Reflections from Emerging Leaders Academy Graduate: Rachel Gyore

Comments Delivered by Rachel Gyore, University of Kansas Medical Center, Dykes Library
At the Emerging Leaders Academy Graduation Ceremony on February 1, 2013

The Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. So, what makes ELA stand out from the many other courses and programs we’ve all taken?

First, there were our guest speakers – they shared with us their work experiences and approaches to addressing challenges, as well as their thoughts on professional development and lifelong learning. They showed us that there is a lot of value in connecting with people outside of our organizations.

Another aspect of the program that makes it unique are the group and table discussions we had during class. We were able to offer each other support, encouragement, and different ways to think about the challenges and opportunities we face in our lives.

Overall, I think there were three main themes throughout ELA: communication, connecting with others, and knowing oneself. ELA reminded us that we are not alone in navigating workplace challenges, and that people are resources – we can each be a resource for another person by sharing our experiences and ideas.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson of all came from an article Noel asked us to read both at the beginning and end of the program. The article is titled, “Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility.” The essence of the article is that the change we want to see in the world begins with ourselves – our attitudes, our actions, and our willingness to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, a community. So congratulations to my classmates who are now a part of the ELA alumni community!

And in closing, on behalf of my classmates, a special thanks to Noel, our program director, our guest speakers, and most importantly our employers and supervisors for giving us this opportunity. Thank you!

The spring 2013 session of the Emerging Leaders Academy is now enrolling for classes in Lenexa, Topeka, and Wichita. Visit for information.