It is so exciting to see all of the great things happening in the ALE community. Through the ALE Awards, we can recognize some great individuals and programs which are making great impacts in leadership education. Congratulations to each of the award winners this year! The following is a recap of the award winners, which were recognized at the 2013 ALE Conference:
Founding Mothers Award-Student Scholarships
Laura Lemons-Texas Tech University
Laura Lemons recently graduated with her Ph.D. in Agricultural Education from Texas Tech University. Laura had this to say in her application with regard to what role she sees leadership education playing in our world’s future: “Leadership is an absolute necessity for students today. It is well documented that employers seek graduates who possess skills taught in leadership education. It is imperative that rigorous courses and programs be developed and delivered. Leadership theory must be purposefully paired with experiential learning opportunities to apply the learned skill
Jessica Benson-University of Georgia
Jessica Benson is pursuing a Master’s degree in Agricultural Leadership from the University of Georgia. Jessica’s career goals include teaching leadership theory and application in higher education and working with student organizations to foster and develop the leadership skills of group members. Her immediate goals include finishing a master’s degree in agricultural leadership and gaining experience teaching and researching in the leadership field.
Caroline Tart-Undergraduate, North Carolina State University
In her application, Caroline reflected on her experiences which drew her to leadership education: “My passion for leadership began as a State FFA officer where I was engaged in teaching leadership skills to members. That led me to NCSU, where I enrolled in leadership courses, further confirming my passion and desire to be more knowledgeable! I only look forward to learning more at ALE!”
Jana Kubecka-Undergraduate, Texas A&M University
Jana wrote about her desire to study leadership in her application. She said “Leaders are made, not born, and in the last decade our country has failed at producing quality leaders. I chose to study leadership in order to develop my personal leadership style so that I may have a positive impact in my community and be a valuable asset to the workforce.”
Each of these individuals have received a $250 scholarship to cover the cost of registration to the ALE conference.
Shepperd Edge Program
Noted by reviewers on this program is the impact in numbers of individuals reached. Since the inception of the program in 1995, the Institute has averaged 30 Forums per year with an average of 100 students per forum. To date, they have worked with over 50,000 students in Texas. Each year they work with approximately 3,000 students in 30 Texas communities to introduce many of the students to leadership concepts for the first time. The Institute has developed a full year curriculum entitled Rising to the Challenge that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency for those schools that are interested in offering leadership as an elective. They are especially proud of the work done with students who don’t ordinarily get the opportunity to be exposed to leadership education opportunities, such as Migrant students, small school districts, and those students in Alternative schools.
Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award was presented to Jonathan Velez. This ALE rising star has made notable contributions as a young scholar. He has created two new leadership courses, developed a yearlong intensive cohort model leadership academy, and has developed and started a new leadership minor. He was recently awarded the Terence Bradshaw Professorship in Agricultural Sciences Leadership Education endowed professorship, which is rare for an Assistant Professor. He has been active in fundraising for the leadership academy including raising $225,000 in endowed student scholarship funds and $200,000 in committed statement of intent funds. Jonathan is an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University.
Robin Orr Outstanding Practitioner Award
Our Robin Orr Outstanding Practitioner Award this year goes to Kelleen Stine-Cheyne. According to her nominator, Kelleen is someone who “has the tremendous ability to prioritize people and develop their ability to perform at the highest level.” Her professionalism and initiatives for employee development promote a tremendous foundation of positive leadership at her university and the professional organizations she serves. Her nominator also says “she challenged me to challenge the system of traditional education and create content and instructional design to maximize the learners’ potential.” She is currently the Director of the Teaching Learning Resource Center (TLRC) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) and the Interim Director of the HSC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
Distinguished Leadership & Service Award
Dr. Susan R. Komives is Professor Emerita of College Student Affairs at the University of Maryland. Susan has numerous accolades and achievements. The following are a few highlights. She was lead author of the Leadership Identity Development model research and was co-principal investigator of the Multi-institutional Study of Leadership project, a 100+ campus study of college student leadership outcomes and campus practices that contribute to those outcomes. She has authored a dozen books or monographs including Student Services, Exploring Leadership, Leadership for A Better World, and the Handbook for Student Leadership Development. Susan has been a solid supporter of the Association of Leadership Educators, including serving as a member of the Journal of Leadership Education’s Editing Managing Board since the journal was founded in 2002 and serving as s keynote speaker for the 2006 ALE conference in Big Sky MT. Although she recently retired from her full-time career in leadership education, her legacy will live on, because she has built a solid foundation for the continuation of our research and understanding of leadership education and development.