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Kathy Evans, RLC Title III Curriculum Specialist, completes Chair Academy

Rend Lake College now has five graduates of the Chair Academy for Leadership and Development as Kathy Evans, Title III Curriculum Specialist, completed the program earlier this month.

The Chair Academy, a department of Mesa Community College and the Maricopa County Community College District, offers world-class, competency-based, leadership development programs for college and university leaders. According to the Academy’s website, over 9,000 professionals have participated since 1992 all over the world.

Kathy Evans
Kathy Evans

During the first of two, five-day seminars, professionals cover a wide range of topics including learning styles, personal strengths, critical thinking, team management, and much more. They then spend one year working on their Individual Professional Development Plan to expand on those topics and bring back to the second seminar.

Evans said her class of 45 came from all over the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, which gave her the chance to see what other professionals in various higher education positions were working on and improving.

“I completed the second year of the program last week where, in small, break-out groups, we discussed our growth over the last year, how our leadership ideals effected our positions, and how we’re going to use those moving forward,” said Evans. “Every day I spoke with different people and we all focused on the changes in our states and what’s going on. It was a good opportunity to talk to people about what their organization is doing and how they’re working closely to improve.”

Evans joins Henry Leeck, Dean of Liberal Arts; Lori Ragland, Vice President of Career Technical Instruction; Kim Wilkerson, Dean of Allied Health; and President Terry Wilkerson as graduates among the RLC faculty and staff. Academy professionals choose a mentor to consult with during the year-long experience, and Evans worked one-on-one with Ragland to turn her plan into an everyday practice.

“As a graduate of the Academy for Leadership and Development, I realize first-hand the personal and professional growth that transpires as part of the experience,” said Ragland. “It was an honor to serve as a mentor for Kathy Evans during her practicum of maximizing strengths for engagement and performance in post-secondary leadership.”

Evans continued to say she values the time she spent working with others in higher education.

“It was a real experience that will move me forward in such a positive manner. It was a fantastic learning experience,” said Evans. “I met so many different people with different ideas, and I know I’ve got some work to do to use my strengths every day. I’m very fortunate to have had this opportunity.”

To learn more about the Chair Academy, visit