COPA provides leadership training for Robins Air Force Base personnel

RAFB personnel at Mercer

MACON – Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement recently provided leadership training to 24 personnel from Robins Air Force Base on the University’s Macon campus.

RAFB personnel at Mercer
Mercer provided leadership training to 24 personnel from Robins Air Force Base in May. Photos courtesy College of Professional Advancement

The two separate daylong programs, held earlier this summer, were titled “A Burst of Leadership! Leading the Next Generation of Airmen.” They were designed by Dr. Lynn Clemons, professor of organizational leadership, in collaboration with Command Sgt. Carlos E. Labrador, former U.S. Air Force Command Chief of the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins Air Force Base, to improve the well-being of participants, increase communication with others and raise accountability to the organization driven by participants’ personal values and deep reflection.

Sessions were led by College of Professional Advancement faculty members Dr. Lynn Tankersley, professor of criminal justice; Dr. John Carroll, associate professor of organizational development and leadership; Dr. Cameron Miller, associate professor of psychology; Dr. Forouzan Lili Farnia, assistant professor of human resources administration and development; Dr. Dina Schwam, assistant professor of psychology and human services; and Jason Rowland, adjunct professor of organizational leadership.

“The training was delivered to first sergeants, who serve as the primary advisers to commanders on the health and readiness of the airmen. Command Sgt. Labrador wanted us to provide leadership training that would take first sergeants beyond the role of disciplinarian, which is often seen as negative, to the role of inspirers and encouragers,” said Dr. Clemons, who serves as chair of the Department of Leadership Studies and coordinates the Bachelor of Science degree program in organizational leadership. “The ‘Burst of Leadership’ sessions included activities and topics designed to work on these skills that could result in better humans, leaders, mentors and motivators.”

The College of Professional Advancement has previously provided six-week Leadership Development Certificate Programs on Mercer’s Macon campus and at Robins Air Force Base to units within the 78th Air Base Wing.

The College has also offered a number of certificate and workforce development programs to clients such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI, Georgia Department of Public Health, Piedmont Healthcare, GreyStone Power Corporation, Wyle, Leadership Douglas, Leadership Henry and various law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia. These programs include executive leadership, health coaching and multidisciplinary care coordination, leadership for the medical practice, public safety, and substance abuse counseling.

The Department of Leadership Studies offers bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice leadership, health care leadership, human resource administration and development, organizational leadership, and homeland security and emergency management, as well as master’s degrees in criminal justice and public safety leadership and organizational leadership.

The Department also collaborates with Mercer’s School of Theology to offer combined degree programs in organizational leadership/Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and organizational leadership/Master of Divinity.

The 78th Air Base Wing at Robins Air Force Base has been supporting combat operations for 66 years. It provides physical, military and community operations and business infrastructure processes for the base and its 39 associate units. The wing is responsible for logistics readiness, medical, civil engineer, security, comptroller activities, contracting, morale and welfare, mission support, public affairs, legal civilian personnel, environmental management, fire emergency services, and emergency management for the installation.

About the College of Professional Advancement

Mercer University’s College of Professional Advancement is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, the College of Professional Advancement offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, health care and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit