UACES Facebook iLEAD Cohort III Meet Up at Vines Center
skip to main content

iLEAD Cohort III Meet Up at Vines Center

by Rebecca Simon, Family and Consumer Sciences Instructor - August 21, 2023

Photo collage of iLEAD III at Vines Center
The first in-person gathering of iLEAD Cohort III participants took place Aug. 16-18, 2023 at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Little Rock. The cohort, composed of 14 employees representing various positions within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA), was warmly received by the administration, marking the commencement of their program journey focused on enhancing leadership skills.

Day One

The first day served as an introduction to the iLEAD initiative. Dr. Deacue Fields, vice president for agriculture, Dr. J. F. Meullenet, senior associate vice president for agriculture - Research and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Dr. Bob Scott, senior associate vice president for agriculture-Extension and Director of the Cooperative Extension Service, shared personal insights into their leadership paths and roles within the University of Arkansas System.

In the afternoon session, communication professionals Mary Hightower, Tracy Courage, and Nick Kordsmeier discussed distinct branches of UADA, shedding light on impactful state-wide programs. The day concluded with Eric DeVries conducting a workshop on different leadership styles.

Day Two

Day Two commenced with a guided tour of the 4-H Center led by J.J. Pittman. Later in the morning, Dr. Julie Robinson led a session where participants reviewed their results from the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator assessments. This facilitated deeper self-awareness and improved understanding among cohort members, fostering camaraderie throughout the iLEAD journey.

Post-lunch, Emily Smith, a program associate in the Community, Professional and Economic Development unit, facilitated the True Colors personality assessment profile. Utilizing colors to represent distinct personality types, the True Colors model provided an accessible way to comprehend oneself and others.

Day Three

Day Three saw hands-on team-building activities, spanning both ground-based and tree-bound experiences as part of the ExCEL Leadership Program at the 4-H Center. Morning activities encompassed a variety of group exercises, strengthening mutual understanding and fostering rapport among participants. In the afternoon, the group enjoyed spending time on the ropes course and the zip-line.

The cohort concluded their experience with a reflective activity, centering around the shared theme: "Our individual skills and knowledge enrich the group dynamic, enabling mutual growth on our leadership voyage."

Special thanks to the great people at the 4-H Center that made sure our time at the Center was enjoyable and fun! 

The next iLEAD session, set for September 15, 2023 will take place virtually. To learn more information about the iLEAD program, please reach out to Julie Robinson at or Lisa Davis at