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GSLC Dissertations : New and Featured

Trent Pinto

Trent Pinto, Ph.D.  [Cohort 12]  2019

The Impact of Racism on the Personal and Professional Lives of Student Affairs Professionals: A Mixed Methods Study



From the abstract: 

The phenomenon of racism in our world is deeply tragic, with historical roots that pervade college campuses and the work of student affairs professionals no less than elsewhere in society. In fact, a premise of this research is that the American university as an institution was founded on White dominance and privilege. Today the effects of racism still trickle into the personal and professional lives of those working in student affairs. The results confirmed the persistence and pervasiveness of racism on campus, impacting and necessitating the work of today’s student affairs professionals. Detailed results and implications for practice and further research are discussed in reference to three levels: the individual student affairs professional; the group, or collectivity of the various student affairs roles across campus, and community, or university-wide."


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Trent Pinto currently serves as the Director of Resident Education & Development at the University of Cincinnati, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to his appointment at UC, Trent worked in residence life departments at the University of Dayton, Coker College (SC), and Emmanuel College (MA). Trent began his career in student affairs in 2003 and has presented at regional and national conferences throughout his tenure in the field.  

Trent's work in student affairs has been grounded in residence life, but has expanded to other facets of the field including assessment, strategic planning, recruitment and training, as well as student crisis response and support. 

Trent holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from the University of Dayton, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dayton.


Read more about Dr. Trent Pinto and download this dissertation at

Molly Breysse Cox

Molly Breysse Cox, Ph.D.  [Cohort 12]  2019

The Trust Decoder™: An Examination of an Individual's Developmental Readiness to Trust in the Workplace



From the abstract: 

This research explores an individual's self-perception of their own ability, motivation, and propensity to trust others for the purpose of validating a new construct: developmental readiness to trust others in the workplace. This construct expands research on developmental readiness to change and to lead by building a scale to measure an individual's motivation and ability to trust others in the workplace. A previously validated scale developed by Frazier, Johnson, and Fainshmidt 2013 measuring propensity to trust was included the scale building process. This research contributes to the existing research on trust by examining an individual's capability to trust others and their motivation. Motivation included both propensity and outcome orientation to trust others prior to entering a relationship."


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Molly’s work sheds light on why leadership and teamwork is important for creating trust in today’s challenging work environments. Her passion for positive change is reflected in over 20 years of change management work experience with Fortune 500 companies. This includes leadership positions in IT, Operations, Customer Service, Product Management, and Marketing. She joined the CLST team in 2013 as a leadership development coach and is currently a CLST faculty and leadership associate working in master programs and in strategic organizational transformation consulting engagements. 

Molly has a broad range of experience in transformational change projects including designing and deploying new technology, designing organizational change and leadership development, and strategic planning. In addition she was chosen in 2008 as the recipient of Women in Technology International’s Leadership Award for leadership in support of women in IT. 

Molly has a BA from the University of Washington and a MA from Antioch’s Center for Creative Change.


Read more about Dr. Breysse Cox and download this dissertation at

Iris Cumberbatch

Iris Cumberbatch, Ph.D.  [Cohort 8]  2019

Exploring the Effectiveness of Social and Digital Media Communications on Organization-Public Relationship Building with Employees



From the abstract: 

More than a decade after the emergence of social and digital media, professional communicators increasingly use these channels to interact with a wide array of stakeholders. Simultaneously, public relations (PR) and communications leaders seek to understand whether their efforts to communicate and engage with stakeholders through these channels are effective in establishing and building relationships, as well as to measure “effectiveness” in the new technology-driven communications landscape. With this study, I addressed a gap in the academic research with regard to understanding the effectiveness of social and digital media as a communications tool by assessing employees’ perceptions of their organization with respect to five communication concepts, both in general and based specifically on the company’s social media communications. The communicators who are responsible for the organization’s social and digital media communications generally held the same perceptions as other employees with regard to how the organization in general and its social media sites specifically fostered the five communication concepts.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Iris Cumberbatch has spent her career in financial services communications, marketing, and stakeholder relations. Her work centers on building bridges between organizations and the people who care about them and are affected by them. Iris believes that there are two sides to every relationship, and that includes relationships between organizations and their stakeholders.

Iris’s work with social and digital media began more than a decade ago when she first started using online channels to communicate personally as well as on behalf of her organization. She quickly recognized that social and digital media would transform the way stakeholders and organizations interact, and forever change the way we communicate.  Iris also realized that these new channels would change how we measure the effectiveness of our communications, both personally and organizationally. This desire to better understand the effectiveness of social and digital media communications from both sides of the relationship, including the organization’s perspective as well as the stakeholders’ views, led Iris to her dissertation topic.  Her hope is that this research will help communications professionals more effectively engage with their stakeholders, thereby building stronger relationships between organizations and the public.

Iris earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism/communications from Pennsylvania State University and her MBA from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. She also received an advanced certificate in mass communications from the University of Manchester in Manchester, UK, and holds a PhD in leadership and change from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


Read more about Dr. Cumberbatch and download this dissertation at

Mark Martin

Mark Martin, Ph.D.  [Cohort 11]  2019

Servant Leadership Characteristics and Empathic Care: Developing a Culture of Empathy in the Healthcare Setting



From the abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to assess the degree to which servant leadership characteristics are exhibited in medical group practices, and the degree to which servant leadership characteristics correlated with measures of empathic care. This study featured an explanatory mixed methods research design embedded in appreciative inquiry.

Findings from this study identified Pillar 1 (Persons of Character) as the servant leadership pillar most strongly exhibited in the medical group practices. Furthermore, Pillar 5 (Has Foresight) was the strongest correlate of reported empathic care within medical group practices as well as team members’ proclivity to practice servant leadership behaviors with patients more than with each other. The study also found that clinicians and non-clinicians significantly differed in their endorsement of all of the servant leadership pillars except Pillar 1 (Persons of Character). The findings of this dissertation point to strategies for promoting an environment of empathic care, and team building and organizational development and training in the medical group practices.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Dr. Mark Martin currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities for the State of Maryland. He has a passion for improving patient-centered care and for strengthening the continuum of care in communities through public and private partnerships.

Dr. Martin brings over 25 years of combined professional experience in public health, hospital operations, financial services, and community and faith-based organizations. Dr. Martin is also the founder of and principal consultant at Martin & Associates Strategic Management Consulting.

In addition to earning a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University where his seminal research focused on the role of servant leadership characteristics in developing an environment of empathic care in primary care setting, Dr. Martin has earned an MBA and MHA from Pfeiffer University and an MA in Leadership from Antioch University.

Dr. Martin is married to his best friend, Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin, and is the proud father of Addison and Josephine. 


Read more about Dr. Martin and download this dissertation at

Jeff Girton

Jeff Girton, Ph.D.  [Cohort 15]  2019

United I Stand: An Investigation of Power Distance Value and Endorsement of the Great Man Theory Through American Social Identities 



From the abstract: 

“Four decades of research on power distance have been applied to cross-cultural leadership studies on an inter-national level. A quantitative investigation was conducted to analyze a uniquely American narrative of power distance, which was developed through a post-structural epistemology. Using ANTi-History theory, endorsement of the Great Man Theory was argued to be a leadership ethos that is related to American power distance value.Significant variations were found based upon American social identities. Implications for intra-national cross-cultural leadership theory are discussed, as well as empirical and theoretical based implications for leadership practitioners.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Jeff Girton came to Antioch’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change because of the focus on social justice. Having previous graduate work in the field of organizational leadership and ethics, the words of Antioch’s founder, Horace Mann, to “be ashamed to die until you have won a victory for humanity” resonated deeply. His dissertation research focused on leadership through the lens of Power Distance, a cultural measurement related to inequalities of power in society and organizations.

Before coming to Antioch, Jeff has taught and advised students at Northern Kentucky University.  Currently he is a lecturer in the field of organizational leadership, with hopes of further researching power distance and the practice of leadership.  Previously, Jeff worked with N.K.U.’s TRiO program–a federal grant that works to increase the educational attainment of the nation’s low-income and first-generation college students. 


Read more about Dr. Girton and download this dissertation at 

James Van Auken

James Van Auken, Ph.D.  [Cohort 14]  2019

The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Leadership: How Mindfulness Practices Affect Leadership Practices 



From the abstract: 

“The aim of this study was to explore and understand the relationship between mindfulness practices and actual leadership practices. This qualitative study utilized narrative inquiry with phenomenological interviewing techniques to explore selective leaders who use mindfulness practices, and see how they used mindfulness in their leadership practice. Mindful leadership was found to be the ability to see oneself, others, the situation(s), the complexities and emotions at all levels (intra- and interpersonally), and then to step back, integrate it all, and with a humanistic approach—lead. A significant implication for leadership that this study may offer is that the simple practices of mindfulness can potentially ripple out through one’s life in ways that take shape as some of the best practices across multiple leadership theories and models. Practical applications were found on both an individual leader-level, such as with developing a humanistic approach; and an organizational leader-level, such as the value of mindful leadership training and coaching.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


As the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Atlantic University, James Van Auken has the privilege to work for a university that is steeped in history and culture. As a leader, he is intricately intertwined with the university faculty, administrative staff, and students. Within this role as academic officer, James provides overall leadership and management regarding accreditation, post-secondary education matters, as well as long-term planning for the university. While maintaining the highest level of knowledge of academic affairs for the university, James is also an integral part of the Association for Research and Enlightenment where he serves as a member of the President and CEO’s senior staff.

James is a faculty member at Atlantic University, Christopher Newport University, and the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage where he teaches courses on leadership and mindfulness.  In addition to his administrative and teaching roles, James was the coordinator of a team of faculty who together created the curriculum of what would become the Mindful Leadership graduate program. He continues to serve as Chair of the Mindful Leadership committee, as well as other university focused academic committees


Read more about Dr. Van Auken and download this dissertation at 

Graylyn Swilley-Woods

Graylyn Swilley-Woods, Ph.D.  [Cohort 10]  2019

Glocalizing Community Heritage Tourism in Two African American Communities in Miami


From the abstract: 

“The purpose of this study was to examine significant elements and aspects of community heritage tourism development activities using a scholar activist approach in two African American communities located in Miami-Dade Florida. Community heritage tourism was investigated to understand its relevance and to assess multiple factors that may influence its direction in relationship to economic sustainability, leadership, and change. This collaborative research included community involvement with key relevant stakeholders. The aim of the study was to achieve better knowledge of heritage tourism and understanding of growth and/or hindrance to the community’s capacity to change and economically sustain itself. The study explored vignettes of both exogenous and endogenous tourism-related initiatives, comparing examples with varying levels of community engagement”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Dr. Graylyn Swilley-Woods is the Chief Executive Officer of the Overtown Children and Youth Coalitions and a Senior Consultant for Multicultural Tourism Initiatives. She is the recent past Associate Vice President of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau Multicultural Tourism Department, Business and Education Division and a contributing founder. Dr. Swilley- Woods spent more than a decade promoting the development and advancement of Multicultural Tourism in Greater Miami and Beaches.

Dr. Swilley-Woods combined her professional work with her dissertation research on heritage community tourism opportunities and challenges in urban communities. As a Scholar Activist she is committed to social justice locally and globally. In addition to completing the Ph.D., Graylyn received a Master of Arts degree from Ohio State University, Master of Arts in Leadership and Social Change, Antioch University and completed course work toward a Master of Science Degree in Rural Sociology, Ohio State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in the college of Liberal Arts with a focus on Africana Studies and Political Science. Her experience in higher education and community development has brought fresh ideas to the greater Miami region and sure to positively effect and touch lives wherever she goes. Graylyn is married and is the mother of two sons.


Read more about Dr. Swilley-Woods and download this dissertation at

Bob Long

Bob Long, Ph.D.  [Cohort 15]  2019

Mayors and Chief Administrative Officers Relationships: Aspects of Functional Relationships



From the abstract: 

“This study attempts to understand how the functionality of the mayor-chief administrator officer (CAO) relationship impacts the ongoing operation of these two local government positions. I used a grounded theory approach to discover a constructivist theory of how the mayor-CAO dyad operates and how certain aspects of the relationship lead to functionality. The research uncovered the primary relationship dimensions of: negotiating, strategizing, boundary setting, power sharing and harmonizing. The core relationship dimension that also contributes to the relationship’s functionality was “shapeshifting”. Three theoretical propositions are made regarding the mayor-CAO relationship, these are: the interpersonal relationship is nested within its structural and temporal context, intersectionality and reconciliation of structural and interpersonal aspects of the relationship lead to functionality and the relationship’s collective shapeshifting capacity also contributes to functionality.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Robert has acted as a City Manager for numerous municipalities and regional districts within British Columbia for over 35 years mostly acting as the chief administrative officer. Robert is renowned for his out spoken approach to local government management and his intimate knowledge of politics. He has many mentees throughout BC and the NWT that attest to his ability to develop effective municipal teams, positive organizational approaches and high performing cultures


Read more about Dr. Long and download this dissertation at

Carolyn Morales

Carolyn Morales, Ph.D.  [Cohort 12]  2019

Intersectionality: Engaging the Epistemology of Leadership Theory



From the abstract: 

“This dissertation investigates the potential of linking intersectionality and leadership theories utilizing a theoretical bricolage research strategy. In order to explore a theoretical merger between these two disparate disciples warrants a preliminary understanding of how the production of knowledge has constructed a long-standing epistemic bias against marginalized perspectives. This analysis will seek to illustrate how androcentrism pervades the corpus of intellectual thought and the resulting impact which extends beyond the traditional canon of epistemology to the field of leadership. This level of analysis will be used to construct a conceptual framework connecting the constructs of complexity, interdisciplinarity, epistemology, and oppression.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Dr. Carolyn Morales is the director of diversity and recruitment in The Graduate School and an instructor at The Ohio State University. She has 21 years of experience leading strategic planning initiatives as a diversity and inclusion practitioner in the academic, non-profit, and for-profit industries. 

 Serving as a catalyst for change, Carolyn has built coalitions of philosophically diverse groups, leveraging the wisdom of allies and adversaries alike to craft strategies and solutions that advance equity and inclusion. She has earned a BA in English from Baylor University, an MA in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and an MA in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.


Read more about Dr. Morales and download this dissertation at

Kenny Alexander

Kenny Alexander, Ph.D.  [Cohort 15]  2019

Developing and Sustaining Political Citizenship for Poor and Marginalized People: The Evelyn T. Butts Story



From the abstract: 

“This study tells the deep, rich story of Evelyn T. Butts, a grassroots civil rights champion in Norfolk, Virginia, whose bridge leadership style can teach and inspire new generations about political, community, and social change. Butts used neighbor-to-neighbor skills to keep her community connected with the national civil rights movement, which had heavily relied on grassroots leaders—especially women—for much of its success in overthrowing America’s Jim Crow system of segregation and suppression. This interdisciplinary study draws on literature in history, political science, sociology, civil rights, voting rights, critical race theory, and leadership theories, and is built on narrative analysis and constructivist/interpretivist techniques. This study contributes to closing the gap in leadership literature about grassroots black women who remain unsung and understudied because of nontraditional leadership styles.” 


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Kenneth Cooper Alexander has made historic achievements in government, while transforming a small family business into a regional institution. Alexander’s career in public service began in the neighborhood where he was raised and where his family’s funeral business is still based – Norfolk’s Berkley Community. In the thirty years since he completed his undergraduate studies at Old Dominion University, and graduate studies at Norwich University, Alexander has successfully performed a myriad of critical roles with community – based organizations, and in government, business, and academia.

Improving communities, reshaping political relationships, and enhancing economic opportunities have been the focus Alexander’s twenty – year record of service as a leader. Alexander holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, currently serves as the Mayor of the City of Norfolk and has lectured at a series of colleges and universities in Virginia and North Carolina. Policy and research interests include civic, political and bureaucratic leadership in the public arena, political citizenship for poor and marginalized people, civil rights leadership in literature, public finance, international relations, economics and urban development, transportation, higher education, and career technical education.


Read more about Dr. Alexander and download this dissertation at

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor, Ph.D.  [Cohort 14]  2019

The Good Bloke in Contemporary Australian Workplaces: Origins, Qualities and Impacts of a National Cultural Archetype in Small For-Profit Businesses



From the abstract: 

“This study explored the nature and significance of a common but widely misunderstood phrase encountered in Australia: The Good Bloke. Underlying this enquiry was awareness, based on the researcher’s personal and professional experience, that the idea of a Good Bloke powerfully influences individual perceptions of leaders in Australian small-to-mid sized for-profit firms. Implications are discussed for the Good Bloke ideal’s continuing relevance, including appreciation of differential impact on gender and other categories that make many contemporary Australians less readily perceived as Good Blokes. I conclude that the term Good Bloke can have a constructive role in Australian culture. The key challenge is exploring how the positive nuances associated with the term become incorporated into the development of future generations whilst acknowledging and addressing the term’s limitations, in order to support fuller and more meaningful inclusion in Australian business and society.” 


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Christopher Taylor is the Managing Director of Apricus Australia a wholesale trade and distribution business focussing on supplying renewable energy products to the energy and plumbing trade across Australia.  The business was launched in 2003 and has evolved over the past fifteen years to be the preferred supplier of solar hot water solutions to the preeminent plumbing wholesalers across Australia. 

In addition to consulting services Christopher was an adjunct lecturer with the Graduate School of Management at the University of Western Australia where he lectured in a range of leadership units on the Singapore, Manila, Shanghai and Perth campuses.  He was part of a core team of faculty that worked on the senior command development programme for senior officers with the Singapore Armed Forces for nine years.

Christopher is married with three boys. Christopher is a seventh generation Australian hence his interest in the notion of the Good Bloke, a construct that has driven the evolution of the cultural practice of the business he leads. 


Read more about Dr. Taylor and download this dissertation at

Cammi Clark

Cammi Clark, Ph.D.  [Cohort 15]  2019

When Bad Genes Ruin a Perfectly Good Outlook: Psychological Implications of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer via Narrative Inquiry Methodology



From the abstract: 

“Scientists debunked the belief that breast cancer is always viral with the mid-90s discovery of the first hereditary genetic mutation linked to a significantly higher-than average chance of breast and ovarian cancer. This genetic condition, called Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), passes the mutation from generation to generation in a family ... As a newer medical phenomenon, few, if any, studies address the potential psychological implications, which include fear, anxiety, guilt, family tension, and more. Using narrative inquiry methodology, this study analyzes the authentic lived or felt experiences of individuals when they learn that they have inherited a mutation that significantly increases their risk of breast, ovarian and related cancers, and their choices that directly affect their effort to outrun a cancer that may never come.” 


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


With roots in journalism and storytelling, Cammi Clark has been a longtime communications expert. Her approach is to bring voice to those who need to be heard. With her background in building content-driven publications and experience in connecting through narrative, Clark creates a compelling space filled with comprehension and compassion, aimed at educating.

Clark’s work with Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer carriers began more than six years ago when she first discovered that her family was deeply affected by such a gene mutation. She recognized that the research into this newer medical phenomenon was primarily scientific and left little room for carriers who ache to be heard, to tell their personal stories of what this means and how they make sense of it all. It is through the stories and experiences of others that Clark will work to transform the quality of health care worldwide.

Clark currently leads a team of specialists that focus on communicating science through story at Florida Atlantic University’s Division of Research.


Read more about Dr. Clark and download this dissertation at

Danielle Treiber

Danielle Treiber, Ph.D.  [Cohort 15]  2019

Is It Who Am I or Who Do You Think I Am? Identity Development of Adolescents With Substance Use Disorders



From the abstract: 

“The purpose of this study was to unearth how adolescents with substance use disorders achieve the task of identity formation and the construction of self-concept in the midst of the drug culture and society that exists. It sought to uncover the social constructs designed to ignore and/or remove human complexities and allow an intersectional approach to be brought to a study on this population. An understanding of key identity literature led to a methodological design using both Grounded Theory Methodology and Situational Analysis to provide a thorough description and understanding of the entire situation around identity development for adolescents with substance use disorders. The research provided empirical evidence that adolescents in this situation form a pseudo-identity to achieve a sense of belonging that has pervaded their existence due to familial, social, and cultural factors.”


From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


As a science enthusiast and teacher, Danielle Treiber has been a long time systems-thinker. Her approach to everything strives to connect all the pieces that influence the status of that very thing, including herself. It is through the understanding of interdependence and interconnectedness, along with a deep understanding of the self, where we can truly examine what is actually going on. Her work with youth began nearly 17 years ago when she first discovered that youth coming from substance using homes or struggling with substance use were going to be a part of the rest of her life. 

Danielle graduated from the University of San Diego with a BA in Biology. She earned her Master’s from Antioch University in Urban Sustainability. She is the co-founder of Transform-Ed Collaborative. Danielle holds certifications in mindfulness meditation and yoga for recovery. She also hosts a podcast, Recovering YOUth.


Read more about Dr. Treiber and download this dissertation at

Holly Diaz

Holly Diaz, Ph.D.  [Cohort 12]  2019

Centuries of Navigating Resistance and Change: Exploring the Persistence of Mongolian Women Leaders


From the abstract: 

Women leaders have made significant historical and contemporary contributions in Mongolia, from holding important leadership positions as heirs of Chinggis Khan, to ensuring the future of the country by sending their children abroad for graduate education. The impact of their leadership is evident with high percentages of women in leadership positions across several sectors of business, politics, social services and health care. This form of modern nomadism is providing Mongolia with a global perspective that is contributing to the development of their democratic infrastructure. Through individual and group interviews, this indigenous narrative study with an emergent, thematic analysis, found that Mongolian women persevered through challenging conditions, motivated by their dedication to Mongolian people, the future of their country and centuries of indigenous ways of being that promote adaptability in extreme circumstances.”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Holly Diaz is a scholar practitioner who works at Western Washington University as an Assistant Director for Residence Life and an NTT Faculty for the Karen W. Morse Leadership Institute. A former victim advocate and therapist, Holly is interested in the experiences of others, through their own world view and narratives. More specifically, her interests lie in the experiences of women and the concepts of resilience and thriving. Most of her research had been centered on the experiences of women in higher education, but it was through teaching a study abroad course in Mongolia, exploring the experiences of Mongolian women leaders, that she became curious about the persistence of these inspiring individuals. 


Read more about Dr. Diaz and download this dissertation at

Heather Preston

Heather Preston, Ph.D.  [Cohort 10]  2019

Come Together: Inclusive Leadership and Public Relations Education


From the abstract: 

“The purpose of this research was to examine the practice of inclusive leadership and communication in an exemplary organization in order to answer the question: What would an undergraduate public relations leadership (PRL) curriculum look like? Portraiture was used to uncover and illustrate the key ways in which inclusive leadership and communication manifest at a successful Chicago-based interactive technology firm. Findings support the idea that an inclusive leadership and communication culture is created through direction, alignment, and commitment (DAC). Furthermore, the research provides evidence that inclusive leadership and communication skills can be developed through practice and support.”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Writer, musician, Blue Ridge Parkway enthusiast, and professor of public relations, Heather Paige Preston embraces the art of life and learning.

HP’s varied repertoire includes professional, academic, and life experience in media relations, magazine writing and editing, copy editing, freelance writing and design, journalism, non-profit public relations, international travel, tourism, popular culture studies, and leadership and change.

Her practical chops are evident in her creative, written, and design work for local and university clients. When she’s not in professional or professor mode, HP exercises her inner rock god with local bands, writes humorous travelogues for a small but dedicated following, and creates incredible party and road trip playlists.


Read more about Dr. Preston and download this dissertation at

Donald Perryman

Donald Perryman, Ph.D.  [Cohort 10]  2019

The Role of the Black Church in Addressing Collateral Damage From the U.S. War on Drugs




From the abstract: 

“This research is a qualitative examination of African American pastors from urban communities who address the needs of congregants and/or local communities affected directly, or indirectly by mass incarceration. The Black Church, because of its unique sociocultural location and historic role as resource for Black social and economic problems, must help supply the answers to the devastating collateral damage of mass incarceration that primarily affect children and families. The study sets out to understand urban pastors’ perceptions of the role of the Church in the post mass incarceration era. Specifically, the study examines the unique contributions of the African American religious experience via strategies, practices and experiences of urban pastors that directly and indirectly address the harms and collateral damage of mass incarceration on individuals, children, families and communities of color.”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Since 1997, Rev. Dr. Donald L. Perryman has served as Senior Pastor of The Center of Hope Community Church in Toledo, Ohio. Under Perryman’s leadership, the church has become a center for change that connects holistic ministry in the community’s contemporary social, economic, and political life to its spiritual and cultural foundations.

In 2011, Dr. Perryman founded United Pastors for Social Empowerment (UPSE), a “solution-centered” coalition of faith leaders working in collaboration with institutional representatives and other communities of practice, to challenge the disparities affecting the poor, marginalized, and communities of color through public policy, community development and political empowerment. He also serves the community as a member of the Board of Managers for the Ohio Poverty Law Center and the Aspire Cradle to Career Network and is a member of the Neighborhood Health Association Board and the Children Services Board of Lucas County.


Read more about Dr. Perryman and download this dissertation at

Will Osmun

Will Osmun, Ph.D.  [Cohort 10]  2019

Hiring the “Other”—A Biographical Narrative Inquiry of Progressive Human Resource Professionals



From the abstract: 

“Employment is the key to economic and social mobility through which one can potentially manage and maintain self-respect, purpose, dignity, agency, and meaning. Human resource professionals (HRPs), therefore, as gatekeepers to employment have an immense potential impact on the lives of historically marginalized populations and their communities. The purpose of this study was to better understand why HRPs hire from historically and structurally marginalized populations and what resistance they face as a result. While many studies have looked at the phenomenon of hiring discrimination and its opposite, there is a dearth of literature and understanding of the “micro” dynamics of progressive hiring. This study centered on interviews with 17 HRPs who had a reputation of intentionally and successfully hiring from structurally targeted and marginalized groups. ”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page  


Dr. Osmun is the Vice President and Chief Strategist for the Urban League of West Michigan, where he brings decades of community development experience to bridging the gap between those with power and under resourced communities through programing in employment, housing, health, youth, education, and racial equity, diversity and inclusion. He is also an experienced consultant and national speaker working across industries, sectors, and communities. Skilled in facilitating difficult conversations that range from how we “other” (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) to creating workplaces and communities of belonging. 


Read more about Dr. Osmun and download this dissertation at‚Äč