Melodie Baker

Executive Leadership & Change

The cohorts were made up of primarily working professionals who were able to add context, value, and rich dialogue to the discussions. The program design effectively combined practice and research so you were easily able to apply what you learned immediately into your everyday life.

What was your reason for coming to Daemen College/what made you choose the ELC program here at Daemen?

The ELC Program at Daemen was of particular interest to me because of its focus on leadership. Most traditional Executive programs have a focus on business and management, which is uniquely different from leadership. Daemen’s ELC program was also attractive to me as a wife, mother of three, and full-time employee. The schedule allowed me to pursue my Master’s degree without compromising my family life.

Please describe how the ELC program was set up and how it transformed you into being a great leader.

The ELC program was set up in 5 week increments building off each level of study. The cohorts were made up of primarily working professionals who were able to add context, value, and rich dialogue to the discussions. The program design effectively combined practice and research so you were easily able to apply what you learned immediately into your everyday life. In addition to the improvements on the job, I also found the ELC program helpful in transforming my everyday life -- improving my interactions with my children, spouse and friends.

Please describe the impact Daemen faculty, staff and advisors had on you.

I was surprised by how helpful and available Daemen’s faculty and staff were. I was always able to set up meetings to discuss project topic’s ideas and designs. The staff at Daemen also provided professional mentorship, which helped me avoid land mines and identify priorities.

Tell us about where you are now.

I have no doubt the valuable erudition I received from the ELC program at Daemen gave me an edge in securing my position as Director of Education at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. I feel blessed, as I understand not many people get the opportunity to have their dream job. Although there are several demands placed on me on a daily basis, I feel well equipped and confident to manage my tasks at a high level of efficiency. I am also the proud co-founder of the Charter School of Inquiry which recently opened in August of 2015. As a wife, head basketball coach, full time leader, and mother of five, many people are surprised at all the things that I have been able to accomplish at the age of 33. I was named Top 40 under 40 by Business First in 2013 and Top 20 under 40 by the Oishei Foundation in 2012. All though it may appear that this is the end for me, I am confident it is just the beginning.