Emerging Leaders Program

Ignite Your Leadership Potential


The SCUP Emerging Leaders program, a year long experience, will provide invaluable insights from industry pioneers while forging powerful connections across diverse planning responsibilities. Whether you’re new to planning or looking for new ways to build connections, the Emerging Leaders program is right for you!

  • Application period opens each spring.
  • Program kicks off in August.
  • Cohorts capped at 30 to facilitate networking and discussion.
  • All participants receive a certificate of program completion.

Program Benefits

Tailored Leadership Skills

Gain a better understanding of integrated higher education planning through informative sessions from leaders in the field. Participate in the SCUP Planning Institute: Foundations as part of the overall experience.

Valuable Networking Opportunities

Develop lasting career connections with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives through the cohort group and advisory panel. A network of SCUP senior planning professionals provides feedback, ideas, and inspiration.

Membership Benefit

The Emerging Leaders program fee is just $175, which will be credited towards a SCUP membership at the conclusion of the program.


Eligible applicants to the Emerging Leaders program:

  • Have no more than 10 years experience in the planning field
  • Open to members and nonmembers
  • May be be self-nominated or sponsored
  • Complete the application process
  • Display dedication to the entirety of the program
  • Display willingness to engage in dialogue inside/outside of sessions
  • Complete payment to participate

We highly recommend attending the 2025 SCUP Annual Conference as it provides valuable experiences and opportunities to connect with the larger SCUP community.

Applications are evaluated by a committee and approved based on a point system.


The Emerging Leaders program fee is just $175, which will be credited towards a SCUP membership at the conclusion of the program.

Program Schedule 2024–25

Emerging Leaders will meet online the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 2:00 PM–3:30 PM Eastern. We will offer an (optional) monthly listening session on the last Friday of each month; leaders can connect and have open conversations about their needs, experiences, etc.

Note: program themes and order may change due to speaker availability and cohort needs.

Month Topic
August: Welcome
September: September 10

Speaker: Valerie Vander Berg, MCLC

Topic: Putting the “Personal” in Interpersonal Connection

Description: True connection comes from a place of genuineness and authenticity. Valerie will lead a presentation and interactive exercises to help you work on your own self awareness, how to set your own boundaries while observing those of others, and how to leverage curiosity to become a master at connectedness, regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert. The knowledge and skills gained in this session will help you build bridges to just about anyone, regardless of age, personal interests, personality type, or the perception that there is simply no connection to be had. As a result, you will find your team members at all levels more engaged, more receptive, and more aligned with the goals, culture and vision of your organization.

October: October 8th and 9th
NOTE: This month will have two meeting days to accommodate the PI sessions. The meetings will be held from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern time and attendance is mandatory.

Speaker: Dr. Jim Downey, Senior Strategy Consultant

Topic: PI Foundations Course (Virtual)

Description: Many strategic planning models don’t work in higher education because they’re not designed for higher education. Strategic planning processes designed for corporations or non-profits don’t account for higher education’s complex environment and the unique challenges it faces.

The SCUP Integrated Planning Model is different. It has been developed exclusively for higher education. Our model will help individuals, teams, and institutions solve their thorniest problems. When you use the SCUP Integrated Planning model, you will get an accurate picture of your external environment, ask hard but necessary questions, and build actionable plans. The result? You’ll do more than implement a strategic plan. You’ll foster a campus-wide culture of institutional planning that is future-proof and sustainable.

This workshop guides you through the foundations of the SCUP Integrated Planning Model. After each workshop, you will go back to your campus with tangible takeaways and tools that you can use to grapple with practical problems.

November: Futuring
December: Stakeholder Engagement
January: DEIB
February: Specialty Topic
March: Specialty Topic
April: Listening Session (SCUP)
May: Getting the team involved in Integrated Planning
June: Strategy & Getting Started on Campus
July: Annual Conference (Optional)

SCUP 2023–24 Emerging Leaders cohort

Jyoti Senthil, College of Southern Nevada
Brittany Edghill, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Dana Harsell, University of North Dakota
Courtney Andrews, Morehead State University
Robert Jones, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Ayanna Evans, Jackson State University
Ashleen Williams, The University of Mississippi
Robin Hungerford, Webb Foodservice Design
Meaghan Finney, Voith & Mactavish Architects
Marisa Nemcik, CannonDesign
Rock MacDaniel, SSOE
Michelle Miller, HGA
Manasi Parkhi, University of Georgia
Caileigh MacKellar, MJMA