ASPIRE Program Now Accepting Applications

The program teaches employees to lead from where they are.

The ASPIRE Leadership development program is now accepting applications for its second year. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 14.

“What an experience! I applied for the ASPIRE program to learn how to become a leader. It challenged my preconceived notions of leadership and the qualities of impactful leaders,” said Crystal Rosser, Donor Relations Associate, Office of Development.

“One of the most important lessons I learned is that a person does not have to be in a prominent position lead,” she said.

ASPIRE is open to employees who do not currently manage others, and it will be conducted in an all-virtual format this year consisting of both asynchronous and synchronous sessions. The program helps participants cultivate a leadership mindset and learn to lead from where they are by participating in a series of activities including workshops and discussions with members of campus leadership.

“I was selected to participate in the inaugural ASPIRE. The experience was one I would recommend all aspiring leaders take prior to assuming a management role, if possible,” said Olabisi Abikoye, who is now the Assistant Director of HR in the Office of Human Capital in College of Computing.

“The program not only challenges your way of thinking but arms you with the tools to develop a growth mindset in understanding that there are different approaches one can use to solve a problem,” said Abiyoke.

ASPIRE uses a collaborative learning approach where accepted participants will be placed in cohorts representing different departments across the Institute. Participants and their current supervisors engage together in the content covered.

“I would recommend any leader interested in growing and building a strong team support their employee’s participation in the ASPIRE program!” Joi Alexander, Director of Health Initiatives.

Supervisors will be sent weekly discussion guides to engage their ASPIRE participants to discuss how to implement key learning. 

“I appreciated that I was able to connect with each of my team members based on their weekly learning experience and utilize the talking points to identify ways to enhance their comprehension and in turn our team’s productivity,” said Alexander.

Interested applicants are encouraged to discuss with their supervisors and apply. Although last year’s session included 62 participants spaces are limited for 2020.

Facilitated by the Workplace Learning and Professional Development office, ASPIRE emphasizes leadership is a state of being, or a mindset, each of us can learn by developing different complex skills and constantly seeking knowledge, no matter our position in the organization.

“The small group setting was ideal for sharing ideas and really engaging my colleagues in courageous conversation,” said Rosser.

“The members of the HR team facilitating the program are thoughtful and candid about their own thoughts and experiences, creating a safe space. Overall, a super rewarding experience! I highly recommend the ASPIRE program for those seeking professional and personal growth,” said Rosser.

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The deadline to apply to the 2020 ASPIRE program is Friday, August 14, 2020.

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