Graduates of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and University at Buffalo (UB) Leadership Empowerment Academy Programme have been charged to be innovative leaders even in the midst of crises.
The graduation ceremony was held for 22 postgraduate students, who enrolled on the programme in 2019 and successfully completed their studies in June, 2020.
Speaking at the ceremony via zoom, the Dean of the School of Management, UB, Prof. Tesluk, noted that the challenges the world was going through as a result of COVID-19 should serve as an opportunity for the graduates to make great strides as they embark on their leadership journey. “The pandemic has not only brought about challenges but optimism, ingenuity, empathy, love and support that we need to show to others,” he stated.
Prof. Tesluk reminded the graduates that the knowledge and soft skills on leadership that they had acquired through the programme should empower them to bring out the best in them even in the midst of the current predicament. He was confident that the programme would contribute towards their development as they progressed through the stages of life. “Your response to adversity shows how important the qualities you have developed will be beneficial to others” he stated.
Touching on the relevance of the programme, Prof. Tesluk said it was one aspect of the multi-faceted collaboration between UCC and UB. He indicated that the two institutions would continue to work towards enhancing the mutual relationship existing between them.
In her remarks, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh said UCC was committed to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that introduced the innovative programme in May 2017. According to her, the MoU focused on the promotion of collaborative research; Leadership Empowerment Certificate Programme for interested postgraduate students in UCC and Library Services partnership.
Prof. Edu-Buandoh said it was heartwarming that the UB-UCC Leadership Empowerment Academy was attracting postgraduate students from the five colleges of UCC. “I am excited to share that we have received interests from students in many other universities in Ghana. I believe that in consultation with the UB leadership, we may soon expand the Leadership Empowerment Programme to include interested students from other Ghanaian universities,” she indicated.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor noted that due to COVID-19, the graduating class had virtual sessions for the experiential learning which should have taken place on UB campus in Buffalo, New York. She announced that all sessions of the fourth cohort of the programme which would commence in August would be held online. “I believe participants of Cohort Four will have a great experience. This, indeed, is the new normal,” she stressed.
To the graduating class, Prof. Edu-Buandoh encouraged them to develop an interest in adding value to their degrees through various “add-on” programmes that have the potential of giving them a competitive advantage over their colleagues and peers.
Prof. Edu-Buandoh commended the UB and UCC Coordinators, and the Dean and staff of the Centre for International Education (CIE), UCC for their dedication and support to the programme. She also thanked Prof. Paul Tesluk, Dr. Dorothy Siaw-Asamoah, Miss Molly Anderson, Prof. Charles Lindsey and the entire UB team for their commitment to the May 2017 MoU.
Ms. Ruth Boamah-Agyekum who gave the valedictory address on behalf of her class noted that they had been exposed to valuable lessons on leadership which would propel them to make positive changes at their work places. “It’s been a wonderful experience, and what I have learnt personally is that every individual at the workplace is unique and you can tap into their potentials by forming strong teams,” she explained. She urged postgraduate students of UCC to enroll on the programme in order to learn and develop exemplary leadership wherever they find themselves after their studies.
The UB Team participated in the ceremony online.
Leadership Empowerment Academy Programme
The leadership Empowerment Academy Programme is a one-year Programme run by the Center for Leadership & Organizational Effectiveness at UB. The programme is designed to empower leaders by using innovative approaches to prepare participants to demonstrate exemplary leadership practices.
The programme comprises four face-to-face sessions with three sessions at UCC and one at UB.