Dr. Leppington’s passion for understanding human beings, their humour, their cruelty, their creativity and capacity to learn and to transform started at Art College, Yorkshire, England, in the 1960s. There, she studied painting, drawing, printmaking, jewellery, 3-D art, graphic design, pottery, welding and the history of art. She completed her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Fine Art and Cinematography with minors in the History and Philosophy of Science and English Literature at Leeds University.
After some years working as a drummer in musical political theatre and performance arts, she was employed as a medical artist in a cancer hospital in London, illustrating surgical procedures and medical conditions, and freelancing as an illustrator of fiction and non-fiction books. In the 1980s, she moved to the U.S.A. and completed amazing and life-changing Master’s and Ph.D. programs in human communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, under the tutelage of Drs. Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen.
Dr. Leppington’s particular areas of study are discourses of evolution, emergent complexity and personal and social transformation in human systems. These include the social construction and the recovery and transformation of survivors of trauma and abuse, and the re-construction of conflict into peacemaking. Her master’s thesis was about the Kaleidoscope Forum developed at UMass; it became the model for the now highly respected Public Conversation Project.
Dr. Leppington has studied systemic family therapists; sexual abuse and survivorship; and emergent interactional issues of race, religion, and ethnicity. Her papers include Constructivism to Social Constructionism: Doing Critical Therapy, published in Human Systems: Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management and The Case for a Powerful Pacifism: Identity, Institution and a Peace Process. She has presented Northern Ireland, A Country Quartered into Three Halves at the War and Peace conference at James Madison University.
While an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Parkside, she formed the Parkside Akido Club in collaboration with instructors from the Midwest Aikido Centre in Chicago. She is a noted invited presentational speaker and gave the keynote address at the Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence Graduate Conference in 2010.
Current projects include a series of papers about developing community in on-line college courses; exploring the current developments in consciousness studies and personal and global evolution; the conflict transformations of survivors of trauma and abuse, and work is in progress on a book to be titled Communication, Social Construction and Emergent Reality. She has ongoing and vested interests in the unifying peace philosophy of Master Morehei Ueishiba.