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USM's Dan Jenkins to be honored for work to nurture leadership

Dan Jenkins

USM’s Dan Jenkins, chair of the Leadership Studies program, will be honored by a national group that works to nurture leadership studies and student leadership nationwide.

On March 6, Jenkins will be presented with the Dr. Susan Komives Research Award by the NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The group’s annual conference, held March 3-7 in Philadelphia, will draw thousands of school administrators and high profile speakers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“I’m looking forward to being around some of the major people in the field,” Jenkins said. “To be able to accept the award among those folks is pretty humbling.”

The award will arrive just weeks after the publishing of “The Role of Leadership Educators: Transforming Learning,” a textbook Jenkins co-authored with Kathy L. Guthrie of Florida State University.

In just over a year of work, they tried answering how leadership is taught.

“What is the psychological process of learning leadership?” Jenkins said. “We feel very strongly that leadership can be taught.”

Coincidentally, a foreword to the book was written by Susan Komives, the namesake of Jenkins’ award.

“To win an award that’s named after her is very meaningful for me because of the impact she’s had on my field. Her impact is felt every day,” he said. “For instance, I am teaching a class this afternoon with two books. She was the lead author on one and wrote the foreword on the other.”

Jenkins was nominated for the award by a colleague at another school.

“Dan's research on leadership pedagogy and practice has made important contributions to what we know about the effectiveness of leadership education in and outside of the classroom,” the colleague wrote.