Staff Professional Development Academy

NIU aspires to develop a workplace culture that provides opportunities for growth and collaboration, supports individual/team success and prioritizes professional development. NIU is also committed to building shared leadership at organizational, team and individual levels.

The Staff Professional Development Academy is a yearlong, cohort style program that both promotes professional development and creates a network of leaders across campus. We aim to have diverse cohorts with representation across campus and encourage staff at all levels to apply.

Goals and Structure

If selected to participate, you’ll:

  • Learn about NIU’s goals, operations and governance, as well as the current higher education landscape
  • Have opportunities to build leadership skills, such as consensus building, conflict resolution, self-awareness and creating shared goals
  • Be matched with a mentor

You’ll attend in-person meetings once per month during the fall and spring semesters. You’ll also attend monthly meetings with your mentor. 


If you’re a permanent, 12-month, SPS or civil service employee, you’re eligible to apply (except SPS with rank or tenure). Supervisors can also nominate employees to be invited to apply.

You should have:

  • A minimum of three cumulative years of service at NIU by the application deadline
  • The support of your supervisor and/or department head

How to Apply

A call for applications is sent out by the Office of the President each spring. The application includes:

  • Current résumé
  • Letter of interest (up to 500 words) indicating your interest in and expectations for the program, as well as your career goals
  • Evaluation form completed by your immediate supervisor

To apply for the 2024-2025 cohort, please complete the application form. Supervisors may also nominate employees they think would benefit from the program. Please note the deadline to apply is May 1, 2024.

2023-2024 Cohort

  • John Boswell, Director of Retail Dining, Campus Dining Services, Division of Student Affairs
  • Christy DeLair, Director of Pick Museum of Anthropology, Anthropology
  • Bryan Flower, Assistant Director Food Systems Innovation, Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships
  • Angela Gray, Program Advisor, Department of Accountancy, College of Business
  • Mandy Kreitzer, Director of Finance and Resource Planning , Deans Office, College of Health and Human Sciences
  • David Mannia, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Angelica Mendoza, Assistant Director Undocumented Student Support Services, Undocumented Student Resource Center
  • Danae Miesbauer, Program Advisor, Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Naina Richards, Testing Coordinator and Access Consultant, Disability Resource Center
  • Jeffrey Salmon, Director, Center for Student Assistance, Division of Student Affairs
  • Menelek Shaw, Detective, Department of Police and Public Safety
  • Amanda Smothers, Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
  • Alex Torres, Transfer Admissions Counselor, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing Communications
  • Brian Walk, Senior Web Developer, University Marketing, Enrollment Management and Marketing Communications
  • Kelly Winters, Area Coordinator, Housing and Residential Services, Division of Student Affairs
  • Carrie Zack, Associate Director, Accreditation, Assessment and Evaluation, Office of Institutional Effectiveness


Matt Streb
Chief Strategy Officer,
Liaison to the Board of Trustees

Upcoming Events

Contact Dr. Freeman

Office of the President
Altgeld Hall 300
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