Skip to main content

 New director of SRU's Executive Leadership Programs joins staff 




December 15, 2008

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




New director of SRU's Executive Leadership Programs joins staff


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Erin Strain is ready to lead, and as the newest member of Slippery Rock University's Executive Leadership Program, she is already working on plans to help regional businesses improve the leadership abilities of their staffs.

           Strain, who joined SRU Dec. 1, is the new director of the University's ELP. She brings leadership and development program training experience from her work at Alleghany College of Maryland Workforce Development and customer service work at Seven Springs Mountain Resort to the position.

           "In the opening months, I will be welcoming clients to help business and industry build training programs that benefit individuals and their entire staff," Strain said. "Groups participating in the program may range from six to 50."

           Strain will make use of SRU's Leadership Reaction Course, its Challenge Tower, its Teambuilding Trail and its Mobile Activities Kit, which is used for off-site leadership training programs. SRU's leadership program involves giving participants a set of parameters, then allowing them to work as a group - and watch their leadership skills emerge - to accomplish the assigned mission. The projects are designed to improve communication and team fellowship.

           The group has to develop a plan that allows the mission to be accomplished, taking into account the skill level, weaknesses and strength of each member. Time is taken at the end of the assigned task to evaluate and learn from the exercise.
           "The various tasks are designed to build teams and enhance leadership skills in an effective and experiential way," Strain said. "We constantly work to build continuous support and resources as part of the process."

           The program is used by various campus groups and organizations as well as regional businesses looking to build an improved sense of teamwork within their organization. "In addition to using the campus facilities, we can tailor programs at a company's offices or other appropriate facility," Strain said.

           "Groups are encouraged to call early to get on the schedule, but often we can fit in a group with only a week's notice," Strain said.

           A graduate of Geneva College and Carlow University, Strain earned her master of science in professional leadership with a concentration in training and development.  

           She most recently served as prevention specialist in St. Vincent College's Prevention Projects designing and teaching topics on prevention and social topics in Westmoreland and Cambria counties. At Seven Springs, she was coordinator and team leader of the Mountain Adventure Team where she designed, developed and managed a series of snow-sport lessons. 

           Strain has also worked at Volkl Sport America and Tecnica USA, Alliance Health Wraparound Inc., Outdoor Odyssey Youth Development and Leadership Academy, AmeriCorps and as director of the Golden Crossroads Senior Center in Sharpsburg. 

           She has professional certifications in prevention specialist II, mediation, conflict resolution, team building, motivational interviewing, group facilitator, emotional intelligence, family fitness program, drug trends, professional ski instructor and challenge course certification. She received the PEEPER Award for outstanding Community Service in Somerset County. 


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.



Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report