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Talent Development Programs

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:

    • Understanding Your Role at the University
    • DiSC® Personality Assessment
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Developing a Leadership Presence & Mindset
    • Managing Stress for Work/Life Balance
    • Communicating Effectively
    • Dealing with Difficult People and Situations
    • Email and Records Management
    • Using Outlook for Effective Communications


    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.


    • October Series: Wednesdays, October 16, 23, 30, 9:00am-4:00pm
      • Graduation: Wednesday, November 6, 2019: 12:00pm-1:30pm


    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

  • Apply to EAN

    All 2019 EAN cohorts are currently full.

    If you are interested in being placed on the waitlist for the October cohort series, please email Ashley Felder at

    EAN is typically available twice a year in April and in October.

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.

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 four times each year: twice in the spring and twice 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 2019/2020 Cohort Sessions