Staff Leadership Series Application Requirements 2020-21

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

Program Overview

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 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 22 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 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 2020 – August 2021 for instruction from guest facilitators, group discussions, and self-reflection/discovery. The monthly time commitment is 4 hours, plus any preparation for sessions (readings, viewing videos, completing independent reflections or activities).

Participants are expected to commit to all of the following:

  • An orientation in September addressing SLS principles, structure, and team building
  • Consistent attendance at workshops
  • A closing celebration in August 2021
  • Small homework assignments as needed to prepare for workshops
  • $700 contribution from your department to help defray program expenses*

*If you are a manager, you are eligible to apply for Human Resources' Staff Manager Development Grant to pay for the SLS. To qualify, the word "manager" does not have to be stated in your title. If you are a manager of people (staff/students) and/or projects/programs, you qualify. 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.

All Staff Leadership Series sessions will meet virtually, generally from 1 – 3 pm on Tuesdays. The schedule and modes of meeting may be reconsidered if the university recommends safe, in-person meeting options in the future.


Fall 2020

  • Tues, Sept 29, 1 – 4 pm [note extended meeting time; subsequent sessions meet 1 – 3 pm]
  • Tues, Oct 13 – SLS Alumnae Panel: What Comes Next
  • Tues, Oct 27 – The Art of Hosting 
  • Tues, Nov 10 – Identifying Your Strengths  
  • Fri, Nov 20 – Difficult Conversations [joint session with SLS and President and Provost’s Leadership Institute, a faculty program hosted by The Women’s Place]
  • Tues, Dec 8 – Conversations with Senior Leaders/Review of Strengths

Spring 2021

  • Tues, Jan 19 – Creating Inclusive Workplaces
  • Tues, Feb 2 – Peer Coaching
  • Tues, Feb 16 – The Art of Storytelling: Public Speaking and Powerful Presentations
  • Tues, March 2 – Conversations with Senior Leaders
  • Tues, March 23 – Building Networks and Influence
  • Tues, April 6 – Managing Up & Across
  • Tues, April 20 – Building Dynamic Teams
  • Tues, May 4 – Boundaries and Well-Being at Work

Summer 2021

  • Tues, May 25 – Career Mapping
  • Tues, June 8 – Negotiations 
  • Tues, June 22 – Conversations with Senior Leaders
  • Tues, July 6 – Principles of Fiscal Decision-Making
  • Tues, July 20 – Navigating Change
  • Finale: Friday, August 6

How to Apply (Deadline: July 24, 2020 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 $700 contribution. (Note: If you are a manager, you're eligible to apply for Human Resources' Staff Manager Development Grant to pay for the SLS.)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation:
    1. One letter of recommendation from the individual to whom you report
    2. One letter from a professional reference

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: 2020-2021 SLS Letters of Recommendation.

  • Application deadline: All applications, letters of recommendation, and resumes must be received by 4:59pm July 24, 2020. Applicants will be notified of their selection to the program no later than August 10, 2020. (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

2020-2021 SLS Application

2020-2021 SLS Letters of Recommendation