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May 10, 2018

Clark State Announces Second Class of SOAR Program Participants

MEDIA CONTACT: Laurie Means | Executive Director, Marketing | 937.328.6145

The second class of Clark State Community College SOAR participants will begin their mentorship under the guidance of Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin this fall.

SOAR – Serving Our Own through Leadership and Retention – was developed in order to facilitate mentoring of faculty and staff on campus and assist them in identifying current and future leadership opportunities that will result in personal and professional growth.

Therese Filicko, associate professor of Arts & Sciences for Clark State is a member of the inaugural SOAR class. “The SOAR program has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about the important role that community colleges play in the United States and in Ohio,” she said. “I have enjoyed learning more about the institutional structure at Clark State and the leadership philosophies of Dr. Blondin's team.”

The goal of the SOAR program is to develop and create leaders who are committed to serving Clark State as partners in student success. SOAR is a comprehensive professional development experience for full-time faculty and staff that provides self-assessment, leadership strengths building, mentoring and career development planning, thereby leading to stronger, more prepared leaders who will enhance Clark State’s focus on student success.

Additionally, the program focuses on developing leaders at the individual, team and system levels as well as empowering co-workers of participants to become “implementers of change” at all campus levels.

 “It is my privilege to lead the second class of SOAR participants,” said Blondin. “In my selection of candidates, I wanted to ensure a balance of disciplines, departments, length of service, diversity and need for growth in their current positions. I am looking forward to another year of development and opportunity for these dedicated individuals.”

Selected participants – three faculty members and three staff members - must attend all meetings and events, and complete all program requirements. Each will receive a one percent increase in base salary (in addition to any annual salary adjustments) at the successful completion of the program, special recognition at Charter Night and a well- developed career/mentoring plan.

Nora Hatem has been a full-time faculty member at Clark State since August 2008. She serves as associate professor and coordinator for the engineering programs. “I wanted to be part of this program to develop both my personal and professional goals,” she said. “I am very excited and honored to work with Dr. Blondin and the rest of this group.”

Crystal Jones has been a full-time Clark State faculty member since August 2007. She currently serves as associate professor and coordinator of the Management programs.

“I hope to personally and professionally develop skills that will contribute to my goals, in addition to learning how to communicate and collaborate efficiently,” she said. “I am honored and excited!”

Theresa Lauricella began her work at Clark State in 2005. She serves as associate professor and program coordinator of theatre and music. “I would like to improve my leadership skills so I can better serve the Theatre Arts program and Clark State,” she said. “I am looking forward to learning from Dr. Blondin and collaborating with my fellow SOAR colleagues.”

Tracy Yates has been with Clark State since 2015. She currently serves as the HBC conference services manager. “I am interested in SOAR to learn leadership skills from a great leader like Dr. Blondin,” she said. “I am looking forward to learning leadership skills that I can apply throughout my career.”

Bobbi Mills joined the Clark State team in June of 2017. She serves as receptionist for the college and provides assistance for the Workforce Development department. “I was interested in the SOAR program because I've been wanting to become more involved with the campus as a whole and learn more about what goes on around me every day,” she said. “I am looking forward to learning as much as I can directly from Dr. Blondin as well as expanding my leadership role here at Clark State.”

Nathan Bails has been employed at Clark State for three years as the lead custodian on night shift. “I wanted to challenge myself and also become more valuable to the college,” he said. “I was very surprised that I was chosen, but also excited. I am looking forward to learning from Dr. Blondin how to be a better leader and then passing that on to my team.”

Those selected for the SOAR program will be mentored for one year. Mentoring will officially begin in August 2018.

“My goal is their goal, I hope,” said Blondin. “To chart a clear path for their future growth in their current and in future positions.”

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