President's Executive Leadership Institute

Explore the complex world of higher education and gain valuable and transferable leadership skills through the President's Executive Leadership Institute.

Through this unique professional development opportunity for campus-based administrators and leaders, program fellows will learn about issues facing higher education broadly and the University of South Dakota specifically.

President Sheila K. Gestring supports this program as an opportunity to develop future university leaders, foster interdisciplinary collaborations and cultivate a strong connection to the campus community.

Join us in congratulating the 2022-2023 President’s Executive Leadership Institute fellows: 

  • Kim Albracht, Assistant Director, Service Learning & Undergraduate Research- Gallagher Center
  • Cassie Blake, USD Foundation Senior Director for Strategic Communication
  • Dallas Doane, Director, TRIO
  • Ilmira Dulyanova, Director, Online Graduate Programs & Coordinator of Graduate Studies
  • Amy Fill, Director, University Art Galleries
  • Kate Fitzgerald, Director, University Housing
  • Jared Heiden, Director, USD Budget Office
  • Katie Kassin, Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies
  • Val Kozmenko, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Ashley Kroon, Human Resources Generalist III
  • Sabina Kupershmidt, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Kathy LaPlante, Instructor, Social Work
  • Erin Lehmann, Assistant Professor, Educational Administration
  • Jennifer Lemaster, Director of Integrated Campaign Strategy, USD Marketing
  • Amy Nelson, Program Director, BS Health Sciences
  • Mark Petty, Dean of Enrollment
  • Juston Sangster, Assistant Director, University Police
  • Anna Simonson, Assistant Librarian Health Sciences & Research Services
  • Carole South-Winter, Associate Professor, Health Services Administration
  • Travis Vlasman, Director, Graduate Admissions
  • Mandie Weinandt, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning


  • Increase knowledge and awareness of issues and challenges facing higher education and the University of South Dakota
  • Enhance leadership, management and decision-making skills 
  • Learn about the relationship between the South Dakota Board of Regents and the University of South Dakota
  • Explore the role of strategic planning and budgeting in advancing department and unit interests in alignment with the overall mission of the university
  • Identify appropriate strategies in addressing key issues and achieving organizational goals
  • Understand state and federal government issues that affect higher education
  • Expand networking opportunities and resources available at the local, state and national levels in sustaining the university and its mission.