School of Nursing Celebrates First Class of Emerging Leaders

Pilot program teaches finer points of leadership to 10 School of Nursing employees

The first class of the Duke University School of Nursing's Emerging Leaders Program celebrates the completion of the yearlong course.
The first class of the Duke University School of Nursing's Emerging Leaders Program celebrates the completion of the yearlong course with Dean of the School of Nursing Marion E. Broome, center..

Blending in as a part of a team was always a comfortable arrangement for Libby Joyce, director of the Office of Institutional Research at the Duke School of Nursing. But roughly two years ago, when a change in her job left her serving as a supervisor, she realized standing out as a leader wasn’t without challenges.

“It was a new realm for me,” Joyce said.

Not long after, she was told about the Emerging Leaders program that the School of Nursing was getting started. Fast forward to June, and Joyce became one of the program’s first graduates.

Libby Joyce, center, is greeted by Marion Broome, Dean of the School of Nursing, left, and Duke Learning and Organization Development Director Keisha Williams, right.

“You can lead and manage in many different ways” Joyce said. “I just wanted to gain as much information and experience as I could and continue to grow. I saw this as an avenue for myself to grow professionally and personally, too.”

In all, 10 Duke University School of Nursing employees completed the program’s first year and were celebrated with a graduation ceremony in late June. Spanning nearly a year and modeled after the Duke Leadership Academy, the program consisted of classes run by Duke Learning and Organization Development, visits from leaders from the Duke community and team projects aimed at solving problems unique to the School of Nursing.

“I think they are just a fantastic group of people,” said David Bowersox, associate dean for Finance and Administration at the School of Nursing and one of the organizers of the program. “We’re all very proud of them.”

During the program, Joyce’s team project involved developing a new system of keeping track of School of Nursing alumni.

“We were putting into action newly learned concepts and reinforcing previous skills for the team project case studies,” Joyce said.

Among the topics addressed were handling feedback and conflict, and understanding situational leadership and effective communication.

Joyce said one of the biggest things she took away from the program was the importance of taking chances. The message was that, as a leader, you should have the confidence to trust your own judgement.

“Many of the courses that they were exposed to have changed the way they work and how they approach challenges day to day,” said Keisha Williams, assistant vice president of Learning and Organization Development. “I have seen tremendous growth in the cohort. When I am speaking with their supervisors and peers, they also acknowledge seeing a difference in the way they work and make decisions. They see them as being able to take in the bigger picture to inform their priorities and decisions.

Here is the first class of Duke University School of Nursing’s Emerging Leaders program.

Raymond Brisson III – Simulation Technology Specialist, Center for Nursing Discovery

Wendy Conklin – Financial Analyst II

Keysha Hall – Senior Staff Assistant

Nora Harrington – Admissions and Marketing Coordinator

Chloe Hayim – Senior Financial Aid Counselor

Jennifer Higgins – Operations Coordinator

Libby Joyce – Director of Institutional Research

Najla McClain – MSN Program Coordinator

Carla Nichols – Manager, Information Systems

Belinda Wisdom, MDiv – Senior Program Manager, International Visitors and Scholars