First Leadership 2.0 Class Graduates

Dean Greer Glazer (front left) and Leadership 2.0 Program Director Kim McGinnis with the first Leadership 2.0 cohort

Dean Greer Glazer (left center) and Leadership 2.0 Program Director Kim McGinnis with the first Leadership 2.0 cohort

By: Bill Bangert

The first cohort of Leadership 2.0 students at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing graduates on Saturday, April 29. The seven students started their college careers with the help of the Leadership 2.0 nursing workforce diversity initiative that supports underrepresented students through their sophomore year.

Leadership 2.0 is a comprehensive program designed to increase the number of racially diverse, first generation, underrepresented ethnically and/or economically disadvantaged students in the College of Nursing. The program is funded by a grant of more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration.

”The Leadership 2.0 Scholars program was designed to provide tools for student success, to introduce professional and research opportunity, and to provide financial resources; however it was mostly created to build a community for the students to feel supported and to succeed,” says Kim McGinnis, program director for Leadership 2.0. "We introduced them to research and now two are considering careers in research. We introduced them to advanced practice nursing roles and many of them are considering graduate school options.”

Among the seven students in the first Leadership 2.0 cohort are:

Lindsey Frantz, a graduate of Covington High School in Covington, Ohio, a village north of Dayton. As a first generation college student, she says everything about college has been a learning experience for her and her family as they learned about applying for college, Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), moving away from home and living with a stranger.

"Leadership 2.0 gave me the confidence that I could do well in this new and different setting,” Frantz says. "They have provided money for tuition, a group of friends on day one that I have grown closer to over the years, familiarity with staff so that I felt comfortable enough to reach out for help when I needed it, as well as encouragement and guidance through every step of
the way."

After graduation, she plans to move back home and work in Dayton at Miami Valley Hospital in the Heart and Vascular ICU.

Logan Hammond, a graduate of Lexington High School in Lexington, Ohio, near Mansfield. She says she has struggled with test taking and nursing-style questions through the past two semesters, but having her Leadership 2.0 colleagues to talk to and support her has helped her through difficult times.

"Leadership 2.0 has helped me to form relationships with nursing faculty and I know that I have a number of people to turn to for support or questions I may have, Hammond says. "I probably would not feel as comfortable with getting the help I needed if it weren't for Leadership 2.0"

Following graduation she plans to work in the operating room as a circulating nurse.

Zoe Scott, a Cincinnati native who attended high school on both the east side and west side of town. Scott says Leadership 2.0 provided her with a group of people to hang out with during her first few months of college, bonding over shared experiences in and out of the classroom.

"Leadership 2.0 gave me priceless opportunities for growth, excellence and experience," Scott says. "I would not be the confident, strong willed, independent nursing student I am today without this program."

She plans to move to Columbus after graduation and begin her nursing career at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on the neuroscience intensive care unit.

Destini Thomas-Hayes, a graduate of Clark Montessori High School in Cincinnati. She says she’s been through a variety of personal and family issues over the course of what she describes as a long journey that has only made her stronger.

"Leadership 2.0 kept me engaged and in the know in ways that I would not have otherwise been," she says. "I realized that going to school was about more than just going to class and trying to get good grades; it was about taking new opportunities and just says 'yes' sometimes without putting up a fight."

"I’m excited for the future of their careers,” says McGinnis. "Four years moves quickly and I hope we have provided tools that will help them be successful.”