Leanne Piper, MA (Leadership) 2015

Leanne Piper



















Leanne Piper, MA (Leadership) 2015

Current role: Councillor, City of Guelph and Manager, Residence Admissions and Marketing
Work/life balance: Gardener, home renovator, Raptors fan

"The MA Leadership experience gave me the confidence to make change happen both personally and professionally. I have always been an advocate for the environment, and wanted to focus more of my political energy as a Guelph city councillor to bringing forward better policies and encouraging more community engagement in decision making. When I ran for re-election in 2018, I brought a new perspective to the table on how to more effectively communicate with others who don't see the world the same way as I do."


Describe your experience during the on-site residential periods.

The residential periods were absolutely essential to establishing a network -- social, academic and professional -- with my class cohort. I can't imagine doing group activity assignments and online discussions without having a face to a name, or having a better understanding of each team members' journey, job, family, stresses and challenges.  We had two class members having a baby during the program, or facing job changes, and we were able to provide encouragement and support along the way.  Most of our class graduated together with very little attrition, which is good for program retention and a more positive experience for each of us knowing that we started and finished as a group.


How did you find the online learning component of the program? Was it beneficial to be able to continue working at your job during your studies?

Working while attending school allows for instant integration between learning and doing.  I was able to use concepts from the courses in my job immediately.   The diverse professional background of the class is what makes for a robust discussion because there were classmates from so many fields - education, health care, policing, private sector, social services, government.  


Did Lang help open more doors or show you new directions your career could take?

I successfully ran for re-election in the 2018 Ontario municipal elections.  I believe that the MA Leadership program helped me to better understand women in politics, servant leadership skills, and improved my relationships with the community and city colleagues. I feel ready for the challenge personally, and to helping my team through a new way of doing things.