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Wellness in the Academy: A Virtual International Symposium: Lemon, Et al.

A LibGuide archiving presentations for Wellness in the Academy: A Virtual International Symposium

Using Virtual Cohorts for Wellness, Problem-Solving, and Leadership Development


This chapter explores the efficacy of virtual cohorts and how they may positively affect both leadership skills and wellness for emerging and current leaders. The authors initially met at Harvard University's Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL) program in 2018 and then continued to meet virtually on a regular basis for the following four years. Cohort meetings emphasized practicing the skill sets taught at LIAL. This included both case study writing and Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal's “four frames” model. The authors self-administered surveys to assess the impact of participating in the cohort on a number of criteria including perceived value of the cohort, impact on the skill sets prioritized by the cohort, perceived wellness benefit during the trials of COVID-19, and cohort influence and/or impact on career progression. The chapter also includes recommendations for the development of future cohorts including best practices for scheduling, membership, and cohort focus.


Erick Lemon is the Director for Digital Strategies and Innovation at the Medical University of South Carolina Libraries. He has both presented and published on the topic of cohort-based leadership development since 2018. 

Amy Tureen is the Head, Library Liaison Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries. She has been an academic librarian since 2010 and her research focuses on the intersection of diversity, wellness, and leadership in both academic librarianship and higher education more broadly.

Joyce Martin is an Associate Librarian and Head of the Social Science Division in the Engagement & Learning Services Directorate at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and served on their Western District Nominating Committee. She earned a Master of Arts Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Arizona State University.

Dr. Starr Hoffman is the Director of Planning and Assessment at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, and has a national reputation in research services—library services that support faculty and student research. She is also recognized in the areas of strategic planning and assessment.

Mindy Thuna is the Associate Chief Librarian for Science Research and Information at the University of Toronto Libraries. Prior to librarianship, Mindy completed her BSc. in Palaeontology and her MSc. in Vertebrate Morphology. As well, she has worked as an educator in a variety of eclectic international locations, participated in numerous field crews and travelled for as long as she could afford to. Her past research has focused on faculty perceptions and use of impact metrics and how librarians use storytelling in their instruction.

Willie Miller is the Associate Dean for Communication and Technology at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis Libraries.  He leads the Library's Campus Outreach Group, which creates library programming aimed at students, and is the Library's go-to person for campus communication initiatives

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