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Class 6 of ASU Leadership Institute is diverse in profession, experience


Group photo of people standing on the stairs of the Old Main building on ASU's Tempe campus.

Class 6 of the ASU Leadership Institute, despite their diverse professions, are committed in their pursuit of leadership. Photo courtesy the ASU Alumni Association

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August 25, 2023

Their professions are diverse, and their experiences in the field may vary, but the 20 Sun Devil alumni participating in the 2023–24 ASU Leadership Institute all remain committed in their pursuit of leadership.

The Arizona State University Alumni Association is honored to introduce the Class 6 cohort participating in the nine-month immersive program aimed to develop and understand critical leadership skills.

Every year, the ASU Alumni Association selects a cohort of outstanding alumni and aims to inspire participants as well as enhance their leadership development. They are prepared to serve on ASU boards and councils, mentor students and serve as community ambassadors.

From firefighters and nurses to college professors and business owners, Class 6 members make up an impressive group of alumni with graduation dates ranging from 1986 to 2020.

Standing before them on Aug. 23, Christine K. Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Alumni Association, reminded participants of the university’s commitment toward instilling leadership in its alums.

With key principles such as access and excellence at the forefront of that push, Wilkinson cited ASU’s mission-at-large: “It’s not whom we exclude, but whom we include, and how they succeed.”

Emily Hein, who completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2020, plans to leverage this opportunity to pursue a leadership role at her current company, Banner Health.

“I’m working on my MBA in health care (at ASU), and I really wanted to tie that leadership aspect back into my career,” she said. “I’m hoping it will allow me to pursue a leadership opportunity somewhere in health care.”

In addition to adopting necessary leadership and development skills, members of the class are also eager to rub shoulders with fellow alums in different industries than their own.

I think that being part of this group, seeing different aspects of ASU that I didn’t get to see when I was a student, is going to broaden my experience and help me move to the next level in developing leadership skills to be a Sun Devil leader,” said Lesley Miller, a media relations and communications manager for the city of Glendale.

Meet the 20 members of the 2023–24 ASU Leadership Institute:

  • Alicia Morrison Skupin, Chandler Municipal Court.

  • Andrea Petrof, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.

  • Austin Howe, Blackstone Consulting Inc.

  • Crystal Alvarez, Arizona State University.

  • Efraen Amarillas, Phoenix Fire Department.

  • Emily Hein, Banner Health.

  • Emily Holden, Fiesta Bowl.

  • Emily Soccorsy, Root and River.

  • Evener Scott, HonorHealth.

  • Herminio Meneses, Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

  • Jon Dille, JE Dunn Construction.

  • Kathleen Walsh, Lauren's Institute For Education.

  • Kevin Pistole, Geneva Financial.

  • Lesley Miller, city of Glendale.

  • Lindsay Penzenstadler, Sundt Construction.

  • Micky Gutier, Arizona Department of Education.

  • Nigel Pinto, West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.

  • Sarah Nicholas, Sundt Construction.

  • Sue Rigler, Hundred Mile Brewing Co.

  • Shalaka Sawant, Clayco.

For information about the ASU Leadership Institute and how to apply for Class 7, click here.

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