ELUM Community in Five Words
In the opening lesson of the ELUM session, Lily Garcia (’06) and Gretchen Wells (’11) introduced us to the concept of A Life in Five Words, which is a challenge to sum up one’s life in just five words. Throughout the event, ELUMs summed up their thoughts on the ELUM community in five words, and these phrases (of which a few are below) were displayed for all to see.
ELAM impact evolves over time
Inspiring women move equity forward
Grateful for this ELAM community
Inspired me to "bring it"
ELAM Fellows strengthen our school
Best thing I ever did!
It's all about the scarf
Empowering women's future through leadership
A community of women leaders
ELAM makes all things possible
Connected team of strong women
ELAM uncovers your unrealized potential
The January 2014 ELUM Professional Development program in San Antonio, Being Seen, Being Heard, Being Effective, was an energizing gathering of ELUMs from all over the country. I had the distinct pleasure of opening the second ELUM Professional Development program and did so by responding to a challenge from the ELAM advisory group to describe the ELUM community in five words (see sidebar). It brings me great joy to capture some of our accomplishments in this welcome address.
Five Words: ELUM Generosity Brought Us Here
We are here because of your generosity in giving back to ELAM. Although ELAM has always had a commitment to build and sustain its alumnae community, it never had the funds to do so until the Legacy Fund opened with the first class gift in 2009. The registration fees for the fellowship barely cover costs of materials, teachers, and staff. All of the services, the post-ELAM career counseling, the job postings, the receptions, and the research are now supported to a great extent with your institutions’ Sustaining Memberships and to your own generous contributions of time, funds and energy. We have worked hard to get to this point.
At the time of the school’s bankruptcy, when ELAM lost half of its endowment and its future was uncertain, a small number of alumnae formed SELAM (now WESH) to provide support to alumnae and the program. But, also because of the bankruptcy, the organization needed to open its doors to others outside of ELAM and to function as an independent volunteer organization. What the Legacy Fund did was to establish the alumnae organization within the Drexel structure and to ensure continuing professional development for the years following the fellowship. How did this happen? It began with the Class of 2009.
When Leslie Morrison unveiled the class gift, the generosity of the Class of 2009 surprised Page and Roz. The combined generosity of 2009 and 2010 surprised me; they reached my target of funds needed to begin planning a formal professional development program, a target that I thought would take three to four years. Our first professional development program in Nashville was a splendid event of honoring, connecting, greeting, and honing our negotiation skills. The Legacy Fund is now quite healthy, enough to guarantee semi-annual programming at least. Your continued giving keeps it so.
As a result of class giving, general giving, and speakers waiving and reducing fees, we are able to offer this top notch program, Being Seen, Being Heard, Being Effective. We are able to bring to you the best speakers, the best company, and the best confidantes as you have come to expect since your ELAM Fellowship. Thanks to alumnae, we have also been able to offer more receptions, including the AAMC GFA summer luncheon and receptions at both AAMC and ADEA annual meetings.
Five Words: Thank You for Paying Forward
This year, the annual fundraising campaign captured a theme that Madhu Mazumdar (‘12) has held as her personal post-ELAM theme: Give more, get more.
You have given generously; it allows us to give back (reciprocal getting, I guess).
A few specific thank-yous I’d like to make:
- Thank you to ELUMs Luanne Thorndyke (’02) and Maryellen Gusic (’09) for organizing Institutional Action Project peer consultations, and to our volunteer mentors for Institutional Action Project peer consultations.
- Thank you to the Class of 2013 for designating funds for the journals for this year’s class.
- Thank you for initial and continuing class gifts, including anniversary gifts that honor those who are no longer with us, including Kim Ephgrave (‘03) and Tana Grady-Weliky (‘02).
- Thank you to the ELAM Class of 2003 – my own class, which I know from ELAM statistics remains one of the most connected and giving – for getting me here.
- Thank you to those who give throughout the year, including the checks that arrive in honor of David Bachrach’s grandchildren (recognizing his work and the importance of ELAM to our teachers and coaches), those that acknowledge promotions that in some way result from ELAM, and to all of you who respond to the Annual Campaign.
- Thank you for the gifts of time and energy, for recruiting and supporting fellows for ELAM and for ELATE. Because of you, and the women faculty from Drexel engineering, our community is growing across campus as ELATE works to expand its class size and ELUM participation. ELATE ELUMs are beginning to appreciate the larger network and community.
Five Words: Does ICELA Make a Difference?
For almost 20 years, thanks to the foresight of our founding director, Page Morahan, ELAM has been tracking the progress of its graduates. It is clear that ELAM makes a difference to the individuals who are privileged to participate and to the organizations that sponsor us. Our reputation is strong, our outcomes measures show impact, and our stories are powerful testaments of our growing on the leadership learning edge.
Five Words: Our Reputation Is Very Strong
- Applications continue to number between 90 and 110 each year.
- Women faculty compete locally to be nominated; deans send messages of disappointment when their candidates are not accepted and send requests for names of graduates who might be candidates for leadership positions.
- The ELAM Awards and Promotions PowerPoint showcase, which is updated twice a year, can accommodate only eight months of new positions and awards in order to create a 10- to 12-minute loop.
Five Words: Our Outcomes Measures Show Impact
- Our NIH-sponsored research, a collaboration with Deborah Helitzer as PI and joined by Shine Chang of MD Anderson Cancer Center and Page Morahan, shows advantage gained by ELAM participation in retention and advancement. I am not free to share the data before publication, but can tell you that graduates of the ELAM program have higher rates of retention in academic medicine, advancement to full professor, and appointment to department chair compared to men and women of comparable academic rank at the time of fellowship participation. When this information comes out in publication later this year, we will let you know through the Edge.
- Our longitudinal survey is new and improved. The Leadership Learning and Career Development Survey (LLCD) is now administered immediately prior, immediately following, and two years post-graduation. Preliminary results show a dramatic increase in confidence and sense of importance of ELAM skills two years after graduation compared to entry. While these are three separate classes for comparison, our early analysis of the spring 2013 data is consistent. Stay tuned for more of the story to evolve over the next five years.
- All these add to the voluminous publications with Page Morahan as author showing increases in self-efficacy, leadership traits, changes in deans’ perceptions as their ELUM cohort grows, and a recent publication of the advantage in geographic mobility when seeking higher positions.
Five Words: On the Leadership Learning Edge
ELAM is a model of engaged, active learning of leadership that has led to the development and steady growth of our newest program, ELATE. ELATE lessons build on the curricular model; ELATE growth builds upon the testimonials of health science leaders and ELAM’s reputation of results.
ELAM has made and continues to make a difference for all of us. Perhaps our individual stories tell it best:
When interviewed for the position … I prepared an executive summary, with my CV, and a three- to five-year plan for the College of Medicine. I was offered the job about two weeks later … The three- to five-year plan was a more indirect aspect of my ELAM training and came from my IAP … ELAM helped me have the confidence to consider the position … For all of this and the other items I left out. I owe you all a debt of gratitude. Thanks a million.
Melanie Cushion (’11)
How do you measure the inner strength that nudges you forward when the call comes to toss your hat in the ring or the true recognition that what you bring to the table is of great value? Listening, speaking up and speaking out … can be the result of a conscious appreciation of one’s own value, skills and knowledge … and is ELAM.
Anne Simpson (’13)
Our collective stories take my breath away.
Five Words: Congratulations to All of Us!
The legacy of ELAM is an amazing network of alumnae, consultants, and organizational leaders—including deans—who sponsored our fellowship participation and our projects. It is also the CFOs who patiently walked through spreadsheets and strategy year after year. It includes the men and women who benefit from our leadership and those who emulate us. (I used to tell my faculty “you can never not teach.” For an ELUM, it’s “you can never not lead.” (Another five words!)
The actions set in place during ELAM to increase our confidence, skills, visibility and potential depend on:
- Our persistence, resilience, and execution.
- A network of leaders who support each other as they rise and as they fall and as they rise (we almost always rise again).
- A network that extends beyond the walls of this room, to other alumnae, coaches, consultants, mentors, sponsors, and adaptable families.
The success of ELAM and our organizations depends upon the kind of leadership instilled in us—collaborative and strategic, values based and forward-thinking, self-confident, powerful and generous. The kind of leadership that can face the revolution in health care, education, and research that is underway in the world today.
Fortunately, thanks to ELAM and this ELUM community, we are up to it.
A final thank you to the ELAM Advisory Group, for your stewardship and energy in helping to plan the alumnae program; to the schools that sponsored the program: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Medicine Women Faculty Programs, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and to the ELAM staff, a final five words: The ELAM staff totally rocks!
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