Alumni Stories: Dr. Cheryl McAuley

Alumni Stories: Dr. Cheryl McAuley

March 13, 2019

UoP Alumni (2016) Dr. Cheryl McAuley is also known as retired Lieutenant Colonel McAuley in the United States Army.  Retired since 2010, she recently celebrated her 65th birthday and three scholarly accomplishments about the same time. 

The Book: Dr. McAuley authored Asante Sana: (Thank you very much!): Life Lessons from Kili during most of 2018.  Her comprehensive book includes research of faith-based organizations and describes the first meeting of her sponsored child through Compassion International in 2017. It also includes the account of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa with her husband John, another retired Army soldier. The book was released on Amazon in mid-January and her first book-signing was the week before her March birthday.  All book sale royalties will go to Compassion International, a non-profit organization that among other things, provides clean water, healthy sanitation, and education for African families. She has also been requested for several speaking engagements in her community of Huntsville, AL.

Dr. McAuley had previously raised $3500 toward a total of $41,000 raised by her fellow Kilimanjaro Causetrekkers for Compassion to develop wells that now provide clean water for a community. Previously, family members previously walked miles to collect and return with potable drinking water.  Compassion International also supports sponsorships for individual children in 25 countries around the world.

McAuley is pleased that people who have read the book are becoming new sponsors to children through Compassion International.


The Article: Relationships Matter – Ideas for Transforming the Nonprofit Boardroom

On March 7, Dr. McAuley received final confirmation that her article had been accepted for publication by “Performance Improvement Journal” published by Wiley.  The article has been assigned to Volume: 58 Issue: 4.  The abstract is included below.


Nonprofit board members can display a range of leader and follower characteristics when serving in successful organizations. Attracting board members may depend on servant leader or exemplary follower characteristics and the degree of trust board members have in an organization, the leadership, and between each other. Examining the relationship, if any, between servant leader, exemplary follower, and organizational trust within 12 contemporary performing arts nonprofit boards will contribute original research on a population of volunteers not studied in depth previously.

The goal of this empirical research was to examine whether or not servant leader and exemplary follower styles each relate to organizational trust. The theoretical framework stemmed from research in leadership, management, organizational theory, philosophy, and psychology. The theoretical foundation of this research included Greenleaf’s (1970) servant leader theory, Kelley’s (1992) exemplary followership style research, and the work of Nyhan and Marlowe (1997) regarding organizational trust.


The Presentations:

Dr. McAuley was invited to present at Regent University’s Servant Leader Round Table in Virginia Beach. In May, 2019, she will discuss Servant Leadership as an antidote to Toxic Leadership.

Following a blind review process, Dr. McAuley’s proposal of her dissertation findings, “Servant Leadership, Exemplary Followership, and Organizational Trust” was selected for presentation at the first Global Followership Conference at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in July, 2019. Following the conference, her work, along with that of other presenters, will be automatically considered for two publishing opportunities:

1. The Journal of Industrial and Commercial Training (published by Emerald) has agreed to a special issue consisting of papers from the Followership Conference.

2. Jossey-Bass has agreed to publish a book on Followership Training as part of the New Directions in Student Leadership series. The book (to be published in 2020) will contain a section on followership training tools. All practice-oriented submissions to the Followership Conference will be considered for inclusion in this book.

Closing thoughts

Many Americans are now entering a third age of life with good health and expectations of an expanded lifespan.  Dr. Mcauley is enjoying a retirement from the military with a new role and new accomplishments as a scholar and researcher.  She shared some of her insights by responding to this question: What do your accomplishments mean for others who are celebrating retirement and the new opportunities that might become available?

Dr. Mcauley’s comments for others who are entering a new third age of life are succinct but worth considering.

First, every day is a gift. So, be available and open to new ideas that might be out of your comfort zone. There is more to do regardless of your personal situation.  Then, focusing on others in need may be why we are on this earth. Don’t waste opportunities when you could be making a difference in someone else’s life.





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