MVCC’s Center for Leadership Excellence earns CEANY award


UTICA — The Center for Leadership Excellence at Mohawk Valley Community College, along with the Griffiss Institute, has won the James C. Hall Program: Outstanding Business/Organization Collaboration award on their Summer Professional Development Institute, which aims to develop leaders ready to make an impact as they join the workforce.

The award was presented at the James C. Hall Exemplary Program Awards Ceremony on Nov. 18 at the Annual Conference of the Continuing Education Association of New York (CEANY) in Saratoga Springs.

Through the Griffiss Institute internship program, interns who are current undergraduate and graduate students from 81 colleges and universities across the country are connected to summer employment at the Air Force Research Lab.

As these individuals progress through their internship, the Griffiss Institute promoted the Summer Professional Development Institute and brought in the CLE to facilitate trainings in which students sharpened their personal brand and public speaking skills, developed tools to engage audiences, and networked with regional innovators and influencers to learn first-hand the important role leadership plays in community-building and workforce and economic development. 

“The GI Intern Program has a strong commitment with AFRL to developing and diversifying the talent pipeline with the best and brightest minds for advancement of the future scientific and engineering workforce,” says Jennifer McCullough of GI, who along with Tiffany DeLuca, leads the Intern Program. “Strong Leadership is a key skill that the Department of Defense and other employers are looking for, and our partnership with MVCC’s CLE allows our interns to excel at those leadership skills set.”

As a result of the Griffiss Institute’s work, eight of the interns from the past three years have received job offers and have moved to the Mohawk Valley—or have been retained in the region instead of moving away from their hometowns in pursuit of a career—after graduation. This significantly increases the leadership capacity of the local workforce and adds to the economic development of our community, officials said.

“We’re honored to have this partnership recognized for excellence, just as we were honored when the GI selected CLE to provide leadership training to better prepare interns for workforce entry,” says Kristen Skobla, executive director of the CLE.

“We applaud the Griffiss Institute’s commitment to attracting and retaining top talent and taking deliberate steps to diversify the regional STEM workforce. This outstanding partnership is an outgrowth of our shared commitment to the Mohawk Valley. The CLE and GI share the belief that leadership development is crucial to creating an organization where staff is prepared to effectively lead teams, navigate crisis, and adapt to change, transforming our community one organization at a time.” 

As winners of this award, the CLE and GI will present on their program at the 2022 CEANY Annual Conference.

The Griffiss Institute (GI) is a nonprofit STEM talent and technology accelerator for the United States Department of Defense and an international network of academic, government and industry partners.

Since 2002, the GI has served the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), the Mohawk Valley region, and the United States, empowering diverse teams with talent and technology development programs that lead the nation in technical and economic impact. Devoted to converging teams and technologies to solve complex national challenges, the GI is proud to enable its international network from its home at Innovare Advancement Center in New York’s picturesque Mohawk Valley. To learn more about Griffiss Institute, please visit 


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