Ozias-Akins focused on learning from colleagues as part of UGA Women’s Leadership Fellows Program

Peggy Ozias-Akins

UGA peanut geneticist Peggy Ozias-Akins, director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, examines a peanut blossom. Ozias-Akin’s lab on the UGA Tifton Campus focuses on female reproduction and gene transfer in plants. Photo credit: Peter Frey (UGA)

A member of the University of Georgia’s inaugural class of the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program, Peggy Ozias-Akins is more focused on learning from colleagues than imparting words of wisdom.

The world-renowned researcher and recipient the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences 2015 D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor Award was one of nine UGA faculty members selected to be part of the prestigious group. Deans and other senior administrators within the university submitted nominations for the inaugural class of the program.

“The purpose of the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program is to give women the opportunity to learn from other women who have been in leadership positions, particularly administrative positions within the university,” Ozias-Akins said. “It’s helping those of us who already have some role that requires leadership.”

Ozias-Akins is a leading researcher on the UGA Tifton Campus. She is the director for the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics. Ozias-Akins is also a co-chairman of the Peanut Genome Sequencing Consortium, an extension of the International Peanut Genome Initiative. While Ozias-Akins has accomplished much during her time at UGA Tifton, she insists that being a part of this group will be just as much of a learning opportunity for her as it will be for others.

“It will be exciting to be involved in this, to learn from others who are at the level I am in terms of having some administrative responsibility, all the way to other women who have progressed through the ranks at other institutions to very high leadership positions,” Ozias-Akins said. “It really is for me to learn more about leadership roles and how to be a successful leader. How to be a facilitator, I think, is one thing to learn. How to make it easier for people to get their jobs done is another.”

The various faculty members will attend a monthly meeting to learn from UGA senior administrators as well as visiting speakers. The program will also feature a weekend retreat in June.

“The university is pleased to welcome the members of the inaugural class of Women’s Leadership Fellows,” said UGA President Jere Morehead. “This program is an important way to cultivate talent throughout UGA’s colleges and departments located across the state. It will offer valuable professional development and networking opportunities to the participants while strengthening the leadership capacity of the institution.”

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

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