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Faculty earn Luoma Leadership Academy certificates

Luoma Leadership Academy group with certificates
From left: Miki Huntington, Jennifer
Brookins-King, Taiyon "Tai" Coleman
(English instructor on leave)
and Gregory Rose

Dr. Jennifer Brookins-King, director of MCTC’s TRIO Starting Point-Student Support Services; Miki Huntington, Political Science faculty; and, Gregory Rose, Art faculty, were recently awarded graduate certificates from the Luoma Leadership Academy. The Luoma Leadership Academy is an 18-month leadership development program designed to nurture leadership talent for Minnesota State.

Jennifer Brookins-King

Jennifer Brookins-King, a 12-year veteran at MCTC, currently serves as a director in the College’s TRIO Starting Point-Student Support Services. Jennifer was nominated alongside her colleagues Miki Huntington and Gregory Rose by colleagues at MCTC and selected to participate in the Academy by Minnesota State.

“The current challenges of leadership and management, including a diverse student population and staff, budget complexities and process improvement needs in higher education, provided my motivation to participate in the distinguished Luoma Leadership Academy,” said Jennifer. “This competency-based Academy provided an opportunity for me to augment my skills as a transformational leader, engage and learn from colleagues across Minnesota State and further prepare me for future leadership roles beyond middle management.”

Jennifer currently provides administrative direction, staff supervision, budgetary control, program development, community relations and evaluation for three SSS grants: Regular, ESOL and Disabled.  She also teaches a First-Year Student Transition course for TRIO Starting Point students attending MCTC. “Working at MCTC provides an amazing opportunity for me to serve a dynamic and diverse student population,” said Jennifer. “It’s been an honor to encourage and support students who are on a journey such as my own, a first-generation and income-eligible college graduate who after hard work and dedication earned a Ph.D.”

Jennifer hopes her experience in the Academy impacts the success students across all areas of MCTC. “I serve MCTC in various ways which may have a direct or indirect effect on students and the community,” said Jennifer.  “Helping and leading others to succeed not only gives me a sense of personal gratification, but contributes to the overall effectiveness of MCTC and our community.”

Miki Huntington

Miki Huntington, Political Science faculty at MCTC also serve as an eLearning Consultant for the Center for Teaching and Learning, where she supports faculty in incorporating academic technologies and professional development. She is also Project Manager for the Faculty Work Group on Course Success, and volunteers as co-chair of the Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee, which is committed to continuously improving understanding and support for student veterans in higher education.

From the moment Miki walked onto the MCTC campus six years ago, she knew it was the place for her. Previously, she served for 25 years in the U.S. Army as an aviator and then as a Foreign Area Officer. Upon retirement from the military, Miki specifically sought a position at a two-year institution because she grew up watching her mother continue her academic journey which began at a community college. “I’m proud to say I attended her graduation ceremony last year at North Carolina State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature,” said Miki. “Teaching at MCTC and helping to facilitate learning for our future generations is a passion and lifelong dream.”

“I appreciated the opportunity I gained through the Luoma Leadership Academy to further develop my unique strengths and capabilities, and to collaborate with colleagues within the Minnesota State system through our action learning project, practicum experience and two week-long residential sessions,” said Miki. “I look forward to applying the strengths-based approach with my students and in my interactions with my MCTC colleagues.” Miki also intends to seek out future opportunities to apply her leadership skills more broadly in positions of greater responsibility and impact.

Gregory Rose

Gregory Rose, lead art faculty in the Fine Arts Department at MCTC, currently teaches a full load of classes including drawing and painting, in addition to collaborating with his colleagues on the development of curriculum pathways, pedagogical approaches and other supports focused on student success. Gregory is the principal faculty representative championing MCTC’s focus on art and design while connecting to external community partners in all fields and areas from K-12, businesses, galleries and other educational institutions with a focus on developing an advisory board for the school to help recruit and retain students.

“Working at MCTC means I have the opportunity to teach, guide and mold the community where I live with my family and raise my children,” said Gregory. “MCTC also provides me the opportunity to make it a reality that Black men can strive with high expectations and goals and ultimately achieve in the face of those who believe this is not a reality.” Gregory feels his presence helps change that narrative and gives students a global, worldly and diverse experience. “It’s not just in the physical nature of my skin color,” said Gregory, “I offer the experience of learning diversely in the disciplines, responsibilities, opportunities and spaces I go and give access to for both my students’ academic and intellectual success. My professional development can give access to new doorways for my colleagues to pass through as well.”

Gregory believes the Academy experience provided him skills to move beyond the scope of teaching in addition to validating his fuel for encouraging his students to dream big, regardless of the obstacles or challenges they face. “The Luoma experience helped me see I can have the skills to balance and succeed in my personal and professional dreams.”

The Luoma Leadership Academy provides theories, practices, and skills needed to support leaders, and those striving to become leaders, to lead more effectively. It was named for Trustee Emeritus Jim Luoma, a proponent of providing leadership development opportunities for Minnesota State employees. Eligible participants may include department and faculty deans, human resource directors, business managers, chief financial officers, as well as faculty and staff who aspire to future leadership positions. This inclusive program focuses on leadership at all levels in the organization, with the strategy of creating a dialogue which leads to discovery, new knowledge, innovation, and ultimately, to both individual and organizational transformation. The Luoma Leadership Academy is supported and endorsed by Minnesota State, in cooperation with The Chair Academy and will begin accepting applications in December.