Published on August 8, 2023 by Morgan Black  
Leadership Samford Cohort

In spring 2023, Samford University announced a new initiative that will provide an innovative avenue to further empower its employees. The new program, known as Leadership Samford, will develop and implement organizational leadership competencies among its faculty and staff.

Throughout the 11-month program, members will explore unique features of Samford University and get a deeper understanding of its role as a leading institution in Christ-centered higher education. Participants will navigate complex interpersonal and political environments, develop as intentionally reflective leaders, recognize potential in colleagues and empower teams, and cultivate a community engaged in service to others. The program will also provide an opportunity for employees to engage in intentional social fellowship.

Selected through an application process, the inaugural cohort represents a variety of faculty and staff from across campus, ranging in time of service at Samford and departmental affiliation. The cohort includes:

Ahinee Amamoo
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health

Heather Averett
Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Services, Brock School of Business 

Kevin Blackwell
Assistant to the President for Church Relations and Executive Director of the Ministry Training Institute 

Andrea Bowens
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions

Jonathan Davis
Professor, Human Development and Family Science, Orlean Beeson School of Education 

Peyton Huston
Director of Financial and Operational Services, College of Health Sciences 

Patrick Marsh
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, School of Health Professions

Matt Mazzei
Interim Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship Management and Marketing, Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Brock School of Business

Frank Patane
Associate Professor, Howard College of Arts and Sciences

Tiffany Robanya
Assistant Professor, World Languages and Cultures, Howard College of Arts and Sciences

John Roland
Advancement Officer, Howard College of Arts and Sciences

Gena Sullivan
Assistant to the Dean, Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing

Tim Sutton
Interim Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Professor of English, Writing Center Director, Howard College of Arts and Sciences

Sarah Waller
Director of Creative Services, Division of Advancement and Marketing

Sandra Wilson
Executive Assistant, Student Affairs

Matt Mazzei said, “I am excited to connect with colleagues across our campus as we learn more about Samford’s history and its future. It will be fun and engaging to discuss and explore leadership topics from different perspectives and build one another up through structured programming, intentional fellowship, and plentiful service opportunities. I am especially appreciative of PJ Hughes, Adam Roebuck, and the many others involved with this programming for investing in our personal and professional development.”

In coordination with Samford’s new strategic plan, Fidelitas: Faith and Future, Leadership Samford will provide a rewarding experience for Samford employees while enhancing their sense of calling and vocation to their work.

Samford President Beck A. Taylor said, “This is an important piece in the university’s efforts to elevate our employees and it is our vision that this program will grow into a cornerstone of our unique community of learning and faith. Equipping employees with leadership skillsets through a program like Leadership Samford is a vital part of the development of not only self, but also the culture of a unique institution like ours. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves alongside this inaugural cohort as we help Samford discover and live into the best version of itself imaginable.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.