Graduates (L-R): Shelley Barton, Jo Brown, Connie Garrett, Gail Houlette, Lorinda Collins, Lori Spencer, Marilyn McVey

Photo courtesy of: Catherine Meyer


Graduate Jo Brown reflects on her CDP experience at the ceremony

Photographer: Catherine Meyer


Gail Houlette holds her certificate while posing for picture with Steve Golding, vice president for finance and administration

Photographer: Catherine Meyer

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University recognizes first Classified Development Program graduates

Second cohort begins this fall

Graduation day finally came for the 15 members of the inaugural class of the Classified Development Program (CDP).

After taking one course for 10 consecutive quarters to earn a professional development certificate, seven of the graduates gathered with friends and coworkers to celebrate their accomplishment in a Friday afternoon ceremony in the Human Resources and Training Center.

The CDP is designed to help classified staff meet the changing needs of technology, higher education, and position responsibilities with more knowledge, flexibility and skills, as well as opportunities for upward mobility. The price of books and general fees are covered by the program. Participants receive a professional development certificate upon completion.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding and Chief Human Resource Officer Linda Lonsinger congratulated the graduates for persevering through the tough times in order to improve their job skills and general knowledge.

"The CDP was a long time coming and there were a lot of University discussions held to make this happen," Lonsinger said. "You were the experiment … and you are really impressive. The thought was to give you the support needed to help you develop greater skill sets and to put you in position to take advantage of job promotion opportunities. The program will change in the future – but thanks to you it will go forward."

Golding called the graduates "pathfinders" and said there is a whole new level of training coming at the University. He added that there will be many new opportunities for employees to meet the needs of academic units as the University transitions to a new responsibility centered management budget model.

The graduation ceremony was hosted by Teri Combs, CDP program coordinator, who praised each of the graduates for their determination and perseverance. She said many of the graduates are now pursuing bachelor's degrees and have significantly improved their overall writing, comprehension and public speaking skills.

"You had to be dedicated to this program because this was a long-term pursuit," Combs said.

Other ceremony speakers included Jenny Klein, director of the Allen Help Center, and Traci Winchell, chair of Classified Senate, which spearheaded the creation of the CDP.

Graduate Jo Brown also took time to reflect on her CDP experience, while her fellow graduate Gail Houlette shared a humorous poem that she wrote about her most memorable moments as a member of the program.

The ceremony ended with a reception and a PowerPoint presentation featuring some of the graduates' best academic work.

Combs said University Human Resources is currently accepting applications for the second CDP cohort, which is scheduled to begin in the fall. For more information, contact Combs at