Newfound proficiency, confidence and leadership skills were all on display in August as 13 United States Air Force civilian employees received Executive Development certificates from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The certificates represent the completion of 113 hours of classroom training custom designed by the aerospace and defense executive development division at the Haslam College of Business.
Certificate holders like Allison McQueen, an Air Force Global Strike Command Division Chief based out of Barksdale, Louisiana, completed three phases of classes including topics such as leadership strategy, data analysis, strategic planning and negotiation.
The outcome of the program has been transformational for McQueen. “I think about who I was in phase one and who I am today, and the difference is night and day.”
Jo Anne Dimitrou, another certificate holder and Executive Director of Air Force Services Activity at Joint Base Lackland, echoes McQueen’s reaction to the program. “The tools I have been given allow me to grow as a leader, not just a subject matter expert,” Dimitrou says.
Since the program’s inception in 2007, more than 600 Air Force civilian employees have participated in courses designed to meet the specific goals of the U.S. Air Force for its Force Support Career Field Team. James Cody, director of aerospace and defense executive programs at Haslam, says this academic plan provides a “hands-on program that’s relevant to the overarching mission of the USAF.” Cody and his fellow faculty members have dedicated the past 11 years to continually adapting the course to meet this mission.
“We plan to continually customize and improve the course curriculum, and look forward to awarding more certificates to this career field,” says Ben Skipper, executive director of aerospace and defense programs.
The aerospace and defense division at Haslam includes a portfolio of 19 customized nondegree courses and the Aerospace and Defense MBA. Faculty in these programs address real-world problems from a variety of perspectives and focus on challenges across the government, military and aerospace and defense industries.