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Dempsey, Keller graduate from USG Executive Leadership Institute - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content

Dempsey, Keller graduate from USG Executive Leadership Institute

June 3, 2024

Image featuring side-by-side headshots of Melissa Dempsey and Troy Keller

Dr. Melissa Dempsey and Dr. Troy Keller of Columbus State University are among the 34 University System of Georgia faculty and staff who graduated from USG’s 2023-24 Executive Leadership Institute in May.

This year’s cohort, the program’s 14th, represents 23 of USG’s 26 institutions. Since 2009, the Executive Leadership Institute has helped develop hundreds of new leaders from among the system’s faculty and staff by offering professional development opportunities to help them grow their careers in Georgia.

“This group includes some of the best among our faculty and staff across Georgia,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “As one of the top public university systems in the nation, we are invested in supporting and growing the people already working hard right here in the university system. With this professional development, USG wants to help them reach their full potential.”

Headshot of Melissa DempseyDempsey, assistant dean for student engagement, has served in several leadership roles in the Division of Student Affairs during her 10-plus years at Columbus State.

“ELI afforded us the opportunity to gain knowledge during an intensive and dedicated time for professional and personal growth,” she said. “I gained invaluable perspectives of the USG system, networked with fellow institutions, and benefited from a unique shadowing experience. Being supported by Columbus State throughout that journey created such a rewarding experience.”

Headshot of Troy KellerKeller chairs the Department of Earth & Space Sciences in the College of Letters & Sciences. He has been a member of the university’s faculty for more than 17 years.

“I have learned so much from my experience with ELI,” he said. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I wish more faculty in the system could participate. I believe they, too, would benefit as I have from this rigorous and comprehensive program.”

University presidents nominate academic and administrative leaders to participate. From the nominees, individuals are selected for the program and participate in a leadership development curriculum that includes content, personal reflection, job shadowing and cross-mentoring.

Media contacts:
Kristina Torres, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Leadership Communications, University System of Georgia, 404.962.3052,
Michael Tullier, APR, Executive Director of Strategic Communication + Marketing, 706.507.8729,