LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced participants selected for the 2019-2020 Staff Fellows Program, which seeks to strengthen the university by developing leaders at all levels of the institution.
The yearlong professional development program provides staff an opportunity to build their leadership skills, gain experience to advance their careers and work together on a project that benefits the university. Each Staff Fellow is matched with a mentor from KU’s senior leadership, helping that staff member grow professionally and gain broader knowledge and a deeper understanding of the university.
“KU staff is crucial to the success of our students, our faculty and our university. This investment in their professional development is an investment in the future of our institution,” said Carl Lejuez, interim provost and executive vice chancellor.
Staff Fellows work together throughout the year on a strategic campus initiative to improve the university. KU is committed to removing barriers, creating a proactive inclusive culture and ending stigma surrounding mental health. As part of that commitment, the 2019-2020 Staff Fellows project will focus on identifying and examining current stigma, perceptions and barriers regarding mental health on campus. Staff Fellows will focus on six key areas:
- Raising awareness and ending stigma
- Improving climate and culture
- Identifying gaps in resources and/or services
- Improving access to resources
- Identifying proactive campuswide policies
- Identifying innovative ideas that promote an understanding of mental health, compassion and a sense of belonging for all Jayhawks
Staff Fellows will provide a summary of their findings, options considered and recommendations for campus on best practices that address each of the six key areas listed above.
“I am excited about this project both from a KU leadership perspective and as a clinical psychologist,” Lejuez said. “As a researcher, I’ve seen how the stigma of mental health harms individuals, organizations and society. The Staff Fellows will help us understand how we, as a university community, can remove the stigma and provide greater support for all Jayhawks.”
The Office of the Provost and Human Resource Management jointly coordinate the Staff Fellows Program, with a review committee selecting the participants. Thirteen Staff Fellows were selected this year from a particularly strong pool of applicants.
“The Staff Fellows Program is a highly valued experience for KU staff. Over the past 12 years, the selection process has become increasingly difficult as the number and quality of applicants have grown,” Rounds said. “I continue to be impressed and inspired by the talent, enthusiasm and dedication of our KU staff.”
Learn more about the Staff Fellows Program and previous years’ projects.
The 2019-2020 Staff Fellows:
- Janice Abney-Klohr, accountant senior, KU Operations
- Megan Belaire, graduate academic adviser, College Office of Graduate Affairs
- Chris Bell, grant coordinator, O’Leary Shared Service Center
- Melissa Bissey, accounting manager, Financial Services
- Wendy Bridges, functional systems analyst senior, Event Management & Protocol – Public Affairs
- Jack Campbell Jr., detective, Office of Public Safety
- Courtney Foat, assistant director of communications, KU Libraries
- Andrew Foster, emergency management coordinator, Office of Public Safety
- James Herynk, IT project manager, Achievement & Assessment Institute
- Jennifer Humphrey, associate director for external affairs, KU Life Span Institute
- Megan Nemec, complex director, KU Student Housing
- Leah Terranova, assistant dean for academic & student affairs, School of Law
- Roberta Woodrick, collections conservator, KU Libraries.