Staff Leadership Series Application Requirements 2023-24

Envisioning a university that supports women and all people to thrive, advance and make their full contributions.

Program Overview

Group of Staff Leadership Series members

The Women’s Place (TWP) is committed to expanding opportunities for women and underrepresented groups to grow their leadership and power at the university. To promote this goal, TWP sponsors the Staff Leadership Series (SLS), a year-long initiative that enables university staff members to enhance their leadership skills, effectiveness and career development. Participants meet bimonthly for group discussions, instruction from guest facilitators, and activities based in leadership and learning theory to encourage self-reflection and discovery.

The Women's Place strives to represent the university community’s diversity in the series and encourages people of all genders and identities to apply. Staff members must have at least two years of work experience at Ohio State by the application deadline to be eligible for the program.

Program Goals:

  1. To enhance participants’ capacity to be dynamic, effective, and inclusive leaders
  2. To cultivate supportive professional networks
  3. To create a pool of potential staff leaders from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in key leadership roles in higher education


SLS accepts a maximum of 24 participants each year who have demonstrated leadership potential or ability within their respective units.

Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Staff members must have at least two years of work experience at Ohio State by the application deadline to be eligible for the program
  • Demonstrated leadership and service to a department/unit, university or community
  • Contribution to the diversity of the SLS cohort, including representatives from different backgrounds, disciplines, and Ohio State campuses
  • Likelihood to contribute to and maximize the knowledge the program offers
  • Ability to reflect and think critically about their current career and professional development goals

Participant Commitments

Participants meet bimonthly from September – August for instruction from guest facilitators, group discussions, and self-reflection/discovery. The monthly time commitment is about 5 hours, plus any preparation for sessions (readings, viewing videos, completing independent reflections or activities).

Note to supervisors: members of SLS cohorts are expected to be able to participate in the series as part of their typical work hours and should not be utilizing comp time, sick time or vacation time to complete the program.

Participants are expected to commit to all of the following:

  • An orientation in September or October addressing SLS principles, structure, and team building
  • Consistent attendance at workshops
  • A closing celebration in August
  • Small homework assignments as needed to prepare for workshops
  • $850 contribution from your department to help defray program expenses*

*Human Resources offers Staff and Manager Career Development Grants that can be used to pay for the SLS if you are selected to receive this funding. In addition, support from The Women’s Place may be available for applicants who are interested in this opportunity, but lack financial support from their home units. Feel free to apply or inquire at for more information.

The mode of meetings for SLS will follow public health guidance from the university. In keeping with the university’s reactivation plans, we hope to host sessions primarily in person, but the program will proceed remotely if or when needed. SLS generally meets from 1-3:30 pm every other week. Below are an overview of typical session topics and  session dates.

Typical Session Topics:
  • Identifying Your Leadership Style
  • Feedback and Peer Coaching
  • Faculty-Staff Relations
  • Career Mapping
  • I Did That!: Claiming Your Impact and Influence
  • Improving Time Management and Organization
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Creating Inclusive Workplaces
  • Navigating Change and Uncertainty
  • Making Lasting Impressions: From Resumes to Online Presence
  • Negotiations: Advocating for Yourself and Your Team
  • Expanding Networks   
  • Building Dynamic Teams
  • Conversations with Senior Leaders Series  
Tentative Schedule

Fall 2023

1.) Orientation: Monday, October 2 [note extended time period: 10am - 4 pm]
2.) Weds, Oct 4
3.) Weds, Oct 18
4.) Weds, Nov 1
5.) Weds, Nov 15
6.) Weds, Dec 6

Spring 2024 (classes begin Jan 8)

7.) Weds, Jan 24
8.) Weds, Feb 7
9.) Weds, Feb 21
10.) Weds, March 6
11.) Weds, March 20
12.) Fri, April 5
13.) Weds, April 17
14.) Weds, May 1

Summer 2024

15.) Weds, May 15
16.) Weds, June 5
17.) Weds, June 26
18.) Weds, July 10
19.) Weds, July 24

20.) Finale: Friday, August 9 [note extended time period: 10am - 4 pm]

How to Apply (Deadline: July 14, 2023 by 4:59 pm)

  • Complete the Online Application: Please have a current resume or career outline ready to upload to the online application. Important note: We encourage you to preview the online application and prepare your essay responses prior to completing the application — you cannot save an incomplete application and return to complete it. You must input all the required information in one sitting; your information will only be saved when you click on the final submit button. (Application link below)
  • Department/Unit Support: For successful completion of The Women’s Place Staff Leadership Series, participants are expected to attend all workshop sessions and activities and have their departmental/unit supervisors' support for these commitments. Participants’ units will be responsible for the $850 contribution. (Note: Human Resources offers Staff and Manager Career Development Grants that can be used to pay for the SLS if you are selected to receive this funding.)
  • Letters of Recommendation:
    1. One letter of recommendation from the individual to whom you report is required
    2. A second letter from a professional reference is optional

The letters should address the applicant’s leadership skills and abilities, accomplishments, and potential for professional growth. Each letter must be submitted by the nominator/recommender, not the applicant. Have your nominators/recommenders submit their letters online:

Note to applicant's supervisor: To successfully complete The Women’s Place Staff Leadership Series, participants are expected to attend all workshop sessions and activities, which include time commitments of 5-7 hours monthly during regular business hours. SLS generally meets Wednesdays from 1-3:30 pm every other week. By recommending the applicant, the supervisor agrees to support the applicant’s involvement in the Staff Leadership Series, including, if needed, through allowing flexibility in scheduling and duties for the 12-month period.

  • Application deadline: All applications, letters of recommendation, and resumes must be received by 4:59pm July 14, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their selection to the program no later than August 15, 2023. (Note: Application materials are available to The Women’s Place and the selection committee only and are otherwise kept confidential.)

If you have questions regarding the leadership series or application process, contact Diane Florian, communications and program manager, at

2023-2024 SLS Application

2023-2024 SLS Letters of Recommendation