Community Learning Team

UT Learning & Development’s Susan Franzen and Tommy Darwin provide full-service group facilitation tailored to your needs. As group learning specialists who serve as your partner and guide, they can integrate their content with your desired outcomes or help build something new, just for you. Choose from a list of topics below or work with Tommy and Susan to develop a customized solution. Contact us to discuss pricing.

  1. Communication: Communicating across reporting levels and teams, having difficult conversations, giving critical feedback, and using different communication style and formats (e.g., oral, email, virtual, text, etc.)
  2. Effective Teams: Collaboration strategies, change management, communication, diversity and inclusion, and emotional intelligence.
  3. Identifying Professional Strengths: Intentionally seeking out strengths in ourselves and others, understanding their roles among groups, and knowing how best to apply them.
  4. Problem Solving: Critical thinking, decision, making, collaborating, methodologies.
  5. Working with Diverse Personal Traits and Tendencies: Personality inventories and assessments, interactive exercises to help people see the usefulness (and humor) in diversity.
  6. Workload Management & Productivity: Tools for maintaining focus, being productive, and minimizing distractions, time management principles, workload organization, and prioritizing strategies.

Tommy Darwin

Dr. Tommy Darwin served as the Director of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program in the Moody College of Communication for several years, in his 20 years at UT he held positions in the Graduate School and DDCE. He also worked directly with a number of programs across campus. Dr. Darwin has developed programs and graduate level courses in the broad areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, and community and organizational change. He works with individuals and groups to build their resilience and ability to engage opportunities and adapt effectively to changing situations.

Susan Franzen

Susan is a collaborative, strategic, and visionary leader with a focus on growth, change, and performance improvement. She is Managing Partner of PatternShifts, LLC and Vice President of Strategy and Leadership for AXIOM Learning Solutions where she designs and facilitates programs that improve performance, shift culture, and align with organizational strategy.

Her most recent previous roles include Assistant Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness at The University of Texas System, and founder and president of LifeU, Inc., a national leadership and organizational development consulting firm with offices in Chicago, Boston and Austin.

Additional roles at UT included Director, Shared Services Innovations, where she led the change management and training efforts for various projects, including a multi-institution enterprise resource planning implementation and multi-institution Transformations in Medical Education (TIME) initiative and Director, Leadership Institute where her programs achieved an average 91 percent effectiveness rating.

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Elmhurst College and a Master’s in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University. She is a graduate of Coach University, and is certified in DiSC® Behavioral Theory, Training and Development (Boston University), Evaluation (Kirkpatrick), The Leadership Challenge program and LPI Online 360-assessment, Prosci Change Management, and as a Professional Teleclass Leader.  She is immediate past Chair of Hospice Austin where she has volunteered and served on the Board since 2003.  In her spare time, she reads books on neuroscience “for fun”.