Skip Navigation
Search

IN THE NEWS

Executive Profile: Patricia Malone

By Adina Genn

As seen in LIBN.com
March 11, 2019

When it comes to enhancing workforce and professional development in the region, Patricia Malone is leading the charge. The executive director of the university’s Center for Corporate Education and interim executive director of its School of Professional Development, Malone has worked with the state and federal government to support diverse industries on Long Island.

 

Patricia Malone, Executive Director, Center for Corporate Education at Stony Brook University

Patricia Malone – Executive Director of Stony Brook University's Center for Corporate Education
(Photo by Judy Walker)

She’s consulted with the U.S. Department of Labor, and currently serves on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s Workforce and Education Group. Malone spoke with LIBN about Women in STEM, the talent gap and the need for professional development.

What’s the best part about working in higher education environment to help local businesses achieve their workforce and professional development goals?

It is an incredibly dynamic time for higher education professional development as we experience challenging economic conditions, and the need for individuals and organizations to ‘re-skill’ to meet emerging needs for talent needs. This work requires strategic, agile program development to support diverse industry sectors and audiences. Higher education leaders need to be in constant dialogue with employers to stay on top of technical and professional development imperatives.

Tell us about some of the initiatives you are leading.

Our Women in STEM Leadership Program is particularly exciting and is one of our most innovative programs. We’re in our second year and currently forming our second cohort for our April program. It is our first gender-specific program, which is the sum total of two years of in-depth development and assessment. Our inaugural program last spring was very well-received by the business community and included scientists, researchers, engineers, IT professionals and more from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, as well as engineering, healthcare, pharmaceutical and finance companies. To support the Women in STEM participants in leadership roles, we have developed a series of workshops for organizations to expand awareness of implicit bias, micro-aggressions, culture change, workplace power and more.   

What else?

Other initiatives we are currently working on address skill and talent gaps in specific industries including pharma, aerospace and manufacturing, human resource management, developing career ladders, micro-credentials, and an expanded series of digital executive programs in project management, leadership and tech.

Why is the Women in STEM Leadership Program important for Long Island?

Long Island is home to two prominent national labs, multiple leading healthcare organizations, very large manufacturers and high-tech firms, and a growing life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. All sectors share a need to engage, support and sustain women in leadership positions because of both the impact gender equity has on innovation and organizational success, as well as the economic imperative for talent. Demographic shifts have positively impacted inclusivity in gender and ethnicity.

Is it important that government be directly involved with professionals serving at the grassroots level to help address critical workforce needs?

It is essential that all stakeholders be engaged in workforce development, and government can play a critical role in enhancing and sustaining a region’s economic vitality through its funding, programming and community resources. Government advocacy for funds and support at both the state and local levels make economic development possible and sustainable. The Regional Councils’ initiatives and programs have expanded collaborations and fostered new partnerships with great impact on the workforce of this region.

What inspired you to develop the Wall Street and Beyond Transitional Professional Program?

This program is very close to my heart. In 2007, the impact of the mortgage crisis was felt strongly in this region. I began exploring issues and challenges of individuals who had lost their jobs in finance and related industries. In 2008, when the full impact of the crisis was underway, job losses occurred at an unprecedented pace. We had a small program starting in project management and thought it could be a bridge to new employment for some professionals out of work. Stony Brook is deeply committed to supporting the community and the region, and we felt a responsibility to assist the dislocated professionals in the way we knew best – through education and employment connectivity.

How did it work?

We had a very tangible, globally accepted project management certification program, which we enhanced for professionals in transition as a new career path. In partnership with our career center, we added a job search boot camp, seminars and assistance with social media, and a meet-up space for study groups, and connected them to a large network of employers. Over 2,000 have participated in this program, which is funded privately and through state and federal funds.

You also co-authored a book [Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education]. Is there a tie-in with your work at Stony Brook?

The book discusses innovative solutions to learning at different points in one’s life and in both individual and team settings. My goal was to infuse ideas and strategies for making learning more dynamic and impactful in a variety of communities and content areas. The most impactful professional development occurs at the intersection of innovation, collaboration and creativity. This is a model we try to apply in our various programs at the center.

Any new programs on the horizon?

We are currently working to offer more innovative digital learning opportunities to make our offerings more accessible to a much broader audience. Our goal is to provide face-to-face learning with digital learning programs for a more effective and efficient learning experience. We are also expanding our executive leadership programs for emerging leaders and those in academia, science and engineering. We are forging new partnerships to expand our degree programs in new industry sectors and are creating industry-specific micro-credentials in growth areas.

What advice do you have for Long Island business executives about their workforce?

To invest early and strategically in offering executive and professional development programs in areas including leadership, talent development, project management, and specialized technical literacy and skills. It is critical that organizations encourage and support access and opportunity for professional development to continuously develop the skills and knowledge of their talent as they navigate a global economy.



Women in STEM Leadership Program