The students and affiliated faculty of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies are excited to share our February 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. 
Congratulations to Amy Thompson, Cohort 4 student, on her new position as Assistant Professor in Reading/Literacy in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Department at the University of Central Arkansas. 
Dr. Barrett Petty and his dissertation chair, Dr. Nancy P. Gallivan recently attended the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Conference in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Petty received the ATE Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education Award. Dr. Petty is currently researching and applying for grants to further research his topic qualitatively.  His dissertation topic was "Factors that Contribute to the Completion of Programs of Study at Arkansas Institutions of Higher Education for African American Males." Congratulations, Dr. Petty! Keep up the hard work. 
Sarah Argue, LEAD student, hosted a wonderful baby shower for fellow student, Dana Tribble. Dana celebrated with her colleagues in the LEAD program. Thank you to everyone who attended (Hattie Scribner not pictured). 
According to Dr. Amy Hawkins:
-It's incredibly important to have a regular meeting schedule and stick to it. Meeting face to face is preferred whenever possible.
- Set small, incremental milestones of what is to be accomplished before each meeting. Agree to it and then hold the student accountable for meeting these deadlines.
- Respond frequently to drafts to keep students headed in the right direction.
- Use Google Drive to collaborate and interact with the student's writing.

According to Dr. Tim Atkinson: 
- 2) Pick a topic that inspires you. 
- 3) Do a full literature review on that topic (you should cover at least 3 overlapping areas of scholarship).
- 4) Write every day until the literature review is done.
- 5) Know the gaps in that literature.
- 6) Formulate research questions.
- 7) Select the appropriate research design (quantitative or qualitative) based on the nature of the research questions, not based on whether one is easier than the other. Both methods follow standards of rigor that should be followed. 
- 8) Do not switch topics. Improve the one you have. There will be time to do other research projects after you graduate. 
- 9) Stay vigilant to the end. 
- 10) Graduate.

According to Dr. Duston Morris: 
- Staying productive with your dissertation means being immersed in some form of daily reading or writing related to the dissertation project.
- Block off and use one hour each day. Put it on your calendar every week and stay committed to using that time only for dissertation related tasks. Do this work in an area that is completely free of distractions. One hour a day goes a long way if you use it wisely!  

Emily L. Harris is a Public Health Educator and a Trauma Recovery Specialist. She holds a BS in Community Health Education from the University of Central Arkansas and a MPH from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She currently serves Arkansas as Safety Officer for AR-1 DMAT, a team of emergency response professionals who provide services under the National Disaster Medical System in the event of a disaster that overwhelms local health care service delivery. Emily collaborates in curriculum development and community-based training as a member of the ALERT Project, a nonprofit organization designed to create locally-empowered response teams to sustain healthy communities. She maintains clinician skills as a National Board Certified and state-licensed massage therapist, assisting individuals in the quest for overall health and providing trauma recovery support for those in the healing process. Emily supports local environmental justice advocacy and serves as a volunteer member of the EPA Region VI Environmental Justice planning team.

Emily stated, "In the face of a plethora of political, social, and environmental challenges, my fellow students in the LEAD program and our instructors all clearly exhibit the dedication to generate research and support education in leadership development necessary to sustain the pursuit of an improved quality of life for all. I am extremely grateful to have become part of a community of scholars that hold dear the same values as I do to honor, protect, and preserve a better future for Arkansas and the world."


Dr. Atkinson is an affiliated faculty member of the PhD in Leadership program. He teaches Leadership and Complex Organizations course where students use "Reverse Case Study" and "The Final Question" methods. Dr. Atkinson stated, "My students tell me they enjoy the methods because they are challenging and fun, and that's the point. I think we should use creativity in the classroom because it taps the cognitive domain where learning is generative. It's also satisfying for the instructor to see students create new ideas this way." Currently, he serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in Graduate Medical Education at the University of Arkansas – Medical Sciences. He helps medical residents navigate the complex medical organization. 

Maiolino and Kuiper (2016) published an article that talked about humor styles and their effect on subjective well-being. According to Maiolino and Kuiper, there is a vast amount of literature that states the positive benefits humor has on well-being, and that the style of humor plays a role. According to Maiolino and Kuiper, self-deprecating humor is not associated with increases in well-being, while positive (adaptive) humor is. 

 In recognition of our need to laugh, the LEAD office will be hosting a Gloom's Day Party, Thursday, March 16th from 6-8 pm at the home of Dr. McClellan. This will be an event where students and faculty can come together and enjoy each other's company while playing board games. We hope you are able to attend. 
This month, Dr. Morris and Dr. McClellan walked in the Mississippi Marathon. The event was organized to raise awareness of well-being in the Delta. Keep up the hard work! 
We are currently taking applications for the 2017 cohort – to start in the Fall of 2017.  Click here for more information on our application process.  The deadline to apply is April 1, 2017.
Copyright © 2017 University of Central Arkansas, All rights reserved.

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