Leadership Studies Program outgrows Catt Center

Since it was created in 2008, Iowa State’s interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Program – originally called Community Leadership and Public Service – has been housed at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and directed by Catt Center director Dianne Bystrom. The program arose out of courses offered by the Catt Center since 2002 through its Axel Leadership Development Series. The Leadership Studies Program currently has 168 enrolled students and 299 graduates.

Summer 2018 has seen some changes in staffing for the program, and following the Aug. 10 retirement of Bystrom, the Leadership Studies Program will no longer be coordinated through the center.

“As the Leadership Studies Program continued to grow in students enrolled and faculty to teach the courses, I’ve advocated to separate its administration from the Catt Center,” Bystrom said. “We’re proud that Catt Center staff members were able to design, develop and coordinate this student leadership development program for more than 10 years. We believe that separating the Leadership Studies Program from the Catt Center will allow both to grow under new directors.”

In May, Sabrina Shields-Cook became the Leadership Studies Program adviser, replacing leadership studies lecturer Julie Snyder-Yuly, who has served as the program's primary adviser for the past two years. Shields-Cook, who received her master's degree in rhetoric, composition and professional communication from Iowa State in 2007, has served as an academic adviser for Iowa State's Communications Studies Program since 2016. She previously advised in both the College of Engineering and College of Business. Snyder-Yuly will remain as a lecturer for the Leadership Studies Program.

Also in May, Kimberly Hope, who received a bachelor's degree in political science from Iowa State in 2008, began her duties as a program assistant for the program, replacing Sue Cloud, who had been providing administrative support for the program in addition to her role as communications specialist for the Catt Center. A new program assistant at the university, Hope also supports the Women's and Gender Studies Program and Communications Studies Program. She previously served as operations manager at Iowa Resource for International Service in Ames. Cloud will remain in her position as communications specialist for the Catt Center.

This fall, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will begin an internal search for a new director for the Leadership Studies Program, with the new director assuming that role in January. An interim director will be appointed for the fall semester.

Changes in faculty administrative roles will also occur in the fall. Tara Widner, leadership studies lecturer, will direct the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program, taking over from leadership studies lecturer Amber Manning-Ouellette, who will leave Iowa State in August for a tenure-track faculty position as an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at Oklahoma State University. Widner will continue to direct the Vermeer International Leadership Program, a partnership between the Leadership Studies Program and the Vermeer Corp. that offers students a year-long, in-depth leadership experience focused on the fields of engineering, business and agriculture.

Snyder-Yuly will coordinate program assessment, which was initiated by Manning-Ouellette in 2017-2018. Expanding the work of Manning-Ouellette, Snyder-Yuly will analyze elective and capstone course evaluations; conduct focus groups; and collect and analyze formal assessment data from LD ST 270 "Campus Leadership Development," LD ST 322 "Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society," and LD ST 422 "Leadership Capstone Seminar: Theory to Practice" to develop a comprehensive annual assessment plan for the program.

The Leadership Studies Program is in the process of hiring a new lecturer to begin in fall 2018.