Leadership program wins award, changes name

Iowa State’s Leadership Studies Program, which is coordinated by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, has undergone several changes, continued growth and university recognition in recent months.

In November 2014, the 15-credit-hour minor in leadership studies was added to the program. And, in February 2015, the 21-credit-hour certificate in community leadership and public service was renamed the certificate in leadership studies. The two credentials now compose the Leadership Studies Program.

"The response from the students to the new minor has been strong, with 10 students enrolling in the spring 2015 semester," said Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center director. "The addition of the minor to the program has served to strengthen the leadership education opportunities available to Iowa State students in all colleges."

Overall enrollment in the program has continued to grow, with the combined enrollment in the certificate and minor surpassing 200 students in the spring 2015 semester.

"This spring saw the largest certificate graduating class to date," said Clint Stephens, lecturer in leadership studies who coordinates the Leadership Studies Program for the Catt Center. "At Iowa State’s graduation on May 9, 24 students were awarded the certificate and one student was awarded the minor. Another 20 students are on track to earn the certificate in the summer or fall of 2015."

In May, the Leadership Studies Program enjoyed university-wide recognition when it received the 2015 Learning Communities Partner award, which honors a department or office that has partnered with and supported learning community initiatives at Iowa State University. The Leadership Studies Program partnered with the Leadership ISU and Program for Women in Science and Engineering learning communities in fall 2014 to offer small breakout sections of CLPS 270, Campus Leadership Development, just for students in those learning communities. The program was nominated for the award by Kevin Merrill, who coordinates the Leadership ISU learning community, and Allie Parrott, program coordinator with PWISE.

The Leadership Studies Program also recently partnered with the Academic Program for EXcellence, an eight-week summer program that helps multicultural students transition to Iowa State University prior to their first semester. This summer, the Leadership Studies Program is offering a section of CLPS 270 for students in the APEX program.

"The connection the students have through their involvement with a learning community or with APEX really gives us a chance to tailor class activities and discussions to shared leadership experiences and concerns," said Cameron Beatty, lecturer in leadership studies and instructor for the course. "In addition to helping these students progress in their leadership development, we hope to use the lessons we learn as a program to offer similarly-focused leadership courses for other groups in the future."

Several changes in the leadership studies faculty have accompanied the growth in the program.

Kelly Winfrey – lecturer in leadership studies during the 2014-2015 academic year and one of two lecturers to teach in Sweden for the center’s first global leadership study abroad program this summer – accepted a position as the first tenure-track faculty member affiliated with the Catt Center. Starting in August, she will share her teaching and research time between the Catt Center and Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, which will be her tenure home department. Winfrey will continue her administrative work at the Catt Center, which includes overseeing the biennial Ready to Run® Iowa campaign training school, the Archives of Women’s Political Communication and the Women in Iowa Politics database.

To keep up with increased demand for the core leadership courses, a new lecturer – Amber Manning-Ouellette – will join the leadership studies faculty in August. She earned her Ph.D. in educational administration and higher education in May 2015; a graduate certificate in women, gender and sexuality studies in 2011; a master’s degree in education in 2009; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2005 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Manning-Ouellette currently serves as director of enrollment management for the SIU College of Business.