Eleven from UOPX Presenting at Women and Leadership Conference

Conference Information

·        Sponsored by International Leadership Association Women and Leadership Affinity Group

·        Advancing Women in Leadership: Cultivating Our Whole Selves

·        June 11- 14 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York

·        Registration and more information at www.ILA-Net.org

UOPX Presenters

Patricia Bleil, Katherine Brewer, Janice Cardwell, Phil Davidson, Lynne Devnew, Bonnie Ellis, Carol Holland, V. Drew Jemison, Ann Muli, Yvonne Phelps, and Daniel Roberts

What We’re Presenting

Presenters are being asked to post summaries of their presentation plans.  All are welcome to ask questions and discuss the planned presentations.

Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 15, 2017 4:57 pm MST

I’m fortunate to be attending Omega and presenting with four women I’ve been working with for three years now:  Judy LaValley, who is chairing our session, is a doctoral candidate at Kansas State University; Ann Berghout Austin, who is Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Gender at Utah State University, Chanda Elbert, who is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M; and Marlene Janzen Le Ber, who is Associate Professor & Chair at Brescia University College in Canada.  We have recently published our first chapter together in a book in the series:  Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice.   Our picture was on the CLSER site  when we presented at the ILA global conference in Atlanta in the fall.

We’ll be sharing our experiences conducting interdisciplinary women’s leader identity development research as members of a collaboratory.  Over the course of three years, our experiences have expanded beyond our research to incorporate our whole selves as we share a journey that has included significant life events and transitions, and deepening relationships.  Come to our panel discussion to learn how we are intentionally cultivating a space for exploring the interplay among mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well being as we pursue women’s leadership research.

Daniel Roberts's picture Daniel Roberts | March 15, 2017 6:00 pm MST
I will describe how women soldiers and female chaplains destroyed false assumptions about the importance of gender in pastoral support situations.  The data will show that the skills and demeanor of the chaplain are the most significant factors in emotional and spiritual support.  The results support the conclusion that female chaplains can provide effective cross-gender support in a male dominated military context.
Previous research showed that most women prefer female doctors, crisis workers, and psychological counselors.  It was assumed that women soldiers would prefer to receive support from female chaplains.  This proved to be a false assumption.  Female soldiers stated that they had no preference for the gender of the chaplain, but provided a list of skills and character traits chaplains must possess in order to provide effective pastoral support.  Female chaplains suggested that they can provide emotional and spiritual support to men, even in male dominated combat arms units such as the infantry.  I will briefly describe the findings of this study and its important implications for female chaplaincy leadership in both military and civilian contexts.
I will also be chairing a panel in which panel members will discuss how women have not only successfully worked in the male dominated U.S. military, but have also risen to high ranks, and influenced their organizations in significant ways.  Women make up only 15% of the military and 11% of senior Army positions.  Yet, women thrive as leaders in the armed forces and extend their influence beyond the Army’s borders.
Kelley Conrad's picture Kelley Conrad | March 17, 2017 8:41 am MST

Dan, I am pleased to see you and other UOPX scholars planning to attend the ILA Women and Leadership Conference.  I enjoyed being at the first conference and met a number of researchers (all female :-)) several of who have become research partners on other projects.  I presented a paper comparing the leadership styles of Florence Nightengale, Marie Curie, and Eleanor Roosevelt.  The paper was well received and a good discussion followed it.  It was also fun to get together with the three UOPX representatives at the conference.  There are many very smart, talented women leaders (like Lynne who attend.  As she mentioned she was included in a book which has now been published.  There were serveral other such publications that resulted directly from that first conference.  It has developed into a productive gathering.  I know you will enjoy it. 

Something you may also be interested in.  I was on a doctoral committee for Kimberly Francois, an IO Ph.D. student who studied the VA Medical Centers and particularly the Women Veterans Program Managers (WVPM).  Unfortunately, Dr. Francois found that a high percentage of women veterans were not aware of the WVPM at their VA.  Another issue raised was that women veterans were increasing in number so the VA needed to extend, standardized, and improve the women's health care services within the VA.  Deficiencies in the existing programs contributed to disappointment and for some women veterans feelings of insecurity. It  is meaningful research which I hope will help change things for women getting services through the VA.

Enjoy your trip to New York. :-)

Kelley Conrad



Daniel Roberts's picture Daniel Roberts | March 20, 2017 2:40 pm MST

Thanks Kelley.  I am very much looking forward to the conference.  Thanks for the advice on research topics.

Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 15, 2017 8:08 pm MST

Thanks for posting, Dan.  It is great there will be at least three men in the UOPX delegation at this 3rd Women and Leadership Conference.  At the first conference, in 2013, Dr. Kelley Conrad, a star on the UOPX doctoral faculty, attended.  I think he was the only man who attended the entire conference; there were a few others who were there for bits and pieces.  Fortunately, men are starting to realize that Women and Leadership isn't a topic that should interest only women!

Perhaps you could share a bit about yourself, Dan.  Dr. Daniel Roberts was in a DOC731R class I facilitated not all that many years ago.  So he is a Phoenix!  


Daniel Roberts's picture Daniel Roberts | March 20, 2017 3:06 pm MST

I remember DOC731R very well.  It was a very good class.  

I am very interested in the subject of women and leadership.  During my doctoral courses, I used many of the discussion questions and weekly reflections to focus on feminism and women's issues.  I have served in the U.S. Army for over 26 years.  As a military leader, I noticed that the military culture needs to change a lot to provide a positive environment for the courageous and loyal women who join its ranks.  As a member of the chaplain corps, I have provided pastoral counseling to a lot of women who experienced many challenges, both inside and outside of the military.  One of the biggest issues women in the military face is not the sexual assault (which remains a major problem), but the lack of recognition they get for their tremendous contributions to the force and defense of the nation.  It will be my pleasure to offer any contribution I can make to improve today's military culture and show others just how much military women leaders make the military a better place.  

Anne Muli's picture Anne Muli | March 16, 2017 2:14 pm MST

Greetings Dr. Devnew,


The presentation will highlight my doctoral research work. The importance of raising awareness of the plight of young girls and women in tribal communities in Kenya is a worthwhile endeavor.Generally, tribal based traditional societies have not promoted the education of girls and women leading to a lack of economic development and improvement in women's poverty levels (UNESCO, 2011). The specific problem that this study addresses is that of Loima Constituency in Turkana County in Kenya which has been negatively impacted socially and economically. The purpose of the study was to explore the cultural mindset of community leaders and discuss how these cultural attitudes and perceptions have significant impact, if any, on a lack of education of females in Turkana County in Kenya. By understanding the concept of paradigm and paradigm shifts and its influence on leadership, a leader can ensure complete transformation of the mind.


Paradigms are theoretical perspectives and frameworks that shape a leader’s way of thinking. A paradigm by definition is a basic belief system of an individual and how they see the world. Paradigms are mental models that provide a structure for our thoughts and guide a leader’s thought process.  Paradigms help leaders make sense of all of the information that they encounter and tells them what to pay attention to, how to arrange what they pay attention to, how to draw conclusions, and how to interpret things. Addressing the problems and challenges of leadership in the context of female education in rural Kenyan communities is necessary. Taking advantage of education will save females from the dangers of incidents such as child exploitation and industrial, agricultural and domestic child labor. The research study will be useful for stakeholders in the country’s leadership as well as the education sector in Kenya and will provide a benchmark to establish and improve community leaders’ mindset in rural settings of Kenya. The research study was leveraged using a qualitative research method and approached utilizing an exploratory case study research design method as this was most suitable for the quest of this study and the theoretical framework.



I am currently working on having the presentation in a PowerPoint format with speaker notes timed to 6 minutes.


Thank you sincerely,

Anne Muli


Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 16, 2017 8:03 pm MST

Hi Anne,

The 6 minute presentation format is intended to be a lot like a TED talk (you might want to listen to some on Youtube for presentation ideas).  It sounds as if your biggest challenge will be figuring out what to cover when you only have 6 minutes and have an entire dissertation's worth of exciting content to pick from!  I expect you'll have to pick only one or two messages to share.  

Perhaps we should be figuring out a way to use one of the school tools - such as YouSeeU - for a session to "dress rehearse" our presentations! 

Looking forward to meeting you in Rhinebeck.





Patricia Bleil's picture Patricia Bleil | March 17, 2017 11:33 am MST


I have attended the first two Women in Leadership Conferences and look forward to this one as well.  I will be presenting the preliminary findings of my study of non-traditional sources of mentoring for women's leadership development.  This will be a case study of a mentoring program implemented by a women's professional organization, and is seeking to understand the type of mentoring provided and how this kind of program might fill the void many women have in the workplace.  In addition, I will be presenting a workshop with one of my research partners from the University of the Redlands, Jill Robinson.  It is based on a leadership model developed by Jean Lipman-Blooman, a leader and foundation researcher in women's leadership.  Looking forward to meeting all of you.

Phil Davidson's picture Phil Davidson | March 17, 2017 12:11 pm MST

Colleagues, I look forward to the ILA Conference on Women in Leadership.  This has been an important point with me for decades. 

My presentation evolved from UN work I have doing since 1998 with a subcommittee that focuses on women and technology education. This study was requested by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). For approximately ten years, the leadership of the KSA has actively promoted the idea of women gaining high level leadership positions, but the effort is much slower than had been hoped.

As the KSA is probably the most patriarchal country in the world, the assumption was that men, in some fashion, were probably the road blocks. The study, started by researchers in the KSA, began in 2015.  I was asked to help with the textual analysis of the initial set of surveys and interviews.  Conceptual maps and content analysis from my findings were then used to construct a final survey/interview, and my study includes the findings from that last survey as well. 

My presentation will attempt to articulate many months of work into a very brief presentation.  Ultimately, the results suggest that the true roadblock to women gaining the highest levels of leadership (specifically in the government and education within Saudi Arabia), may be their own, very strong cultural beliefs and values about the various roles of women in the KSA, and the priorities they assign to those roles.

Daniel Roberts's picture Daniel Roberts | March 20, 2017 3:10 pm MST

Very interesting, Phil.  I look forward to seeing your presentation.

Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 23, 2017 6:36 am MST

Hi Phil,

I'm so glad you're coming to Omega!  

Three things to share:

1.  I hope you noticed who your panel leader will be.  Meena Wilson is Senior Enterprise Associate, Women's Leadership Solutions, Center for Creative Leadership - Asia Pacific and associated with Ashoka University in India.  She was quite pleased when I asked her to chair your particular panel as we have gathered several studies on the Middle East into the session.  

2.  I haven't written it up in this thread, but a chapter I was first author for in a book to be published in May is also on the agenda.  The chapter is on women's leadership aspirations and the final sentence seems quite consistent with your study.  "Thus, when women see leadership behaviors as desirable behaviors, when they see those behaviors as consistent with their own self-images, when they believe they are prepared and have the capability to be leaders, and when they see the value of the impact they can make as leaders to be more important than the personal losses they believe they would suffer if they chose to be leaders, only then will women's aspirations for leadership increase" (p. 177).

3.  Watch for Barbara Kellerman discussions on the agenda.  I went to a discussion with her at the International Leadership Association conference in Atlanta and she made some pretty strong statements related to women's leadership aspirations that led me to send her a draft of our chapter.  If she opts to discuss aspirations, I'm sure you've find the discussion valuable.

I'm looking forward to your presentation!  Meena is presenting in the same session as the one where we'll be presenting our leadership aspirations work, Gender and Leadership Research: Aspirations, Identity, Status, and Developmental Experiences.



Devnew, L., Austin, A. B., Le Ber, M. J., & Shapiro, M. (forthcoming 2017).  Women’s leadership aspirations.  In S. Madsen (Ed.), Handbook of research on gender and leadership.  Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd. 


Katherine Brewer's picture Katherine Brewer | March 17, 2017 12:18 pm MST


    My name is Katherine Brewer and I am currently a 3rd year doctoral student in the DM in Organizational Leadership program at UoPX.  I am about five months away from attending my first DOC733 methods class where I plan on submitting to Quality Review Methods.  My research interest is in the development of an authentic leadership identity.  The interest in authentic leadership in organizational theory and research increased in the early 2000s and continues to the present.  Early on, the 2004 Gallup Leadership Summit focused on authentic leadership theory development and from this conference an entire issue of The Leadership Quarterly and the publication of an authentic leadership monograph followed in 2005.  Authentic leadership is a set of behaviours underscoring positive forms of leadership associated with improved organizational effectiveness.  While a single definition of this leadership behavior does not yet exist, an authentic leader is most often defined as one who is self-aware, shows relational transparency, balanced processing of information, and makes decisions based on an internal moral and ethical perspective (Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, & Walumba, 2005: Ilies, Morgeson & Nahrgang, 2005; Luthans & Avolio, 2003; Walumba, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008).  

     To date there is little research published on how a leader develops an authentic leader identity, or the effectiveness of authentic leadership development programs in developing authentic leaders.  The purpose of my proposed research is to gain a deeper understanding of how participants develop an authentic leader identity over the course of a 16-week authentic leadership program.  In particular, specific attention will be given to how participants use self-reflexivity in development of their leadership identity and the role that narrative plays in the process.  Finally, given the research on gender differences in identity development and use of narrative, my proposed case study seeks to better understand the influence of gender in the acquisition of an authentic leader identity.  At the WLAG conference I will be presenting my research proposal at a roundtable discussion session to seek feedback on my research questions, methods, and interview questions. 

I look forward to meeting all of you there,


Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 17, 2017 3:09 pm MST

Thanks,  Katherine. 

Katherine is taking advantage of a great opportunity.  She will be discussing her research study with two leading women and leadership scholars at a session called a developmental roundtable.  This opportunity is available to doctoral students, but some of the applicants are experienced researchers who wanted to take advantage of this   I've believe fairly similar opportunities are available at other conferences.  

The four senior scholars who will be at the developmental roundtables for this conference are:

Dr. Ann Berghout Austin - a Professor at Utah State University who is founder of USU's Center for Women and Gender.  Ann is the senior researcher on the research team I have been working with for three years now.

Dr. Gloria Burgess -  a leadership consultant associated with the University of Washington.  Gloria is the author of the book Flawless Leadership: Connecting Who You Are with What You Know and Do

Dr. Jill Robinson - Associate Professor at the University of Redlands and who is also presenting with Pat Bleil.

Dr. Faith Ngunjiri - Associate Professor at Concordia University and co-author of the methodology book, Collaborative Autoethnography, which has been invaluable to my research team.



Janice Cardwell's picture Janice Cardwell | March 20, 2017 11:32 am MST

Hi Dr. Devnew,  thanks for setting up this forum.

My name Jan Cardwell and I am the Campus VP/Director for University of Phoenix - Detroit. My research team will be presenting on a campus based initiative to engage local practitioner faculty in research and scholarship.  The presentation for this conference is titled Advancing Scholarly Leadership while forming a Community of Scholars. 

Designed as action research, the project goal is to develop the leadership knowledge, skills, and competencies for scholarship among practitioner faculty who in turn can champion the pursuit of intellectual inquiry with the Detroit Campus student population, which is over 70% female.

Through this Community of Scholars faculty development process, the campus is inclusive in its approach to encourage male and female associate faculty to enhance the leadership skills of the female-centric student body. 

A secondary benefit of encouraging female faculty to participate in research, would be the development of faculty as academic research role models for the predominantly female student population. 

We are looking forward to the conference

Hannah Francis's picture Hannah Francis | March 27, 2017 2:00 pm MST

Hi Dr. Devnew, Ms. Cardwell, and all!

I attended the ILA 2015 Women and Leadership Affinity Group Conference, Waves of Possibilities, at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA and wanted to share my experiences.  The Asilomar Conference facility is a rustic and relaxed learning environment; a self-contained campus of classrooms, a large gathering hall, and cafeteria, perfect for groups of all sizes!  In addition, access to the State Beach property was just a few steps from the facility! I was fortunate to share a room with Dr. Lynne Devnew and Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber, which helped to defer some of the costs and added to the fun, new learning experiences!

I was a presenter at the 2015 WLAG Conference.  My presentation, the Career-long Social Networking Advantages of Professional Development Programs, was based on dissertation research that identified how women executives in government used their social networks for career advantage; networks they developed early in their careers during highly competitive professional development programs.  As a participant and presenter, I had an opportunity to meet and network with so many impressive women (and men) leaders, practitioners, and scholars in academia, industry, and government from around the globe.  The variety of presentation topics and formats e.g., panel discussions, presentations, round tables, 6-minute messages (TED-talk like), symposia, and workshops were intellectually stimulating and informative.  There were so many interesting presentations on women and leadership to choose from, a favorite was a panel discussion on Words of Wisdom from Female Presidents.  A copy of the 2015 WLAG conference program and pictures can be found at the links below.  I made several new friends and look forward to seeing them at an upcoming WLAG event.  As indicated in the earlier posts, the 2017 ILA-WLAG conference is scheduled for 11-14 June 2017, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY.  I understand that Omega has a similar rustic ambiance as Asilomar.  I highly encourage anyone who has an opportunity to attend to do so; you will be glad you did! 



Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/55845019@N03/sets/72157653261384793/


Lynne Devnew's picture Lynne Devnew | March 20, 2017 7:24 pm MST

Hi Jan,

We're also working to build a community of scholars among those doing women and leadership research.  I hope lots of your faculty will join and you will all be part of the team figuring out how to best support each other!

Looking forward to meeting you at Omega!







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