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Association of
Leadership Educators

Guiding the Leaders of Tomorrow

This page was created for ALE members to learn about the individuals who appear on the slate of candidates for election to the 2024-2025 Association of Leadership Educators Board of Directors. Candidates are listed below, organized by position (Vice President, Secretary, Director at Large) and alphabetically by last name within each position. Please take some time to learn more about each candidate below.

You may place your vote using the link sent to members via email on April 1, 2024. 

Vice-President Candidates

Brittany Adams-Pope

About Brittany Adams-Pope . . . 

Dr. Brittany Adams-Pope is a public service associate at the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. As public service faculty at the Fanning Institute, she mainly works within the community and youth development practice groups and assists the institute’s other practice groups, as needed. Brittany’s expertise includes developing leadership programs focused on authenticity, communicating effectively, and being an emotionally intelligent leader. She has worked with a wide variety of populations and strives to create unique leadership programs for all ages. In addition, she is a certified Organization Coach and a certified Equine-Assisted Facilitator, in the up-and-coming field of equine-assisted coaching and facilitation. She received her Ph.D. in Leadership Development from the University of Florida in 2013. Prior to joining the Fanning Institute in 2019, Brittany served on the faculty in the College of Business at the University of Louisville. She is the current Secretary of the Association of Leadership Educators and a member of the International Leadership Association, Engagement Scholarship Consortium, and the Equine Experiential Education Association.

I have been an active member of the Association of Leadership Educators since 2011. I have enjoyed serving the organization in a number of roles including as the Director of Member Services, a Director at Large, and currently as Secretary. In holding these different positions on the board, I feel I have a unique perspective and skillset to be an effective Vice President. ALE has been a mainstay in my professional career since my first conference in 2011. Being able to serve on the Board of Directors has given me a front row seat to see the immense impact our organization can, and does have, on the field of Leadership Education.  I am passionate about continuing to infuse our North Stars and values into the future of ALE and to continue on the path as a financially solvent organization that provides our membership an inclusive space for collaboration, curiosity, and rigor.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve with the current and future Board members and to help our great organization continue to thrive and flourish. I am excited about the future of ALE and would be honored to serve as Vice President.

Secretary Candidates

John Banter

About John Banter. . . 

My name is John Banter and I am the Associate Director of Leadership and Community Engagement at Georgia Southern University. In this role, I direct the Southern Leaders Program, a co-curricular student leadership program, which was recognized by ALE as a 2018 Outstanding Program of the Year and by NASPA with the NASPA Gold Excellence Award. Along with the Southern Leaders Program, I supervise sustainability educational programs, teach leadership courses alongside a fantastic team of leadership educators, and advise the Student Government Association. I also teach graduate leadership courses for the Department of Leadership Studies at The Citadel as an adjunct faculty member. External to higher education, I facilitate leadership development workshops, strategic planning, and offer professional coaching for clients in the non-profit, banking/finance, and governmental agencies. My research interests focus on leadership behavior development, the use of games in leadership learning, and the use of human-centered design in leadership education. I currently serve as a Director at Large with ALE's Board of Directors and serve on multiple non-profit boards in my local community. I hold an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University along with graduate work in Leadership and Homeland Security Management. 

Since my first conference in 2015, I have immensely enjoyed my engagement with the Association of Leadership Educators and knew from the first year that ALE was an organization I would professionally call ‘home’. Our diverse perspectives on leadership and the rich network of leadership educators we provide are what I love and seek to advance by serving as the association's Secretary. For the past two years, I've had the pleasure of serving as a Director at Large on the board of directors where I have co-chaired our Member Services and Focus Area Networks (FANs) Committee specifically assisting our FANs to expand educational opportunities for members beyond the annual conference. In addition to my board involvement with ALE, I have been a conference presenter, a past co-chair of the Student Affairs Leadership FAN, have served on the mini-grant review committee, and currently serve on the conference planning committee. I look forward to continued service to ALE and would be honored to serve the association as Secretary.

Ada Cenkci

About Ada Cenkci. . . 

Dr. Ada T. Cenkci is an Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership in the Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Organizational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University. Her academic journey encompasses a Ph.D. in management and organization, an MBA degree, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. With a passion for teaching, she teaches courses on leadership, diversity, and culture. Dr. Cenkci actively integrates the latest technology tools into her teaching methods, leveraging her knowledge gained from completing the Master of Education in Educational Technology program at Wright State University. Her research focuses on workplace loneliness, belonging, inclusive leadership, and scholarship of teaching. Her scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Leadership Education, Management Research Review, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Educational Psychology.

As an Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University, I have had the privilege of serving as the organizational leadership program director. With a Ph.D. in management and organization, an MBA, and a master’s in educational technology, I teach courses focused on leadership, diversity, and culture. Within my classes, I prioritize the implementation of new teaching methods and the integration of technology, in line with ALE’s core value of “curiosity”. My research focuses on workplace loneliness, belonging, inclusive leadership, and scholarship of teaching. Since joining ALE in 2020, I have attended three annual conferences and contributed to the 2023 conference as a member of the Organizing Committee. Additionally, I have served as an ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Leadership EducationWhat resonates with me most about ALE is its commitment to inclusivity and collaboration. I am dedicated to advancing ALE’s values, particularly fostering a supportive and inclusive community. By collaborating with fellow members, my aim is to further enhance ALE’s welcoming environment, ensuring that every individual feels valued and supported.

Director-At-Large Candidates
(ALE members may vote for up to three individuals in this category)

Curt Friedel

About Curt Friedel. . .

Dr. Curt Friedel is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education, and Director and co-Founder of the Center for Cooperative Problem Solving, at Virginia Tech. He maintains a teaching and research appointment with focus on problem solving and critical thinking as variables of interest in leadership development, team dynamics, and leading organizational change. Dr. Friedel serves as program leader for the graduate certificate, Problem Solving for Leading Change, a twelve credit-hour certificate, at Virginia Tech, which integrates Adaption-Innovation Theory into the academic discourse of problem solving, the science of teams, and social change. Some of the courses Friedel has taught include: Leadership Dynamics, Youth Program Management, Exploring Citizen Leadership, Principles of Peer Leadership, Leading Negotiations for the 21st Century, and Leading Social Change. Dr. Friedel is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). 

 My first experience in attending the ALE conference was in 2004, in Memphis, where I presented a poster as a graduate student. I have been a member of ALE since 2011, although my work as Director of the Virginia Governor’s School for Agriculture (a summer program for gifted youth) had inhibited my ability to participate in the annual conference. From a personal standpoint, now that my children are older, I am looking to reengage with ALE members and serve on the ALE Board of Directors. Many individuals I work with on a daily basis, are individuals who appreciate rigor of scholarship, and looking for a supportive community to share insights from their work. These leadership coaches and business consultants use research to inform their practice, and their practice can inform our research. As a goal, I will seek to help these leadership educators find a sense of belonging in ALE, if they choose to join. If elected as a Director-At-Large on ALE’s Board of Directors, I hope to serve members by helping to create even more value in being a member, and support the continued consistent growth of ALE membership; each of us contributing in our own unique way.

Meghan Kuhn

About Meghan Kuhn. . . 

Meghan Weyrens Kuhn (she/her), M.Ed. serves as the Director of VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning at Virginia Tech since 2019. Meghan has worked in Student Affairs since 2007 in several areas including student conduct, sexual violence prevention, crisis management, leadership education, civic engagement, and food access initiatives. She has taught leadership courses within the Leadership and Social Change Residential College and she has taught a special topic course on team leadership with a service learning component for the Pamplin College of Business. Currently, Meghan facilitates the I WILL (Inspiring Women in Life-long Leadership) Institute for undergraduate and graduate students. This Institute provides space for students to discuss gender and leadership in a cohort model setting. Meghan is CliftonStrengths Coaching certified. She uses this certification to support students in learning to engage and lead more fully during their college experience. Meghan loves being a Hokie and supporting students in learning how to lead and serve in the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). When Meghan is not cheering on the Hokies women’s basketball team, with her partner Dave, she is supporting her kids in their dive and swim meets, and quilting in her down time. 

I am running for the Director-At-Large position to continue to collaborate and create opportunities to uplift and highlight the great work of this association, our colleagues, and students who continue to raise the bar of leadership education through innovative practices and inclusive approaches to our work.  I will do this by partnering with the other director-at-large to provide the most comprehensive way to connect with all of our ALE members to ensure the needs of all of members are met. I want to get more involved with ALE because this association has provided me with many ways to stretch my professional development and grow as an educator. Through my involvement, I hope to cultivate more opportunities for professionals to get involved in this association.  I have been a part of ALE since 2016 when I attended my first conference in Charleston, South Carolina. I have served on the awards and recognition committee and the mini grants review committee. 

Kate McCain

About Kate McCain. . .

Kate McCain is a Collegiate Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Kate is passionate about the scholarship of teaching and learning in Leadership Education and believes exploring how and what instructors and practitioners teach within leadership studies impacts leader development for future generations. Kate’s teaching focuses on creating an experience that promotes DEISJ and facilitates a place for innovative problem solving and leadership growth. Kate’s area of research focuses on the use of narrative inquiry (i.e., storytelling) exploring the power of storytelling and its role in creating leader identity, group socialization, and coping with complex leadership challenges. Her research interests center on leader identity development in emerging adults, narrative and leadership pedagogy, leadership storytelling, and the dark side of leadership stories. Currently, Kate facilities both undergraduate and graduate courses at VT, including developing a new course on Toxic Leadership, addressing the positivity bias within the field of leadership scholarship. Outside of academia, Kate enjoys exploring the trails of Virginia, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and loves a good excuse to meet friends for brunch.  

I became a member of ALE in 2016 and have attended and presented at the annual conference each year. In service to the organization, I participate as a conference submission reviewer and review for the Journal of Leadership Education.  I volunteered on the conference planning committee in 2020 and have served on the grant and awards committee. Currently, I am serving on the conference planning committee and subcommittee for the service activity and excursion. I co-lead the Teaching and Pedagogy/AndragogyFAN with Dan Jenkins. As a board member I would uphold our core values honoring our supportive and inclusive community by helping to recruit and engage in outreach of populations we might be overlooking. To promote meaningful change, I would engage in collaboration with ALE members and communities to share knowledge and engagement. I believe in and support curiosity and build safe spaces for dialogue to push the boundaries of our field. Lastly, I upload the ideas of rigor to ensure we produce relevant and impactful work in and outside of classrooms. I would be thrilled to serve as an ALE board member to continue and support the work of this professional organization.

Keondria McClish Boyd

About Keondria McClish Boyd. . .

Keondria McClish Boyd is a passionate advocate for holistic leadership development and educational equity. She has firsthand experience with the transformative power of leadership education in empowering individuals and fostering change within communities. With a background in adult learning and leadership, Keondria brings a wealth of experience in creating inclusive environments where individuals have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and reach their full potential. Notably, in 2022, Keondria delivered a keynote address at the ALE conference titled “Caring for Ourselves and Each Other During Unprecedented Times,” emphasizing the importance of meeting individuals from historically marginalized communities where they are and integrating this ethos into collective leadership practices. Through Sienna and Slate, an academic well-being company, Keondria remains steadfast in her commitment to creating environments where individuals can thrive professionally while prioritizing their well-being. Keondria holds a Graduate Certificate in Evidence-Based Coaching from Fielding Graduate University, a PhD in Adult Learning and Leadership from Kansas State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Inquiry from Kansas State University.

I am honored to announce my candidacy for the Director-at-Large position within the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE). As a passionate advocate for holistic leadership development and educational equity, I am committed to leveraging my experience and expertise to advance the mission and goals of ALE. In 2022, Keondria joined ALE and has been a member since. In her short tenure, she not only delivered the 2022 keynote but also conducted multiple workshops on qualitative research and academic well-being at the annual conferences. Her leadership platform is centered on holistic and authentic leadership, placing a strong emphasis on prioritizing the well-being of professional educators and students who work to develop their leadership capabilities and those of others.  Central to this approach is the recognition of the interconnectedness of all aspects of our lives. This approach advocates for the integration of personal growth, self-awareness, and resilience into leadership development, aiming to foster a culture of thriving within leadership and academic communities. This involves promoting inclusive practices and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration to enrich the learning and development experiences for all. 

Summer Odom

About Summer Odom. . .

Summer F. Odom is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communications (ALEC) at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Human Resource Development. She teaches courses in personal and professional leadership at the graduate and undergraduate level and has taught over 2,500 students in her teaching career. Dr. Odom leads a leadership community for veterans who are first generation college students and coordinates a graduate learning community in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her research interests include leadership and life skill capacity building of young adults with a focus on collegiate leadership education including mentoring, assessment and evaluation of leadership pedagogy, and intrapersonal leadership development.

ALE is a special organization to me! From the first conference I attended (early 2000’s) and received a leadership book, I felt welcome and inspired! I feel it is time for me to get back involved and serve this organization and do what I can to engage the next generation of leadership educators. My past ALE experiences have included some leadership involvement. I served as the Awards Chair from 2012-2014 and the Concurrent Sessions Chair of the ALE Conference in 2017 and 2018. As a Director-at-Large for ALE, I would seek to uphold the values and vision of ALE while continuing to look for ways to strengthen the membership and keep our members involved throughout the year in the ALE mission. I would like leadership educators to feel welcome and inspired at ALE events and for ALE to be a place where their ideas are heard; a place where their growth and professional development can be ignited.

Adam Payne

About Adam Payne. . .

Adam Payne earned a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Master of Arts in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights). Payne began his career in Higher Education as an administrator and currently, Adam serves as an assistant professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology where he teaches leadership and applied psychology courses for undergraduate students. Adam is also a musician and has released six albums in addition to performing live. Payne currently serves as president of the UPenn Chief Learning Officer Alumni Board and serves as an end-of-life doula for Hospice.

Adam Payne has been an active member of ALE since 2015. He served on the concurrent sessions committee in 2015 and 2016 and is currently serving on the ALE 2024 annual conference planning committee. Over the last several years, Adam has presented innovative practice papers at annual ALE conferences (2015, 2018, 2020) in addition to presenting posters (2022, 2023). Adam had an article published in the Journal for Leadership Education in 2020. Adam strongly believes in service, and he has been very active in other service-related efforts as a Hospice volunteer / end-of-life doula, as the president/chair of the alumni board of directors of his doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, and through leadership roles at his current institution. Adam is committed to the mission, vision, and values of ALE, and he looks forward to the prospect of continuing to be of service to the community of leadership educators.

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