About the ASU Leadership Institute

Each year, the ASU Leadership Institute, sponsored by ASU Alumni, accepts a cohort of up-and-coming and current leaders for a professional and personal leadership development program. This structured nine-month program takes an in-depth look at the university and its institutional objectives to demonstrate excellence, access and impact, and the importance of higher education. During the program, participants meet ASU renowned professors, practitioners and executive leaders. 

The ASU Leadership Institute broadens the perspectives of leaders on critical issues facing our region. During ASU Innovation Days, the program increases awareness of how higher education, business and community can succeed together. The ASU Leadership Institute works to enlighten, inspire and transform leaders from diverse professions and communities.

Participants must demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership, civic engagement and making a difference in their communities. Successful candidates from the private, public and nonprofit sectors are chosen through a competitive selection process held in late spring. The program is specially designed to help participants develop and understand critical leadership skills. The Class of 2019 will participate in a leadership assessment tool that will provide in-depth analysis and insights that identify key strengths to further develop and areas to enhance. Each ASU Innovation Day will feature a leadership panel or program featuring top educators and experts in many fields, including business, consulting, nonprofit management, ethics, media and military service.

The ASU Leadership Institute immerses participants in the culture and assets that are essential to ASU’s future with behind-the-scenes tours. The institute provides a transformative experience, inspiring leaders to innovate and strengthen the community. After completing of the program, leaders will be equipped to serve on ASU boards, to mentor students, create scholarships and serve as community ambassadors.

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Questions about the ASU Leadership Institute? Contact alissa.serignese@asu.edu or 480-965-2133.

Bridget Arenson ’96 BA Communication

Bridget Arenson works for the Sun Devil Club/Sun Angel Foundation as the Associate Director, Member Benefits, and Events & Community Outreach. She is responsible for most of the communication and management between members in the Sun Devil Club. Arenson graduated ASU with a degree in communication from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Some of her volunteer experience includes working and coordinating with Wish Kids from the Make a Wish Foundation.
“One of the things I love the most about working my position is teamwork. I love teamwork. I crave it. I have a tendency to seek out projects and programs that I can get involved in that will allow me to work with others in a variety of positions and backgrounds toward a common goal.”


Lisa Bayne ’88 BA Political Science
Lisa Bayne is an entrepreneur that graduated from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a political science degree. She started her own companies, a boutique called Here on the Corner, that won more than 10 awards from various organizations such as Arizona Republic and New Times; and her current business, Bumble Bee Air Conditioning. Bayne is presently on the Tempe Sister Cities Selection Committee and volunteers on Tempe Community Council.
“I admire Arizona State University’s philosophy of inclusion and its care for the community of which it is a part. Drawing on this educational opportunity, I intend to proactively share ASU’s vision for the sustainable future of our planet and our civilization.”


Joe Bertoletti ’06 BS Management
Joseph Bertoletti is the Senior Associate Director for the City of Surprise and oversees the city’s MLB spring training complex, which is home to the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. He’s also served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director of External Operations for the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and the Associate Athletics Director of Development for the University of Maryland.
“The opportunity within this program will help define my development through a learning experience style that I believe is one of the most innovative. Having the ability for leaders to share their real-life experiences and bring living examples into the classroom will benefit the development of the entire class and Arizona State University.”


John Bevell ’12 MBA Global Management
John Bevell has his MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU. He is the co-founder and CEO of gigapult, LLC, a company that helps train high school students for career readiness, preparedness, and skills development. He also has been the Managing Director for Pearson’s partnership portfolio and most recently become the Director for Recruiting Services and Employer Relations for Arizona State University. He also has volunteered on a Bangkok Thailand mission and for Habitat for Humanity.
“Learning is central to everything, and Arizona State University plays a pivotal role in individual improvement and community economic advancement. Through the ASU Leadership Institute, I hope to share ideas, learn from others, and be a small part of driving positive for young people seeking to start their careers.”


Denice Diab ’17 Med Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Denice Diab always has had a passion for students and their success. Currently, she works as an Academic Success Specialist for ASU and has taught an assortment of classes on campus. She has worked with many different ages and focuses her passion on her students’ academic retention.
“I strongly believe we should never stop learning. Through the Leadership Institute, I hope to connect with other peers who have the same or similar aspirations and ASU spirit that I have. I am very passionate about sharing my love of ASU and affinity with others and hope to help in their affinity development, specifically students.”


Morgan Dick ’17 BA Political Science & Spanish Linguistics
Morgan Dick currently works for the Arizona Advocacy Network as the director of Money in Politics. She has also experience as a legislative intern for League of Arizona Cities and Towns. On campus she volunteered with Devils’ Advocates and as a PEN Project Intern. As an undergraduate, she was awarded the ASU Foundation Women and Philanthropy Scholar and the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship.
“The lesson of being ‘all-in’ struck a chord with me during my undergraduate years and has absolutely carried over into my post-grad professional life. Now working as an activist for those underrepresented in the political sphere, I am all in. I am not a passive participant, who waits, and hopes for change – but somebody who participates, and hopes to one day, spark it.”


Jean Etchamendy ’04 BA Human Communication
Jean Etchamendy obtained a Human Communication degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Currently, he is a Branch Manager for a local Wells Fargo Bank and his background is management and leadership. He has been able to teach and develop other team members through skill practice and one-on-one coaching. He also has been able to foster relationships with more than 20 enterprise divisions to relocate a new branch.
“One of the trials in my life that engrained strong leadership skills came from having the dream and ambition to live abroad and work in different cultures. I learned so much from the diversity I encountered at ASU that it reinforced my own heritage and desire to enhance my worldly view.” 


Eden Higgins ’87 BA Communication
Eden Higgins is the Vice President/Practice Leader of Duffy Group, Inc., a recruitment firm that works with corporations to help them find the right talent. Higgins has worked in human resources for a number of companies including Mastering Computers, Megafoods Inc., The Wigwam Resort. She has stayed very involved with her high school, Xavier College Preparatory by being a member of the Alumnae Association, School Advisory and Foundation Board.
“My circle of influence for the last 20 years has included my family, the St. Francis Community, the Xavier Community and Duffy Group. Individuals and groups within these circles have influenced me professionally and personally, positively affects all areas within my life. I would like the opportunity to increase my circle of influence, and the circles that influence me.”


Valerie Keim ‘10 BS Political Science, Family & Human Development
Valerie Keim is a Research Advancement Administrator for ASU ensuring compliance on grant applications. Previously she worked for the Maricopa County Education Service Agency managing the grant application process and with the Reward Excellence in Innovation and Leadership. Keim served as the President of the ASU Young Alumni Chapter 2016-2017 year and is a current member of the Executive Board.
“I am interested in the ASU Leadership Institute because I want to learn more about ASU’s interaction with the greater community. ASU has contributed to the person I have become, the values I hold, and I want to find ways to give back to the organization that has given me so much.”


Brian Lee ’07 BS Accountancy
Brian Lee works as Landings Credit Union’s Chief Financial Officer and has a background in management and budgeting. He was awarded in 2017 the Mountain West Credit Union Association 20 under 40 and is a Tempe Leadership graduate. Lee assisted in creating and planning a national credit union young professional’s conference.
“Far more than the position I now have, my career has helped me develop as a leader, as well as a person. I have had the opportunity to volunteer in the community with several organizations that make a real difference. I have tutored at Wood Elementary School and was involved in establishing a financial literacy program at EVIT.”


Michelle Loposky
Michelle Loposky is the Assistant Director of Outreach & Engagement for ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center. She manages initiatives focused on student veteran recruitment, retention, success and advocacy that supports the Pat Tillman Veterans Center’s mission. Loposky also has been able to volunteer as a mentor for Asian Corporate & Entrepreneur Leadership. She is the Phoenix Alumni Club President for the University of Miami.
“Continued service, as an Army veteran, it’s what I believe in. I am a former combat field medic and was trained to provide immediate medical care during stressful situations. Both exhilarating and challenging, the experience molded me to be who I am today and why I have this strong drive to care for others.”


Matt Lovelady ’13 MS Management of Technology
Matt Lovelady is an accomplished leader in utility and industrial environments with an extensive background in work management and business development. Since 2007 he has been working as a manager for the Salt River Project. Lovelady also was awarded Business Acumen for Emerging Leaders by the Western Energy Institute and is a board member for the Valley Young Professions with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.  
“I take a very hands-on approach with my leadership style and empower employees to formulate options and make good decisions. I have found that treating employees with respect, fostering teamwork, providing ample training and development united with straightforward communication and personal interaction to be very successful.”


David Lucier ’74 BS Political Science
David Lucier is the President and CEO of AZ Veterans & Military Leadership Alliance. He was inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame in 2010 and helped direct the passage of the Instate Tuition for Veterans Bill. Upon separation from service, attended ASU and graduated with honors in 1974. Some of his community leadership includes co-founding the ASU Veterans Chapter for the Alumni Association and being on the Board of Directors for the Special Operations Association.
“I’m a product of experience, culture, education and upbringing. I have discovered that learning is a lifelong endeavor and that human capital is not limited to gender, race, or economic circumstances. I believe that public service is a responsibility bestowed upon us as citizens who were fortunate enough to participate in the grand experience we know as ‘America.’ ”


Natalie McDonald ‘16 BS Supply Chain Management & Marketing
Natalie McDonald is Marketing Manager for Dircks Moving & Logistics and has been able to use her ee to implement strategic marketing plans and serve as a creative director and graphic designer. McDonald also serves as the Vice President of Alumni Relations for Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity and Vice President of Leadership for Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. She has volunteered with various organization including YMCA, Arizona Cardinals Charities, and St. Vincent De Paul.
“I am forever grateful for the community at ASU that gave me a sense of home despite being 2,000 miles away from my hometown. Because ASU has had such a profound impact on me, I feel compelled to use the critical leadership skills I obtained there to give back to the community that I know call home.”


Desirae Outcalt
Desirae Outcalt has a multifaceted banking career from branch operations to sales and holding positions of Teller, Branch Manager, Operations Officer and most currently Vice President, Specialty Deposits Portfolio Manager for Pacific Premier Bank. She has been awarded various titles such as “Most Influential Women in Arizona” and “40 Young Business Leaders under 40” by the AZ Business Magazine and “Top 100 Women to Know and do Business with in Arizona” by KNOW Phoenix. Outcalt is also a founding member of the Suns Charities 88.
“Over my career I have learned many skills pertaining to leadership and team building. First, never ask a member of staff to do something you will not do. If you are not willing to get your ‘hands dirty’, your staff won’t be willing either. Second, learn something new every day. Keep up on your industry events, technology and overall heartbeat of what’s happening.”


Taylor Pineda ‘15 BS Communication, ‘18 MA Educational Policy
Taylor Pineda works as the Evaluation and Program Management Analyst for Chicanos por La Causa. Previously, she served as the Scholars Program Coordinator for Si Se Puede Foundation. Pineda has received various honors including recognition from the city of Chandler for more than 100 hours of service, and a Teal & Silver Award in 2016 from Chandler-Gilbert Community College for positively impacting the college.  
“I completed my Master’s in Educational Policy, and this experience has equipped me with a skillset to better advocate equitable, research-based policies in education. The opportunity to pursue education at an inclusive public university has drastically changed my life. I hope as I continue to learn, grow and lead, that I can advance similar opportunities for others.”


Michael Pooley ’02 BA Justice Studies
Michael Pooley has been serving with the Tempe Police Department for 16 years as a Metro Lieutenant and currently a Police Commander after receiving his degree in Justice Studies. Through these positions he has been able to participate in various citywide projects and lead a large staff of sworn and civilian personnel. He has been the recipient of many awards including the Tempe Police Meritorious Award and the Tempe Police Expert Shooter Award.
“My goal is to always remember those that I serve and be a role model and leader in my family, community, and wherever I go. My family is my heart and the ones that have taught me humility, service and to take time to laugh and enjoy life.”


Lou Silverman ’75 BS Business
Louis Silverman has been an owner of his own law firm, Silverman Law Offices, since 2006 and has specialized in estate planning, trust and probate administration and business law. Silverman has been able to speak and lecture to a variety of business groups, civic clubs and nonprofits. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.
“I would love to continue to give back to ASU in many ways, other than simply being a season-ticket holder and member of the Sun Devil Club. I believe that membership in ASU’s initial Leadership Institute class will be a doorway to that involvement.”


Lona Teague ’82 BS Finance
Lona Teague is the Vice President of Finance and Operations for Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. In this position she oversees financial analysis, rolling forecasts, and a business development matrix for targeted growth. Teague also has been chosen as an Executive Panelist for ArtWORKS Phoenix Creative City Symposium and volunteers with Junior Achievement and UMOM New Day Centers.
“Having spent decades in the Phoenix area, I have seen the tremendous growth of both the City and the ASU community. Phoenix feels like ‘my town’ and ASU ‘my university.’ It would be my honor and privilege to be a part of the inaugural class of the ASU Leadership Institute.”


Andrew Vandertoorn ’02 BS Aviation Management Technology
Andrew Vandertoorn is a C-17A Evaluator Pilot for the U.S. Air Force Reserve and a First Officer with Delta Air Lines. He is a lead C-17 Instructor and manages the largest C-17 squadron while coordinating the recruitment, hiring, and training of the newest pilots. As an undergraduate, Vandertoorn was a recipient of the ASU’s Stanford B. Roper and Thunderbird Pilot Scholarship.
“I love education. I’d go to school all year if I could. It’s been said, ‘Man’s flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.’ Knowledge, skills and experience are weapons that can overcome any barrier. There’s one thing that’s more powerful, and that’s the teacher!”


Andrew Wegner ’08 BS Construction Management
Andrew Wegner has been the Lead Estimator and Senior Project Engineer for various multi-million dollar projects while working for Sundt Construction. He’s also worked at The CPI Group as a project manager and Haselden Construction as a senior project engineer. Wegner has volunteered for multiple organizations including Arizona State University, Sundt Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. He also was the captain of 1st Place Integrated Project Delivery Team for the 2016 Associated Schools of Construction Graduate competition.
“I have a passion for continuing and lifelong education, and I am very interested in gaining a better understanding of the institutional objectives of the University and how those can be synchronized to address some of the critical issues we are currently facing in the desert southwest.”

The curriculum elements of the ASU Leadership Institute include Innovation Days, social events and the opportunity to participate in a panel.

  • ASU Innovation Days
    Once a month, from August to April, participants spend a day focusing on critical components of higher education and ASU. Each ASU Innovation Day features guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields. A tour of resources on ASU campuses is also included.

  • Social events
    Social events include opportunities to interact with your institute classmates through the ASU/Sun Devil Impact Project, opportunities to attend ASU athletic events and a leadership-style exercise.

  • Panel element
    Participants will be asked to share their insights with current ASU students, members of Class II of the program, the ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors and National Alumni Council, or the Trustees of ASU. This is a one-time commitment.

ASU Leadership Institute Class of 201819 applications are being accepted April 15May 31, 2018.

The written application is weighted equally as the candidate interview. It is important that candidates devote adequate time to the written application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. To complete the written application process, you must submit the online application and provide the following:

  • Your resume.

  • A personal statement of 300–500 words.

  • Two letters of recommendation.

    • One must be from your current employer.

    • One must be from a community organization in which you are involved or have been involved.

  • A nonrefundable application fee of $50.

A select number of candidates will be interviewed for approximately 30 minutes each by an ASU Leadership Institute selection panel. Applications will be scored by how well candidates demonstrate leadership competencies during the interview and the written application.

The ASU Leadership Institute selection panel will approve members of the Class of 2019 in June 2018. All candidates will be notified after the approval process, and those who are not selected will be encouraged to apply for the next class.

The 2019 program runs from August to April, beginning with an orientation, continuing with one full program day each month and concluding with a graduation ceremony. In addition to attending the program, participants will be required to complete a team-based community impact project.

The requirements below must be met to qualify for successful completion of the program. Attendance is mandatory at orientation, the first ASU Innovation Day and graduation (no exceptions). If you cannot commit to the schedule, please consider applying at a time when you can commit to the time requirements. Requirements:

  • Attendance on all program days. One excused absence is allowed to meet graduation requirements.

  • Participation in an ASU Impact team project.

  • Attendance at orientation.

  • Attendance at graduation.

  • One-time participation in a panel.

What is the ASU Leadership Institute?

The ASU Leadership Institute immerses leaders in the culture and assets essential to ASU’s future and the impact of higher education on society. During this structured nine-month program, participants will meet renowned professors and practitioners at ASU as well as university executive leaders. ASU Leadership provides a transformative experience, inspiring leaders to innovate and strengthen our community.

Where can I get more information on the program?

This website serves as a guide to provide information about the program and its application and selection process. For more information, email alissa.serignese@asu.edu or call 480-965-2133.

Who can apply?

The program is open to all ASU degreed alumni who have an interest in serving their community and ensuring the future of higher education. The institute seeks Sun Devils who will enjoy spending focused time at their alma mater, with leaders of the country's most innovative university (U.S. News & World Report, 2016, 2017, 2018), and who can successfully complete the program and become involved with ASU afterward.

How do I apply?

The application process is open from April 15–May 31, 2018, for the Class of 2019. If you’ve missed that deadline, please feel free to submit your interest for the Class of 2020.

Will you consider applicants from outside the Phoenix metropolitan area?

Absolutely. All participants will be required to fulfill all time and project requirements at their own expense, in addition to application and tuition fees.

What is the time commitment, and how long are program days?

The time commitment for the ASU Leadership Institute includes nine ASU Innovation Days (9 a.m.–4 p.m.), orientation, graduation, the ASU/Sun Devil Impact project and one-time service on a panel. (Attendance is mandatory for orientation, the first ASU Innovation Day and graduation, with no exceptions.) If you cannot commit to the schedule, please consider applying at another time when it better suits your schedule.

What is the schedule for the institute?

Orientation dates for 2019 institute:

August 14, 2018, 47 p.m.

Innovation dates for 2019 institute: 

August 31, 2018, 9 a.m.4 p.m.

September 28, 2018, 9 a.m.4 p.m.

October 26, 2018, 9 a.m.4 p.m.

November 16, 2018, 9 a.m.4 p.m.

December 14, 2018, 9 a.m.4 p.m.

January 25, 2019, 9 a.m.4 p.m..

February 22, 2019, 9 a.m.4 p.m..

March 22, 2019, 9 a.m.4 p.m..

April 26, 2019 (includes graduation)

What topics are covered during program days?

Topics include an overarching presentation on the structure and impact of the ASU enterprise; health initiatives and significant partnerships; Sun Devil Athletics; student engagement; applied technology; universal learner, K-12 and precollege education; applied-use research; design and the arts; and the latest innovations from ASU.

How much does the ASU Leadership Institute cost?

Tuition fees are $1,500 and due on August 31, 2018. There is early-bird pricing of $1,200 if paid in full by August 14, 2018. The tuition covers full participation in all ASU Innovation Days, all materials and meals during the program.

Is there a tuition refund policy if an employee withdraws or leaves the company?

ASU Alumni will reimburse 50 percent of tuition costs if the participant withdraws prior to the start of the program. Due to the nature of the program, reimbursements are not available after the start of the program, and both the participant and his/her employer will be liable for any unpaid tuition balance.

How do employers benefit from sponsoring an applicant?

Employers benefit from an employee’s improved leadership and the team and problem-solving skills developed during the coursework. Through an employee’s involvement, the employer gains access to a broad network of prestigious leadership contacts; extensive knowledge of higher education and its impact on society; and how the nationally recognized most innovative university in the U.S. prepares the next generation of leaders. Through this nine-month program, participants will learn the value and strength of individuals impacting change.

Does an individual need their employer’s permission to apply?

Yes. All participants must have their employer’s permission to participate, and participants must indicate the commitment on the application form.

I do not work for a company; I own my business. Can I apply?

Absolutely. In this case, please submit a letter of recommendation from another source, such as a mentor, business partner, former professor, former colleague, etc.

What are the expectations upon completion of the program?

After successful completion of the program, we want participants to stay involved in the ASU Leadership Institute, become involved in the university by serving on a board or council, help create and/or fundraise for student scholarships, serve as ambassadors for ASU in the community, and help ensure the ongoing success of this program.