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Voices of the Global Community


Heather Doyle, Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board Chair
Leigh Cunningham, Emerging Leaders Program Coordinator

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising is committed to providing opportunities for professional development, networking, and leadership for our diverse membership (Vision and Mission).  Association strategic goals include developing and sustaining effective leadership, as well as fostering inclusive practices within the association that respect the principle of equity and the diversity of advising professionals across the vast array of intersections of identify (Strategic Goals). To support these goals, the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) was developed in 2006, as an initiative from the (then) Diversity Committee (now the Inclusion & Engagement Committee), to encourage members from diverse backgrounds to explore and get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization. 

Each year, beginning with the 2007-2009 Class, 10 Emerging Leaders and 10 Mentors are selected for the two-year program.  Leaders are matched with Mentors who have a wide range of experience within NACADA, from research and publication to serving on the Board of Directors.  Leaders and Mentors work closely to connect the Leaders to the areas of the association they are interested in and develop a plan for continued involvement and growth within the association.  Emerging Leaders receive a $1,500 stipend to assist them with travel to NACADA conferences, institutes, and seminars, helping to promote their engagement and involvement.

With more than a decade of successful leadership development now behind us, we are excited to recognize the many members of the Emerging Leaders classes who have served in elected and appointed positions—as chairs of NACADA regions, commissions, interest groups, committees, advisory boards, and task forces—as well as those who have stepped up to leadership in other service, scholarship, and research areas.  ELPers have already made a lasting contribution to NACADA and have a long list of accomplishments, including:

  • Spearheading the establishment of the Career Advising Interest Group and the Advising at HBCUs Interest Group. 
  • Presenting (some with their Mentors) at regional, annual, and international conferences.
  • Serving on region, CIG, or conference steering committees.
  • Participating in conferences, including serving as chairs or co-chairs of regional conferences. One Emerging Leader chaired our 2010 Annual Conference in Orlando. 
  • Writing and serving as reviewers for NACADA publications.
  • Presenting in NACADA Webinar broadcasts.
  • Being awarded NACADA Research Grants, completing research, and publishing the results in the NACADA Journal
  • Moving on to becoming Mentors in the ELP program.
  • Serving on the NACADA Council.

Several have shared their stories in Academic Advising Today articles, which may be found linked from the Program homepage.  To learn more about the contributions of our ELP Classes, visit the Accomplishments webpage.

The 2015-2017 Emerging Leaders and Mentors (pictured below), who began work at the 2015 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, have been diligently pursuing their goals over the past two years and look forward to receiving their Certificates of Completion at this year's conference in St Louis, where they will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony.

2015-2017 ELP Class.jpg

Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board Chair Heather Doyle is pleased to announce the 2017-2019 NACADA Emerging Leaders and Mentors

Emerging Leaders

Ivette Barbosa (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis)
Rhonda Christian (Durham College)
Twaina Harris (Claflin University)
Brittany Hoover (University of Florida)
Sarah Maddox (Colorado State University)
Matthew Markin (California State University-San Bernardino)
Tara Maroney Pickett (University of Bridgeport)
Shanna Pendergrast (University of Tennessee-Knoxville)
Wendy Schindler (Gateway Community & Technical College)
CJ (Chris) Venable Schaefbauer (Kent State University)


Jennifer Joslin (Kansas State University)
Amy Korthank (University of Iowa)
Brandan Lowden (Pikes Peak Community College)
Amanda Mather (Texas A&M University at Qatar)
Leah Panganiban (University of Washington)
Nancy Roadruck (Kent State University)
Kyle Ross (Washington State University)
John Sauter (Niagara University)
David Spight (University of California-Davis)
Wendy Troxel (Kansas State University)

New Emerging Leaders and Mentors will meet at the Annual Conference in St Louis to create partnerships and begin development, conversation, and group-building. Partners will develop goals pertaining to leadership in NACADA over the next six months and continue their work together over the two-year program.

Visit the Emerging Leaders Program website for more information.

Heather Doyle
ELP Advisory Board Chair, 2016-2018
Dalhousie University

Leigh Cunningham
ELP Coordinator
NACADA Executive Office


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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.