New Leadership Series Fosters Community Partnerships

Clarkson College faculty are dedicated to building relationships with the many excellent organizations within the community and providing them with benefits to help them in their professional endeavors. Director of Community Health and Interprofessional Education Sarah Flanagan, MSW, MPA, LCSW, and Director of Health Care Education and Leadership Ryan Meers, Ph.D., recently collaborated to create the Leadership Series, a set of courses providing professionals with insights into effective practices for their organizations.

More than 30 professionals attended the first series “Make Meetings Matter,” led by Dr. Meers last summer. The course focused on helping individuals learn to plan, organize and conduct more efficient meetings. “The response was overwhelmingly positive,” says Flanagan. “Many of the participants requested more Leadership Series and even offered new ideas for topics.”

Creating this dialogue between the College and attendees was a primary goal for the academic directors. Both Flanagan and Dr. Meers hoped to develop existing partnerships with community members and offer opportunities for them to experience everything Clarkson College has to offer. “Our goal was to cultivate new partnerships that were mutually beneficial,” says Flanagan. “We want to support employers as they promote the development and ongoing education of their staff.”

Each course within the Leadership Series offers a small, interactive learning environment to foster dialogue between attendees and instructors. Courses feature an interprofessional focus to enhance communication and teamwork across the spectrum of health care and social service providers. They also provide professionals who work in clinical settings, educational institutions, community organizations and a wide array of other fields with tangible ideas they can utilize within their organizations to provide quality services and retain valuable employees.

Following the first Leadership Series, organizers took participants’ suggestions and began planning for two more topics in 2020. The College will offer “We Need to Talk: Handling Difficult Conversations” in the spring as well as “Building Interprofessional Skills: Strategies to Improve the Client Experience” in the summer.

Individual and group registration is open for both courses, and space is limited. Professionals within certain disciplines can earn Continuing Education Credit through Clarkson College Professional Development. For more information on how to register for the Leadership Series, visit