On Sept. 10, the Interprofessional Leadership for Excellence and Academic Development (iLEAD) Program graduated 29 members into its newest class of emerging leaders. The program, which is specifically designed to help faculty advance their careers by teaching leadership techniques, proved to be critically important to this year's dynamic cohort as they navigated the new, complex and evolving challenges that emerged in 2020.
|Members of the 2020 iLEAD class|
"Leadership is especially important now," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, during his virtual welcome. "All around us people are looking for direction, people who will stand up with integrity and courage. And I know that I am talking to such people right now."
UNMC's iLEAD program graduated its first class 20 years ago and continues to allow participants to connect with fellow future-focused peers from other professions, interact with campus leaders and strengthen leadership skills to broaden their scope of influence. While the format and name of the program have changed over the past two decades, its lasting influence on its participants and UNMC remains unaffected.
"If you're a graduate of iLEAD or its forerunner, Administrative Colloquium, you'll remember how you and your team navigated the Humongous University simulation," said Linda Love, EdD, iLEAD program director and director of faculty development. "In 2020, the decisions made in the simulation became vivid with the reality of the changes we have faced, and are still facing. We are proud to present this cohort as our next generation of leaders. They are our ready explorers with a clear vision for the future."
The program also allows faculty members to evaluate their strengths, talents and behaviors. Building on this knowledge, they learn to apply these abilities and shape the culture at UNMC. "After almost two years of preparing for the 2019-2020 iLEAD program, none of our plans included the pandemic and the civil unrest around racial and social injustice," said Kaleb Michaud, PhD, program planning committee member.
"This group had to quickly adapt with their many roles and several chose to take on additional roles on the front lines with patients, public health and education, and institutional inequities," Dr. Michaud said. "While it's been a bumpy ride, I am confident that UNMC is in good hands with many future leaders coming from the iLEAD graduates."
Faculty member and iLEAD 2020 graduate Ka-Chun (Joseph) Siu, PhD, also noted the positive impact of the program on UNMC. "Leadership became more important amid the pandemic. Participation in iLEAD will not lead the world in transforming lives; however, utilization of knowledge, experience and skills learned from iLEAD will," he said. "iLEAD cultivates the future of leadership at UNMC and nurtures a culturally inclusive environment for leadership growth at UNMC."
The year 2020 has been a trying one for many and the iLEAD planning committee congratulates the 2020 cohort on their successful completion of the program during an unprecedented time. Planning committee member, Sheila Ellis, MD, offers these final remarks for the cohort, "The iLEAD participants embraced the qualities of leadership by maintaining focus, optimism, flexibility, and support for their colleagues even while being stretched in unforeseen circumstances. They have given so much to the program and the institution and it has been remarkable to witness their journey. We look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future."
Congratulations and well done!