Working in a rapidly evolving world requires companies to have a system in place to adapt and meet clients’ and staff’s ever-changing needs and develop alternative ways to conduct business.
Innovative leaders set the pace by encouraging and motivating employees to explore and generate ideas, products, and services in the workplace. They also foster growth by having their staff take courses that can reinforce, stimulate and teach new skills.
With that in mind, the Professional and Corporate Education (PaCE) program at Stetson University is launching two new courses during Fall 2021 and one Spring 2022 class, following a comprehensive analysis of workplace needs.
“I participated in remote, online video conversations with local business leaders and professionals on relevant workforce development and professional growth initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bud Hanson, MBA, executive director of PaCE. “The three new courses during the fall and spring semesters were developed from those discussions and will be the first in a signature series of leadership classes that we’ll build upon in the future.”
Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 courses:
21st Century Leadership: Leading and Learning from Context
Instructor: Susan Elliott-Rink
Dates and times: Wednesday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, 3-5 p.m.
Workshop format: Live, instructor-led virtual sessions via Zoom.
The 21st Century Leadership: Leading and Learning from Context class will be taught by Susan Elliott-Rink, the founder and CEO of Allinium. The company builds inclusive, corporate cultures and helps people and organizations be authentic.
The six-week course will provide an understanding of the role that a person’s context and past play in shaping their attitudes, behaviors, perceptions, and results. Individualized coaching will be available during some of the sessions.
“Contextual leadership allows a leader to better handle breakdowns and upsets with significantly more grace and ease as the facts are distinguished from opinions, conclusions and expectations,” said Elliott-Rink. “Productivity in the workplace also is correlated to a person’s experience of belonging and making a difference.”
Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop
Instructor: John Tichenor, PhD, associate professor of management; Chaz Underriner, PhD, assistant professor of digital arts; and Krista Franco, MFA, associate professor of theatre arts
Dates and times: Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m. to noon
Workshop format: In-person course.
The Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop will examine an innovative approach to solving complex problems and provide participants with a practical understanding of the creative problem-solving process and methods for transforming customer needs into human-centered solutions.
The half-day, three-hour, hands-on course will be taught by a creative, interdisciplinary team of Stetson faculty members who include John Tichenor, PhD, associate professor of management; Chaz Underriner, PhD, assistant professor of digital arts; and Krista Franco, MFA, associate professor of theatre arts. The event will be held at the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience (IWER) and includes a complimentary lunch and networking opportunities.
“The human-centered mindset allows companies to create solutions by empathizing with its customers,” said Tichenor. “The workshop will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn and practice basic techniques of design thinking that can be applied to various settings.”
Grow Forward: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Instructor: Rajni Shankar-Brown, PhD, professor and Jessie Ball duPont endowed chair of social justice education
Dates and times: Thursday, Feb. 3 through Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, 6-8 p.m.
Workshop format: Hybrid format (in-person and online via Zoom)
Rajni Shankar-Brown, PhD, professor, and Jessie Ball duPont endowed chair of social justice education at Stetson and vice president of the National Coalition for the Homeless, will be sharing her expertise during the Grow Forward: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion certification course. Business leaders and other students will receive an understanding of key EDI concepts and have an opportunity to participate in a 30-minute coaching session and receive additional learning resources. The four-week certification course will be delivered in a hybrid format with two sessions on campus and two Zoom classes.
“Embracing and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace is a moral imperative in the 21st century,” said Shankar-Brown. “Organizations that prioritize EDI and create a true belonging demonstrate increased engagement and collaboration, higher levels of creativity and innovation, greater productivity and increased job satisfaction amongst employees.”
PaCE and the Stetson University School of Business Administration announced a campus-wide summer grant initiative for Stetson faculty to construct course concepts for business professionals last May. The summer grant funded the exploration and development of the Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop and Grow Forward: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion certification course.
PaCE offers more than 30 professional education programs that teach highly desired skills necessary in the workplace and for career advancement. In addition to instructor-led classes, working adults also have an opportunity to sharpen their skill set by taking self-paced, noncredit online courses.
Offerings include communication, cybersecurity, digital marketing, leadership and project management. Students will receive a certificate of completion, or professional development or continuing education unit relevant to their field after fulfilling their course obligations.