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GSLC Dissertations : New and Featured

Susan Wardak, Ph.D.  [C 13]  2022

Leadership for Change: Teacher Education in Afghanistan: A Decade of Challenge in Reconstruction, Reform, and Modernization in a Post Conflict Society



From the abstract: 

"This dissertation used interpretive case study methodology focused on the story of rebuilding the national education system of Afghanistan destroyed by decades of conflict. The study documents the challenges and progress in preparing adequate and qualified teachers for the nation. The dissertation is based on critical analysis of available documents tracing events, policies, and programs. The research asks: What are the critical leadership strategies and organizational frameworks that promote or impede institutional change? What are the barriers to change in teacher education in a conservative Islamic society? The dissertation is unique in that this story of educational intervention in a small war-torn, socially fragmented, and politically fractured nation is documented by a participant observer who is both of the nation and from the nation. The study records the steps and missteps of the changes and leadership processes implemented by both international donor-advisors and national leaders to restore education to Afghanistan in a critical contemporary time. The story encompasses many aspects of education in Afghanistan, past and present, including urgent efforts to fulfill the promise of the new Constitution for universal nondiscriminatory and free education for all, not only of a population in residence but of the masses returning from exile expecting schools for their children. The central core of the dissertation is a focus on the national effort to recruit and train teachers, competent in subject knowledge and teaching methods. A basic and recurring theme is the education of girls and women and their role in this society. Although gender equity is a priority theme through the dissertation, the central message of the dissertation is the evolution of teacher training. This story is framed against the larger picture of historical traditions, the disruptions of conflict, and recent overall national education reconstruction, expansion, and reform. The record of cultural differences that contributed to failed as well as to successful interventions abounds in examples of leadership for change impacted by international donors and by political priorities.


Read more about Dr. Susan Wardak and read the dissertation at

Bonnie Curtis, Ph.D.  [C 19]  2022

How Should Bosses Lead? New Revelations from Frontline Managers




From the abstract: 

"Strategic business change in the 21st century has been fraught with issues, resulting in failure for more than half of all attempted efforts to transform companies. Frontline managers (FLMs) are key to successful corporate change, transforming a company’s direction into action and results and the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique business challenge for every Consumer Products Group (CPG) company and FLM by interrupting supply chains. The aim of this grounded theory study was to create theory by conducting open-ended interviews with 20 frontline managers to determine how they viewed themselves and their roles, teams, and bosses during change. Results demonstrated that the FLMs viewed themselves as protectors of their teams. The FLMs were competent, resilient leaders who loved the work of managing a team to deliver daily results. Unfortunately, many FLMs were required to navigate bosses that ranged from negligent to abusive. Even the FLMs who described having great bosses asked for something more, declaring a need for help. They called for bosses to provide four elements of leadership: Delivering clarity on the role, expectations, and escalation channels, quickly producing requested resources, hosting regular one-on-one meetings to discuss issues and career, and engaging with empathy and support while giving the FLM autonomy to do the role. When the boss delivers on the four requests, the frontline manager will likely have the autonomy, confidence, and partnership to fully engage in their challenging work."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Bonnie Curtis, PhD, has a long track record of accelerating growth for both a Fortune 50 consumer products company and a privately held distribution and trucking firm. Noteably, she lived in Guangzhou, China for eight years where she led the largest Procter and Gamble plant in Asia.  Dr. Curtis is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Chemical Engineering and also holds a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.  As the CEO of Golden Spike LLC., with expertise in leading change for the supply chain, human resources and sales, Bonnie shares her passion in the areas of leadership and process, with focus on frontline and mid-level manager coaching.

Bonnie has had a toal of five national and international moves that have taught her the power of understanding cultural dimenions of people and work. Raising four children over the course of her career, Dr. Curtis has mastered the ability to multi-task with success, unleash people from status-quo thinking both at work and home--bringing out their best and driving an inclusive culture.  She is an honest and direct talker, and enjoys sharing her insights with universities, businesses, and non-profits.

Read more about Dr. Bonnie Curtis and download this dissertation at

Rachel M. Roberts, Ph.D.  [C 19]  2022

Women Seeking the Public School Superintendency: Navigating the Gendered and Racialized-Gendered Job Search




From the abstract: 

"I have been an educator for my entire career. First, as a teacher and over the last decade as a school administrator. During my tenure, I have continually noticed the underrepresentation of women in the highest office: the school superintendent. This has vexed me over the years, and as a scholar practitioner in leadership and change, I have devoted my research to unearthing the inequalities and disproportional realities that exist within high-profile leadership, particularly the public school superintendency. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, this dissertation sought to better understand what happens at the micro-level, especially during and after the superintendent search and selection process, for women who successfully land a final round interview, but ultimately are not selected for the position. More often than not, women are quick to make the shortlist of finalists, and as nearly 74% of all superintendents are male (Tienken, 2021), yet only rarely get offered the position. Through the use of constructivist grounded theory methods, this dissertation reveals a navigational journey riddled with gendered and racialized-gendered experiences rife with barriers for the women who strive for the position. Despite these difficult and challenging obstacles, this dissertation found strength, resilience, and fortitude within the data and the following dimensions: navigating gendered and racialized-gendered experiences, living my core, drifting from self, The Big Kaboom, and finding peace. As a result, this study asserts three theoretical implications related to the experiences of women as they seek the superintendency."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Rachel M. Roberts, Ph.D., is a recent 2022 graduate from Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dr. Roberts holds a master’s degree in educational leadership, a master’s degree in elementary education, and a bachelor’s degree in Child Development. As a seasoned educational leader, Dr. Roberts has served public education in various leadership roles for over 20 years, in three different regional locations. Dr. Roberts started her career as an early childhood educator in Northern Michigan and is a proud former Head Start program teacher who has worked with numerous families on developmental milestones over the years. In 2009, Dr. Roberts was appointed as a National Head Start Fellow, which is prestigious and competitive federal fellowship program in Washington, D.C. During her fellowship, Dr. Roberts worked at the national level on federal program support, improving the National Head Start Program Performance Standards, and on leadership development within the Head Start Program. Post fellowship, Dr. Roberts served the students and families of the District of Columbia Public Schools, through early childhood teacher effectiveness programming from the district office and as an assistant principal at Tyler Elementary on Capitol Hill, a dual language Spanish immersion elementary school. While at DCPS, Dr. Roberts helped revise the teacher evaluation system and provided direct support to early childhood educators throughout the district. In 2015, Dr. Roberts transitioned from DCPS to her role as principal in Brevard County, Florida (10th largest district in the state of Florida) where her track record of improving student outcomes in high poverty schools is quite impressive. Dr. Roberts moved Odyssey Prep Elementary from a state accountability rating of “F” to “B” and Columbia Elementary from a “D” rating to a high performing “B” rating. Both turnaround efforts earned Dr. Roberts the accolades of finalist for BPS Principal of the Year in 2020, and the 2022 Florida Tax Watch Principal of the Year award, which is only awarded to three elementary principals in the state of Florida each year. Dr. Roberts currently serves as Director of Elementary Leading and Learning for Brevard Public Schools and is a passionate advocate for school leadership, especially women in leadership. She lives with her wife, Jules, and their menagerie of furry friends, Pippa (Chiweenie), Ruth (rescue cat) and Hattie (the new kitten).

Read more about Dr. Rachel M. Roberts and download this dissertation at

Mark McMillian, Ph.D.  [C 16]  2022

Black Parent Advocacy and Educational Success: Lessons Learned on the Use of Voice and Engagement




From the abstract: 

"The opportunity is there, this is what I think of when I think of role models, I think of my experience” (Anthony—a participant in this study—commenting on the effectiveness of advocating for his child). Black children encounter racism in American schools and parents need to advocate for them. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how Black parents developed and used their voice to advocate for their children in a predominantly White educational system with a history of racially disparate outcomes. Particularly, this study drew on the experiences of 15 participants, two men—one was a grandfather—and 13 women, whose children had successful outcomes in graduating from high school and going on to post-secondary education. The findings reflect Black parents’ understanding of the need to advocate to support their child’s success in getting through school: all related incidents of discrimination where they needed to speak up on behalf of their child in response to inequitable treatment within the educational system including in the classroom, participating in extracurricular activities, and in access to resources. Parents facilitated their use of voice on behalf of their children by cultivating engagement with the school, getting to know teachers and administrators, and being involved in their children’s activities, making sure they were seen to make sure they would be heard when needed. Most parents in the study recalled role models in their own families as inspirations for their sense of voice in countering experiences of racism. These participants urged other Black parents to be involved and speak up for their children, and to connect with and draw on the social support of other Black parents of children in school. These findings suggest that as we continue to work to address systemic racism disadvantaging the most vulnerable of our community, our children, parental voice by individuals and within the Black community contributes to getting heard at the educational decision-making table and producing positive educational outcomes for these students."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

I want to honor my mother and all the parents that have used their voice and helped us get to this point in our personal journeys. Remembering these very special people of our lineage, learning about their lives and seeking to understand the context in which they lived their lives gives us a perspective on the work of our own lived journey. I cannot say enough about my own mother’s courageous, wise and indomitable spirit. She was quite a special lady, indeed. She would however want me to talk about myself on an occasion like this one.

She would want me to say things like I am a seasoned entrepreneur and have worked in diverse industries. As a consultant I’ve helped leaders to understand the things in their way and supported them in making the needed changes to motivate and lead their teams to perform. I’ve trained, coached and strategized with decision-makers on tactical and personal/professional development. I’ve been self-employed having started businesses on my own, and I’ve also worked in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

My mother was especially proud of my academic achievements. After all, I was the little boy the teacher said was academically ‘slow’. No one thinks that today. I attended and graduated from Central State University on an Academic and Athletic Scholarship. I have two Master’s Degrees from Cleveland State University, both paid for with scholarships, and I was on the Dean’s List for both. I attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as a Senior Executive in State and Local Government, on scholarship as well. These were all very rich experiences for me, but my Mom would have been so delighted to know that her little boy now has both a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from the Antioch University. The University started by Horace Mann. She has passed away, but I still think she sees me down here and I know she is so proud of me. This is the reason for my passion in my own community. I want to make a difference in others’ lives, too.

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

Horace Mann

Read more about Dr. Mark McMillian and download this dissertation at

Lijun Li, Ph.D.  [C 13]  2022

Life Stories of Older Chinese Immigrant Women in the U.S.



From the abstract: 

"This study is an effort to turn to older Chinese immigrant women aged 60 and above, one of the most marginalized groups in American society, to recognize their humanity and rediscover the unseen and unheard. It asks what we can learn from their life stories, particularly from the ways in which each experience(d) being a woman in different societal systems. Using in-depth life story interviews supplemented with secondary sources of information, this study crafts four women’s stories that are first read and interpreted individually to capture the whole person in context, and then are looked at thematically. Nine themes are presented, ranging from their remembered histories to their life journeys in different societies, integrating three lenses: the dialogue between the past and the present, the intersectionality (of race/ethnicity, gender, class, education, age, location, generation, nationality, immigration, etc.), and the interplay between the individual and the historical, political, and economic environment in different contexts. This study acknowledges that all of these women, across time and space, have developed capabilities that brought about positive changes to their lives, and that perhaps they have relied on their strengths and capabilities developed throughout their lives to become resilient and accepting of the unknown challenges. It is in this light that these women, as “normal” people whose lives are often overlooked by society in general, become heroic. It is hoped that the stories can serve for any readers as a small window into the older Chinese immigrant women’s worlds, sparking empathy and imagination, helping break down the barriers of differences, and leading readers to see and hear these women’s stories that are different from theirs. From there, it is hoped that this study prompts more connections and conversations with immigrants and refugees in daily life, and that one effort of that kind begets more. This study also provides implications for other Chinese immigrant women and men and even beyond, as well as for the younger generation.


Read more about Dr. Lijun Li and view the abstract at

A. Nicole White, Ph.D.  [C 17]  2022

Caregivers and Healthcare Providers on Resources, Gaps in Care, and the Value of Down Syndrome Centers.




From the abstract: 

"The facilitation of healthcare for people with Down syndrome offers a unique challenge to healthcare systems. Both caregivers and healthcare providers often need to navigate a complex system of specialties in care, resources, and expertise to optimize treatment and care plans for children with Down syndrome, whose needs vary widely and extend beyond the walls of a hospital. This study identified seven domains of care based on conceptualizations of integrated care in the literature: coordination, communication, continuity, dignity, information, shared decision-making, and resources. Groups of survey items intended to capture these domains were used with a sample of caregivers and healthcare providers to explore the medical and social gaps that limit the facilitation of whole-person care for children with Down syndrome. This study further examines differences in caregiver perceptions of care depending on whether their child has received care in a Down syndrome Center (DSC) or specialized clinic. Finally, the study examines the level of the burden associated with navigating the health care system and critical resources for caregivers while examining the amount of stress healthcare providers experience in facilitating care for people with Down syndrome. Key findings in this study indicate the value of DSCs for both caregivers and healthcare providers about integrated care values and satisfaction in care delivery. Additionally, the study identifies critical gaps in resources and awareness of the challenges caregivers and healthcare providers experience in managing and coordinating care. These findings have implications for future directions in improving healthcare for children with Down syndrome. The full text of this dissertation is embargoed until April 1, 2023."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Nicole White, Ph.D., MBA, is a former basic science benchtop researcher; she is knowledgeable in molecular biology techniques and flows cytometry and imaging.  After working at the bench for a decade, she graduated from Ashland University in May 2010 with her MBA focused on global management.  Her scientific and business skill sets motivated her to find a position that allows her to work between both scientists and business roles within academic organizations.

Nicole is the mother of four children, two of whom have a disability.  Her Ph.D. from Antioch University allowed her to blend her scientific and business skills into a study on healthcare facilitation for children with Down syndrome.  From this work, she gained additional skills sets in social science research.  Nicole hopes to further her studies by evaluating the spaces between communities and healthcare models to improve efficiency in processes, understand the cost modeling of these complex systems, and continue to advocate for children with disabilities using a parental lens.

Read more about Dr. A. Nicole White and download this dissertation at

Ahmed Al Ansari, Ph.D.  [Healthcare C 2]  2022

Competencies for Successful Middle Managers in Healthcare and Medical Education




From the abstract: 

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Kingdom of Bahrain (KB) are currently in the process of the rapid transformation of health care to a self-sustained autonomous system. Middle managers play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. The aim of this study is to develop a feasible, reliable, and valid scale for measuring the leadership and managerial competencies of MM in KSA and KB. Zhou’s (2019) conceptual framework using a mixed-method approach was followed. After procuring ethical clearance from concerned authorities and informed consent from all the participants (n = 27), semi-structured interviews were conducted across three groups: Top Management (TM), Middle Management comprising of Middle Managers (MM), and Lower Management (LM) for the creation of items for the scale, which were later approved by five experts. Two hundred two participants from medical education (ME) and health care (HC) responded to the new scale. Cronbach's alpha and exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were performed to confirm internal consistency and validity. The model fit was adequate with a good GFI (0.90), TLI (0.96), and RMSEA (0.06). Seven major themes emerged from the thematic analysis, while a structural model with three inter-related constructs—“professionalism and problem solving,” “team management and adaptation,” and “time management and expertise” were recognized based on factor analysis. Both TM and LM identified the ability to motivate (70.8%) as comprising one of the most significant characteristics of MM. TM also indicated that concern and consideration of subordinates (68.8%) were important. LM considered being active (71.6%) as important for MM. Interestingly, MM had scored these attributes lower, illustrating the different ways in which MM is perceived across the three levels of management. Importantly, MM acknowledged concern for employee well-being, relationship, communication, and being active as crucial competencies, representing a mix of all competencies identified by the three levels of management. The “Leadership and Managerial Competency Scale for Middle Managers in Gulf Region (LMCS-MM Gulf Region)” developed under this study reflects what people in the three levels of management (lower, middle, and top) across ME and HC value in a (hypothetical) middle manager. This scale has several implications for the selection, training, and appraisal of MM in ME and HC."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Al Ansari

CEO of Government Hospitals

Kingdom of Bahrain



• Dr. Al Ansari serves as CEO of Government Hospitals since December 2020

• He was the Director of Training and Planning at the Supreme Council of Health from 2019 till 2020

• He was appointed as Director of Government Hospitals’ Autonomy Project and Acting Director of Training at the Ministry of Health in 2019

• He acquired the position of Honorary Associate Professor in Medical Education from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI), Dublin in 2019, and is currently an Associate Professor of General Surgery and Medical Education in Arabian Gulf University

• He was an adviser for the Medical Education Department at King Fahad Medical City, Saudi Arabia in 2016, and a consultant for the Medical Education Department at Prince Sattam Bin AbdulAziz University from 2014 to 2018


• He obtained a PhD in Leadership and Change in the Healthcare Sector from Antioch University in 2021.

• He obtained his Master’s degree in Leadership and Change in the Healthcare Sector from Antioch University in 2019.

• He obtained a PhD in Medical Education from University of Ambrosiana, in collaboration with University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2013.

• He obtained his Fellowship in Cardiac Surgery from Maastricht, Netherlands in 2009 and obtained a Master’s degree in Health Profession Education from the same University in 2010.

• He obtained his Membership in General Surgery from RCSI, Dublin in 2004.


• He is a reviewer in several international journals and the Associate Editor for the Canadian Medical Education Journal CMAJ from 2012 till 2016. He is currently a Member of Editorial Board for the World Journal of Emergency Surgery.

• He has published over 48 papers in respectable peer-review journals such as Academic Medicine, Professional Psychology, Advances in Health Science Education, BMC Medical Education, and the Journal of Surgical Education.

Read more about Dr. Ahmed Al Ansari and download this dissertation at

Lynn Redenbach, Ph.D.  [Healthcare C 1]  2022

Integrating Interpersonal Neurobiology in Healthcare Leadership and Organizations




From the abstract: 

"Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) is an interdisciplinary, science-based field that seeks to understand human reality including the nature of mind, brain, and relationships. IPNB has been used extensively by mental health practitioners as well as child development and parenting experts. While practitioners and scholars have described ways that IPNB can be used in leadership and organizations, there has been no systematic inquiry into the practical and phenomenological experience of this application. IPNB offers an alternative to dominant models of care and leading in healthcare settings and fields, which are characterized by disconnection, objectification, and separation. It offers a relationally centered approach that honors people’s subjective experience and seeks to advance whole-person and whole-system wellness through the promotion of integration. As a living and dynamic systems approach, IPNB has the potential to influence the quality of leaders’ presence, perception, and practice while upholding the interconnectedness within and between the functional elements of organizational structures and processes. This narrative inquiry sought to explore how leader and leader consultants approach their work from an IPNB perspective. It centers around two research questions: How, if at all, have healthcare leaders integrated IPNB in their leadership practices, and what impact has this integration had on their development and identity? Secondly, what, if any, implications might their experiences hold for leadership in health and mental health organizations? Using the Listening Guide (LG; Gilligan, Spencer, et al., 2006) methodology this inquiry explores the experiences of twelve leaders and leadership consultants in order to understand the implications IPNB has had for their practices, development, and identity. It takes a broad and deeply phenomenological dive into each person’s IPNB leadership experience across time, space, and place to understand the implications this framework has had for leading and organizations. This inquiry identifies what themes and IPNB principles have been significant to the participants, the counterpoints that have propelled their development forward, and the multiple and relationally positioned identities that signify leader’s relational embeddedness in the organizations and systems they serve."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Lynn Redenbach has been a clinician in the Canadian healthcare system for almost 40 years. In addition to a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology, she is a Registered Psychiatric nurse. Throughout her career, Lynn has been committed to finding ways to bring relational ways of being, seeing, and doing into her work with clients and in her leadership roles in communities, organizations, and systems of care. Currently, Lynn is a clinical manager in a non-profit mental health organization on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She also has a private counselling and leadership consulting practice. She aspires to bring relational neuroscience to healthcare leaders in the service of transforming complex systems, big and small, through courageous dialogue that is foundational for integrative wellness.

Read more about Dr. Lynn Redenbach and download this dissertation at

Katharine O'Connor, Ph.D.  [C 14]  2022

Thriving Through Experience: A Phenomenological Inquiry of Community-Engaged Learning




From the abstract: 

"Community-engaged learning is a high impact educational practice that has been proven to aid in retention rates and overall student success (Kuh, 2008). As an educator, I have had many students tell me that their community-engaged learning experiences helped them develop leadership skills. And while there have been many quantitative studies considering the grade point averages and retention rates, there is a need for research that focuses on the lived experience of people who participate in community-engaged learning. This dissertation focused on young adult women who have emerged as leaders through their community-engaged learning experiences. Through the use of interpretive phenomenological research, the stories of five women who had life-changing leadership experiences through their community work were discussed in terms of the four main themes that emerged from the analysis: Discovery of Self, Family Experience, Empathy, and Transformation. Each theme had associated subthemes that further described the meaning in the context of women’s leadership. The results were considered through the lens of major leadership theories: relational, servant, adaptive, and transformational. The findings showed considerable promise for deepening knowledge of the pedagogy and impact of community-engaged learning. "

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Katharine O’Connor, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Foreign Languages at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers, Florida, where she teaches Intercultural Communication, Creative Capstone for General Education, Public Speaking, and Fundamentals of Human Communication. She earned her PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University and has an MA in Communication Studies with a specialization in Public Service Communication from Monmouth University.  Her scholarly interests are community change, diversity and inclusion, global learning, intercultural communication, and public service. Within her work as a scholar, Katie works to integrate high-impact practices, including community-engagement and global learning throughout various courses and across the curriculum.

Read more about Dr. Katharine O'Connor and download this dissertation at

Marion M. McGee, Ph.D.  [C 14]  2022

Reframing Leadership Narratives through the African American Lens



From the abstract: 

"Reframing Leadership Narratives Through the African American Lens explores the context-rich experiences of Black Museum executives to challenge dominant cultural perspectives of what constitutes a leader. Using critical narrative discourse analysis, this research foregrounds under-told narratives and reveals the leadership practices used to proliferate Black Museums to contrast the lack of racially diverse perspectives in the pedagogy of leadership studies. This was accomplished by investigating the origin stories of African American executives using organizational leadership and social movement theories as analytical lenses for making sense of leaders’ tactics and strategies. Commentary from Black Museum leaders were interspersed with sentiments of “Sankofa” which signify the importance of preserving the wisdom of the past in an effort to empower current and future generations. This study contributes to closing the gap between race and leadership through a multidimensional lens, while amplifying lesser-known histories, increasing unexplored narrative exemplars, and providing greater empirical evidence from the point of view of African American leaders. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center ("

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Marion Missy McGee is a research practitioner who specializes in expanding and reframing conventional narratives to create more equitable leadership ecosystems. As an organizational strategist, she administers the design, implementation and evaluation of domestic and international programmatic initiatives for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), located in Washington, D.C. Her areas of expertise include long-term strategic planning and organizational forecasting through relational and participatory leadership. She believes in creative problem solving through the embrace of failure, experimentation, and innovation. Marion’s scholarly research contributes to closing the gap between race and leadership through a multidimensional lens, while amplifying lesser-known histories, increasing unexplored narrative exemplars, and providing greater empirical evidence from the vantage point of African American leaders. For over 10 years, Marion has led multi-state collaborative partnerships, strategic planning for board and staff development, along with coordination of regional, national and international conferences and facilitation of skill-development trainings.  She is former executive director of the John G. Riley Museum of African American History and Culture and interim director of Florida’s statewide African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN).  Marion is a gifted strategist who takes a passionate approach to transforming organizations through resource identification, partnership development, and workshop facilitation. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from the Florida A&M University. She also holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and Change and a PhD in Leadership & Organizational Change from Antioch University.

Read more about Dr. Marion M. McGee and download this dissertation at

Eric Kung, Ph.D.  [C 17]  2022

Exploring the Leadership-As-Practice of Middle Managers Engaged in Organizational Changes in an Asia Pacific Multinational Setting


From the abstract: 

"There has been a great need for leadership studies on middle management, particularly in the Asia Pacific context. This study explored the leadership practices of middle managers engaged in leading organizational changes of multinational corporations (MNCs), within the Asia Pacific context. Organization ethnography was used as the research method. The ethnographer observed and analyzed the actual practice of middle managers of a multinational manufacturing company located in China for six months. The findings showed that middle managers played significant roles in communication and execution in leading organizational changes. The study also showed that change management could be a dynamic process at the organizational, team, and individual levels. A leadership-as-practice model with four main practices (problem solving, continuous improvement and learning, relationship management, and communication and coordination) was constructed which seemed to be more comprehensive, and relevant to the MNC and manufacturing settings. The implications of this study were involving middle managers in strategic planning and leading organizational changes, leadership development of middle managers in leading change, and practicing leading change with sensitivity to the Asia Pacific cultural context."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Mr. Eric Kung is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of Human Dynamic.  He has been in the field of change management consultancy, executive training & development, and critical incidence management work for over 29 years.  Eric founded Human Dynamic in 1993 in Hong Kong.  Since then, he had led the company growth to be a leading provider of Integrated Solution for Leadership and Change in Asia Pacific with 14 direct offices across Asia Pacific serving over 100 global companies. Eric has extensive experiences in corporate consulting in leading organizational change, handling staff communication in change and crisis management, and conducting leadership training for senior executives and middle managers.  Clients that he has worked with include HP, Microsoft, HSBC, Manulife, Cigna, Nestle, P&G, Nike, GE, Dow Chemical, Chevron, Freudenberg, Ubisoft, and many other global companies and government bodies.  He travels widely as consultant and speaker in Greater China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India. Eric graduated from McMaster University, Canada, in 1982 with an honor bachelor’s degree in commerce.  In 1987, he obtained from University of Hong Kong master’s degree in social work.  In 1999 he obtained his second master’s degree of Divinity from Hong Kong Baptist Seminary.  Eric completed his PhD program on Leadership and Change at the Antioch University, Ohio, USA in 2022.  His dissertation was on Exploring Leadership as Practice of Middle Managers Engaged in Organizational Change in Asia Pacific Multinational Setting.

Read more about Dr. Eric Kung and download this dissertation at

Bill Taylor, Jr., Ph.D.  [C 13]  2022

AfroAM: A Virtual Film Production Group



From the abstract: 

"Because of the gatekeeping practices of the Hollywood film industry, and the high cost of both filmmaking and distribution in general, Afro-American filmmakers have struggled to produce films with “global reach.” This study visits the possibility of Afro-American filmmakers using alternative technologies and infrastructures to produce high-quality films, thereby bypassing the high cost and exclusionary practices of Hollywood studios. Using new 21st-century digital technology, this study involved the creation of a small geographically dispersed virtual film production team. The study’s foundational framework was a constructivist qualitative research paradigm, using Action Research, and supported by 24 months of triangulated data from field notes and a Likert-type end-of-study survey, both of which were then addressed in an end-of- research online group discussion using the Zoom platform. The research question was, What are the most effective leadership and team-building practices/processes for creating a virtual geographically dispersed Afro-American film production team, with the intent of producing digital films, using new digital technology, social media, and the default global infrastructure of the Internet? The major conclusion of the study was that it is possible for a small virtual team to produce broadcast quality digital film using only consumer-level computers and cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and readily available software."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Bill Taylor is a broadcast production expert, and filmmaker. He began his career in radio, producing programmatic content for KRKE, WGAR, WJMO, WHUR, and WOL radio stations. His free-lance voice-over work includes the Nigerian Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio (NPR), narration for various documentaries, and acting and voice-overs for other free-lance radio and television advertising commercials. He has participated in extensive production, working at stations WDCA and WVIZ television. He has taught at 3 different Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and also at California State University. His education includes a B.A. in Communication, a terminal MFA in Film Production, a Master’s degree in Leadership and Change, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change.

Read more about Dr. Bill Taylor Jr. and download this dissertation at

Shiphrah Mutungi Akandiinda, Ph.D.  [C 18]  2022

Theater and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Settings: Participants’ Experiences in the Morning Star Theater Program in South Sudan



From the abstract: 

"This dissertation explores the role of theater for peacebuilding in post-conflict settings through the analysis of experiences of participants in the Morning Star Forum Theater for Peacebuilding in South Sudan. Arts-based activities, including theater, have increasingly gained momentum as viable interventions for peacebuilding in post-conflict zones. Much of the existent research fails to capture the experiences of the theater participants themselves. Using narrative inquiry, this study interviewed 12 community members who participated in the Morning Star Forum Theater event. In particular, this study focused on how experiences of Morning Star Theater events impacted interpersonal growth and relationship-building, thus positively impacting peacebuilding processes. Participants collectively shared positive stories of building relationships with individuals from other conflict communities during and after the event. As well, the study findings illuminate experiences of ongoing peacebuilding efforts among these individuals, underscoring the potential role theater can play in building local capacities and facilitating meaningful engagement of local people in peacebuilding processes. The findings not only add participants’ voices to the debate about the role of theater in peacebuilding in post-conflict settings but also inform us about the tool’s potential in facilitating sustained meaningful engagement of the local population, which is a key aspect in achieving lasting peace."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Dr. Shiphrah Mutungi Akandiinda is a seasoned professional in the social science disciplines. Her 20+ year career has been invested in developing and leading projects in a variety of social development fields, notably psycho-social, trauma healing, peacebuilding, conflict transformation, leadership, and organization development mainly based in Sub-Saharan Africa. Shiphrah grew her career starting as a program officer to leading country-wide and multi-country projects. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Makerere University in 1996, Shiphrah joined the National Council for Children, an agency that was established as part of Uganda’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, which went into effect in 1990. At the Council, Shiphrah was responsible for the communication and advocacy department, a post she held almost eight years. While at the Council, Shiphrah enrolled in a Counselling Psychology master’s degree program at Makerere University, which she obtained in 2003. In 2006, she joined EASUN Foundation, a civil society capacity building organization based in Arusha, Tanzania. Although based in Arusha, EASUN’s projects span in all of East African countries, including Uganda, Shiphrah’s home country. At EASUN, Shiphrah served as an advisor for the Civil Society Program, supporting civil society organizations in all of East Africa. Meanwhile, Shiphrah was also a young mother, trying to balance both career and family, hence it was necessary that she returns to her home country. In 2008 Shiphrah joined the US Peace Corps as a program manager for PEPFAR/HIV and AIDS. She was later on assigned the role of program manager, a more comprehensive portfolio encompassing not only PEPFAR/HIV/AIDS, but also WASH, Malaria, Mental Health, and Psycho-social programming, to mention but a few. While working on Peace Corps Uganda’s mental health and psycho-social strategy for northern Uganda, Shiphrah was confronted with the ethnic conflicts and its associated impacts. The impact of the 20+ years of conflict in Northern Uganda was enormous, but among its many challenges was widespread trauma and the associated divisive narratives. That experience pushed Shiphrah to learn more about conflicts and peacebuilding. She enrolled at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in their prominent Strategies of Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program and later on decided to join the graduate program in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. In 2015, Shiphrah was invited to serve as a Program Director for Morning Star, a trauma awareness and peacebuilding initiative which was implemented as part of the Viable Support to Transition and Stability (VISTAS) project, a conflict mitigation project in the whole of South Sudan. The VISTAS project concluded in 2019, as did Morning Star. When Morning Star concluded, Shiphrah was already enrolled in Antioch’s PhD program in Leadership and Change. She purposefully took a break from full-time employment to focus on her doctoral studies. She also holds a master’s degree in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a certificate in Refugee Trauma and Recovery from Harvard Medical School, and a certificate in Global Mental Health from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. Shiphrah is married to Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi. They have four biological children and have cared for other children that God puts in their path. Shiphrah is currently working as a trauma healing expert with DT-Global in Sudan. Although Shiphrah has made solid footprints throughout her career, her experience in South Sudan provoked her and left her with many questions that she decided to explore in her doctoral research. Shiphrah wants to share with you her findings about Theater and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Settings, in which she explores experiences of participants in the Morning Star Theater Program in South Sudan.

Read more about Dr. Shiphrah Mutungi Akandiinda and download this dissertation at

Ivy E. Sackey, Ph.D.  [C 17]  2022

Preceptorship Practice in Healthcare Institutions in Ghana: A Situational Analysis



From the abstract: 

"Preceptors play a vital role in supporting nursing/midwifery students and new employees’ transition and assimilation into their new role. Furthermore, with the increasing focus on educating more qualified nurses and midwives to meet health-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, there is a need for a more standardized and coordinated approach to preceptorship training. As former Head of the Nursing/Midwifery Training Institution in Ghana, I observed first-hand that the system of preceptorship needs improvements. Published literature on preceptorship has shown that the practice plays a vital role in healthcare delivery. However, most of the existing literature preceptorship is from developed countries, with little research from developing countries like Ghana. This study explored the practice of preceptorship in selected nursing/midwifery and healthcare institutions in Ghana. Situational analysis was used to examine the complex dynamics of the preceptorship program. It consists of three main procedural tools: situational maps, social worlds/arenas maps, and positional maps. Several important factors were found to impact preceptorship in Ghana. Key ones were motivational (monetary) challenges, lack of training of preceptors, politicking related to the development of preceptorship manuals, supervision, and outdated procedure guidelines for on-the-job teaching students. The study offers a series of recommendations to improve preceptorship practice at micro, meso, and macro levels. Additionally, they may enable regulators and policy makers in Ghana to formulate policies leading to a more robust preceptorship program to strengthen the skills of nursing/midwifery profession."

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Dr. Ivy Efua Sackey is a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing/Midwifery, a capacity builder, teacher, and an inspiring leader who is passionate about women’s health, reproductive, maternal, and child health issues. Ivy is married with three children. She was born in a small town called Swedru, located in the central region of Ghana. Even at a young age, Ivy took great delight in helping others, so it came as no surprise when she discovered that nursing would be her calling. After completing secondary school, she gained admission to the Cape Coast Nursing College in 1984, completed the program in 1987, and obtained a license as a State Registered Nurse. After working for a year, she then proceeded to pursue a one-year midwifery course at Korle-Bu, which she completed in 1989 and was then awarded a license as a State Registered Midwife.  After gaining extensive clinical experience as a senior staff nurse/midwife in Ghana’s largest hospitals (Komfo Anokye in Kumasi and Korle-Bu teaching hospitals in Accra), she decided to continue her education at the University of Cape Coast to enhance the teaching she was providing in the clinical area. This tilt transitioned her from hands on clinical work to educating and mentoring students and nurses/midwifery professionals in the classroom on pediatrics, obstetrics /maternal health issues, and pharmacology, among others. Extensive lecturing drew her closer to students sharing their experiences during clinical supervision and piqued her interest in preceptorship. From 2005 – 2006, she pursued and successfully completed a master’s program in Population and Reproductive Health, International Health, at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ivy taught in the Sekondi Nurses and Midwifery Training Colleges (NMTC), after her QMU studies, continued teaching in Korle-Bu Nurses/ Midwifery Training College during which she trained and mentored over three thousand nurses/midwives. Ivy was the chairperson of the Maternal and Child Health faculty of the West African College of Nursing/Midwifery (WACNM) between 2009-2015, and then, substantive secretary of the Ghana chapter of WACNM from 2007 to 2009.  Ivy has conducted research, written papers, presented speeches, and her interest in researching preceptorship stems from the experience gained while teaching at the training colleges and from working as the Head of the Nursing/Midwifery Training Institutions unit at the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Ghana. Through visiting hospitals and clinics used by the training colleges, Ivy observed several issues with the process of clinical supervision, which revealed a broken system. Some of these issues included the preceptorship programs that were supervised by the department, but which were not well established. Her aim in pursuing the research for her dissertation was to help identify and understand the problems with the preceptorship program in detail in order to improve the program. Through her PhD program, Ivy has been able to make huge strides in this endeavor and is currently sharing her findings with the relevant bodies in Ghana.

Read more about Dr. Ivy E. Sackey and download this dissertation at

LaTanya White, Ph.D.  [C 17]  2022

Dynastic and Generative Intent for First-Generation Black Wealth Creators in a Modern Racial Enclave Economy



From the abstract: 

This study explores the underlying causes of the racial wealth gap between Black and White Americans: the absence of intergenerational wealth transfers in Black business families. As American wealth becomes concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, the data reveal that one third of the 400 wealthiest Americans inherited their wealth from the entrepreneurial endeavors of earlier generations in their family, some creating entrepreneurial dynasties. An important aspect of succession planning is the construct of generativity. Generativity is practiced through leading, nurturing, promoting, and teaching the next generation to create things to “move down the generational chain and connect to a future” (Kotre, 1996, p. xv). There is little research that informs us about the generative intent of Black entrepreneurs. First-generation Black wealth creators operating in the beauty industry with dynastic and generative intent were the target population for this study. Interpretative phenomenological analysis of the data revealed that the paradigmatic ethos and frame of mind that developed from the lived experience of the study participants included the following themes: A Celebration of Blackness, Black Mothers: A Guiding Light, Destined for Purposeful Work, Our Health Our Wealth, and You Can’t Pay It Back. The themes imply that entrepreneurial education and training for first-generation Black entrepreneurs with dynastic intent must contextualize the Black lived experience. The study offers a model for Dynastic Wealth™, which includes extensive implications for entrepreneurial training and curriculum design changes for practitioners and policymakers. The model has been contextualized for the Black entrepreneurial experience and is designed through a lens of racial equity. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Dr. LaTanya White is an inclusive scholar-practitioner working at the intersection of racial equity and entrepreneurship curriculum design. Over the course of her professional career, she has personally coached and consulted more than 600 Black urban entrepreneurs. A 2x author, TEDx Speaker, leader and strategist, Dr. White is the founder and principal consultant for Concept Creative Group, a technical assistance firm focused on business development, capacity building, and Dynastic Wealth™ transfer for Black entrepreneurs. White was selected to participate in the inaugural cohorts for the Change Ventures Fellowship in Bali, Indonesia as well as the Center for Black Innovation’s EcoSystem Builders Fellowship. White previously spent 11 years serving as an entrepreneurship educator at a prominent Historically Black College/University, an experience that informed her advocacy for Black entrepreneurship as a pathway to wealth creation. Dr. White developed her expertise in the intersection of the racial wealth gap and Black entrepreneurship through her graduate studies at Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change.  As a result of her doctoral research on intergenerational wealth transfer and Black business families, Dr. White has designed an evidence-based entrepreneurship training model that specifically addresses the ancestral narrative and lived experience of Black entrepreneurs using a lens of racial equity. By academic definition, a family reaches dynastic status once either the business or the wealth has been controlled by the founding family for at least three consecutive generations. Driven by Proverbs 13:22, Dr. White is committed to the advocacy and action required to build an entrepreneurial dynasty that begins with her daughter Sparrow and that will benefit her grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Read more about Dr. LaTanya White and download this dissertation at

Stacey Guenther, Ph.D.  [C 17]  2022

From Me to We: A Phenomenological Inquiry Into Group Beingness



From the abstract: 

To be human is to be a member of myriad groups. The universality of groups in our lives poses an important area of study for social scientists investigating human flourishing. Additionally, inquiring into the evolutionary potential of groups may begin to inform new ways of addressing the intractable issues we face as a human species. While most empirical studies of groups focus on group performance, or group doingness, this study explored group beingness and the experience of manifesting deep union and oneness, which is an intersubjective phenomenon that has been called coherence. Intersubjective coherence is often written about from a theoretical and conceptual perspective, as well as from a practice perspective, but it has rarely been investigated empirically. This interpretive phenomenological investigation of coherence inquired into the phenomenon through the facilitation of two group coherence treatments immediately followed by group interviews. The study’s design enabled the exploration of coherence from the intersubjective perspective, allowing for participants to make meaning of their coherence experiences in community. Findings revealed what it was like for participants to experience coherence, how the groups shifted into coherence, and the antecedents and outcomes associated with coherence. Additionally, five meta-themes, Direct Experience of Interbeing, Constructive Disorientation, Co-sensing, Metalogue, and Best Me, Best We, were identified revealing a broader context as well as the ways in which the participants made meaning of the experiences. A key outcome of the study was an empirically-based definition of coherence: coherence is a group-level phenomenon wherein members experience a collective shift into a heightened state of connectedness marked by a quieting, slowing, and calming of the group climate, an activation of an enlivened intersubjective field, and a calling forth for members' best selves resulting in an acceptance and celebration of differences among members. The shift is aided by skillful means, and members are able to process and make sense of the experience through somatic, emotional, spiritual, and creative ways of knowing. Coherence experiences are often accompanied by individual and collective awakenings. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (”

From the AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive Page

Stacey Guenther is a certified leadership coach (PCC), organization development consultant, educator, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher (CMT-P) who is dedicated to a developmental journey for herself as well as for the individuals and groups she serves. She invites her clients into deep work with wisdom and heart while holding the space for them to find answers, inspiration, and direction and to build new skills. She is the principal and founder of a small consultancy, Awakened Impact ( Until 2020, Stacey had a 15-year affiliation with George Mason University, serving as adjunct faculty, administrative faculty and director of educational programs for the Center for Consciousness and Transformation (now known as the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being), and a corporate facilitator for the university’s outdoor challenge course. She was named a 2021 Fetzer Scholar by the Academy of Management's Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) Interest Group, and her dissertation proposal earned one of three awards by MSR as a 2021 promising dissertation proposal. She is a long-time, committed meditator, and she finds the sacred in nature as well as in animals. Stacey lives near Asheville, NC, with her husband and two rescue dogs.

Read more about Dr. Stacey Guenther and download this dissertation at