JONESBORO — A faculty member at Arkansas State University is among a group of 35 higher education professionals selected to participate in a national leadership development program.

Dr. John Hershberger, associate professor of chemistry, is among those selected nationally to participate in the 2021 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) conducted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), based in Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to have been nominated and selected to participate in the AASCU Emerging Leaders Program,” Hershberger said. “The program and its associated project will help drive student success and will allow me to learn new leadership skills.”

The 2021 ELP, which is being held virtually, will feature a faculty-led webinar each month through November. It will include smaller group sessions for reflection, networking and case studies.

“These campus leaders are poised to be our future senior executives, charged with shaping our institutions to ensure inclusivity, equity and student success,” said Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, chair of the AASCU Board of Directors, and coordinator of ELP. “The diverse backgrounds of these participants will foster lively discussions and insightful learning experiences for all participants.”

Each ELP participant will develop an on-campus project or initiative to strengthen their leadership skills and positively impact their institution and community. Cohort members will work with leaders on their campus to develop and execute their projects.

“We are very proud of John and what he has accomplished as a mentor to students, particularly pre-professional students headed to medical or other professional schools,” added Chancellor Kelly Damphousse. “It’s an important part of our strategic plan to encourage our faculty to seek out opportunities, and for the university to nominate and promote faculty to these type of programs that will further his growth as an academic leader. Thanks both to John for stepping up and to AASCU for selecting him.”

AASCU created the leadership development program in 2015 to prepare early- to mid-career academic and administrative staff to advance to administrative roles with greater responsibility and oversight. Program participants will become more familiar with an array of pertinent topics in higher education, and will assess and develop their leadership qualities.

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