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Mark Barczak

Union Institute & University recognizes excellence with the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

By | Faculty & Staff, Union Institute & University | No Comments

Union Institute & University is proud to bestow the university’s highest level of recognition and honor to individuals

Dr. Roger H. Sublett welcomes La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to the podium as the Florida Commencement speaker.

Union Institute & University is proud to bestow the university’s highest level of recognition and honor to individuals who demonstrate an exemplary contribution to the field of higher education or have evidenced extraordinary scholarship and leadership in a field or discipline reflected in the university’s mission and community.

Recipients of our Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters:


  • Dr. Joseph G. Bock, Director of the Ph.D. Program in International Conflict Management in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kennesaw State University, Georgia.





  • Major General Sharon Dunbar, US Airforce (ret)



  • Edward O’Neil, MD, founder/president OMNIMED, ER physician



  • Lee Baca, sheriff, LA County (10/2015)
  • Larraine Matusak, Ph.D., scholar, leadership expert, educator, advocate for adult education



  • Cheryl M. Foley, past trustee, past Board chair, attorney, activist (Sacramento)
  • George Pruitt, past trustee, past Board chair, president of Thomas Edison State College, New Jersey (Florida)
  • Lisa Q. Lorimer Donahue, past trustee, past Board chair, founder and former CEO Vermont Bread Company (National)




  • Juana Bordas, President, Mestiza Leadership International, Author, Activist



  • David Gergen, Advisor to U.S. Presidents, Political Analyst



  • Nancy Rudolph, UI&U alumna; photographer



National Commencement

  • Eugene Reuhlmann, UI&U trustee; former mayor of Cincinnati



April Vermont College-Montpelier ADP Commencement

  • Richard Hathaway, Professor of Liberal Studies, Adult Degree Program since 1965


National Commencement

  • George Korey, UI&U Trustee since 1980; Founding President and Chancellor Emeritus, Canadian School of Management



National Commencement

  • Frances Hesselbein, founder and chair, board of governors, Leader to Leader Institute (formerly Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management); former executive director, Girls Scouts of the USA




Miami Regional Commencement:

  • Portia Simpson Miller, B.A. 1997


National Commencement

Marcellette G. Williams, Interim Chancellor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Learn more about UIU

Union Launches the Bachelor degree with a major in Organizational Leadership

By | Bachelor's Degree, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

Program Chair Dr. Frederick K. Read significance of Union’s new Bachelor’s major in Organizational Leadership.

Dr. Frederick Read

Faculty Chair | Business Administration, Business Management, and Leadership

Kicking off this fall, is the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership. The new major is designed to give graduates a key competitive edge and endless career paths. Dr. Frederick K. Read, Chair of Business Administration, Business Management, and Leadership discusses the significance of the new major in this Q&A. 

What does the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership offer to students?

“The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership opens the door to a better tomorrow by equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to become effective leaders who can think critically, provide diverse perspectives, solve problems, and implement creative solutions.”

Why does today’s workplace need leadership skills?

” Today’s workforce is ever changing and increasingly competitive. Organizations are searching for people to envision something different, look beyond the status quo, analyze and research problems, create visions, implement creative solutions, and tell people what they don’t want to hear, but need to.”

What makes the major exciting and unique?

“First, the program is designed to be real world and practical. The program is not delivered in a sterile, academic environment.

Second, the program offers six core courses and each focuses on leadership. Each course begins with the word leadership which is the curriculum’s foundation. 

Third, each course includes an embedded research component and the capstone project is immersed in each course. Students will also be given the opportunity to choose a capstone project that relates to their own work place. 

Fourth, guest presenters are not going to lecture but involve the students in substantive situations.

How does this degree answer the call for a skilled workforce?

“Graduates will have a solid understanding of what leadership is and be able to practice the skills immediately. Their skills have been developed as opposed to being trained. A manager’s job is to ensure things get done. A leader looks down the road and envisions what can be.”

Why did Union decide to implement the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership?

“We wanted to offer a multidisciplinary degree program grounded in the social sciences that provides graduates unique attributes for the emerging job market. The major outcomes of the program include:

  • Identify various concepts of change, problem solving and decision making as they relate to leadership.
  • Analyze and apply a variety of leadership concepts and theories.
  • Evaluate leadership approaches in diverse, multi-cultural, and global environments.
  • Examine ethical leadership as it relates to the leader-follower relationship and social responsibility.
  • Examine leadership from social sciences, and arts and humanities perspectives. ”
Learn more about Union’s
Organizational Leadership program

David Blake puts the Human Factor in Law Enforcement

By | Alumni, Bachelor's Degree, Students | No Comments

Alumnus David Blake opens his own consulting company specializing in teaching & expert witness work on the topic of human factors and police performance.

David Blake

Alumnus | Criminal Justice Management

Retired police officer and a Union Criminal Justice Management alumni David M. Blake, M.Sc., F.S.A., C.C.I. believed he could make a positive difference in law enforcement. That is why he opened his own consulting company specializing in teaching / expert witness work on the topic of human factors and police performance.

“As a working police officer, I have always had a great deal of passion for not only the practical, but also the academic aspects of policing. More specifically, I have a long history of studying human factors science and its inclusion within police performance during high stress critical incidents such as a use of force,” said Blake. “This area is vital to policing (in my opinion) in regards to policy, procedure, training, and after action review. It is also an area often ignored. It was my passion for the inclusion of the science in the policing world that led to opening a consulting company and engaging in teaching / expert witness work on the topic of human factors and police performance.”

Blake points out that Human Factors science is used in many professions. “Human Factors science encompasses several areas of psychology and ergonomics and has evolved to include many areas. The science is primarily concerned with human performance within a system. Human Factors science concerns itself with the capabilities and limitations of a human (cognition, vision, reaction time, motor performance, etc.) and how those human aspects apply to job tasks, tools, and performance within the environment,” said Blake. “The science is used in many industries such as; aviation, medicine, nuclear, and transportation. My hope is that law enforcement will fully consider Human Factors science in policy, procedure, training, and after action performance review.” 

The lack of Human Factors science often leads to harsh judgments made in high stress situations. “Most people do not consider how officers function under stress or what human factors (eg: vision, cognition, reaction time) led to their perceptions and performance. These very human aspects should always be considered when reviewing police performance in high stress environments,” said Blake. “Officers are fallible, function at the level of their training, and performance is dictated by human capabilities and limitations. For instance, the public does not consider that it takes three camera views and several officials in many sporting events to make a ruling on what happened on the field, yet the expectation is for police to perform to inhuman standards under the same rapidly evolving, tense and uncertain situations that one might find in high intensity sport.”

Blake is a 2010 Union Institute & University Criminal Justice Management Degree graduate. He thinks the critical thinking skills associated with the degree are crucial to a successful career in law enforcement. “The admissions process, the accreditation, and the acceptance of previously earned credit were all an important part of choosing Union. Once admitted, I found the coursework to be on point and interesting,” said Blake. “I highly recommend Union.” “The most important aspect of having an advanced degree is the critical thinking skills learned in higher education. Skills such as analyzation, interpretation, application and evaluation are paramount to a successful career in law enforcement. I highly recommend a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice for all law enforcement officers,” said Blake.

Union Institute & University’s major in Criminal Justice Management is a nationally recognized degree program designed to advance the careers of law enforcement personnel into supervisory, management, and executive positions within the criminal justice system.

Learn more about Union’s Criminal Justice degree program

Research sheds light on challenges breastfeeding mothers face

By | Faculty & Staff, Master's Degree, Students | No Comments

For World Breastfeeding Week 2016, we highlight the opportunity and work of two students, Iris Lewis and Susan Howlett.

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

Union Institute & University, together with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 – 7, 2016. This observance offers the opportunity to highlight the work of two students, Iris Lewis and Susan Howlett.

Iris Lewis

Health & Wellness Student

Iris Lewis’s first love is teaching the Deaf. Her second love is supporting Deaf breastfeeding mothers. She combined the two passions and is launching a career as a lactation consultant that specializes in assisting Deaf women. Her journey began with breastfeeding her own son.

“I faced challenges breastfeeding my son,” said Lewis. “I turned to the La Leche League for help. This was the first time I discovered I wasn’t alone in struggling with breastfeeding. I found out that many moms face the same problems I did,” said Lewis. 

It was that revelation that piqued her interest in deafness and breastfeeding. “As the teacher of Deaf children, I had to question if hearing mothers faced obstacles, what were Deaf mothers facing?” She also knew she had to have a master’s in the field to pursue this career dream. That is when she turned to Union for her Master of Arts with a Major in Health & Wellness and a focus on Human Lactation program. “I chose Union because of its commitment to the highest standards possible. I knew a degree from Union would propel my career as a lactation consultant.” 

Iris’s thesis examines how deafness impacts breastfeeding outcomes. She found that it takes specialized care in allowing deaf women to describe their experiences through the use of a certified American Sign Language interpreter. Some of the issues to consider include interpreter services, access to communication concordant medical care, access to support groups, goal setting and access prenatal and antenatal education. 

While this research is just the beginning in helping the Deaf community, Iris is excited. “I am thrilled with the prospect of making a difference in the lives of Deaf mothers.” 

Susan Howlett

Health & Wellness Student

Susan Howlett is a registered midwife and certified lactation consultant in Ontario. Susan chose Union for her Master of Arts with a Major in Health & Wellness and a focus on Human Lactation to be a better midwife. “I chose Union for several reasons. I wanted a program that was evidence-based, structured, would keep me on track, and allowed me to work fulltime. I found all of that in Union.” 

Susan has been a registered midwife since 1994 and is a co-founder of Kawartha Community Midwives in Ontario. “Midwifery care is based on providing care that respects the birthing woman as the primary decision-maker,” said Susan. “The Ontario midwifery model of care also consists of informed choice, continuity of care, and choice of birthplace.” One of her goals in pursuing her master’s is to implement a breastfeeding clinic within the Kawartha Community Midwives. 

For that reason, she chose to research sustained breastfeeding rates. Her thesis involved conducting a retrospective cohort study with 30 repeat clients at a community midwifery practice to determine the impact of the Ontario midwifery model of care on sustained breastfeeding duration rates. The study showed double the exclusive breastfeeding rate at six months compared to the provincial average, but many women were having difficulty achieving the Health Canada recommendations for continued breastfeeding “up to two years and beyond”. This study recommends capacity-building through the establishment of midwifery practice breastfeeding clinics staffed by a registered midwife lactation consultant (RM-LC) to provide on-going breastfeeding support beyond six weeks postpartum. This would further enhance breastfeeding support to help clients achieve breastfeeding recommendations for optimal health benefits.

Susan hopes her research sheds light on the need for continued support for breastfeeding moms. “I hope I have provided insight into the challenges breastfeeding mothers can face and the need for sustained support.”

Learn more about Union’s Maternal
Child Health: Human Lactation Program

Union Announces New Board of Trustees Member

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Sharon Dunbar is the newest member of the Union Institute & University Board of Trustees.

Sharon Dunbar

Vice President | Human Resources, General Dynamics Mission Systems

Sharon Dunbar is the newest member of the Union Institute & University Board of Trustees. She serves as the Vice President, Human Resources for General Dynamics Mission Systems where she oversees human resource operations, internal communications, community relations and investments for the 13,000-employee company. Dunbar retired from the United States Air Force in 2014 as a Major General.  

“It is a distinct honor to welcome Sharon to the Board of Trustees. I first got to know Sharon when she was a Kellogg Fellow. Sharon’s devotion to her country, selfless service to her career and community, and her legacy of ethical leadership parallel Union Institute & University’s mission to engage, enlighten, and empower our students in a lifetime of learning, service and social responsibility,” said Dr. Roger H. Sublett, President of Union Institute & University.

Dunbar is looking forward to contributing to Union’s growth. “My goal is to contribute to Union’s advancement and its immense contribution to the academic community and communities as a whole,” said Dunbar. “I believe Union offers incredible value to higher education. Its flexibility to educate adults while they balance the demands of life is an opportunity to advance in every aspect,” said Dunbar. “I have seen the difference this flexibility makes to the men and women transitioning from a military career to civilian life.” When approached by Dr. Sublett to join the Board of Trustees, her first reaction was one of humility. 

“I was surprised and honored to be asked to join the Board of Trustees. Dr. Sublett has been a mentor since my days as a Kellogg Fellow. He is dedicated to giving back and I couldn’t decline the chance to make a difference in higher education alongside him,” said Dunbar.

During her 32-year Air Force career, she served in a variety of acquisition, legislative affairs, and human capital positions. She commanded organizations at every possible level, including a mission support squadron, Air Force Basic Military Training, an air base wing, and the Air Force District of Washington where she was responsible the Air Force’s Washington operations. 

Learn more about Sharon
Dunbar’s Illustrious Career

A Celebration of Learning: Union’s 2016 Ph.D. Residency

By | Alumni, Doctoral Degree, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

Highlights from the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency


Highlights from

the 2016 Ph.D. Residency

A Celebration of Learning was on display as students from around the nation gathered at the 2016 July Ph.D. Residency in Cincinnati, Ohio for the collective purpose of pursuing professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service and social responsibility. 

The residency opened Sunday, July 3rd with an Opening Night Dinner event featuring Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins, renowned social justice speaker, with a, powerful presentation entitled, “Intersectionality Part 2: Intersectionality and the New Normalcy.” Other featured events included Breakfast with University Provost Dr. Nelson Soto; New Student lunch with Dr. Arlene Sacks, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Two MLK Capstone Presentations; Women & Power Hour with Dr. Diane Allerdyce, Program Chair; and Curriculum and Dissertation process with Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program.   

Outside of hitting the books after dinner, the evenings of the residency week were filled with fun group activities such as a Dance Social and Open Mic Night. The culminating event, held Friday, July 8th, was the Presidential Luncheon hosted by University President, Dr. Roger H. Sublett. Dr. Sublett reflected on the current state of higher education in America and Union’s role in transforming lives and communities. 

Our Ph.D. residency weeks are held twice a year in January and July. All doctoral students are required to attend the residencies. Most students find extreme value in these week-long connection events. Dr. Raffanti, Dean of the Ph.D. Program noted, “We make ourselves as faculty very available to our students that week, from mornings through well into the evenings,” Raffanti said. “We try to establish those connections you won’t find in other, similar programs.”

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program

Meet Union’s 2016 California Commencement Speaker

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It is an honor to welcome Joseph G. Bock as the commencement speaker for the 2016 California commencement ceremony.

Dr. Joseph Bock

2016 California Commencement Speaker

It is an honor to welcome Joseph G. Bock as the commencement speaker for the 2016 California commencement ceremony. Dr. Bock is well-known for his research and publications on violence prevention, a sub-field of global health. He has twelve years of international humanitarian experience. He joined Kennesaw State in 2015 from the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Bock also served as director of External Relations at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame. He has taught at University of Notre Dame, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Hebrew University, Eastern Mennonite University, and William Jewell College. Other positions include executive director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College and executive director of the Secure World Foundation. 

Dr. Bock’s humanitarian work has included directing Catholic Relief Services’ programs in Pakistan and Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza Strip, and overseeing programs in Bosnia, Croatia, Guinea, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Uganda while serving as vice president at American Refugee Committee. In 2010, he took a two-month leave from Notre Dame to serve as American Refugee Committee’s country director in Haiti following its devastating earthquake.  

Bock has been a speaker and consultant at the World Bank on violence prevention; at University of Malta on the use of information technologies in humanitarian relief; at the Woodrow Wilson Center on foreign aid to Pakistan; at a UN Assembly in Cairo, Egypt about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in Leuven, Belgium on ethnic violence and religious extremism; at University of Karachi on conflict early warning and early response; and, at Macalister College on the refugee crisis in Africa.

Dr. Bock served as a panelist for InterAction in Washington, DC about international issues facing Internally Displaced Persons. He served as a consultant with The Asia Foundation on conflict management and democratic governance, providing support in Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, he worked on a conflict early warning and early response program of the Foundation for Co-Existence, which formed the basis of his book The Technology of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention, which was published by MIT Press in 2012. He is the author of two other books. 

In December 2015, Dr. Bock was provided a Fulbright Specialist award to work with the Municipality of Athens, Greece on the migrant crisis. He has been a Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a Fulbright Specialist at University of Malta, and a Visiting Fellow at Gonzaga University. Bock served as a member of the Working Group on Reconciliation of Caritas Internationalis, based in Vatican City. 

Dr. Bock holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work. After completing his Ph.D. at the School of International Service of American University, Dr. Bock served six years in the Missouri House of Representatives, with leadership positions as Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee and Vice-Chair of the Commerce Committee. More recently, he was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from Illinois.

Dr. Bock is on the Advisory Council of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Center of Conflict Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Dr. Bock is an editorial adviser to Development in Practice, a peer-reviewed journal founded by Oxfam Great Britain. He has authored or co-authored articles in various peer-reviewed journals including, among others, Political Geography, Information Technology for Development, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and Journal of Refugee Studies.  

His dedication to service and humanitarian causes has permeated his life and his work. We welcome him as our commencement speaker as an example of Union’s enduring mission to engage, enlighten, and empower adults as they pursue professional goals, and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.

Union Institute & University’s California Commencement will be held
August 7, 2016 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Find out more below!

Our Last Surviving Founder Leaves Legacy of Innovation

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Dr. James Payson Dixon III, last surviving member of the original Board of Trustees of the precursor of Union Institute & University, and the fourth chairman of the Union Board of Trustees passed away at the age of 98 in February 2016.

Dr. James Payson Dixon III

Last Surviving Founder Leaves Legacy

Dr. James Payson Dixon III, last surviving member of the original Board of Trustees of the precursor of Union Institute & University, and the fourth chairman of the Union Board of Trustees passed away at the age of 98 in February 2016. 

Dr. George Pruitt, Union alumni, President of Thomas Edison State College, and Chairman of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, lauds his contribution to Union. “Jim Dixon was not just one of Unions founders; he was a principal, organizing influence. His impact on higher education should be remembered and celebrated. “

Roger Allbee, Union Institute & University Board of Trustees Chair, praises his contribution to Union. “Dr. Dixon was a real visionary and leader with a distinguished career.”

The impact Dr. Dixon had on Union is summarized below, in Union’s Last Surviving Founder, by Dr. Benjamin R. Justesen, alumni, Ph.D. 2009. You may also read more about Dr. Dixon and his remarkable career in this New York Times obituary

Union’s Last Surviving Founder

“Dr. James Payson Dixon III, last surviving member of the original board of trustees of the precursor of Union Institute & University, and the fourth chairman of the Union board of trustees, has died, according to the New York Times. The highly-regarded educator, a former president of Antioch College, died February 27 in Haverford, Pennsylvania; he would have turned 99 on March 15.

A native of Lebanon, Maine, Dixon was one of 10 founding members of the first board of trustees of the Union for Research and Experimentation in Higher Education (UREHE), formed in 1964. He served on the board for the next 14 years, under the leadership of Union presidents Samuel Baskin and King V. Cheek, Jr.  

During his tenure, the UREHE was renamed the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities (UECU) and established both the Union Graduate School and the undergraduate University Without Walls. Its membership grew to include more than 30 schools. Dixon left Antioch in 1975, but remained on the board until 1978; in his last year on the board; he was elected as its chairman.

Dr. Dixon then moved from Ohio to North Carolina, where he served as a longtime professor of health administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was also interim president of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and a faculty member of Walden University.

The Harvard-trained physician, a graduate of Antioch College, was an Antioch trustee before becoming its president in 1959. His years as Antioch’s leader are movingly recounted in a biography published by his wife, Edla (“Eddie”) Dixon, in 1991: Antioch: The Dixon Era, 1959-1975: Perspectives of James P. Dixon. The Dixons, who met as students at Antioch and were married in 1941, had six children and 11 grandchildren. Mrs. Dixon, an elementary schoolteacher and real estate agent, died in 1995. 

Dixon was the last surviving member of the founding board of UREHE. Only two other members lived into the 21st century: Jerome Sachs, who died in 2012, and Paul Ward, who died in 2005. Royce T. Pitkin (1965-1969) and Rev. Reamer Kline (1969-1974) were the board’s first two chairmen; Dixon became the board’s fourth chairman in 1977, succeeding fellow member James Werntz.

According to the Times obituary (March 6, 2016), Dixon “was one of the first students at Harvard Medical School on academic scholarship and received his medical degree in 1943. A life-long pacifist, Jim registered as a conscientious objector during WWII. He completed his alternative military service with the National Institutes of Health.”

As a lifelong champion of civil rights, Dixon was proud to bring Martin Luther King, Jr. to Antioch as the 1965 college commencement speaker. He was also an active member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Learn more about Union’s Innovative
History in Online Education

Jeffery Foley is Union’s Keynote Veterans in Union Speaker

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General Jeffrey W. Foley, will Keynote Union’s 2016 Veterans in Union Celebration on June 29

Jeffrey W. Foley

CEO | President of Loral Mountain Solutions

Jeffrey W. Foley, Brigadier General United States Army (Retired) and CEO/President of Loral Mountain Solutions will deliver the keynote speech at the 2016 Union Institute & University Veterans in Union Celebration on June 29, 2016. The Cincinnati native and renowned leadership expert will share leadership lessons and encourage the veterans, now students at Union Institute & University, to continue to grow and make a difference in the lives of others.

President Roger H. Sublett invited General Foley to address the veterans. “General Foley’s commitment to lifelong learning, service, and leadership mirrors Union’s ongoing mission to engage, enlighten, and empower adults as they pursue a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.” 

General Foley will also laud the success of the Veterans in Union program initiated in 2015 with an anonymous grant of $293,000 that provides a $7500 living allowance stipend for eligible  Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana veterans to earn or complete their degree. Currently, 15 veterans are enrolled in the program. In addition, the announcement of a new grant of $150,000 will be made. This grant combined with the initial $293,000 grant in 2015 totals  $443,000 available to veterans.

Foley served his country for over 32 years in the United States Army leading soldiers in war and peace. His journey began in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was born and raised. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Throughout his military career he served in leadership positions around the world, in constantly changing environments, adapting to new organizations, all the time focused on the accomplishment of the mission and taking care of people. In his final assignment, he served as the Commanding General and Chief of the Army’s Signal Corps and Fort Gordon, Georgia. 

General Foley holds master’s degrees in computer systems and national security and strategic studies. For more than 30 years, he was an active member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Association of the U.S. Army, and the Army Signal Corps Regimental Association. He serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Augusta, Georgia Bank and Trust, the Executive Board for the Georgia-Carolina Council for Boy Scouts of America, the Central Savannah River Area Alliance for Fort Gordon, and the National Board for Lead Like Jesus, an organization co-founded by Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager. He was named Leadership Augusta’s Outstanding Leader in 2008.

In 2015, Union Institute & University bestowed upon him the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, the university’s highest honor.

Learn more about Union’s Veteran’s in Union program

A Lifetime of Commitment is Recognized

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Dr. Jackie Young recently honored with the 2016 University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Jackie Young

Alumnus | Doctoral

Dr. Jackie Young has followed the Union Institute & University mission to engage, enlighten, and empower in a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility through championing civil liberties. Her commitment to transform lives and communities was recognized with the first Union Institute & University Presidents Award in 1995. She credits Union for much of her professional success, saying “Union made all the difference.” 

Recently, she was honored by her first alma mater, the University of Hawaii, with the 2016 University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of University of Hawaii and community.

Dr. Young’s remarkable career includes serving as an appointed member of the Hawaii State Judicial Selection Commission, and the Hawaii State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and as a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Campaign. On the national level, she is a member of the U.S. Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

She implemented P.L. 94-142 Education for All Children Act, requiring the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities for the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE). In 1985, she became the DOE sex equity and Title IX administrator. She also served as adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University for 10 years. 

Dr. Young has worked through the political process to make a difference, serving as the chair of the Hawaii Women’s Political Caucus and vice president of the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1990 she was elected to the State House of Representatives and then elected in 1992 as vice speaker, the first woman to hold that position. She championed issues related to Native Hawaiians, the environment and crimes against women. In 1994, Young was appointed as the state’s affirmative action officer. While undergoing breast cancer treatment and speaking publicly about her experience in 1998, she managed the nation’s first marriage equality campaign, Protect Our Constitution, in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign. She later served as the UH sex equity coordinator. Young became an executive with the American Cancer Society Hawai‘i Pacific in 1999 and retired in 2013 as its chief staff officer. She is a recent kidney cancer survivor.

In addition to her 1989 Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Communication from Union Institute & University, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Hawaii and a Master’s in Speech and Special Education from Old Dominion University.

Learn more about Union’s
distinctive doctoral program