ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

MSAP helps managers hone their leadership skills

Jaci Westbrook
Two ANR employees attended the April 2016 Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP) at the UCLA Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead. Jaci Westbrook, community education supervisor for the UC CalFresh program in Stanislaus County, and Jim Downing, executive editor for California Agriculture journal, were selected for the professional development.

The goal of MSAP is to address skill gaps and grow competencies that will prepare people for future management opportunities in their UC workplaces.

During the four-day program, Westbrook and Downing participated in simulated UC management scenarios, received behavioral feedback from MSAP assessors, attended a career development workshop and connected with colleagues from throughout the UC system.

Before they arrived, Westbrook and Downing participated in pre-assessment activities and will be involved post-program activities to continue their professional development.

Jim Downing
Both participants reported positive experiences with the program.

“Being able to participate in the Managerial Skills Assessment Program was very intense,” Westbrook said. “However, it was also positively amazing. I'm extremely thankful to be given an opportunity to focus on my professional skills that are necessary as I continue to grow as a manager. Being in a beautiful location, dedicating time for professional growth away from the day-to-day duties, and connecting with other UC managers permitted me reflection and access to mindfulness on how I will use the experience after the assessment program. The positive coaching and feedback makes the program unique. I recommend all managers take part in MSAP.”

Downing expressed similar sentiments. “It was an intense and enlightening experience,” he said. “It has already made me a better manager. It was also a great opportunity to make connections with campus-based managers and spread the word about ANR's work.”

John Borba
Jodi Azulai, ANR learning and development coordinator, credits much of the success of the MSAP to the assessors – people who provide participants with feedback about their strengths and areas to develop – who also serve as mentors to program participants after the program.

“A big THANK YOU is due John Borba, 4-H Youth Development advisor from UCCE in Kern County,” Azulai said. “John served for three very full days as the ANR assessor this April, as well as taking the assessor training.”

“It was a mind-expanding experience for the assessees and the assessor,” Borba said. “It also reinforced to me that some of the issues they need to address are also issues I personally need to address.”

The next MSAP will be held Oct. 10-13, 2016. Application announcements will be made in early June. We strongly recommend that department heads, unit leaders and directors discuss the program with supervisors and managers who exhibit potential for management development and encourage them to apply.

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 6:19 PM

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