Exceptional Assistants’ Network

The Exceptional Assistants’ Network (EAN) consists of more than 600 administrative and service support employees who have graduated from the Exceptional Assistants’ Seminar Series. Members of the network focus on professional development, networking, and community service. EAN series are offered several times per year. Please note your preferred series on your application, which we will try to accommodate. 

  • Seminar Series: Description and Enrollment Information

    Program Description:

    The Exceptional Assistants’ Seminar Series is designed to enhance administrative skills, broaden understanding of the University culture and to introduce program graduates to a network that focuses on personal development and community service. Sessions are designed to incorporate experiential learning through exercises that expand understanding, skill, and professional competencies with a special focus on organizational agility, developing self, communicating effectively, and individual efficiency.

    Topics covered include:

    • DiSC® Personality Assessment
    • Building Your Brand
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Applied Positive Psychology
    • Managing Up
    • Giving and Receiving Feedback
    • Email and Records Management
    • Using Outlook for Effective Communications
    • Time Management (Getting Things Done)


    The program is open to any full-time U.Va. employee serving in an administrative support or service role.


    • Attend all sessions
    • Arrive on time
    • Permission from manager to participate in the program


    • Support the participant’s attendance at all sessions.
    • Discuss coverage and workload expectations with participant in advance.
    • Encourage and support future employee development opportunities.


    • April 2020 (FULL)
      • April 1, April 8, April 15
      • April 29 Graduation
    • October 2020
      • October 7, October 14, October 21
      • October 28 Graduation


    There is no cost to participants.

  • Community Service

    As a member of the EAN, you will have the opportunity to help the Charlottesville community by engaging in outreach opportunities for local schools and nonprofit organizations. Participating in these activities will not only give you a sense of personal satisfaction, but also the opportunity to network with other members, explore career and personal interests, and perhaps uncover hidden skills and talents! Look at some of our previous activities listed below.

    What Have We Done?

    • Donated toiletries to the Shelter for Help in Emergency
    • Donated a care package to Jackson-Via Elementary School Teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week
    • Delivered Valentines cupcakes to refugee families
    • Delivered bags of cheer (clothing & toys) to the pediatric patients in the Acute Unit at UVA Medical Center
    • Sponsored a Back to School Drive to provide school supplies for area children
    • Prepared lunch at the Salvation Army
    • Donated gifts to GRACE Christmas Gift Program
    • Delivered a jumbo Easter basket filled with treats to the Charlottesville Health & Rehabilitation Center
    • Donated food for the Thanksgiving Drive (Blue Ridge Food Bank)
    • Donated leave hours to the University Leave Bank

    What’s Next?

    If you have a community service event in mind, please share your idea with an EAN Ambassador:
    Betty Bowman
    Jenna Mitchell

  • Ambassadors

    EAN Ambassadors
    Betty Bowman
    Jenna Mitchell

    For more information, contact Ashley Felder (HR Representative) at 703.963.7832 or


    2020 EAN Community Service Ambassadors


    Spring 2020 Community Service Ambassadors: Ruth Aldridge and Corey Hoffman

    Early Fall 2020 Community Service Ambassadors: Susan Rohm-Briggs and Lori Mohr Pedersen

    Late Fall 2020 Community Service Ambassadors: NyShae’ Carter and Nichole Snell

  • Apply to EAN

    EAN Application for 2020 cohorts

    The April 2020 cohort is full. 

Exploring Leadership Series

Exploring Leadership provides an introduction to management and an overview of key leadership principles and responsibilities. We will work on a development plan to identify key competencies and skills to focus on as you work towards a manager role. You will interact with other participants during discussions and activities, learning from each other and building valuable relationships.

  • Program Content

    • Leadership Styles
    • Tactical Management Responsibilities
    • Personal & Professional Brand
    • Healthy Perspectives
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Building Relationships
    • Coaching & Developing
    • Delivering & Receiving Feedback
  • Program Dates, Deadlines, & Requirements

    This program is currently on hiatus while New Manager Orientation is being developed. We will update this site frequently as that project progresses. 

Leadership Essentials Program

This program begins with a focus on the foundations of leadership, such as creating a shared vision and trust, and progresses to the nuts-and-bolts of leading as a manager. The participants interact during class discussions and activities, learning from each other and building valuable relationships.

This program is intended for new managers. No prior knowledge or skill is necessary.

  • Program Content

    • Introduction to The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, from The Leadership Challenge, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
    • DiSC Assessment for Managers
    • Hiring the Best
    • Performance Management
    • Progressive Discipline
    • Change Management
    • Healthy Dialogue
    • Delegation Skills
    • Managing Conflict
    • HR Policy & Compliance
    • Developing & Engaging Employees
  • Program Dates, Deadlines, & Requirements

    Leadership Essentials is typically offered two times each year: once in the spring and once in the fall. Please note your preferred session on your application, which we will try to accommodate. Applications are accepted until all seats are filled up to one week prior to the program start date. 

  • Apply for Future Cohort Sessions

    This program is currently on hiatus while New Manager Orientation is being developed. We will update this site frequently as that project progresses. 

Dare to Lead Program *NEW

To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded. Dare to Lead™ is the ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. This program builds the skills we need to show up with other people, try new behaviors, experience falls and failures, get back up, learn, and try again.

Based on the research of Brené Brown, the Dare to Lead™ program is an empirically based, courage-building program based on four skills sets that are teachable, observable, and measurable. This training program, led by Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator Rose Markey, will equip participants with language, tools, and exercises to put these four skills into immediate practice.

  • Rumbling with Vulnerability: Face risk, uncertainty, and tough conversations with courage, clarity, and empathy.
  • Living into Our Values: Identify what you stand for and how to show up from a place of integrity every day.
  • BRAVING Trust: Build meaningful and authentic connections with your teams, colleagues and customers so you can work together from a foundation of trust.
  • Learning to Rise: Become aware of your emotions and stories and learn how to show up and lead with courage - even when faced with failure, disappointment, and setbacks.

This program is offered as an eight part series of three hour workshops and includes the Dare To Lead™ workbook and trained badge for your LinkedIn profile. This program is most effective when offered to in-tact leadership teams who want to change and improve their culture. This program is also offered in an open-enrollment format to any UVA employee or team member. Further information can be obtained by contacting Rose Markey at