement, Human Resource Services
  • Andrea Huisden, Assistant Director, Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate— Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies
  • James Lennon, Coordinator, Administrative Services, Chemistry
  • Connie Nicklin, Assistant Director, Research/Service Programs, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research
  • Melissa Orth, Director, University Relations, Office of the VP for University Relations
  • Tiffany Schmidt, Assistant Director, Research, Engineering Contracts and Grants
  • Tracy Brown Wright, Director, Public Relations and Communications, College of Nursing
  • Vernon Wright, Outreach Financial Aid Coordinator, Student Financial Affairs