Dexheimer Leadership Fellows | University of Portland

Dexheimer Leadership Fellows

You are invited to consider participating in the Leadership Fellows Formation Program in Fall Semester 2021. Each fall, the Franz Center serves as catalyst for the leadership education and development for UP faculty and staff who are ready to spark change and transformation in their own lives, the UP community, and beyond. Please complete the registration form by Friday, August 20th, 2021 to participate in the fall cohort.

Traditional conceptualizations of leadership often focus on leaders being defined by their position, responsibilities, and power, while in many cases commanding, controlling, and coercing their followers. At UP, we see leadership differently. We emphasize the inclusive assertion that everyone can be a leader and express leadership through intentionally cultivated knowledge, skills, mindsets and the leveraging of unique leadership strengths. In the midst of the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of life, we celebrate that leadership is both what we do and the essence of who we are and who we are becoming. We lift up the idea that leadership is manifested through relationship and is enacted through serving and accompanying others on their journey and working for social justice. Leadership is by and for ALL of us, collaborating together toward a more holistic vision of the common good. With this in mind, we hope you will consider participating in the Leadership Fellows Formation Program in Fall Semester 2021.

Why should I get involved?

  • Leadership is for ALL - The UP community needs leadership from many different voices and perspectives from across campus. Learn how UP thinks about leadership and add your ideas to enrich the discussion. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

  • Learn more deeply about YOU and who you are becoming! You will gain a deeper awareness of your leadership strengths and practice leveraging those strengths through our strengths-based approach to leadership development. 

  • Develop critical leadership knowledge, skills, and mindsets to apply to your personal and professional contexts 

  • Get ENGAGED - Cultivate community with faculty and staff members across campus. Intentionally form relationships with colleagues who deepen your learning, support you and goals, and provide a catalyst for your continued growth and transformation.  

  • Interested in being a future leadership coach and/or instructor - This program is a pre-requisite to serve as a leadership coach and/or instructor in the Leader Certificate Program; however, completion is not a guarantee of future placement.
    • Leadership coaches and instructors can earn a stipend of up to $2,500 for their teaching or coaching.

What does the program entail?

  • Live Sessions: 6, 1-hour live in peson meetings (2 per month) during Fall Semester 2021: Live sessions bring the whole cohort together to learn, share, and explore leadership
    • Pre-work for live sessions: Participants will be invited to engage with materials such as readings, videos, and assessments to deepen their learning and make progress toward their goals
  • Pod discussions – Pods are small groups of 3-4 participants. The purpose of the pods is to cultivate community, deepen the learning, and forward the action and goals of participants.
    • Pods meet approximately 2 times per month, each being approximately 30 minutes (at a day/time that is convenient for the pod members)
    • Outline of each pod meeting structure/questions will be provided by the program
  • Leadership Laboratory – Participants will choose one leader character habit and additional professional and personal goals that they wish to focus on during the arc of the program. Pod members will serve as collaborators in curiosity and accountability, helping support and challenge their pod members. 

  • Individual Leadership Exploration Library – optional resources that participants can engage with to deepen their leadership learning and growth 

  • Reflection/Integration – Participants will complete a short reflection that gives them the opportunity to integrate, connect, and apply their learning to personal and professional contexts  

Total approximate time commitment for program = 16 hours (approximately 1 hour per week during Fall Semester 2021)

What are the dates of the live sessions?

  • Session #1: Wednesday, September 1st, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120) 
  • Session #2: Wednesday, September 15th, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120) 
  • Session #3: Wednesday, September 29th, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120) 
  • Session #4: Wednesday, October 20th, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120) 
  • Session #5: Wednesday, November 3rd, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120) 
  • Session #6: Wednesday, November 17th, 12pm-1pm (Franz 120)

What are faculty and staff saying about the program?

Hannah Highlander

Hannah Highlander Associate Dean for Students & Professor of Mathematics

"The leadership program has been a transformative experience for me, not only in how I relate to and coach students in the leadership program, but also in my daily personal and professional life. It has given me a fresh perspective of how I might serve as a leader in my various communities by giving me tools to recognize and leverage my strengths, rather than always focusing on how to improve my areas of “weakness”. Furthermore, the leadership program has afforded me valuable opportunities to learn from and collaborate with faculty and staff across campus who are also seeking to improve their impact and efficacy in their own personal and professional relationships."

Benjamin Gallegos

Benjamin Gallegos Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education

"My experience in the leadership program provided gateways to discussions and experiences that intersected with my personal & professional pathways. Entering the leadership program, I realized my definition and lens of what leadership meant to me was going to be re-examined and reflective in my day-to-day activities. This same notion has served as a guide when serving the UP students who are enrolled in the leadership program."

Andrew Nuxoll

Andrew Nuxoll Associate Professor and Program Chair of Computer Science, Shiley School of Engineering

"Everyone wants to ‘level up.’ What all successful people have in common is that they have learned who they are, what they want to become and, most importantly, how to get there. What I like most about the Leadership program is that it provides well-defined framework in place to teach a student that fundamental skill set and then provides the mentorship to make it happen. It's like training wheels for being awesome."

Amber Vermeesch

Amber Vermeesch Associate Professor & Interim Director of Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, School of Nursing

"Working with and learning from Leadership Fellows has been a consistent highlight for me as an educator and a mentor. The leadership program has been a wonderful professional and personal opportunity for me as well. With this program, I have honed my professional leadership qualities and strengths and I recommend this program wholeheartedly to other faculty and staff seeking similar growth opportunities."

Molly Cullen

Molly Cullen Academic Program Counselor, Pamplin School of Business

"The Leadership Fellows Formation Program was an opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills, as well as build my capacity to coach and teach leadership with students. The program also enabled me to build relationships with faculty and staff from across the university, connecting me with the larger UP community."

James Peña

James Peña Wellness Education and Prevention Programs Coordinator, Student Affairs

"Part of the reason I enjoy this program is the chance to learn from people further along the journey. The people and the conversations that happen in this program have helped me sharpen my skills as I aim to be a better support to our students. It’s helped me stop and reflect on the kind of leader I am becoming."

How do I get engaged?

To register, please complete this registration form by August 20th, 2021.

For questions/more information, please contact Dr. Dave Houglum, Director of Leadership & Leadership Professor of Practice, at