Gina Marx, associate professor of education and director of graduate education, has been connecting with her peers worldwide through the International Coach Federation (ICF) Heartland Charter Chapter.
Marx, who is a professional certified coach, was vice president in 2017 and is now the president of the affiliate chapter and said the experience is benefiting her Newman students, too.
"Everything I learn in the chapter, I bring back to the students," said Marx. "We have regional meetings, encompassing the Midwest region, and we share ideas and learn from each other. During monthly training sessions, we are honing our skills in coaching, asking more powerful questions and all these things come right back to Newman."
Marx said some of her students have even joined ICF as affiliate members so they can attend the training sessions and pull from the network of resources offered.
"It’s been very helpful," Marx exclaimed. "It’s been great for Newman — we’re putting Newman out there to all these leaders around the world."'
About 10 or 11 students meet with Marx one night a week so she can provide free mentoring to help them move toward earning their Associate Certified Coach credential with ICF.
"All four of our master’s programs require students to take Leadership Coaching Techniques," she explained. "Whether they work as a teacher, superintendent, principal or in any organization — they need the coach language soft skills that are so desperately needed in our workplaces today.
"In the Master of Science in education 0rganizational leadership program, they go deeper into the coaching skills with Applications I and II, facilitation strategies, leadership in adult learning and conflict mediation — and they have three different classes in which they receive more than 60 hours of coach training required by ICF."
The Heartland Chapter is doing very well within the ICF, just recently being one of six — out of 133 chapters worldwide — to be honored with a Small Chapter Award. Other receiving honors were ICF New Delhi, ICF Ecuador, ICF Bulgaria, ICF Egypt and ICF Austin.
Criteria to be considered for the award include creating an attractive, credible presence and voice for professional coaching, ensuring financial viability, exhibiting qualities of a high-performing chapter and defining and managing culture.
Marx said the Heartland Chapter vision last year at the Global Leaders Forum in Warsaw, Poland, was to earn an award — and it was exhilarating to see that vision become reality.
The ICF award ceremony this year was held at the Global Leaders Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and as chapter president, Marx was sponsored by ICF to travel and accept the global award on its behalf.
Marx said she is proud of the work her chapter is doing.
"We put together a strategic plan — different than anything we'd ever done. We started a new marketing campaign titled, 'Who's Your Coach,' and doing videos for that campaign."
Bringing Newman into the spotlight is something Marx said is one advantage of being chapter president.
Marx said, "Coaches around the state know who I am, they know I’m from Newman. Being president brings Newman to the spotlight and I can tell the students exactly what’s going on from the ICF global perspective, and show them the resources from all the monthly meetings we have. It keeps me fresh, my learning fresh and at a high level for my students."