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  • Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship

Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship

The Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship is a creative endeavor that prepares accomplished nurses for innovative health care leadership in the 21st century.

Since 1994, the Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship has provided opportunities for passionate healthcare professionals to expand their leadership capacity. The Fellowship prepares nurse leaders to meet the urgent demands of today's healthcare environment. This progressive leadership Fellowship will equip you to lead and navigate complex organizations, academic institutions, and additional community settings.

Advance your leadership

The Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship will provide you with proven skills, strategies, and techniques for success as a healthcare leader. This visionary Fellowship equips you with a critical foundation for leading through periods of change, building partnerships and circles of influence, and forging collaborations. The Fellowship will help you develop competencies in organizational communications, applying systems concepts, resolving and negotiating conflict, and developing alternative models of leading, managing, and following, in lateral versus hierarchical systems. Individual and group coaching throughout the Fellowship will prepare you for the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities of advanced leadership positions in practice and academia.

During the Fellowship, participants will: 

  • Expand boundaries of leadership through self-awareness, circles of influence, and visionary strategic thinking.
  • Leverage work at a higher level using systems-thinking concepts with highly effective organizational and personal communications.
  • Resolve and negotiate conflicts with mastered communication skills and self-reflection.
  • Challenge traditional linear thinking to lead successfully in today's global, complex, and evolving healthcare environment.
  • Plan and implement a project that illustrates the application of acquired leadership.

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Hopla is an Associate Professor and the Director of the MSN/FNP and DNP tracks at Francis Marion University for over ten years. She continues to practice as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) one day a week at a federally qualified healthcare center, Hope Health in Florence, South Carolina (SC).

Dr. Hopla is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and in the American Academy of Nursing. She has won the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Health Policy Award for her continued work in legislation to increase access to patient care and remove barriers for NP practice.

In 2023 she was awarded the State AANP advocacy award for SC due to her legislative efforts. Dr. Hopla continues her legislative efforts as a board member with the Coalition for Access to Healthcare. She was recently appointed as Co-Chair of the Robert Woods Johnson and AARP Campaign for Action endeavor for nursing. Her research grants total over $3 million dollars. She has over 20 peer-articles published and been an invited speaker with over 30 presentations. She is the past President of the SC Nurses Foundation (SCNF) who’s purpose is to give scholarships to undergraduate and graduate nursing students in SC. Dr. Hopla serves as the Graduate Representative on the South Carolina State Board of Nursing Advisory Committee for Nursing Education. As a recipient of the Palmetto Gold Award, she represents the state as one of the top 100 nurses in SC. 

Dr. Janet Wessel Krejci was the dean and professor of the College of Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

She has numerous publications and funded research grants in the areas of leadership, recruitment and retention, work climate, workforce diversity and change in both acute care and long-term care. She has consulted and presented workshops, courses and keynote addresses on Systems Thinking, Leadership, Change, Conflict and Nursing Excellence to help leaders be more effective, efficient and satisfied in their roles.

Jerry Mansfield is the chief nursing officer for Mount Carmel Health System and associate dean for Leadership and Clinical Practice at the Mount Carmel College of Nursing.

Jerry has worked in healthcare for more than 35 years—from staff nurse roles in orthopedics and critical care to nurse executive roles in ambulatory services and at hospitals in both central Ohio and South Carolina. Jerry graduated with a diploma in nursing from Saint Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Toledo. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Xavier University.

He went on to receive a Master of Science degree in nursing administration, along with a doctorate in public health from The Ohio State University. Jerry is a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow and board-certified Nurse Executive Advanced from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Jerry serves on two national councils: Board Member, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and Co-Chair, the Nurse Executive Council, The Beryl Institute.

Jenny Maxwell is faculty at The Buckley School of Public Speaking.

She has 30 years of professional experience, writing, producing media and presenting workshops and classes. She has coached political leaders and top executives from around the world, helping them hone presentation skills.  She also teaches writing seminars, presents at national conferences and has facilitated multi-day workshops for clients including General Electric, the University of South Carolina, and the National Advocacy Center.

Betty Parker is the owner of Sharper Development Solutions, Inc., a training and development company.

She is a professional speaker, author, and trainer. She provides engaging presentations and training to corporations and individuals who have a desire to grow professionally and personally. She is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) through the Association for Talent Development and a Certified Professional Coach.

Elise Partin is a nonpartisan leader who holds the distinction of being the first female to serve in the office of Mayor in Cayce, South Carolina.

A leader on numerous boards including the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities, she is known as a devoted servant-leader who builds consensus, activates innovations and accomplishes the unimaginable -- fundamentally transforming her city's livability, making it a low-cost high-quality place to live, work and play.  Outside of her mayoral duties, Elise Partin is an Adjunct Faculty member in the School of Public Health, Honors College, and Political Science Department of the University of South Carolina. Elise is a popular speaker and is passionate about helping others find their voice, set and achieve their goals and gain leadership skills.  She creates customized trainings that empower leaders and their teams to successfully express ideas and gain influence through effective oral and persuasive communication including managing crises, drawing from her extensive real-world experience.

Penie Peralta is the retired Vice President of Nursing  at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, S.C. 

She has served in management positions since 1984 and as the Senior Nurse Executive / Chief Nursing Officer since 1995. Career highlights included the design, construction, and relocation of Bon-Secours St. Francis Hospital to its new West Ashley campus in 1996. Pennie led the hospital to 3 consecutive Magnet designations, with the first being in August of 2010. At the regional and state levels, Pennie's efforts were focused on improving the work environment for nursing, increasing the supply of nurses, addressing nursing faculty shortages, and promoting recognition for exceptional nursing practice.

Carolyn R. Swinton is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, of Reveille Executive Coaching and Consulting Services.

Carolyn has served in several clinical leadership roles, in her over 30 years in nursing, including Chief Nursing Executive for the largest Health Care System in South Carolina. She serves as Affiliate Faculty at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, and Clinical Associate Professor at the Clemson University School of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fellow of the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Fellowship Program, an ANCC Board-Certified Nurse Executive, a certified Newfield Network Coach for Personal and Professional Mastery, and International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach. She is certified in Leadership Circle 360© and Manager Edition and is an Everything DiSC © Certified Practitioner.
For over 10 years, she has coached middle and senior-level leaders in the health care sector with an emphasis on supporting development in self-awareness, effective communication, executive presence,and conflict resolution skills. She has presented on Leadership Development, Communications Styles, Time Management, Conflict Resolution, A Team-Based Model of Care, at the local, regional, and national levels. She is the author of the “Nursing with a Passion” blog, “Reflections of Nursing” and co-editor of “The Untold Stories of Nursing.”
She is committed to supporting those individuals and organizations who are ready to embark on journeys to awaken their unique gifts, skills, and talents to achieve personal and professional mastery to live their best lives.

Jeanne U. Cavanaugh is the Director of Clinical Partnerships and Director of the Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellowship with the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.

She is certified as a Nurse Executive Advanced by the ANCC. Jeanne earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Nursing from the University of South Carolina.  Jeanne held a Director of Nursing position for Palmetto Health in Columbia, SC for thirty years of her career. During her thirty years in nursing leadership roles, she led a variety of service areas, including Oncology Services and Emergency Services within a large health system. Jeanne has served as President of several nursing organizations and Boards during her professional career, including Sigma Theta Tau International Alpha Xi Chapter, the South Organization of Nurse Leaders, and the USC College of Nursing Partnership Board. Jeanne currently serves on the Prisma Health - Midlands Board of Directors. She was awarded the 2010 Palmetto Gold Award as one of the top 100 nurses in South Carolina and the Blanch Urey Award for Chapter Service in 2006 from the Alpha Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Jeanne continues her memberships in Sigma Theta Tau International and South Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders. Jeanne’s passion is supporting healthcare leaders to drive quality, compassionate patient-centered care through leadership, practice, education and research.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.