MCDD Staff Members Attend AUCD Leadership Academy

tags: Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities

Natasha Ludwig, PhD, a pediatric neuropsychology fellow, and Mallory Finn, Esq., a staff attorney for Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), were selected to attend the 2019 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Leadership Academy, which took place from June 23 to June 26 in Atlanta, Georgia. The AUCD Leadership Academy is a weeklong program designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from the disability network to build coalitions to improve systems of supports and services.

The Leadership Academy includes participants from the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD); Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND); and their disability partners, who immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation and skill development. The Leadership Academy focuses on the exploration of shared values and commitments to civil and human rights, assessments of personal and leadership strengths, skills in building partnerships to achieve collective impact, and establishing personal and professional leadership goals.


 “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from others within the disability advocacy realm and to explore my leadership strengths within the context of my work,” Dr. Ludwig said.

Part of the training focused on using the VIA Institute on Character’s Inventory of Strengths, a research-based character strength inventory that shows how different strengths work together and how to best use them.

Finn enjoyed learning more about how to conceptualize her character strengths. “I’m especially looking forward to incorporating what I’ve learned about leadership strengths in my work at MCDD,” Finn said. 

Through the next year, Dr. Ludwig and Finn will participate in ongoing virtual AUCD Leadership Academy training sessions that focus on leadership topics of interest to this year’s academy cohort.