“The PhD Leadership program at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has helped me explore and connect my practical experience as a leader in the nonprofit and higher education arenas with theory and research,” said Goodman. “It has deepened my theoretical understanding and practical application of leadership.”
Currently, Dr. Goodman serves as the Executive Director of Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton.
Nationally, she serves as immediate past chairperson of the IMPACT National Student Conference on Service, Action, and Advocacy board of directors.
Dr. Wesley Alford graduated in the Summer of 2014. His dissertation examined how perceived employee-leader relationships and the employee’s public service motives explain the individual’s job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
“The LEAD program helped me grow professionally as a researcher and individually as an emerging leader,” said Alford.
Currently, Dr. Alford serves as a Senior Organizational Development Consultant at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Dr. P. Hope Coleman graduated in the Summer of 2015. Her dissertation was a phenomenological study of spiritual leadership.
Dr. Coleman reflected on the LEAD program, “My experience in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Leadership Studies program was invaluable to me. Not only did I experience professional growth as an academician, I also discovered the surprising joy of research in the area of spiritual leadership, a field of study for which I am passionate.”
Dr. Coleman currently serves as the Academic and Spiritual Counselor for Baptist Health College Little Rock.
Dr. Lyle M. Rupert graduated in the Summer of 2015. His dissertation focused on faculty perception on change readiness in Liberal Arts colleges.
Looking back on his journey, Lyle said, “From the very first day of class through the final revision of my dissertation, I felt great support from everyone in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Leadership program. The director, the teachers, and my committee members provided the necessary structure and advice to help me succeed. I appreciate the time and expertise they shared with me. I also value the friendships I’ve made with my colleagues and look forward to working with them on future endeavors. We are well-prepared for lives as scholar leaders.”
Dr. Rupert currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Economics and Business at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
Dr. Malcolm Elliott Glover graduated in the Fall of 2015. His research examined the interrelated nature of gendered leadership, conflict management, and cultural identity at a global nonprofit organization and it explored the ways leaders manage a multicultural workforce to address humanitarian challenges in an interdependent world.
“The Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership program aided my understanding of the actions and motivations of leaders who seek solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems that plague our society,” said Glover.
Currently, Dr. Glover serves as Director of the Delta Veterans Program at ARVets, an Arkansas-based nonprofit that provides services to veterans and their families.
Nationally, he is a writer and editor for the Advise the President Book Series, a joint educational endeavor between the National Archives and the Kettering Foundation that assess the policies of U.S. Presidents.
Dr. Barrett W. M. Petty graduated in the Fall of 2015. His dissertation explored factors that contribute to the completion of programs of study at Arkansas institutions of higher education for African American males.
“I’ve always had a passion for numbers. The Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership program supported my efforts in providing clear and rich themes from numerical data so that everyone can easily be informed of current trends,” said Petty.
Dr. Petty has presented at several Association of Teacher Educators national conferences and the first inaugural African and African American Studies Research Symposium at UCA. Currently, Dr. Petty serves as the Director of College Transitions at Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter Schools.
Dr. Jamie Earls graduated in the Fall of 2015. Her dissertation focused on meeting the needs of student veterans through integrative leadership in higher education.
Currently, Dr. Earls serves as Faculty Advisor to the International Association of Emergency Managers Student Chapter at Arkansas Tech University. She is also a member of the Arkansas Crisis Response Team.
Dr. Craig Seager graduated in the Fall of 2015. His dissertation focused on the development and field testing of a living-learning program instrument.
Dr. Seager said of his experience in the LEAD program, “I truly enjoyed my experience in the LEAD program. From day one, the support of the program faculty, both in and out of the classroom, illustrated their genuine concern for our success. The LEAD program allowed me to discover different ways that I could impact my field and make a difference.”
Currently, Dr. Seager is the Assistant Director for Housing at UCA.
Dr. Zhi Luan graduated in the Spring of 2016. Before Dr. Luan came to study in the U.S., he was a college instructor teaching a variety of courses in cultural studies and business management. He was also a leader of several educational and legal organizations in China.
Dr. Luan reflected on his time in the program, “LEAD helped me comprehensively understand leadership. The program broadens your mind on leadership theories and practice, and makes you sufficiently informed and prepared to serve with leadership roles in your organizations and communities in the future. From my learning in this program, I have become aware that leadership is a power — it is a power of love and wisdom.”
Tim is a pastor, a commissioned Army officer, and a black belt in Aikido. He believes strongly in mentoring future leaders to tackle complex issues that can bring about social change in our state.
Dr. Bullington currently serves as pastor of Fayetteville First Church of the Nazarene.
Dr. Lonnie Jackson graduated in the Summer of 2016. His dissertation explored leadership for community development.
Dr. Jackson said this of the program: “The Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies program offered me the opportunity to study leadership styles and develop my research capabilities and writing skills. The faculty and staff offered support and encouragement throughout the entire process.”
He currently serves as M.B.A. Director and Assistant Professor of Management at Henderson State University.
Dr. Searight says, “The Interdisciplinary PhD Leadership Studies program at UCA has broadened my perspective in leadership. I have enjoyed working with the program participants who have diverse experiences and perspectives in leadership. Conversations among members have always been thought-provoking, deep and at times intense. My experience at UCA has allowed me to collaborate with peers and community groups in leadership development.”
She is currently employed as the Director of Curriculum/Federal Programs/Professional Development for the Searcy County School District in Marshall, Arkansas.
Dr. Balla believes the LEAD program has equipped her with skills and knowledge necessary to support and influence government, non-government, and national policies meant to tackle community and economic development back in her country of Niger.