Scott Rankin, center, with Mike O’Neill, LEAD21 Program Chair, from the University of Connecticut, left, and Brian Kowalkowski, right, LEAD21 Board Chair, from the College of Menominee Nation, at the program’s graduation.

Scott Rankin, professor and chair of the Department of Food Science, was one of 90 individuals completing the LEAD21 leadership-development program. This group of distinguished individuals represents land-grant institutions and their strategic partners from across the nation. Over the course of the past year, these individuals have met regularly with their peers, both in-person and virtually, to enhance their personal leadership capacity. The graduation was held at the culmination of the third in-person session, where the focus was on organizational leadership through collaboration, communication and leading change.

The primary purpose of LEAD21 is to develop leaders in land-grant institutions and their strategic partners who link research, academics and extension who can to lead more effectively in an increasingly complex environment, either in their current positions or future leadership positions.

Goals of LEAD21 are to enhance application of skills and knowledge across a set of nine leadership competencies, to develop a network of peer leaders to enhance personal leadership practice, collaboration and diversity of perspective and to develop and implement an individual’s leadership development process.

LEAD21 class 16 has been announced and will begin in June 2020. For more information about LEAD21, visit