President’s Leadership Institute

President’s Leadership Institute

Welcome to Millersville University’s President's Leadership Institute.  The President's Leadership Institute (PLI) is a 10-month professional development program (August to May) designed exclusively for Millersville faculty and staff. Our goal is to develop and encourage emerging leaders at Millersville and build a deep pool of future faculty and staff leaders who will assist in propelling our university to the next level.  The program will focus on building leadership capacity, enhancing innovation and inclusion, and facilitating skills development thereby enabling participants to become more effective, innovative and inclusive leaders.

There is little debate that our higher education environment in Pennsylvania and across the nation is more complex and demanding than ever.  The need for committed and quality leadership is crucial at all levels of the institution to advance our mission and values.  President Wubah’s vision for the PLI is to “encourage the next generation of campus leaders that are grounded in the University’s EPPIIC values, committed to university-wide teamwork and respect, and dedicated to excellent service to our students.”

For more information, please contact:

Victor DeSantis, VP, External Affairs and Chief of Staff

(717) 871-5955

  • Program Model

    The delivery model will be cohort-based to encourage team building, trust development and networking within each group.  The curriculum is interactive, focusing on exploring trends and challenges within higher education, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and on our campus. The program is facilitated in monthly four-hour sessions (12 noon to 4:00 pm) throughout the academic year. It also includes an opening orientation session (late August), a closing graduation and reception (late May), as well as professional development activities throughout the year.

    The President and his Cabinet support the program as a mechanism for identifying potential future university leaders. President Wubah attends program sessions and interacts extensively with participants.  Vice Presidents participate in sessions focused on their division.  Other content experts are invited to infuse the curriculum with a variety of voices from across higher education and the business and government landscape.

  • Program Nomination and Eligibility

    Program Nomination and Eligibility

    The PLI cohort are usually 16 members (8 faculty and 8 staff members).  Nominations come from the divisional vice-presidents in early June with final selection by the President by the end of June.  Eligibility is determined by the following criteria:

    • Full-time faculty or staff for at least one calendar year by time of nomination
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher
    • In good-standing with the university
    • Favorable performance evaluations
    • Willingness to commit to the 10 month program

    The 2022-2023 PLI cohort:

    Cohort 2022-2023 (15) Department
    Joe Behun Psychology
    Jennifer Burke Early, Middle and Exceptional Education
    Meghan Dinges  Advancement Information Services
    Dain Estes Music
    Kerry Farkas English
    Mackenzie Gibbs Technical Support Services
    Aaron Haines Biology
    Jeremy Houck Human Resources
    Benjamin Kling   Information Systems Services
    Steve Knepp University Housing & Conference Services
    Margaret Mbindyo Academic Advisement & Student Development
    Cayleigh Minter  Nursing
    Melissa Wardwell Experiential Learning and Career Mgmt
    Andy Welaish University Library
    Christina Williams  Student Access and Support Services

    The 2021-2022 PLI cohort:

    Cohort 2021-2022 (14) Department
    Neill Good Accounting & Budget
    Heather Keck  University Dining & Catering Services
    Alison Hutchinson Registrar
    Jessica Kelly, PhD. Geography
    Deborah Tamakloe, Ed.D. Early, Middle & Exceptional Education
    George Ciarrocchi  Information Technology
    Aimee Miller Chemistry
    Melissa Gold Library
    Justin Mando English & World Languages
    Charlton Wolfgang Early, Middle & Exceptional Education
    Kyle Verbosh Institutional Research 
    J Whitlow Campus Life
    David DiRusso, PhD. Management and Marketing
    Nakeiha Primus, Ed.D. Educational Foundations

    The 2020-2021 PLI cohort:

    Cohort 2020-2021 (15) Department
    Tammy Aument-Martin Accounting & Budget
    Katelynn Hartman Development
    Miles Gallagher Intercollegiate Athletics
    Janice Moore, Ed.D. Online Programs
    Janet White, PhD. Mathematics
    Aileen Hower, Ed.D. Early, Middle & Exceptional Education
    Srinivas Gotety Information Systems Services
    Nicole Pfannenstiel, PhD. English
    Gregory Szczyrbak Library
    Ankur Nandedkar, PhD. Management & Marketing
    John Cheek Communications & Marketing
    Darlene Newman Student Access & Support Services
    Andrea Hauri Human Resources
    Kelly Kuhns, PhD. Nursing
    Sarah Brooks, PhD. Educational Foundations

    The 2019-2020 PLI cohort:

    Pilot Cohort 2019-2020 (10) Department
    Emiyaril Alvarez Student Financial Services
    Greg Freedland Communications & Marketing
    Vivak Patel Enrollment Management
    Patriece Campbell, Ed.D. International Programs & Services
    Joshua Hartranft Technical Support Services
    Robert Spicer, PhD. Communication & Theatre
    Jack Ogutu, PhD. Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology
    Daniel Keefer, PhD. Wellness & Sport Sciences
    Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol Library
    Kathleen Walsh, PhD. School of Social Work



  • Program Curriculum and Expectations

    The leadership institute utilizes a variety of learning experiences, including:

    • Monthly discussions with President Wubah on current issues and leadership themes.
    • Interactive presentations with university leaders to understand the internal operations of the university.
    • Field excursions to learn from Millersville business and government partners and tour their facilities.
    • Opportunities to interact with key stakeholders and hear how they influence the university (Trustees, Alumni, etc.).
    • A series of experiential workshops with special attention to inclusion, conflict management, crisis communication, etc.
    • Carefully selected readings to highlight themes of value-driven leadership, inclusive decision making and other emerging themes.
    • Team projects to allow participants to dive deeper into an area of interest.

    Team building and networking take place during the discussions, retreats and excursions. Cohort members join with the President and Cabinet for networking lunches, athletic games and volunteer projects. The President's Leadership Institute enables faculty and staff to forge a strong connection to the Ville, their co-workers, and the stakeholders we serve as an institution.

    In addition to the formal curriculum, participants are encouraged to attend several university events to support their knowledge and insight into university life, including governance, affinity group interaction, and athletics, culture and arts.

    • Alumni networking events (MU After Work)
    • Art and Culture Events
    • Sporting events
    • Volunteer projects such as Day of Caring, SGA’s Big Event
    • Council of Trustees public meeting

    During the program, cohort members are encouraged to expand their knowledge of the university and the current issues and future directions of higher education – through dialogue, readings, videos, meetings, events, etc. – with the hope that this knowledge will support their professional growth and development as key members of the Millersville team.

    In order to complete the program, cohort members must:

    • Participate fully in the formal and informal curricula
    • Submit all session and end-of-program surveys
    • Prepare a final team presentation at the closing retreat
  • Team Projects
    Projects 2021-22
    Team 1: Justin Mando and Charlton Wolfgang
         Topic: Sustainability and civic education 

    Team 2: Neill Good and Jessica Kelly
         Topic: Recoonnecting people on campus 

    Team 3 : Melissa Gold and J Whitlow
         Topic: Enhancing a culture of inclusion on campus 

    Team 4 : Kyle Verbosh and Heather Keck
         Topic: My Maraurder – A 1-credit, graded elective course specifically for transfer students
    Team 5: George Ciarrocchi and Nakeiha Primus
         Topic: Installing Amazon Hub lockers on campus for 24/7 access to deliveries

    Team 6: Alison Hutchinson and Amie Miller
         Topic: Close the gap on degree completion

    Team 7: David DiRusso and Deborah Tamakloe
         Topic: Enhancing faculty and staff morale

    Projects 2020-21
    Team 1: Tammy Aument-Martin & Nicole Pfannenstiel 
    • Growing Graduate Program Enrollments          
    Team 2: Andrea Hauri & Ankur Nandedkar 
    • Employee recognition program options   
    Team 3 : Katelynn Hartman & Gregory Szczyrbak      
    • On-Campus Support for 2nd Year Students After a Virtual 1st Students   
    Team 4 : Miles Gallagher & Sarah Brooks      
    • Promoting healthy work/life balance for Millersville University faculty and staff  
    Team 5: John Cheek & Aileen Hower
    • Enhancing Alumni Engagement     
    Team 6: Janice Moore & Janet White
    • Developing Training Program for Department Chairs  
    Team 7: Srinivas Gotety & Kelly Kuhns
    • Resource Utilization Strategies on Campus       
    Team 8: Darlene Newman   
    • Student Leadership Certification



  • 2022-2023 Meeting Dates and Times for PLI Program
    August 19, 2022 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    September 16, 2022 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    October 14, 2022 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    November 11, 2022 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    December 16, 2022 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    January 27, 2023 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    February 24, 2023 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    March 24, 2023 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    April 28, 2023 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    May 12, 2023 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM