The 2017-18 Vivian H. Fisher Public Service and Outreach Leadership Academy includes 19 faculty and staff representing each UGA Public Service and Outreach (PSO) unit, Cooperative Extension, and academic schools and colleges.

Offered through the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, the program emphasizes personal leadership development and communication skills, and it also helps participants recognize the role of outreach at UGA, see the scope of the work the units perform across Georgia and learn how that work ties into the university’s mission.

“By discovering more about themselves as leaders, learning more about each other’s leadership styles, and gaining exposure to the university’s public service and outreach mission, this academy helps prepare graduates to assume leadership roles within PSO and UGA,” said Fanning Institute Director Matt Bishop. “The Fanning Institute is honored to be a part of continuing Vivian H. Fisher’s legacy of professional development and service.”

Fisher was an associate vice president for PSO from March 2001 until her retirement in January 2008. She launched the academy in 2007. Fisher died in 2008. The academy was named in her honor in 2012.

“Our family is humbled that UGA recognizes Vivian as a leader and as someone who cared about her community and invested in others,” said Dexter Fisher, Vivian Fisher’s husband. “Vivian was a remarkable woman who believed in giving back and working to make her community a better place, and she would be pleased to see the work she did is continuing.”

The biennial academy provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to develop in areas that were important to Fisher, said academy participant Sarah Sorvas, a special projects manager with the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel.

“The principles she left as part of her legacy – self-examination, self-empowerment, collaboration, and mentorship – are all clearly realized as part of this program’s curriculum,” Sorvas said. “These guiding principles have produced a culture among Public Service and Outreach that promotes professional growth and development and a commitment to share these ideals with our community.”

Another 2017-18 participant, Brian Freese, an administrative manager at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, said the leadership academy would provide him the tools he needs to make a positive impact on the community and state.

“The two-day introduction to the program (in September) was absolutely fantastic, and it affirmed to me that public service is as important a part of a land grant university as instruction and research,” Freese said. “I’m also meeting some really great colleagues from across UGA.”

Participants in the Vivian H. Fisher PSO Leadership Academy will meet for two days during most months of the fiscal year, visiting each PSO unit, including an Archway Partnership Community and Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant in Savannah. They will spend a day in Atlanta, visiting the State Capitol and learning about UGA’s relationships with state government officials. Participants will graduate with a certificate from Public Service and Outreach during a ceremony in May.

The 2017-2018 Vivian H. Fisher PSO Leadership Academy participants are:

  • Tracy Arner, Carl Vinson Institute of Government;
  • Mark Butler, Small Business Development Center;
  • Stephan Durham, UGA College of Engineering;
  • Bryan Fluech, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant;
  • Brian Freese, Carl Vinson Institute of Government;
  • Chris James, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach;
  • Shana Jones, Carl Vinson Institute of Government;
  • Dan Lasseter, Carl Vinson Institute of Government;
  • Jennifer Lewis, UGA College of Environment and Design;
  • Sharon Liggett, Archway Partnership;
  • Mandy Marable, UGA Cooperative Extension;
  • Sayge Medlin, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development;
  • Jeff Miller, UGA Cooperative Extension;
  • Bart Njoku‐Obi, Small Business Development Center;
  • Kiel Norris, UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel;
  • Josh Podvin, Office of Service Learning;
  • Shelly Prescott, State Botanical Garden of Georgia;
  • Carolina Ramon, Small Business Development Center; and
  • Sarah Sorvas, UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel

Writer: Charlie Bauder

Contact: Matt Bishop