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Emerging Leaders Professional Series (ELPS)

The Emerging Leaders Professional Development Series (ELPS) Program

Polk State College is pleased to offer the Emerging Leaders Professional Series (ELPS). The purpose of the ELPS Program is to provide training opportunities and strengthen the skillsets of full-time employees who have an interest in upward mobility within higher education. Supported by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in partnership with the Corporate College, the program is aligned to the College’s strategic goals and core values, and aims to develop superb and diverse leaders focused on student success to sustain a legacy of leadership excellence at Polk State College.

Note: To be eligible for the program, a full-time employee must be employed at the College for a minimum of one year, and be working in his or her current position for a minimum of one year.

 Program Highlights:

  • The Emerging Leaders Professional Series (ELPS) Program provides training opportunities and strengthens skillsets for employees who have an interest in upward mobility.
  • In this nine-month program, full-time employees explore strategies to effectively carry out the mission and vision of Polk State College, enabling them to become stronger and more effective leaders.
  • The Emerging Leader Professional Series Program provides a unique opportunity for networking with peers and College leadership, enhancing connections, and building relationships that further professional success.
  • Individuals participate in a series of courses that prepare them for the Emerging Leaders Professional Series Certification. These courses include The Corporate Edge: Presenting a Positive Image with Personal Branding, Public Speaking, and Business Communications, as well as other engaging sessions.
  • Internal administrators, professional-technical staff, and faculty members, as well as external community partners, are invited to provide leadership insight to participants.
  • The sessions are presented through class lectures, team-building activities, and highly interactive discussions.
  • Each participant identifies and analyzes what he or she has learned through this leadership development opportunity and presents this information at an end-of-program symposium, which includes a group project. The symposium displays the benefits of the program, and administrators, supervisors, and coaches are encouraged to attend in support of the participants.
  • Sessions meet one Friday per month at the Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Kincart Room.
  • Typically, the Orientation and Opening Retreat (Session 1) is scheduled in October in the Kincart Room, and the Closing Symposium is scheduled in July at the ATC Mosaic Auditorium.
  • Materials (handouts) are supplied by the Polk State Corporate College.
  • Refreshments are provided at each session.
  • Class sizes are limited. Selections are made after all of the applications are received. A confidential selection committee reviews the applications and selects participants.
  • Class members are announced in early October.



  • A candidate may only be nominated by either the individual’s supervisor or by a member of President’s Staff. Self-nominations are not considered.
  • To submit a nomination, an individual may visit the Leadership Opportunities page in PIE and click on the Emerging Leaders Professional Series (ELPS) link to review the ELPS Nomination Process, Roles, and Expectations section. This link also provides access to the ELPS Program Nomination Form.
  • All nominations must be submitted electronically via the ELPS Program Nomination Form (i.e., nominations may not be sent via email).


  • To submit an application, the candidate must access the link provided by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and provide the requested information.
  • The link to access the ELPS Program Application Form is sent via email to each candidate after the nomination period closes.
  • A candidate may apply after he or she has been nominated—and only during the open application period.
  • A nomination may only be submitted by either the individual’s supervisor or by a member of President’s Staff. Self-nominations are not considered.
  • Before submitting the application, an individual should carefully review the ELPS Application Process, Roles, and Expectations section related to the program. This information can be accessed by visiting the Leadership Opportunities page in PIE, and clicking on the Emerging Leaders Professional Series (ELPS) link.



  1. Emerging Leaders Class V (2019-2020)

    Emerging Leaders Class V

    Pictured from left to right:
    Rich Lavigueur, Luis Fernandez, Tanya Jones, Ryan Criss, Latasha Lee, Kathleen O’Donnell, Richard Benson, Tina Hanson, Summer Hicks, Charity Garcia, Jillian Capper, Lisa Montanez, Manuel Miller, Joyce Thompson

     ELPS Class V Leadership Quote:
    “If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you.”  ~ Bishop Dale C. Bronner

    Coaches: Mary Clark, Meesha Downing, John Glenn, Simmi Johnson, Lorrie Jones, Von McGriff, Aaron Roane, April Robinson, Tamara Sakagawa, Bob Stack, Lee Thomas, Ron Zachary

  2. Emerging Leaders Class IV (2018-19)

    Bartow, Fla. Feb. 1, 2019. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

    Emerging Leaders Class IV

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Arnold, Roni Miller, Alexandros Dimitriadis, Kimberly Battle, Mathew Peneguy, Joan Connors, Matthew James, Dominiki Martin, Aaron Roane, Deborah Davidson, Yvonne Velez

    ELPS Class IV Leadership Quote:
    “Leadership is an action, not a position.”
    – Donald H. McGannon

    Coaches: Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Howard Drake, Stephen Hull, Sylvester Little, Donald Painter, Tracy Porter, Rebecka Ramos, April Robinson, Lisa Rosa

  3. Emerging Leaders Class III (2017-18)

    Emerging Leaders Class III

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Bracewell, Chantelle Hrubes, Lisa Pendry, LaKeysha Cason, Sam Hale, Star Anderson, Gerry Hubbs, Ron Zachary, Sarah Maguire, Martin Chicas

    ELPS Class III Leadership Quote:
    A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
    –John C. Maxwell

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, Kathy Bucklew, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Gerene Thompson, Yvonne Velez

  4. Emerging Leaders Class II (2016-17)


    Emerging Leaders Class II

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Noreen Weber, Vernee Williams, Barry Collins, Lisa Smelser, Matthew Lenihan, Rayla Tokarz, Kyle Kniffin, Elba Concepcion, Denise Andreu-Pietri, Sarah Plazak, Megan Cavanah, Nixsa Cruz-De Witt, Gregory George

    ELPS Class II Leadership Quote:
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    –John Quincy Adams

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Peter Elliott, Cynthia Freitag, Stephen Hull, Nathan Neuman, Donald Painter, Larry Pakowski, Tamara Sakagawa, Teresa Vorous, Lynn Wilson

  5. Emerging Leaders Class I (2015-16)


    Emerging Leaders Class I

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Terrance Hays, Joshua Plazak, Tracy Tanner, Jamie Rowan, Freddie Acevedo, William De Witt, Von McGriff, Matina Wagner, Erin Montgomery, Nathan Neuman, Nicara Daniels, Sharron Davis, Patrice Thigpen, Rosebud Leslie, Karen Moore

    ELPS Class I Leadership Quote:
    “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
    —Jack Welch

    Valparisa Baker, Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, Marianne George, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Martha Santiago, George Urbano, Reginal Webb, Lynn Wilson, Beverly Woolery