The students and affiliated faculty of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies are excited to share our November newsletter highlighting our accomplishments and progress. We hope you take the time to stay up to date with our program, and if you have feedback, please let us know.

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Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies
College of Education, Department of Leadership Studies

The University of Central Arkansas interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies (LEAD) program prepares active professionals from education, healthcare, government, and nonprofit settings to contribute to the body of knowledge in leadership studies and to enhance human and community development through their research and service.

The LEAD program currently consists of seven cohorts with 54 students. Eight students are in dissertation, 18 in qualifying paper, and 28 in coursework. 
LEAD student Cody Vest was recently named one of the 2019 National Education Association (NEA) Foundation Global Learning Fellows. 

When we asked Cody how he felt about receiving this honor, he stated, "I’m not quite sure how I received this honor, but I’m excited to be one of the 2019 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows. I have been in Washington, DC the past several days meeting all of the other incredible fellows and beginning our yearlong global education professional development that culminates in South Africa this July."

We are very proud of you, Cody, and wish you the best of luck!
LEAD alum Kateryna Ligon and current student Courtney Bryant recently graduated from Conway Area Leadership Institute. The Conway Area Leadership Institute prepares emerging leaders to serve the Conway community. For more information on the program and application, please visit: Conway Chamber Website
Congratulations to LEAD student Kristy Carter on her accomplishment! Kristy was awarded the 2019 LERN International Award for excellence in marketing. 

Kristy stated, "There's nothing like winning an international award to show that I am one of the best marketers in the world! This one is for UCA Women's Leadership Network! Thanks, LERN for the recognition!"
Last month, several LEAD students, alum, and faculty attended and presented original research at the annual International Leadership Association Conference held this year West Palm Beach, Florida. Research presentations included topics focused on authentic leadership for progress, peace and prosperity.  Presenters included LEAD students Amber Harbin, Larissa Collier, Sarah Argue, Josh Wilson; alum, Harvell Howard, and; faculty, Dr. McClellan and Dr. North.  

Presenters were asked about their experience and LEAD student Sarah Argue stated, "ILA once again highlighted the importance of leadership in our turbulent world. We were reminded that we can make positive change through collaborative and authentic leadership that engages followers in meaningful ways. The ILA conference continues to renew my energy and commitment to the study of leadership and social change.”

Congratulations to everyone who presented and participated!

Pictured above is LEAD student Josh Wilson on the left, and LEAD faculty Dr. North on the right. 
LEAD students Jack Boles, Shanon Brantley, and Emily Lane recently presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting in San Diego. They presented a paper covering findings from a field-based research project focused on public health leadership and well-being in the Arkansas Delta.

When asked about their experience, Emily stated, "We were pleased to have our paper accepted at APHA; it's quite competitive with an acceptance rate of 17.2%. Our discussion focused on leadership implications for public health leaders in disadvantaged landscapes. Overall, the presentation was well received, and we have been invited to present at the Arkansas Public Health Association conference next spring."

Congratulations on your presentation!

LEAD student, Joyce Ajayi and alums Drs. Malcolm Glover and Mariama Balla collaborated to support World Woman Summit 2018. The event was held at the Clinton Presidential Center on October 12, 2018.

This year the summit focused on accelerating women’s leadership in a bold new way to support the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030. A wide range of sessions designed to inspire action and fuel creative fires were delivered. The sessions covered six core pillars: Entrepreneurship, Technology, Finance, Health, Education, and Sustainability.

Congratulations on your contribution!

The LEAD director has been approached by outside agencies seeking assistance by students and faculty in research. 

The first proposed multi-method study would explore multi-sectoral programs within the Arkansas courts that target lowering recidivism rates for youth. The goal of the research project (potentially lasting over two years) will be to gather information regarding the engagement programs and to explore leadership players, processes, and effectiveness. The Faulkner County programs in place for the past few years show a recidivism rate of 6%--an incredibly low rate that warrants investigation in the chance of replicating such programs statewide. 

The second opportunity is working with the Children International (CI) in Little Rock. CI is a Kansas City based, child-focused, international nonprofit organization currently operating in 10 countries. The organization is looking to work with the LEAD program to develop some relevant projects that focus on youth and families. 

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact the LEAD office. 

Ethan N. Dunbar was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Lewisville, Arkansas. He spent most of his adult life serving in the US Army and retired in 2015 after 33 years of honorable service. Ethan has returned to Arkansas to continue serving the community in which he grew up. After serving with the Army in numerous countries, states, and communities, Ethan feels that there is more to offer the residents and youth in his small community through leadership and initiative. He wants to focus his attention, and the attention of the Lafayette County Leadership Council (LCLC), on economic development, education, and community activities. The LCLC is in the process of repurposing the old Stamps Elementary School complex into a much needed Community Activity and Recreation Center to serve the residents of Lafayette County.

In addition to leading the LCLC, he is the immediate past President of the Lewisville Lion’s Club and current President of the Stamps Rotary Club. Ethan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a master’s degree in Management/Public Relations, both from the University of Maryland. He has also obtained the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds a Top Secret security clearance.

When Ethan was asked what he enjoys most about the LEAD program, he stated, "My experience in the LEAD program has validated my concern for humanity, and has helped shape my thought process to think more about fairness, justice, and equality for everyone, especially those who are poverty stricken and less fortunate."

Ethan was recently elected as Mayor of Lewisville. Congratulation, Ethan! We are very proud of you, and we know you will do wonderful things! When asked what his new role means to him, he stated, "I see this as an opportunity, with God's help, to help a small rural community regain its footing and provide a better quality of life for the residents. This is a chance to use my knowledge and contacts from Community Development Institute to improve the public good and provide hope for a better future."
The LEAD office strives to guide and support students along their journey in the program. An initiative to help do so will consist of open advising meetings. During this time, students are encouraged to come and talk directly with Dr. McClellan about course rotation for specific cohorts and/or an individual program of study. Students are also free at any time to set up an individual meeting with Dr. McClellan. 

At the open meeting, students have the opportunity for guidance in identifying and pursuing cognate courses that are relevant to the student's program of study. Remember that these cognates should be relevant to the student's dissertation (content or methodology). 

The next meeting will be December 12 from 4-6 p.m. It is a drop-in/out type meeting. If a student is unable to physically attend, communication through Skype or Zoom are additional options.

Please contact the LEAD Office with any questions or if you plan on attending.
  • "There is always, always something to be thankful for."
    -- Unknown
  • "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." -- Unknown
  • "One cannot be happy without being thankful. Being thankful is the key to happiness."
    -- Unknown

8 Tips for Mental and Physical Health in Grad School

  1. Get enough sleep – you need sleep to function and thrive. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Know when to say “this is enough for tonight.” Allow your brain to rest so you can start fresh the next day.
  2. Exercise improves brain function, so find a routine that you enjoy and will likely follow. Enlist a workout partner to keep you accountable.
  3. A well-balanced diet provides important nutrients to keep your mind and body strong and healthy. Prepping meals ahead of time can make it easier to make healthier food choices.
  4. Establish a routine so you are able to get adequate sleep, exercise, and eat well while maintaining your studies. Having a set sleep schedule, workout routine, and pre-planning for healthy meals will help you stay on track
  5. Winter break is fast-approaching, so finish the semester strong and then make time to enjoy your break to give yourself time to recharge by resting, spending time with friends and family, or traveling.
  6. Meditating and practicing mindfulness can bring peace and tranquility in your busy days. Headspace is a great app to learn the basics of meditation, receive guided meditation exercises, and access articles and videos to help you learn about the benefits of meditating.
  7. Make time to socialize or communicate with friends to avoid burnout.
  8. Break the silence and listen to instrumental music when doing tasks that don’t require complete silence for your concentration.

To celebrate the end of a great semester, we cordially invite you to attend the family-friendly PhD Leadership Studies End-of-Semester Potluck Dinner. We want to welcome your significant other and children to this event as well. The event will be held on Friday, December 7 beginning at 6 p.m. at UCA Downtown (1105 W. Oak Street). 

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP and sign-up for a potluck item by Tuesday, December 4, if possible: RSVP & Sign-up

The 4th Annual Polar Express event will be taking place downtown that night as well. This event is open to the general public. The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. at the Conway Human Development Center (150 East Siebenmorgen Road). Santa will be visiting and pictures with Santa are $5. There will be FREE popcorn and hot chocolate. Other events include: train rides, ornament and cookie decorating, letters to Santa, and Christmas bingo.

We hope to see you there! 

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