Survey says …

By now, Aspiring Leaders of the past and present should have received an email with an invitation to complete a survey about your experience in the program. Your feedback will be used to help guide future programming and alumni activities. Thanks to you who have already submitted your responses! If you haven’t received an email with the link, please let me know:

Weekly Challenge

Let’s keep it simple this week: complete the survey. Seriously, your feedback is valuable to the future of the program. Feedback: it works for Elon Musk.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
– Elon Musk

“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.”
– Anonymous

Ways to Get Involved

Dead Week is upon us! Support students who are wrapping up their term.  Smile. Say, hello! Wish them luck! And … Ask if they’ve registered for winter term.

Reminder: The Aspiring Leaders Book Club meets at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 in Building 19, Room 124. The group opted to continue reading the current selection, “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant.

Giving Tree: There are still some tags available on the giving tree for students’ children. Gift ideas and the age of the child are on the tag. If you take a tag, unwrapped presents need to be returned to the Gender Equity Center by Friday, Dec. 1 – but it’s possible to return gifts next week through Dec. 6. The earlier deadline is better because parents have transportation issues and may not have finals scheduled through Dec. 6. Pop into the Gender Equity Center if you have questions.

Have an idea for Aspiring Leaders to get involved with a campus activity? Submit to






The Weekly Update

Greetings from the POD!

Happy break to all of you – and good luck scratching off your to-do list before the end-of-day tomorrow … and before the end of the term!

Few quick updates:

  • Aspiring Leaders Alumni Book Club: Next meeting is 12:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1 in Building 19, Room 124. The group opted to continue reading the current selection, “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant. Here are a few quotes from the book that may pique your interest —
    • “Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on.”
    • “Argue like you’re right and listen like you’re wrong.”
    • “The greatest shapers don’t stop at introducing originality into the world. They create cultures that unleash originality in others.”
  • Aspiring Leaders Surveys: Look for a message from me in your inbox by Nov. 29 with a survey related to your experience in the program and suggestions on moving the program forward. We’re seeking your feedback on where to focus future programming efforts and how to best continue this enrichment opportunity for employees. Note: If you don’t receive a survey by Nov. 29, let me know. We may need to update our list. (Alumni and the current cohort will receive surveys.)
  • Aspiring Leaders Current Cohort: Next monthly seminar is from 1 to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1 in Building 30, Room 114. Guest presenters are Kerry Levett and Brian Kelly, who will provide leadership practice insight related to their work at Lane.

Weekly Challenge

As part of the Aspiring Leaders fall retreat, participants are asked to consider their core values and draft a mission statement. Find yours and review it. Is your mission statement still relevant? Does it need an update? (Can’t find yours? Make the time to reflect on your core values and start a new mission statement.)  

Ways to Get Involved

Holiday Giving Tree: Spread the holiday joy and pull a tag with the holiday wishes of a Lane student’s child from the Holiday Giving Tree. The tree is in Building 1 on the second floor, near the Gender Equity Center. Unwrapped gifts may be returned no later than Dec. 6 for student-parents to pick up. The project is a cooperative effort between the Gender Equity Center and the MultiCultural Center/Clothing Stash.

Work by Core Theme review teams will get underway in the coming weeks to examine how well our work is aligned with our core themes: Resp6onsive Community Engagement; Accessible and Equitable Learning Opportunities; Quality Educational Environment; and Individual Student Achievement. Many Aspiring Leaders (current and alumni) are either leading these review teams or serving as team members. A call for volunteers was issued earlier this month and sent via email to all employees. 

Have an idea for Aspiring Leaders to get involved with a campus activity? Submit to


Hello, again … and for the first time

“The connection economy thrives on abundance. Connections create more connections. Trust creates more trust. Ideas create more ideas.” ~ Seth Godin

It’s time for this blog to do its job of forging connections as it was intended. This is a space to share ideas and information for alumni and the current cohort.

Much has changed since the date of the last post in 2015. This is the first year of the program without its founder and the current cohort’s resiliency and adaptability skills are being honed. (You’re welcome!) Two alumni: Mike Sims (2015-16) and Kristina Holton (2013-14) stepped up, offering to help facilitate the retreat and they did an amazing job setting the tone for the rest of the program year.

The 2017-18 cohort is a lively bunch that includes:
Carla Arciniega-Henrici
Katheryn Blair
Amanda Blunt
Anna Gates-Tapia
Andi Graham
Scott Hutchings
LuAnne Johnson
Nikki Li
Richard Lubben
Mira Mason-Reader
Bliss Newton
Casey Reid
Cathy Thomas
Shara Tscheulin
James Walugembe
Brenda Williams
Meggie Wright
Carl Yeh

What’s the latest with alumni action?
Well, there’s a book club. Thanks to Jill Gillett (2016-17) for getting it a book club off the ground. The group meets Friday, November 17, 12:30 p.m., Building 19 Room 142 to discuss: “Originals: How non-conformists move the world” by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg. Email Jill if you’d like to attend the meeting via Zoom. Didn’t read the book? (It’s book club! Who reads the book?!?) Stop by and engage with alumni, anyway.

Following the alumni gathering in the spring, there seemed to be a consensus to do more alumni activities. Look here and the Lane Weekly for updates on how to get involved and give feedback.

Have news to share with Aspiring Leaders and Aspiring Leaders Alumni? Let me know! Contact me through the blog or at

Thanks to Deborah Butler, Aspiring Leaders (2015-16) for bringing the blog back in the leadership spotlight. Updates to our webpage are coming soon.

Advanced Aspiring Leaders Committee Meeting Friday, March 22nd

Advanced Aspiring Leaders Committee:

The next Advanced Aspiring Leaders Committee Meeting is scheduled for this Friday, March 22nd from 10-11am in BUILDING 1, ROOM 212.

We will discuss what we want to do on our goal list during spring term and begin to plan for next year. Thanks again for being on this committee and all the good work that you did this year and continue to do every day to help students be successful.
Donna Koechig

Mary’s Party!

Al King mixes a mean martini!

Dec.7, 2012 Mary Spilde threw one heck of  a party for about a hundred Aspiring Leaders. Mary has a party house, and it’s a good thing because I think all hundred plus were there. Highlights were Al King as the lean mean martini machine. I saw Julie Fether and others helping Mary finesse things a bit, and I saw Mary manning the oven while managing to have a conversation with just about everybody.

I showed leadership by keeping it to two martinis! Oh, and I made this thank you video for Mary from all of us. If I had been a REAL photographer, I would have had a spare battery in my purse, but noooo, it didn’t happen that way, and I had to make due with the little scraps of media I managed to capture.

Thank you, Mary!



Calling all Aspiring Leaders for 10/16/12 Meeting!

Donna Koechig 10/03/12 2:59 PM

Advanced Aspiring Leaders Committee:
First I would like to thank all of you who participated in the Aspiring Leaders video for Fall Inservice, especially how you responded on such short notice.  We had over 40 Aspiring Leaders in the video.  Thank you!  It was a great success and lots of fun to do!
Now that you have had time to settle into fall term a little and recovery from your stardom from the video, I would like to propose that we meet  from 3:30 – 4:30 pm, on Tuesday, Oct. 16th in Boardroom, Rm. 206, Bldg. #3  to decide what other wonderful things we would like to accomplish this year.  I know everyone will probably not be able to meet at that time, but at least we can get started and begin our planning.  We can also discuss when and how often we want to meet this term.
In addition we will need to revisit the attached list of  “Ideas and Priorities for Ongoing Development” for the Aspiring Leaders.  To refresh your memory, last spring we developed and priorities a list of possible ideas for us to do the upcoming year(s).  We categorized those ideas into:
1) Professional Development (Jim L. Roberta S.)
2) Social/Fun/Network (Al K. and Julie F.)
3) Internship/Mentoring (Siv)
4) Technology/Innovation (Sandy J./our “technical & social media advisor”, Toni, and Leilani)
5) Sharing of Resources, Books, etc. (need volunteer for this category), and
6) Miscellaneous Ideas (All).
Remember that some of you volunteered to be the “leads” in each of the areas.  Now we just need to decide on what specifically we want to do and how best to approach accomplishing those things ……and have lots of FUN doing it!   If you have thought of additional ideas, we can discuss those at our next meeting as well.
Hope to see you on the 16th and that your fall term is going well, Donna