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UWF LEAD Faculty honor graduates with Argo Launch Party

The University of West Florida 2016-17 LEAD: The Faculty Version team celebrated a yearlong collaboration by setting fireworks off of the John C. Pace Library roof as part of the inaugural Argo Launch Party.

LEAD, which stands for leadership, enhancement, activities and development, is a yearlong UWF leadership development program sponsored by the provost/executive vice president. The Faculty Version involves 10 full-time faculty members in a series of interactive workshops, round-table discussions and strategy-building sessions. Dr. Athena du Pré, Distinguished University Professor, led the program.

The faculty team chose to organize a graduation party for their project. Graduates, families of graduates and faculty attended the party, which lasted two hours and featured a speech from UWF President Martha Saunders, catered food and the fireworks show.

“We decided we wanted to do something to give back to the students, the faculty and the community,” said Dr. Alexis Janosik, an assistant professor of biology. “We wanted to share this celebration with the students, hug them and say, ‘Great job,’ because graduation is a big deal.”

The faculty team defined goals for their project that included refining leadership skills, building relationships across campus, developing strategies to flourish as leaders and team members and learning more about issues that affect UWF and higher education overall. Janosik said they accomplished the goals by collaborating with the administration, UWF Alumni Association, the University Student Ambassadors Programs and other organizations to hold the party.

“We had really great synergy,” Janosik said. “There were many different groups on campus with different perspectives, and we put them all together. Everybody worked really well together. One person could not pull this off.”

For more information about LEAD: The Faculty Version, visit the webpage.