Leading Through Crisis | Meredith Whipple Callahan and Arif Virani – June 25th, 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us this past Thursday for the “Leading Through Crisis” presentation and Q&A with Meredith Whipple Callahan and Arif Virani.


Click here to view presentation slides and Meredith’s contact information.

Our webinar series will pick back up in the fall. More details will be provided this summer, so stay tuned!


Executive Presence with Jan Erkert (October 30 2019)

Presentation: https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/1_7l6dr2f2

Grad studio interview: https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/t/1_ftbhh7in

Session Description: Presence is a state of being in which all parts of self are attending to the moment.  What is the role of the body in communicating your presence?   Whether you are in a job interview, delivering a presentation to a large group of people, or working within an executive board room… listening to the internal cues coming from your body (breathing, stance, energy, feelings) while also attending to the external messages coming from other people, are the primary skills of establishing embodied executive presence.  In this inter-active workshop, participants will learn how to attend to both internal and external cues, focus on their intention, and “tune” into others to create situations in which communication flows.

Presenter: Jan Erkert is a dance-maker, teacher of dance and yoga, author and currently Professor and Head of the Department of Dance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  As Artistic Director of Jan Erkert & Dancers from 1979 – 2000, she created over 70 works, critically acclaimed for their lush, evocative imagery.  Ms. Erkert’s work has been seen throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Asia, the Middle-East and South America.  Ms. Erkert and the company were honored with numerous awards including a Fulbright Scholar Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.

As Head of the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she has led a transformation of the department that the New York Times described as a “…hotbed of choreographic innovation.” In ten years, she has quintupled donations, doubled the budget and tripled the diversity of students and faculty.  In 2014, the University honored her with the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Leadership in Diversity.  Ms. Erkert has been a national leader in dance, presently serving as the President of the Council of Dance Administrators (CODA), a coalition of some of the top schools of dance in the USA. Serving as a commissioner for the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), she has been a frequent consultant and reviewer of dance programs. In 2014-15 she was an Academic Leadership Fellow for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and in 2017, she was a guest speaker at the Leadershape Institute.

Ms. Erkert recently completed a manuscript titled, Drink the Wild Air, A Sensorial Journey through Leadership. When she took on a major leadership position, she found that there was no book out there that helped her understand how to bring her human, sentient being, and her artistic, creative practice to the job of leadership. Drink the Wild Air, A Sensorial Journey through Leadership shares her auto-body-ographies and brings the voices of body/mind thinkers and embodied practitioners to the discourse on leadership.  It is Ms. Erkert’s fervent hope that these collective stories and ideas will inspire all who want to create a new form of leadership that integrates life/work/play, and ultimately teaches us how to lead embodied lives.