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Jeremy Graves on the newfound power of Boise State’s Professional and Continuing Education

Jeremy Graves has spent the last decade working in Idaho communities to tackle some of our biggest challenges, from helping families in crisis to ending homelessness. Now teaching and serving as Assistant Director for Boise State’s Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), formerly known as the Center for Professional Development, Graves does not believe his community work has ended. Instead, as he explains, “Big systemic changes are only possible with transformational leadership.”

Graves believes real change comes from the positive development of people. He saw an opportunity to do just that with the PACE. PACE attracts people working in business, government and non-profits who want to reach their fullest potential as leaders, innovators and changemakers.

Jeremy Graves at the front of a classroom, smiling.
Jeremy Graves teaching a class at PACE. Photo by Arlie Sommer, Boise State Extended Studies.

Boise State’s Professional and Continuing Education

PACE provides world-class education and services for professionals and organizations. They curate and deliver in-person and online courses and customized programming for individuals and organizations. PACE instructors teach from the core of their own lived experiences as seasoned professionals and distinguished leaders — you learn from people who have walked the walk. Course content is not purely theoretical or academic but intentionally designed to be immediately applicable in the workplace.

“PACE works at intentionally connecting the university to the needs of the business community. We do this in many ways in hopes of attracting a variety of organizations and people to Boise State,” Graves explained. “This has been my focus — to use the thought leadership and subject matter expertise of colleges and faculty within the university to expand the footprint of our connections both on and off the campus.”

Graves is most excited about PACE’s emotional intelligence course offerings, including The Emotional Intelligence Difference class that walks students through a 13-page emotional quotient assessment to reflect on and develop that most important characteristic of an effective leader.

On teaching and authentic leadership

His approach to teaching and creating a positive learning environment begins with “setting our culture together,” he said. “I ask ‘what would make our time together more productive?’ at the beginning. I don’t rescue silence and know that in the silence, reflection is happening.”

What is the common thread between all Graves’ courses and work for PACE? Authenticity. 

“My desire to help people grow in their understanding of themselves and become comfortable in their own skin comes from my own journey as a leader. I started out as an inauthentic leader because I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and unwilling to admit weakness. It was only through self-acceptance and being okay with who I am, that I felt I was able to truly lead.”

A “People Developer”

As a “People Developer”, according to his LinkedIn bio, Graves imparts that he is committed to the “long road and helping people develop at their own pace. It’s not just about getting a certificate or taking a class and then checking a box and that’s it,” he says.

Graves is still learning too. He points to the work of Simon Sinek and Brene Brown, a transformational read called Rare Leadership by Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder and podcasts and books by Ron Price and Stacy Ennis as being important sources for his learning.

Jeremy Graves leans on a table to help two students.
Jeremy Graves works with students at PACE. Photo by Arlie Sommer, Boise State Extended Studies.

But for Graves, it’s always about the people. “I met a guy who had been passed over for a supervisor position four seperate times. Together, we did an assessment and developed a growth plan. I’ll always remember the day he told me that he finally got the promotion.”

To connect with Jeremy Graves or learn more about Boise State’s Professional and Continuing Education, visit


Written by Pamela Craig, Boise State Extended Studies