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KU announces fall 2017 Emerging Leaders Academy graduates

Thursday, January 25, 2018

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Public Management Center has announced the fall 2017 Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) graduates. The graduation ceremony took place Jan. 12 in the Griffith Room at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence.

The 49 graduates come from various public sector organizations across Kansas and the Kansas City metropolitan area, including government agencies at the local, state and federal levels, as well as nonprofit organizations. The fall 2017 session began in September, with cohorts meeting in Overland Park and Topeka.

ELA is a program targeted to promising, nonmanagerial staff to help them prepare for leadership roles in their departments and agencies. Participants meet together 10 times over four months, with classes designed to help them hone their skills for positions of increasing responsibility while also growing their effectiveness in their current roles.

“ELA has given me direction and guidance on where I want to go with my career,” said Alexis Kenney of the City of Kansas City, Missouri. “As someone who is fairly new to the workforce, everything I’ve learned will help me as I move forward.”

The classes are designed to help participants enhance skills in leadership, organizational dynamics, communication as well as engaging them in career planning.

“The instructors, the other participants, the guest speakers and the materials — all of these components provided me with solid building blocks from which to move forward in my career,” said Nadja Karpilow of the Mid-America Regional Council.

Organizations benefit from their investments in sending staff to ELA as they gain a more prepared and engaged talent pool to draw from as they plan for the future.

“Class activities support participants in identifying and progressing toward their professional goals while also equipping them to make stronger contributions in their current roles,” said Noel Rasor, ELA program manager. “Lots of individuals end up working in public service agencies just because it’s where they found a job. But then see how much their work matters to their communities and become committed to making a difference. We help them map out a career path so they can see a future with their organizations.”

For more information or to apply, visit the KU Public Management Center’s website (www.kupmc.org) or contact Noel Rasor at noel@ku.edu or (785) 864-5117.


Douglas County


Angelica Bucia, Douglas County Treasurer's Office

Jessica Halton, City of Lawrence

Ashley Myers, City of Lawrence

Phil Reid, City of Lawrence

Nicole Rials, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center


Johnson County


Brad Campbell, Overland Park Police Department



Kevin McGuire, Johnson County Mental Health



Jess Collins, Johnson County Human Services

Clayton Duffin, City of Olathe

Stacey Gerling, Johnson County Human Services

Seth Kilber, Johnson County Government

Ben Laxton, City of Olathe Fire Department

Jessica Murphy, Johnson County Mental Health

Chris Peak, City of Olathe

Ryan Sims, Johnson County Public Works

Janet Sylva, City of Olathe

Brian Williams, City of Olathe Environmental Services

Eric Yahn, City of Olathe Police Department


Overland Park

Douglas Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Thomas Keary, Overland Park Police Department

Savannah Mann, Johnson County Human Services

Mike Melvin, Overland Park Police Department


Leavenworth County


Maria Morey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Pottawatomie County


Ely Sprenkle, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism



Shawnee County


Andrew Beightel, Topeka Police Department

Jessica Crowder, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Brandon Lee, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Facility

Mark McClure, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Samantha Reddick, Kansas Neurological Institute

Steve Skrzypek, City of Topeka Fire Department

Nathan Wallace, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex

Scott Wanamaker, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office

Krystal Yegon, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System


Shawnee/Johnson County


Emily Wilson, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System


Wyandotte County

Kansas City

Steven Cody Brown, Environmental Protection Agency

April Friedl, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas

Frank Harmon, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office

Steve Schaff, Environmental Protection Agency

Antoinette Singletary, Environmental Protection Agency



Adair County


Sabrina Mitchell, Johnson County Kansas Government


Clay County

Kansas City

Katie Chandler, City of Kansas City, Missouri


Jackson County

Blue Springs

Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency


Kansas City

Daryl Baker, City of Kansas City Missouri

Nadja Karpilow, Mid-America Regional Council

Alexis Kenney, City of Kansas City Missouri

Drew Stiehl, Mid-America Regional Council

Esther Swanson, City of Kansas City Missouri



Platte County

Kansas City

Terri Duke, City of Kansas City, Missouri - Aviation Department.