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Alumni

Softball and Higher Education Equal a Home Run for Julie Crandall

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When you talk to Julie Crandall, executive director of UI&U’s Sacramento Academic Center, you quickly learn she has two passions – softball and higher education.

The retired professional softball player, who attended University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on a full scholarship, is a two-time All-American.

“I was a tomboy and grew up playing baseball with the boys,” said Julie. “I switched to softball because opportunities for girls were more prevalent.”

Her prowess on the field landed her in the UNLV Hall of Fame as a team member and as a catcher. Her team was third in the nation. She was also the 1998 UNLV Sportswoman of the Year.

As a professional, she travelled the country and played exhibition games with the U.S. Olympic team.

“My mind focuses when I am on the field,” said Julie who now plays slow softball. “I am at my happiest playing.”

Crandall completed her master’s in communications at Auburn University in Alabama, where she was a graduate assistant. A chapter on her thesis on millennial celebration time and frequency was published Expressions of Ethnography—the chapter is titled “The Millennium Waltz”.

Her other passion is higher education.

“My parents were high school teachers. I always knew I was headed to college,” she says.

Julie believes in higher education and in Union. “Education is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Union students are special in that they are working adults, juggling a career, family, and school,” said Julie who teaches two classes for Union.

She recently became System Director for Regional Recruiting along with her duties as Executive Director of the Sacramento Academic Center. Her work fit into Union’s goal to develop unique adaptations to the various locations served, while maintaining seamless integration with the Enrollment and Marketing teams who are collectively focused on growing enrollment across all programs in all locations.

Julie looks forward to her new position.

“Union is a special place with infinite opportunities to transform lives and communities.”

Interesting facts about Julie:

Selected for the All-Star Team when playing professionally.

She has lived in nine states.

She can juggle!

She teaches two classes at Union: From Stone Tablets to Twitter and Human Communication and Misunderstanding.

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

 

Marine Veteran Continues Quest to Help Children

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Mitch and Mindy Rivas are making an impact on the world of the medically fragile community through the Maryssa Mission Foundation (MMF). They created the foundation shortly after Maryssa was called to heaven in November 2015 at age two.

 

The Challenge

“We saw firsthand the challenges of a family with a medically fragile child. We often found ourselves living in a hospital room four hours from home. As doctors tried to understand and cure Maryssa’s uncommon diagnosis, we stayed by her beside constantly. Our stays at the hospital were met with financial struggles, periods of hopelessness, and a looming feeling of inadequacy as parents, because we were being split from our other three growing children who longed for their parents and sister.”

 

Partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

The foundation partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), where Maryssa had been a patient, to create the Home Away From Home Initiative. To date, the foundation has raised $37,500, enough to provide temporary safe lodging to families for more than 280 nights.

 

New Initiative

New this year is Maryssa Family Lounge. The lounge will be part of the expanded critical care building on the corner of the old and new hospital segments. This unique location symbolizes the transition of Maryssa’s life and journey in the hospital to the amazing mission of her foundation.  Families will have access to this 40-person capacity room, a safe refuge to digest information regarding their child’s care plan. And, it’s within running distance of their child’s room, in case a situation requires immediate attention. A $100,000 donation will make this family lounge a reality. The Rivas Family hopes to cut the ribbon on the lounge around her 7-year angel-versary in November of 2022. She would have been 9 years old. Her twin sister Malinah will do the honor of cutting the ribbon.

 

Union’s Role

Rivas, a Marine Corps veteran and UI&U alumnus, used his capstone project to create the blueprints for the foundation to honor Maryssa’s memory.

“UI&U played a vital role in the progress of MMF. My capstone project revolved around the strategic planning for our foundation. As we celebrate our fourth year of incorporation we are grateful to share our accomplishments with the university. I am forever grateful of UI&U’s part in this wonderful journey,” said Rivas.

 

What’s Next?

Our largest fundraiser, the MMF Spring Banquet and Auction Fundraiser, just raised more than $53,000 to benefit the medically fragile community and continues to grow. But our mission remains the same: to honor Maryssa and “Be the Blessing We Prayed to Receive®.” For more information, please visit www.MMFkids.org

 

About Mitch Rivas

Mitch is a world changer who is living the UI&U mission to change lives and communities. He holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) from Union. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

portia simpson miller

“Journey, Break Every Rule” Docudrama Features Union Alumna

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The Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, Union alumna and former two-time prime minister of Jamaica, was featured in the docudrama “Journey, Break Every Rule.” The film premiered in Kingston in February. As Jamaica’s first female prime minister, she admits that she had indeed broken some rules as a fierce defender of the poor. Her three “p”s– persistence, productivity, and (putting) people first–led her to the highest political office in the land. Read more in this article from the Jamaica Gleaner.

As a leader in the Jamaican government, Simpson Miller has a track record as a fierce advocate for education. She strongly supports alternative models for those who are not well served by traditional forms of education. Often described as the “heart and soul” of her people, Portia has made remarkable inroads and contributions in her country. From her early days in the House of Representatives, in her positions as minister of a number of offices, to prime minister, she always met challenges head-on with a rare degree of integrity, focus, and positive vision for the future.

 

Voice of the Voiceless

A common refrain throughout Portia Simpson Miller’s long service was that she was the “voice of the voiceless in the corridors of power.” Her efforts and long-term commitment to address the concerns of women, the elderly, the poor, and the disenfranchised are renowned, as is her advocacy for social change, and her unwavering efforts toward peace in an increasingly violent world.

Portia’s deep understanding of community leadership, and her commitment to engage all citizens to be change agents, reflects her lifelong efforts to advance people’s lives through education and empowerment.

As prime minister, Mrs. Simpson Miller lived her creed and also breathed life into our university’s aspirational vision. During a visit to Union, Portia told the audience:

“One committed individual can influence an entire community to come together for a positive purpose. From strong, positive communities we can build strong, positive nations which can transform the entire world.”

Her abiding belief in our individual abilities to give back and to continually strive to make a difference, coupled with her heartfelt desire to improve the lives of her people, make her as an exemplary Union alumna, but even more so, as a citizen of the world. The university awarded her the university’s highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2001.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

law enforcement career

CJM Degree Impacts Law Enforcement Career

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law enforcement career

Union is saluting our Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice Management (CJM) students, staff, and alumni through the month of May in recognition of National Police Week, celebrated nationally from May 12–18, 2019.

This week we spotlight Sergeant Brian Kinney, Homicide Investigator, a CJM alumnus. Sergeant Kinney discusses the impact his CJM degree has on his life and law enforcement career.

 

Q & A with Sergeant Brian Kinney

Q: How does a CJM degree benefit the community?

A: The CJM degree benefits the community by providing a better-rounded officer who has been exposed to contemporary techniques within a justice organization, interpretation and analysis skills, and better communication tools. I also believe the degree makes for a more empathetic officer.

Q: How does a CJM degree benefit a Law Enforcement Officer?

A: I believe the degree provides an officer with better decision-making skills. In addition, the degree allows the officer to be eligible for promotion.

Q: What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A: My degree has given me a sense of accomplishment. I am the first male in my family to graduate from college. I am also a role model for my children. They watched me work full time and still complete my degree.

Q: What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A: Union allowed me flexibility and the ability to schedule classes around my work schedule. The program advisers understood that I worked full time and my classes had to be built around my work schedule.

Q: If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

A: Stick with it. Don’t quit. Your degree will open up professional opportunities that didn’t exist before.

Q: What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

A: My greatest accomplishment is my family. My wife and two children have supported me every step of the way professionally and personally.

Q: What is your passion away from work?

A: My passion away from work is to spend as much time with my family as possible.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

 

criminal justice management

Criminal Justice Management Degree Benefits Community

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criminal justice management

Union is saluting our Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice Management (CJM) students, staff, and alumni throughout the month of May in recognition of National Police Week, celebrated  nationwideMay 12–18, 2019.

This week we spotlight Glenn Cadwell, Law Enforcement Site Coordinator and Criminal Justice Management (CJM) alumnus.

 

Q & A with Glen Cadwell, Criminal Justice Management Alumnus

 

Q: How does a CJM degree benefit the community?

A: The Criminal Justice Management degree benefits the community in multiple ways. The Union degree gives officers more education and a global perspective. Students connect to a community of law enforcement personnel across the country. This offers the opportunity to find out how other departments handle community situations. Today’s officer must be community-minded and know how to talk with people.

Q: How does a CJM degree benefit a Law Enforcement Officer?

A: The CJM degree benefits the officer in two ways. First, many departments offer a financial incentive to complete a bachelor’s degree. Also, in many departments an officer has to have a degree to be promoted.

Secondly, for most officers, law enforcement is their dream job. It’s a calling, yet half will be forced to retire early due to an on-the-job medically related problem. They have to find another career path, which can be difficult in today’s world without a degree. If an officer is injured on the job and can no longer work in law enforcement, they have a degree to segue into another career. I always ask my recruits what they would do if they could no longer be in this line of work. Because Union’s CJM degree is a management degree, coupled with the officer skill set and training, they can find that next career.

Q: What excites you about being a part of higher education?

A: Watching officers obtain their degree is so exciting for me. They call me and let me know they have been promoted because of their degree. The best thing is when officers tell me that they have set an example for their children. They have worked full-time, mastered time management and goal-setting to graduate. Now their children don’t have an excuse to not complete their education.

Q: What attracted you to become a part of Team Union?

A: I’m an alumnus of Union’s CJM program. I think our degree program is the best in the country because of its emphasis on management skills.

Q: If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

A: My career as a law enforcement officer was my dream job. It is a calling to be in this profession. It was always interesting because no two days were the same. A cop has to be able to solve problems on the spot, help people, talk with people, have medical training, have an understanding of the law, and be able to interact with the community.

Q: What surprises people about you?

A. That I can play basketball. Let me explain. For a number of years, my department sponsored a Saturday night basketball program named “Night Hoops” to give young people an alternative to hanging out in the streets. The league was open to ages 8 – 30. Many times the kids would say to me, “Wow, you can play basketball!”

Q: What is your favorite book, and why?

A: Two of my favorite books are The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner and Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom.

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

Union Salutes Military Appreciation Month with a Feature on an Alumna Who Specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury

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Dr. Mary Lee Etsy

May is Military Appreciation Month, when Americans are reminded of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country.

Union is honored to feature alumna Dr. Mary Lee Esty, LCSW-C, Ph.D. in recognition of Military Appreciation Month. Dr. Esty is a clinical social worker and founder of Brain Wellness and Biofeedback Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Esty specializes in neurofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her published research documenting the efficacy of neurofeedback (NFB) for recovery from concussion/TBI and post-traumatic stress appears in Military Medicine, and Jrl. of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, among others. Results from a study of NFB treatment with wounded combat veterans conducted in collaboration with the Traumatic Injury Research Program at the Military Medical School in Bethesda awaits publication.

She co-authored the book Conquering Concussion, Healing TBI Symptoms with Neurofeedback and Without Drugs, which won a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014.  It is a collection of neurofeedback treatment outcomes through case histories from young children to wounded and suicidal veterans. One combat outcome was also published in the American Psychiatric Association book, Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice, 2017.

Dr. Esty is a Senior Fellow in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback in the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Her interest in the field began in 1996 with a National Institute of Health grant.  She credits her Union degree with elevating her career. Find out more in the Q&A below.

 

Q & A with Dr. Esty

What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

It would have been impossible to accomplish the things I have without the Union degree. I doubt that I would have been able to increase the impact of this branch of alternative medicine without this degree.  The entire Union experience opened my thinking to new ways of evaluating information, especially as I was just starting to use NFB. This therapeutic intervention continues to expand in health care, opening multiple fields for researchers and practitioners.

 

What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

The excitement shared with fellow learners. In many fields there are people who fear change and say what won’t work. I never heard that at Union. While developing the learning agreement for my degree, my association with UI&U opened doors into programs that would have been otherwise impossible. Saying I was a Union student worked magic. I can’t imagine that I would have had as much fun as I still do without Union’s influence.

 

If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

Whatever you do, hold your beliefs lightly because they may change. A Union professor said this in the colloquium. Its message has never left me.

 

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

Professionally, it is seeing people recover and being able to live productive lives. Personally, it is seeing our children and grandchildren thrive with bright futures ahead. My husband made this journey possible and he continues to support my efforts. Retirement sounds boring.

 

What is your passion away from work?

I was a violinist but can no longer play. However, our grandchildren carry on the musical tradition, giving me great pleasure. I love hiking in the Colorado mountains and never have enough time for reading.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.

Union Ranked Among Nation’s Best

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Washington Monthly 2018 College Rankings

Union Institute & University was recently ranked by Washington Monthly as among the nation’s best.

Union ranked second among Best Bang for the Buck Colleges (page 44), and scored #11 for Best 4-year Colleges for Adult Learners (page 32). Union also ranked #54 as a higher education model in Washington Monthly’s 2018 College Rankings (page 76). Washington Monthly ranks schools that welcome low-income students and focus on the opportunity to transform their lives and communities. The researchers look at social mobility as a priority, and factor in price and percentage of students receiving Pell Grants.

Union’s founding in 1964 was a result of presidents coming together from 10 colleges to create a new institution that could break down barriers to higher education and better serve working adults and others seeking to find alternatives to traditional higher education.

“This new ranking underscores and validates Union’s commitment to its social justice mission by removing barriers that so many experience as they strive to attain a college degree,” said Union President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb.

“We are committed to equity of access to educational excellence around the country and the world. In addition to degree completion programs that offer high transferability rates and accelerated learning paths, we are working to improve pathways for stackable certificates and seamless bridges from one degree level to the next. Union is the right partner to solve the need for higher education degrees due to its more than five decades of identifying and refining ways to structure and deliver education to meet the needs of online learners,” said Dr. Webb.

According to Washington Monthly’s September/October 2018 College Ranking publication, “The rankings are often listed alongside (or above) U.S. News. We rate schools on three equally weighted criteria: social mobility, research, and public service. Instead of rewarding schools that reject 95 percent of applicants, we give high marks to colleges that enroll lots of low-income students and help them graduate and earn a good living without too much debt. We factor in pure research spending and the number of undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs. And we give extra weight to colleges that send their graduates out into the world to serve the community at large.” (Carey, Page 15).

Mollie Miller, M.B.A., Director of Institutional Research & IRB Coordinator, in Union’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness said, “Washington Monthly provides a unique perspective within the higher education ranking landscape. Rankings such as these demonstrate Union’s global standing compared to peer institutions and universities.”

Founded in 1964, Union has perfected the adult delivery model: Specialized distance-learning programs that combine online and classroom coursework with high-touch faculty attention, designed for students regardless of where they live and work. UI&U academic services include small classes, dedicated faculty who are practitioners in their fields, one-on-one program advising, writing and math tutoring services, access to its renowned 100 percent online library, and career services.

Union Institute & University undergraduate students achieved a successful outcome measure (graduation rate) of 70% at 4-years (according to IPEDS Outcome Measures – Winter 2018).

To learn more about Union Institute & University and its career pathways designed for the working adult, click below.
Michael Raffanti Ph.D

Professor Michael A. Raffanti has gone to the dogs!

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Michael Raffanti Ph.D

Tacoma resident Michael A. Raffanti, Ed.D., J.D. has gone to the dogs! Dog rescue that is. He recently co-founded a non-profit organization called Mila’s Mutts to collaborate with a rescuer in Mexico to get dogs off the street, provide veterinary care, and transport them to the U.S. where they are adopted into “fur-ever” homes.

“Like so many animal lovers who travel to Mexico, I was astonished and saddened by the number of dogs and cats roaming the streets of La Paz, which we began visiting in 1999. Early on, we would feed strays, but were disappointed by the lack of options for us to help these animals more substantially. That changed when we discovered that it was relatively simple to transport dogs back to the U.S.

I had heard about individual “rescatistas” living in La Paz who open their homes to stray animals purely out of compassion and great personal cost, caring for sometimes more than 20 dogs. I was introduced to an amazing rescatista, Ceci, about a year ago and since that time I have become more involved in supporting her amazing rescue efforts. Desiring to make a more substantial contribution to Ceci’s labor of love, I am partnering with like-minded friends to form Mila’s Mutts so that we can support Ceci’s work in rescuing Mexican dogs and finding homes for them in the Pacific Northwest. I believe this comports with our social justice mission at UI&U; we reduce suffering for these dogs and work collaboratively, across cultures, to bring more compassion into the world.”

If you would like to help Michael and Mila’s Mutts, reach out to him at Michael.Raffanti@myunion.edu.

 

About Dr. Michael A. Raffanti

Dr. Raffanti is Dean of the Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies Program. In addition to administering the UI&U Ph.D. program, he teaches seminars in research and educational studies, and supervises dissertation research. Dr. Raffanti has a varied professional background in education and social justice. While practicing poverty law in San Francisco, he collaborated with community members in launching a law academy at an urban high school, which precipitated his movement from law to education. While earning his teaching license, he directed the education department of an AIDS service organization and developed HIV prevention programs for adolescents, gay and bisexual men, and communities of color. Dr. Raffanti has taught third grade in urban settings and served in a variety of educational leadership roles. He also taught at-risk high school students in a weekend community college program. Michael has online/blended university teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Western Governors University, Fielding Graduate University, Pepperdine University, Southern Arkansas University, and California Institute of Integral Studies. His research interests are in leadership studies, social justice education, diversity, and qualitative research methodologies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from University of Portland, a master’s degree from The Evergreen State College (education), a Juris Doctor from Boston College of Law School, and a Doctor of Education from Fielding Graduate University.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University Ph.D program that incorporates interdisciplinary study to expand your knowledge and expertise. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click below to learn more.

Union Provost Dr. Nelson Soto Appointed to Ohio Department of Education’s Finish for Your Future initiative

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Dr. Nelson Soto

Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University, has been named a member of a new initiative to improve access and outcomes for adult learners in Ohio. Finish for Your Future initiative is sponsored by the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Randy Gardner.

Dr. Soto will be part of one of the working groups that will make recommendations in the following four areas:
1. Closing the Equity Gap. Identify successful strategies Ohio can implement to close the equity gap among underrepresented minorities and with adults in enrollment and completion.
2. High Impact Practices. Research Ohio focused, high impact strategies to increase adult learner enrollment and improve adult learner outcomes.
3. Policy Improvement. Make suggestions for institutional and state policy improvement that can be implemented statewide.
4. Return on Investment. Research the return on investment (ROI) from two vantage points; return on investment for Ohio’s adult learners as well as for Ohio’s postsecondary providers based upon increased adult learner enrollment and success.

“Dr. Soto has a unique view of adult higher education and marginalized populations, including adults, having spent his career serving the non-traditional student. His insights will be valuable as he sheds light on new ways to help adults complete their education and move their careers forward,” said Union President Karen Schuster Webb.

Dr. Soto looks forward to working on issues close to his heart. “I have spent my career working to remove barriers to higher education degrees,” said Dr. Soto. “This working group will make great strides in uncovering impediments to marginalized and underserved populations.”

The appointment also underscores Union’s commitment to its social justice values. Union serves diverse populations: minorities (44 percent), women (56 percent), and an adult population (average age of 39), and focuses on serving the underserved with curriculum that engages difference and applies theory to practice. More than 25 percent of Union’s undergraduate students are Hispanic adult learners, leading to Union being named the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division .

Dr. Soto holds a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from Indiana University, Bloomington, a master’s in education, and a bachelor of arts in business from the University of Cincinnati. He came to Union from Harrison College, Indianapolis, where he served as associate provost and vice president for curriculum and instruction from 2010 to 2013. Prior to Harrison College, he served as an assistant dean in the graduate office at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) from 2008 to 2010 and as an instructional development specialist at IUPUI’s Center for Teaching and Learning from 2005 to 2008. Dr. Soto has served as faculty at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in the School of Education; at Indiana University, College of Arts and Sciences; University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Education; and the University of Cincinnati, University College.

In addition, he serves or has served on several boards, including the Hoxworth Blood Center Community Advisory Board, Harvard Business Publishing Advisory Board, Cengage Private Sector Advisory Board, Pearson Service Learning Board, and was chair of the Harrison College Military Advisory Board. He has received numerous grants for his research and efforts, including from the Office for Professional Development, Research Grant ($20,000), the Alliance for Graduate Education and Professoriate Dissertation Grant, a Professional and Organizational Development Network Grant, and the Maris M. Proffitt and Mary Higgins Proffitt Fellowship at Indiana University.

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University Ph.D. program that incorporates interdisciplinary study to expand your knowledge and expertise. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click below to learn more.

Dr. Timothy William Quinnan President of Richmont Graduate University

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Dr. Timothy William Quinnan

Union Institute & University’s historical commitment to ethical and creative leadership and the insights gained over the past 55 years as a leader in adult learning is the inspiration for the monthly series, Union Leaders.

This month we feature Dr. Timothy William Quinnan, the newly appointed president of Richmont Graduate University. Dr. Quinnan is one of a group of 26 Union alumni who are serving or have served as a college president. Learn more about Dr. Quinnan and his leadership skills in the Q&A below.

Q: How do you define leadership?
A: Leadership is the mindful use of persuasion rather than power to achieve a desired goal.

Q: When did you first feel that you were a leader? What was the experience?
A: It was in my late teens, particularly in athletic or social settings, that I first noticed others gravitating toward me for advice, support, and direction, even when there were other team captains or event coordinators. Back then, I wasn’t comfortable in the role and, in fact, tried to avoid it! Which is why it surprised me that I somehow succeeded in almost every instance that I led. In college, more co-curricular opportunities came my way and I began to embrace them, sensing that leadership might be an innate strength. Moving forward to the start of my career in higher education, I consciously, actively sought out opportunites. It was a recognition that I could never reach my professional goals without experiencing the rewards, challenges, and deep learning that attended leadership.

Q: Share an example of how you’ve put leadership in action.
A:
I have long held that creativity is the soul of leadership, perhaps above all other factors. Consequently, I strive to promote work settings where innovation is prized as a means to enhance staff performance and organizational impact. An example would be the “Next Generation Initiatives” grant program I launched at the University of Texas at Arlington. Annually, we invited staff, faculty, and students to propose utterly new and experimental programs/services to improve student success by providing seed grants to pilot test them. Those demonstrating high impact were soon institutionalized as new, cutting-edge ‘best practices’ in our operations.

Q: What leader do you admire most and why?
A: Oh my, that’s impossible for me to answer. There are too many leaders I admire to choose one. For me, it’s more about the qualities displayed in life-defining moments or major crises and less about the entire resume of that person. That said, I tend to find historical figures the most compelling. Perhaps this stems from my aversion to a flood of contemporary experts who promise instant leadership success if one buys their book or attends their seminars. Maybe I’m an outlier but I still lean toward believing that leadership is more organic and less learned. Also, I’m awed by those who transformed the very nature of the fields they worked in, from politics, to the arts, to business. Only leaders who lift the worlds they inhabit to new and unprecedented heights have truly achieved their full potential.

 Q: What is your favorite inspiring leadership quote?
A:
“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility” T.S. Eliot

Too many in positions of leadership forget how long it takes to get there and how easy it is to lose.

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. It all starts with You! And is all starts at Union Institute & University. Click below to choose the degree program that is right for you.