Pictured, from left to right 1st row: Kristi Mead, Blair Ryan, Tekeia Clay, Alyssa Moss, Allison Turnbow, Tabitha Banks, Priscilla Postell and Dr. Rebecca Ashford; from left to right 2nd row: Robert Pace, Carly Hixson, Linda Bales-Jewusiak, Silang Sam, Jade Pierce, Robin Smith and Cindy Sherlin; from left to right 3rd row: Dr. Jim Barrott, Amanda Griffin, Amenda Coleman, Dale Grisso and Pam Weeks. Not pictured: Ruth Kikendall.
In the last three years, Chattanooga State’s popular ChattLEAD program has become well known across campus as “the program” in which to be included to learn more about leadership. It is designed to strengthen new and emerging leaders from across the campus community using a cohort method. “This year’s group was a bit different in that our focus was on developing the leadership and customer service skills of those serving on the front lines, those employees serving students face-to-face every day,” said Dr. Jim Barrott, executive vice president of TCAT Chattanooga and ChattLEAD program developer.
Citing the importance of improving communication between students, staff and faculty, Records Director Ruth Kirkendall said, “The experience proved to me that we can make a difference in the lives of others when we get out of our comfort zone and immediate surroundings.”
ChattLEAD’s intent is to foster a broader understanding of the College, accelerate talent development, and hone individual and team leadership skills. “ChattLEAD was a worthwhile developmental experience for me. It pushed me to explore new tools and taught me a lot about working on a cross-functional team. My biggest takeaways, of course, were the bonds built through overcoming struggle,” shared Silang Sam, student life secretary.
This year’s cohort participated in seminars and workshops focused on becoming better servant leaders. In addition, they completed a project working in teams of 3 – 5 to solve a campus problem. “The whole experience was very positive,” said Dr. Barrott. “It helped participants learn more about themselves and how to lead no matter where they serve,” he added.
Clomeisha Tumlin, a ChattLEAD mentor and assistant professor of business, noted that the graduates were passionate about learning and finding their purpose (the why). The class discussed leadership, relationships, teamwork, self-awareness, customer service, conflict resolution, effective listening and communication.
Chattanooga State President Dr. Rebecca Ashford, a ChattLEAD advocate, said, “Leadership must happen at every level of the College in order for us to meet the needs of our students and community. This cohort of ChattLEAD exemplified that notion. I am so proud that the participants in this year’s cohort stepped out of their comforts zones to learn more about the College, to develop their leadership skills, and to develop projects that will help the College serve out students.”
The 2019 Chatt-LEAD cohort 3 group included Kristi Mead and Carly Hixson, economic workforce development; Blair Ryan, recruiting; Tekeia Clay, bursar’s office; Alyssa Moss and Dale Grisso, financial aid, Tabitha Banks, social & behavioral sciences; Priscilla Postell and Robert Pace, engineering & information technologies; Linda Bales-Jewusiak and Allison Turnbow, TCAT; Silang Sam and Amanda Griffin, student life; Jade Pierce, success coaches; Robin Smith, student support center; Cindy Sherlin, math and sciences; Amenda Coleman, career services; Pam Weeks, disabilities support services; Ruth Kirkendall, records.
ChattLEAD participant Robert Pace summed up the experience nicely, “Transformational.”