Perspectives on Successful Women Leaders

LAC Leadership Studies Professor and Research Council co-chair, Liz Turesky focuses her research on "Women in Leadership," an organizational behavior and development perspective about continuous improvement practices in the public and private sectors and engaged student learning pedagogy, particularly Kolb’s experiential learning model applied to coaching, career development, leadership development, and student learning about leadership. What's really exciting about her research is the way in which she studies the multicultural perspective of women leaders.

Every two years, she travels with students to a different country as part of the Leadership Study Abroad Program. The goal of the trip is to study issues of women in leadership--to determine the personal experiences and cultural factors of woman who are successful leaders in their fields. Participants are intrigued by the stories--the experiences and perceptions--of women from different cultures who have overcome obstacles to achieve their present leadership roles. She has travelled with USM graduate and undergraduate students to Italy, Costa Rica and Australia, where students interview women identified by their peers as leaders in their fields.

Prior to the trips, the students study and practice interviewing techniques with Maine women whom they admire. The information they obtain from the interviews become sources of comparative data with women in the country in which they travel and interview.  Upon returning to the States, students analyze the interview data, drawing conclusions that frequently change their own perceptions about what it takes to achieve’s dream and career passion.