Members of the Dean’s Alumni Circle recently got a reminder of the school-room instruction to put on their thinking caps. Only this time, the person putting on the caps was Joyce Elam, executive dean of the college. And, the setting was the first Dean’s Alumni Circle board meeting—not of the school year, but of the fiscal year.
“Our Circle members are already leaders and are growing every day,” said Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03), director of advancement and alumni relations. “They enjoy and appreciate being part of the kind of leadership development we can provide as well as hearing Dean Elam’s semi-annual updates on the college’s strategy, new programs and initiatives.”
At the board meeting on September 16, 2009, the group broke into committees—community service, action and service learning, mentoring and development—and identified their six- and twelve-month goals.
But before they got down to business, Elam gave a one-hour professional development seminar detailing the decision-making model devised by Edward de Bono in his book Six Thinking Hats, and gave each attendee a copy.
Forums respond to input from members.
According to Catoggio, the idea to have Leadership Forums—four this fiscal year—grew out of a survey on which Circle members indicated that continuing to receive educational experiences, in smaller groups and with leaders from the college, was an important advantage of staying involved as alumni.
“We try to do leadership development as a thank you to them for all they do for us,” Catoggio said.
At a gathering this year in August, the group was treated to time with FIU president Mark Rosenberg, who had just begun his tenure in that post.