Robertson Earns Appointment to Leadership Institute
Lona Robertson in Food Systems Leadership Institute ProgramThursday, January 17, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Lona Robertson, associate dean in the University of Arkansas Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, has been appointed to the Food Systems Leadership Institute for a two-year program.
The institute is an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government, and enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems.
The program prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs.
“I’m excited about this appointment and looking forward to the opportunity,” Robertson said. “We will evaluate leadership skills and build on them, and engage in activities to help develop other skills. It will make me more effective in working with my counterparts across campus, and with the department heads and faculty.”
Robertson joined the U of A faculty in January 2006 and was associate professor in the School of Human Environmental Sciences until her appointment to associate dean in February 2011. Prior to coming to Arkansas, she spent 11 years at Oklahoma State, including five as assistant dean for academic programs and services in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.
With the Food Systems Leadership Institute, Robertson will work with expert instructors, leadership development coaches and mentors in increasing leadership abilities. Sessions include time with university leaders, political leaders, industry executives and others who have reached high-level leadership status. Leadership theory is combined with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education.
Robertson was appointed an institute fellow after being nominated by Bumpers College Dean Michael Vayda. He is a Food Systems Leadership Institute Kellogg Fellow alumnus. Vayda participated in the “Cohort No. 2” program from 2006-08 while he was associate dean and associate director of the experiment station at the University of Vermont.
“We are very pleased with Dr. Robertson’s appointment to the Food Systems Leadership Institute,” Vayda said. “She is very deserving of this opportunity, and it’s an honor to be selected. As one of the leaders of the Bumpers College, this will enhance the skills she already possesses. She plays a key role in working with our faculty and students, and this program will help her become even more valuable to our team. It also keeps her on track for even higher leadership positions.”
The first year of the two-year program includes assessments to increase self-awareness of leadership style, and the development and implementation of a personal plan with the assistance of a professional coach. The second year focuses on applying what has been learned to carry out an individual leadership project.
The Food Systems Leadership Institute is dedicated to advancing and strengthening food systems by preparing a set of new leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to invent and reinvent the food systems of the future. A program of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, initial funding is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The program combines interactive distance learning with residential sessions. North Carolina State is the host site with Ohio State and California Polytechnic State-San Louis Obispo serving as residential sites for implementation of the program.
Robertson led the development of one of the first online, multi-institution master’s degree programs in family financial planning at Oklahoma State. Her teaching and research were in design, housing and merchandising.
Robertson grew up in Indiana and Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and a master’s degree in clothing and textiles from Florida State. She was an assistant professor of textiles, apparel and merchandising at Indiana State from 1986-95. While at ISU, she earned her doctorate in education from Indiana University in 1995 and then joined the faculty at OSU.
Robby Edwards, director of communications
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sci
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