Yuxiang Wang completes PESLA program, encourages fellow staff to participate
Yuxiang Wang, academic advisor and Intercultural Support Coordinator for Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has successfully completed the Purdue Engineering Staff Leadership Academy (PESLA), Cohort 3. Wang encourages his fellow staff to participate in the PESLA program in the future.
“Although the PESLA, Cohort 4 application is closed,” said Wang, “fellow staff members may plan for PESLA, Cohort 5 in two years.”
PESLA is a two-year cohort-based program to provide professional development to professional and managerial/administrative staff in the College of Engineering. Through book reading, real-world case studies, small group discussions, and interactive presentations, PESLA encourages staff to think beyond their own areas and lead in ways that support larger institutional objectives. The program was created and is voluntarily managed by staff, for staff.
During the first year, PESLA concentrates on the introduction of office functions and resources on campus, book reading and discussion about various leadership styles and roles of leadership in the project management and completion.
“PESLA has given me great opportunities to better understand different office functions and resources on campus,” said Wang. “As an academic advisor, understanding of office functions and resources has helped me collaborate with different offices on projects and program development and send my students to related offices for academic, psychological, and cultural support.”
Each PESLA cohort culminates in a yearlong project showcased at a college wide poster session with the opportunity to present at a national conference. Wang completed a job-related project entitled “Assessing and Improving Academic Advisor’s Intercultural Competence.”
“Based on my observation, literature review, and my expertise in intercultural competence, I planned and designed the project,” said Wang. “ With help from Purdue's Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR), academic advisors completed an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) survey and one-on-one debriefing. Based on their intercultural competence level, I developed related workshops, organized ethnic student panels and invited guest speakers to help academic advisors examine their cultures, perspectives and worldviews and increased their skills, knowledge and attitudes toward different cultures.”
The project was presented at the NACADA Regional 5 Conference in May 2022, the PACADA retreat meeting in September 2022, and the Engineering Academic Advisor Meeting in November 2022. Wang hopes the project has impact on the field of academic advising both on campus and outside of Purdue.
Wang says the project gave him the opportunity to improve his skills in program development and program management and collaborate with different offices on campus. It also gave him the opportunity to take the initiative in planning, developing, executing, and completing the project. Wang is now on the leadership team for PESLA Cohort 4 to contribute back to the program and continue to develop his leadership skills.