NGU News

University Leaders Celebrated During NGUleads Graduation

Posted on: September 28, 2023
By Billy Cannada,

Tigerville, SC (Sept. 28, 2023) Twelve North Greenville University (NGU) faculty and staff members were recognized for their leadership qualities during a graduation ceremony for the university’s third NGUleads cohort on Friday.  

NGUleads is a year-long internal leadership development program in which nominated members participate in monthly meetings, learn from leaders inside and outside of NGU, and develop and implement a service project to enhance the university.  

“NGU is better because of the faculty and staff members in this room,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “We are equipping transformational leaders for church and society with our students, but with NGUleads, we are also carrying out that mission with our faculty and staff.” 

The third graduating class of NGUleads consists of Staci Rollins, assistant professor and program coordinator of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies; Martin Jones, chair of the Department of Accounting and Business; Emily Staggs, director of student accounts; Cory Truax, CRM systems administrator; Thomas Willoughby, assistant professor of Christian Studies; Kayla Morgan, director of advancement services; David Eubanks, director of desktop services; Joshua Milner, assistant athletic director for external operations and facilities; Jeffrey French, associate dean of the School of Science and Mathematics; Donny Mathis, dean of faculty development; Ansley Welchel, communication instructor; and Deborah Entwistle, senior accountant. 

Professional development topics covered in the program include becoming a leader in Christian higher education, faith integration in higher education, emotional intelligence, innovation, decision making, conflict resolution, team building and design, effective communication, strategic and organizational planning, and community/political engagement. 

The service project for this year’s class was to create awareness around the topic of sexual harassment. The group designed an initiative around the platform, developed print materials that linked to the university’s Title IX webpage, and worked with Campus Ministries and Student Engagement to distribute the information across the Tigerville campus.  

“It’s a beautiful thing to see how God places diverse personalities, talents and training together to accomplish his purposes and fulfill his plans,” said Welchel. “The most impactful part of the experience for me was spending dedicated time with our university leadership team on a monthly basis to learn more about the overall vision for NGU and developing relationships among our cohort to collaborate and implement that vision in strategic ways through our various roles.” 

Members of NGUleads were nominated by their supervisor and approved by a unanimous vote of the North Greenville University’s Executive Leadership Council. The program is led by Dr. Tracy Kramer, associate dean for graduate programs, and Dr. Jill Rayburn, university general counsel. 

“This initiative introduced me to a realm of fresh experiences that I might never have stumbled upon otherwise,” Morgan said. “It forged enduring bonds with colleagues I otherwise would not have crossed paths with, leading to friendships that will endure a lifetime. I am profoundly grateful for the chance to participate in NGUleads.” 

Milner said participating in NGUleads was an encouragement to the work he is doing on campus.  

“I enjoyed getting the opportunity to sit in the same room as individuals from each department across our university and being able to learn and understand how each area on campus is working towards the common mission of NGU,” he said. “The personal and career development that came along with the program was very valuable, and it was great to learn from both leaders inside the North Greenville community and outside in the private business sector.” 

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