CO – 2012 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute


July 26, 2012 by Dr. G

Abbreviated from the PKAL press release:

Project Kaleidoscope and The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announce 40 faculty leaders from thirty-three colleges and universities accepted to attend the 2012 PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes for early and mid-career STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty at the Baca Campus of Colorado College in Crestone, Colorado.

“STEM faculty attend PKAL’s Summer Leadership Institutes to learn what it takes to lead major reform efforts in their departments and programs. They also come to network with other STEM faculty who are working to improve undergraduate STEM learning and success,” said PKAL Executive Director Susan Elrod.

PKAL’s five-day intensive institutes provide faculty participants with the theory and practice required to act as agents of change in their home institutions or professional societies.  Through plenary seminars, experiential leadership exercises, group discussions, and personal reflection time, participants:

  • Engage in discussion about national, regional, and local challenges and opportunities for developing more effective and inclusive STEM programs;
  • Learn about strategies for institutional change and the importance of understanding the institutional context and culture;
  • Practice the art of successful communication and negotiation;
  • Better understand personal leadership strengths and how to “lead from the middle” as a faculty member, program director, or department chair;
  • Leave the Institute with a leadership growth plan, created with guidance from experienced leader-mentors, that outlines the vision, goals, and strategies that will serve as an action agenda for their campus change efforts;
  • Join a network of colleagues from around the country who share similar goals regarding the creation of effective learning environments for all STEM learners.

OK, so what was I doing at the PKAL Summer Institute July 17-22?  I wasn’t a participant, I was asked to be a mentor to a group of three faculty from institutions in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida.  I’ll admit, going into this Institute, I was a little nervous about how effective I would be as a mentor to other faculty.  But now I’ll admit that I think I learned as much from my mentees as they did from me!

Great Sand DunesAt first, I couldn’t figure out why we were at a location five hours away from Denver, Colorado, with no internet access and one-and-a-half hours away from the closest traffic signal.  But now I get it – being in an inspiring space and “unplugged” from the world allowed for the necessary reflection and time needed to think about who we are as STEM leaders, and who we want to be.  Fortunately, we had one afternoon free that allowed some of us to get to Great Sand Dunes National Park (my inner geologist could not have been happier!  That’s me by the park sign!).  This Institute was probably one of the most exhausting ones I have ever been involved with, but also one of the most rewarding.  I was able to make my own list of what else I can do to be a better STEM leader on campus that will benefit my students, whether they are science or non-science majors, and benefit geology undergraduate researchers at a national level (watch out, world!).

One thought on “CO – 2012 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute

  1. […] in Chester, PA.  Loyd and I first met at the PKAL Leadership Institute last summer in Colorado (I blogged about that trip here).  We joked that we met in Colorado a year ago, we are now seeing each other in California, and […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Follow me on Instagram

Finished this fun data visualization/quilt top that shares the daily Sky Cover measurements from @joides_resolution #EXP390. As sky cover is recorded in units zero to eight, I chose eight different batik fabrics to represent the scale (the deepest blue batik for the blue sky, and the darkest/black batik for when the sky was completely clouded over, and all shades of blue/grey in-between). As the expedition officially was April 7 thru June 7, 2022, there are 62 pieces of data/batik strips. The background fabric is filled with golden stars for the sky, and the bright gold border is my nod to our port city, where the fabric was purchased.
Thank you @SciHistoryOrg for hosting Start Talking Science 2022 - so great to be able to present alongside other Philly scientists about the work we do to a non-STEM audience of all ages! And a great opportunity to share the mission and how we do science at sea on @theJR #EXP390 #EXP393
Back at @pennlivearts this evening to hear the @blindboysofalabama - so incredible, so inspirational! The new songs were great, but my all-time favorite will always be Amazing Grace sung to The House of the Rising Sun (check it out if you have never heard this innovative mashup).
🎼 I love live New Orleans jazz - and tonight, I didn’t have to go to New Orleans, as the jazz came to me! 🎶 Such a fun concert by @newbreed_brassband. 🎵 The best part - the sousaphone player’s high school band teacher was there & brought his trumpet on stage and joined them for a few songs. 🎺 After the first song, he said he was getting emotional, as he was so proud of the group. I get it, teacher, I’m there with you.
Added something new to my teaching space this fall - images of @joides_resolution, expedition patches, and the combined IODP, ODP, & DSDP drill site map! Thanks so much to Brittany (JRSO) for updating the map and getting the sites for #EXP390 & #EXP393 on there! Excited to have these in place before doing a ship-to-shore broadcast later this month (it will be a little strange being on the other side of the iPad this time, but can't wait to share this experience with my students).
%d bloggers like this: