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Two W&L Staff Members Awarded Paid Professional Leave The program offers staff a 30-day leave, with full pay, to advance some aspect of their career and work at the university.

Leave-Program-600x400 Two W&L Staff Members Awarded Paid Professional Leave

Two Washington and Lee University staff members received a 30-day leave, with full pay, to advance some aspect of their career and work at the university. The 2022 Professional Leave awards went to Kristy Crickenberger, university assessment strategist, and Diederik (Dirk) van Assendelft, IT systems architect.

Crickenberger took her leave in November and December to study the current landscape of best practices in learning improvement and data-driven decision-making in higher education. She met with assessment directors at Colorado State University and James Madison University, and consulted recent literature to develop a long-term strategy to successfully implement learning and outcome improvement initiatives at W&L. She then prepared resources to better equip W&L faculty and staff with the tools they need to engage in meaningful learning improvement projects.

“As I learn how to better engage our campus community in learning improvement projects across all academic programs and at the institutional level, we will collaboratively impact and enhance the student experience in meaningful ways,” Crickenberger said.

Van Assendelft plans to take his leave in March and he intends to intern with Box.com in their Amsterdam and London offices. In between, he plans to visit several Dutch universities to observe how they manage technology.

Van Assendelft serves on the Box Strategy Board for higher education, which gives him insight into new product development and the opportunity to provide input to Box about how their technology works in an academic setting. As a native Dutch speaker, he is in a unique position to collaborate with Dutch universities and gain an understanding of how they manage technology in an academic setting and how they address challenges that arise.

“By getting better insight into how Box functions, we can better leverage the university’s investment in Box,” van Assendelft said. “By visiting Dutch universities, W&L can gain insight into how IT can adapt and what IT needs to adapt to.”

The Professional Leave Program supports W&L’s strong commitment to lifelong learning and exploring new approaches to staff’s work.

Eligible employees must have completed five continuous years of full-time service.

Written proposals should be submitted to the executive director of Human Resources, through the department director and the dean/vice president to whom the administrator reports. The proposal should include:

  • The purpose of the leave
  • The benefit of the leave to the employee and to Washington and Lee University
  • Time frame for the leave
  • Anticipated expenses for the leave
  • A statement about how the work will be covered within the department
  • VP or dean approval

A maximum of three awards each year will be made. The award recipient has one year to use the professional leave. Recipients of the award will be eligible for support to enhance their project for up to $2,500.

If you know a W&L staff member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.