The students and affiliated faculty of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies are excited to share our March 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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College of Education, Department of Leadership Studies

The PhD in Leadership (LEAD) program prepares scholar leaders to research and act for the common good. Recognizing that complex challenges require an integration of responsible leaders from various community sectors, program graduates will transform education, government, and nonprofit organizations to strengthen human and community capabilities.


The LEAD program currently consists of five cohorts with 46 students.  Ten students are in dissertation, 20 in qualifying paper, and 16 in coursework. 
LEAD students Chassidy Cooper and Shannon Williams facilitated their presentation,"Academic Coaching: A Crossroads to Student Retention" at the Nacada Region 7 conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma earlier this month. Over 60 participants attended this interactive presentation.

Chassidy Cooper also facilitated a poster presentation at this conference entitled, "Stretched Too Thin: Overcoming Mandatory Advising Roadblocks." 

Congratulations to Shannon and Chassidy on your work! We are proud of your accomplishments. 
Jeannie Stone has had several speaking invitations. She delivered a workshop to CASA foster parents, has been an interviewee on the relevance of art in America for 91.9 FM, and spoke at a rally on health care at the University of Arkansas. Congrats, Jeannie. We are proud of your hard work. Keep sharing your passions!
Congratulations to LEAD student, Michelle Buchanan, on her recent publications. Michelle is co-author or author on the following chapters: 
  • Ch. 9 Integrating Engineering Design Processes into Classroom Curriculum by Michelle Buchanan and Dr. Debbie Dailey in Designing Innovative Engineering Instruction for High Ability Learners in K-8 Classrooms, Prufrock Press. The purpose of this book is to assist educators in addressing the engineering standards in their general and gifted classrooms.  
  • Ch. 5 A Triad of Instructional Coaching: Changing Classroom Practices by Michelle Buchanan in Coaching for Classroom Change: Embedded Support using Traditional and Virtual Formats, Roman and Littlefield. The purpose of this book is to provide alternative and innovative methods to improve preservice and inservice teacher education. 

Congratulations to Leah Horton for successfully defending her dissertation: "Toward capabilities-based environmental leadership: A case study from Kanembwe, Rwanda." Dr. Horton's work was a labor of love, and we wish her well on her journey as an alum of the LEAD program.

Dr. Horton (center) is pictured here with her committee (from left to right): Dr. Rhonda McClellan, Dr. Jayme Millsap Stone, Dr. Ben Cash, Dr. William Slaton, and Dr. Peter Mehl.

Congratulations to LEAD student, Amy Thompson, for being appointed as UCA’s representative to the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence (R.I.S.E.) team, which is a new initiative in the state!
Congratulations to LEAD student, Dana Tribble, and her family on the birth of their daughter, Ruby Sue Tribble. 
"I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter's tough, but spring's coming. I believe that there's a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better." --Steve Southerland

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." --Harriet Ann Jacobs
Thank you to those who attended the Gloom's Day Party this month. We enjoyed getting together! 
UCA Be Well is dedicated to creating a campus culture that supports the well-being of all faculty and staff. To learn more visit 
Shanon Brantley resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She is a career Speech-Language Pathologist with 15 years of experience in acute care hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals. Shanon received a master’s degree from Arkansas State University in 1999. She returned to ASU in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders where she teaches voice disorders, motor speech disorder, and swallowing disorders courses, along with providing clinical supervision to undergraduate and graduate level students at the Arkansas State University Speech and Hearing Center. Shanon is the program coordinator of ASU’s Head and Neck Cancer Interdisciplinary Treatment and Education Program, where a multidisciplinary team approach allows for best clinical practices, optimal outcomes, and improved quality of life for program participants. 

Shanon stated, "The LEAD program has provided me the foundation to be a leader with successful relationships across various disciplines and organizations by use of an interdisciplinary education approach. I frequently find myself reflecting back on the valuable information learned from classroom discussions with the myriad of instructors and fellow students alike and see how it positively impacts both my personal and professional life. For me, the most valuable aspect of the LEAD program has been the opportunity to incorporate leadership theory and scholarship with active research, conference presentations, and potential publications through the use of field-based research projects. The LEAD program has made me a better leader but more importantly, a better person."
Dr. Stephanie Huffman is a professor in the Department of Leadership Studies. This is currently her 16th year at the University of Central Arkansas. She serves as an instructor and program coordinator for two graduate programs: 1) the MS Library Media and Information Technologies program and 2) the MS Instructional Technology program. Dr. Huffman has ten years of P-12 experience, as a classroom teacher, library media specialist, technology coordinator, and assistant principal. Dr. Huffman holds several degrees - a BSE in Vocational Business Education, a MS in Library Media and Information Technologies, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Huffman has been called on numerous times by state, regional, national agencies and professional organizations, for assistance based on her expertise in educational technology and library science. She has published over 20 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and edited books in the field of library science and instructional technology. A few of her publications include edited books entitled Technology Tools for the Literacy Classroom and Cases for Building Quality Distance Delivery Programs and journal articles entitled The Use of Audiobooks in the School Library, The Lack of Citations and Copyright notices in Multimedia Presentations, Socratic Dialogue and Order in Online Chat Rooms, and Technology Planning: The SIMPLE Model. During the past few years she has been honored by receiving several awards, in 2009 she received the Technology Leader of the Year award from the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media, in 2012 she was honored with the Retta Patrick Leadership award from the Arkansas Library Association, and in 2012 she won the Pat McDonald Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media. Her research interests include distance education, technology planning and leadership, literacy, and teacher leadership.
When she asked what she enjoys most, she stated, "My love has and will always be seeing our students grow as scholars and leaders. The evolution of our students; their inspirational passion for constructing innovative avenues in human development and their pioneering the fight for the well-being of others is at the heart and soul of our program."
Dr. Amy Hawkins has been promoted to Associate Professor. Way to go, Dr. Hawkins! We are very proud of you and all you do for our program. 
The PhD in Leadership Department is planning a hiking retreat this spring. We plan on meeting at Mather Lodge restaurant at Petit Jean State Park and hiking the cedar falls trail. This is a beautiful trail that ends with you seeing one of Arkansas pristine waterfalls; it's not to be missed. We plan on eating at the Mather Lodge, after our hike. We will be sending an email soon with the date and time.  
A New Leadership Ethic: Strategies for Leading Authentically and Dealing with Destructive Leaders, will be presented by Malcolm North (Confucius Institute) on April 6, 2017 from 1:40-2:30 p.m. in College of Business 100. This presentation is a part of the Exploring Our World Lecture Series.

According to the College of Liberal Arts and Office of the Provost, "Participants will better understand and identify when workplace/study or organizational climates are threatened or compromised by ineffective leadership and gain knowledge of ethical and coping strategies. This talk will bring recent research into practical areas of business and leadership studies. It introduces a new theoretical framework to relevant audiences. This workshop is ideal for leaders in multiple sectors, psychology students, faculty, staff and local community members."

If you are interested, please register online: RSVP Online

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