GLA Concludes Week in Thailand with Team Presentations

GLA Concludes Week in Thailand with Team Presentations
GLA 2017 fellows in Thailand

The Global Leadership Academy 2017 cohort concluded its summer week in Thailand with group presentations on different topics in higher education and Webster's network, followed by a campus thank you lunch and farewell dinner.

They now head back to their respective campuses and continue group collaboration before a final week together in the fall in St. Louis. The application period for 2018 GLA opens July 28.

Researched through the first half of their GLA experience this year, their presentations touched on some of the key challenges affecting Webster both from a structural and industry-wide perspective. Their topics ranged from the evolution of "multi-modal" students to the financial needs and connectivity challenges for a Webster student population that spans the globe.

Global Leadership Academy 2017 in Thailand
The different teams made their group presentations in Cha-am before returning to Bangkok for departure home


Below is more about the topics they presented this week, and the fellows who were on each project team.

Multi-Modal Students and One Webster University

GLA team presenting on multi-modal students
Davis, McLaughlin, Skrabacz, Dozer, Loyet and Zechmeister


Under the theme of informed advocacy for engaged leadership, the project examined the trends in student preferences and views of modalities in higher education and investigate changes in student preferences in that context, with a focus on "Multi-Modal Students," those taking courses through multiple delivery modes (face-to-face, online, and synchronous video).

At Webster University, these tend to be graduate students and non-traditional undergraduates, but as digital natives become dominant in our student demographics, an increasing number of "traditional" students are also becoming multi-modal.

The team's goal was to explore how greater breadth of program offerings through increased flexibility and additional modalities position us to increase enrollments by being responsive to market demands, help increase retention, and ultimately increase tuition revenue. In particular, they looked at how Webster University can maximize all of these areas within the broader strategic goal of insuring "One Webster" University for students while also being mindful of the differing approaches and goals of the main campus, metropolitan and military campuses, and international campuses.

They examined some of the challenges and structural barriers that are present in these areas as well as discuss the benefits and opportunities from a layered multi-modal approach. They also explored possible mechanisms to overcome challenges and structural barriers.


  • Wayne Davis, Adjunct Faculty, Management & Business, George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology
  • Brian Dozer, Director, Irvine Metro Campus
  • Michelle Loyet, Manager of Student Services and Administration, Online Learning Center
  • Dorcas McLaughlin, Professor, Nursing, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Shari Skrabacz, Executive Assistant to the President, President’s Office
  • Eileen Zechmeister, Academic Advisor, Vienna Campus

Global Connectivity for Metro, Military, International and Online Graduate Students

GLA team presenting on global connectivity
Robey, Liberati, Akpebu, Etcheverry, Rivers and Hanssen

Global citizenship is a core value of Webster University. Populations of students have different barriers preventing them from international experience.

In this workshop, the team explored various ways in which Webster currently offers international resources for graduate students. they also discussed other barriers, both practical and perceived, that may exist.


  • Susan Akpebu, Special Assistant to the Campus Director and Human Resources Manager, Ghana Campus
  • Cristina Echeverry, Director, Jacksonville Metro and Jacksonville Naval Campuses
  • Paula Hanssen, Associate Professor, International Languages & Cultures, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Ryan Liberati, Assistant Professor, Professional Counseling, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Erin Rivers, Project Manager, Global Marketing & Communications
  • James Robey, Chair and Assistant Professor, Dance, Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts

Unpacking the Realities of Grad School Affordability: Impact on Student Success and Retention

GLA team presenting on financial effects on grad student success
Stehn, Gibbs, McCool, Keller, Radut


During this session the GLA fellows presented their examination of trends in graduate student funding including student loans, employer reimbursement, military benefits, scholarships, and self-payment.

They also evaluated how different payment methods impact retention and graduation, and other financial issues that impact graduate student success.


  • Ron Gibbs, Development Officer, Advancement
  • Bethany Keller, Assistant Director of International Student Affairs, Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs
  • Kyle McCool, Director of Graduate Advising, Academic Advising
  • Daniel Radut, Web Developer, Enterprise Information Systems/Information Technology
  • Molly Stehn, Assistant Professor, Professional Counseling, College of Arts & Sciences

Learn more about the fellows' week in Thailand in the previous posts (opening in Bangkok, midweek transition to Cha-am).

About Global Leadership Academy

The Global Leadership Academy (GLA) is a leadership development program open to the faculty and staff of the Webster University global community. GLA fellows are selected each year to participate in a series of workshop and activities that help them to lead successfully in their roles and positions within the University.

Applications from faculty and staff are solicited in the fall for participation in the next cohort. The application period for 2018 will open July 28.

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