High Potential Employee Leadership Academy

Congratulations to the participants selected for the 2016-2017 Leadership Academy class. 

Sam Houston State University

Liette Ocker

Carroll Nardone

Christina Ellis

Brandon Cooper

Lucrecia Chandler

Matt Olmstead

JR Ohr

Russell Martinez

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Matt Barber

Daniel Dickerson

Jill Gunn

Steven Gaddis

Ron Hudson

Jennifer Robinson

Manny Rodriguez

Rebecca Waltz

City of Huntsville

Matthew Woodham

Michelle Spencer

Penny Joiner

Huntsville ISD

Jordan Pound

Marcus Walker

The High Potential Employee Leadership Academy is a 9-month experience that involves a series of monthly development sessions that address key leadership topics and specific focus groups. The members of the program will be selected utilizing a decentralized nomination process for a total of 21 members. Applicants must have at least one (1) year of experience and be nominated by supervision through proper chain of command.  Please click here to view the Leadership Academy overview.

SHSU Mission

Sam Houston State University provides high quality education, scholarship, and service to qualified students for the benefit of regional, state, national and international constituencies.

Leadership Academy Mission

To identify, select, and develop high performing employees in order to strengthen the fabric of the community by enhancing the leadership ability of our emerging leaders.


  • Strengthen the fabric of the university, community and surrounding area with an increased commitment to the professional development of faculty and staff employees
  • Develop a core of future leaders possessing relationships which extend beyond respective departments and organizations
  • Create the momentum of leadership development along with a reinvestment of experience, knowledge, and with a spirit of giving back to the community

Recent Quotes:

“Leadership is a critical, yet sometimes elusive concept. The SHSU Leadership Academy exposes you to  the theory and practice of leadership, placing you in real-world situations that are outside of your comfort zone, but helping to stretch your mind’s view of what it means to be a leader. David Yebra takes the time to tailor the academy to you. In return, you learn about your community and yourself. This is a valuable program that creates friendships, contacts, and unforgettable experiences.”

- Gene Roberts, Director, SHSU Student Legal and Mediation Services

"Participating in the Employee Leadership Academy has been an incredible experience that has brought me closer to fellow Bearkats and to the Huntsville community. It’s not often that I am able to interact with professionals from TDCJ or Huntsville ISD, so the networking opportunities and the chance to learn more about those organizations has been invaluable. Through a series of challenges, the Leadership Academy class has motivated me to build more meaningful relationships and to use my leadership abilities to inspire others. By putting us in situations outside of our comfort zones, the class has taught me different approaches to resolve conflict, make difficult decisions, and drive organizational culture shifts."

-Rosa Mejia, SHSU Visitor Center Assistant Director


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