In this issue...
There's still time to donate to SSLS in 2020!

“Like most international students, my flight was canceled and I could not travel home for the summer due to the pandemic. It felt hopeless because our visas only allow us to work for the university. Thanks to available funding, SSLS was able to offer me a 3-month research assistant position that enabled me to not only pay my bills but also engage in several research projects. More importantly, I got a chance to take part in a study in collaboration with other colleagues that led to my first publication and possibly a book chapter!”

-Maureen Malomba, SSLS Doctoral Assistant


Thanks to generous contributions from our donors, we were able to raise $750 on Giving Tuesday for summer professional development opportunities and tuition support for our students.

Your financial support will continue to make a positive impact on our students during their enrollment in the Strategic Leadership program. Donor funds can help to provide research assistant stipends, conference travel and fees, dissertation incentives, and other professional development opportunities for SSLS leadership scholars. There's still time to make a tax-deductible donation for 2020! 


Thank you to our 2020 donors!

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our 2020 donors! Because of you, SSLS can continue to offer meaningful and impactful support for research, scholarship, and applied work opportunities for our doctoral students. Thank you!

Ms. Lindsay A. Aldrich & Mr. Jeremy J. Aldrich

Dr. Natalie Ammarell

Mr. Edward G. Bitzer III

Dr. Donovan D. Branche & Mr. Martin G. Branche

Ms. Tiffany A. Brutus

Dr. Sung il “Calvin” Chung

Dr. Geary Cox

Dr. Christine E. DeMars

Dr. Thomas D. Erwin

Mrs. Stephanie R. Forbes & Mr. Jeff K. Forbes'

Mr. Rich A. Harris III & Dr. Karen A. Ford

Mr. John F. Ginnity Jr

Dr. Dara M. Hall & Dr. Michael D. Hall

Dr. Kim Hartzler-Weakley & Mr. Richard J. Weakley

Ms. Sevinj Iskandarova

Mrs. Dawn M. Jones & Mr. Michael S. Jones

Ms. Kristi L. Shackelford & Dr. Michael J. Klein

Dr. Stephen W. Lambert & Mrs. Jacqueline T. Lambert

Dr. Nicholas L. Langridge & Mrs. Jill R. Langridge

Dr. Alyse T. Lehrke

Mr. Matthew S. Lovesky

Ms. Joanna Ruth Marsland

Dr. Kevin M. Meaney

Ms. Maureen Metcalf

Ms. Catherine R. Mitchell

Dr. Paul H. Morgan & Mrs. Shelia K. Morgan

Mrs. Christine P. Murphy & Mr. Michael C. Murphy

Dr. Samuel V. Nickels & Ms. Cynthia A. Hunter

Dr. Lori K. Pyle

Mrs. Jennifer L. Rea & Mr. Thomas D. Rea

Dr. Christopher J. Rehm

Mr. Douglas Reynolds

Ms. Brooke M. Rhodes

Dr. Margaret F. Sloan

Mr. Michael J. Speight & Mrs. Marilyn S. Speight

Ms. Alana H. Stamper-Gimbar

Ms. Whitney M. Tate

Dr. Patricia J. Warner

Mr. Robert T. Winston

Dr. Zachary P. Yoder

Department Updates

#LEADCC21 Conference Update

SSLS will be hosting its 2nd Bi-annual Leading Change Conference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Leadership Studies (#LEADCC21) this coming February! Kickoff events will begin on Wednesday evening February 17, and regular conference sessions will run February 18 and 19, 2021. Proposals are currently under review, registration is open, and the conference planning committee is working to finalize some amazing expert panels and presentations! Here are just a few sessions we have planned for #LEADCC21!


Tackling complex problems with leadership and systems thinking
William Donaldson Christopher Newport, Director Biotechnology and Management Program, author of Simple Complexity
Sharon Welch Kessler NASA Systems Engineer, retired
Claudia Fernandez
University of North Carolina, Associate Professor
Director of ACOG National Leadership Institute
Director, Leadership Core, Food Systems Leadership Institute
Seema Patel Global Knowledge Initiative, CEO
Terry Fernsler JMU, Instructor & Advisor to Nonprofit Studies Minor, Department of Social Work


Navigating crisis:  Future pathways for nonprofit financial leadership
Dennis Young Georgia State University, Nonprofit Policy Forum, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Case Western Reserve
Teresa Harrison Drexel University, Academic Director of the Center for Nonprofit Governance
Robert Fischer
Case Western Reserve University, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, & Chair, Master of Nonprofit Organizations Program
Stuart Mendel National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise, Executive Director
Margaret Sloan JMU, Interim Director & Professor, School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Higher Education Leadership in the New Decade: Cliffs, Opportunities, and Recoveries
Corbin Campbell American University, Academic Dean
Will Simpkins Metropolitan State University, Vice President for Student Affairs
Jason Lane SUNY Albany, Professor and Dean, School of Education
Benjamin Selznick JMU, Assistant Professor, School of Strategic Leadership Studies


The Future of Organizational Leadership: Perspectives from Private Industry and Government Sectors

Maureen Metcalf Innovative Leadership Institute, CEO & Consultant
Stephanie Gorman Modern Work at Microsoft, Director of Customer Success, 
Paul Lester Naval Postgraduate School, Associate Professor
Adam Vanhove  JMU, Associate Professor, School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Ask the Expert Sessions:

Susan E. Murphy

Chair in Leadership Development & Co-director Centre for Strategic Leadership, University of Edinburgh Business School

Pamela Eddy  Book Talk and Q&A

Professor of Higher Education, William & Mary and author of "Leading for Tomorrow: A Primer for Succeeding in Higher Education Leadership"

These are just a few panels and sessions we have in store for #LEADCC21! Stay tuned after the holidays for more news!




#LEADCC21 Dates & Deadlines
December 31
Deadline for Strategic Leadership Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations
January 1 
Notification of Proposal Acceptance/Decline Decisions Deadline
February 5

Last Day to Register for Conference &

Final Papers for Accepted Proposals Due

Advisory Committee Update

Hilda Gay Legg

Ms. Legg brings knowledge and skills from experience in public, non-profit, and private industries. She has served in several presidential appointed roles such as within the U.S. Department of Education, and in various capacities focused on rural economic development. She has also served as the first executive director and CEO at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky, and she owned a small business assisting community leaders and telecommunications providers with building broadband networks in rural America and is the former principle of Legg Consulting. She is currently the Rural USDA Director for the state of Kentucky and is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Leadership program. Welcome, Ms. Legg!

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