Twelve members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, graduated from the USACE Leadership Development Program Level 2, during a ceremony Sept. 22 at the district headquarters. The program is designed to prepare and further develop employees with a high potential to serve in future leadership positions.
This year’s graduates include Craig Boles, Roger Ruppe, Ian Wright, Shahidou Mariko, Curtis McKenzie and Mathew Deacon from Engineering Division; Rebecca Downey, Anna Godfrey and Nicole Liette from Operations Division; Natasha Givens and Emily Cromie, Real Estate Division; and Clayton Crider, Resource Management Division.
The 12-month program consists of monthly meetings where participants learn about themselves and communicating with others to prepare for their roles as leaders within the organization. Classes were held both virtually and in-person, and included activities such as presentations, self-assessments, and mentorship to help students learn their strengths and weaknesses. Participants also attended two field trips, completed volunteer work and a group project, which focused on employee recruitment and retention.
Dr. Michael Evans, of Evans and Associates Consulting, Inc., facilitated the classroom sessions which focused on self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness.
“The goal is for participants to obtain a better understanding of themselves so that they can be more effective in responding to others,” said Evans. “The program is a great building block for individuals who aspire to be leaders.”
During the graduation ceremony, students shared their takeaways from the program.
Emily Cromie, realty specialist, Real Estate Division said that her biggest takeaway was the networking with her classmates and other people within the district.
“We built good relationships and created bonds that not everyone can build by working on a project delivery team together or having meetings together so that was the best part for me,” said Cromie. “I was able to learn about other specialties within the district
, and how their roles impact the work we do.”
Craig Boles, a structural engineer with Engineering Division said the class helped improve his listening skills.
“The biggest take away for me was the way we sometimes cast judgment on an individual or a situation without knowing all of the facts based on preconceived notions,” said Boles. “I learned that as a supervisor you should listen to ideas of individuals who may have more expertise in an area than you as a supervisor. Trusting your subordinates builds that person’s self-value and adds to the team and project in a positive manner.”
District leadership, including Savannah District Deputy Commander Maj. Alex Duffy, who served as the keynote speaker, attended the ceremony to congratulate the graduates as they integrate their experiences within the program into their roles within the district.