When Gina Myers heads to campus to teach the newest cohort in the College’s Doctorate in Executive Leadership (Ed.D.) program, she knows exactly what awaits her: an energetic, thoughtful discussion in which students share their experiences and learn from one another. At nine strong, this group “never disappoints,” Myers says. It is comprised of leaders in the fields of education, health care and business, at all stages of their careers, who are self-aware, who observe the world around them carefully, and who are nimble in the face of forces beyond their control. Many are K-12 teachers and leaders. Others are nurses or nurse administrators. Another is a manager for a local retailer. They are all women – a first in the history of the Ed.D. program. Together they are pursuing an education that Myers hopes will nurture them throughout their careers, whether in classroom, exam room or boardroom.
Many of the members of this cohort earned their bachelor’s or master’s degrees from Le Moyne, or were drawn to the College in large part due to its Jesuit identity. The program in which they are now enrolled is centered on the four pillars of transformative leadership, social responsibility, scholarship and communication, each of which reflects the College’s dedication to preparing its graduates to become men and women in the service of others. To that end, the program’s newest students regularly find themselves engaged in thoughtful conversations about everything from combatting teacher burnout to maximizing patient care to the role a chief diversity officer plays in an organization’s success. While they are still early in the program, they are already focused on how they can use their educations to transform their workplaces and, by extension, their communities.
Doctoral candidates Danielle Behm and Erin Moore credit both the program and their professional experience with shaping how they think about what it means to be a leader. Both Behm, a kindergarten teacher at Blessed Sacrament School, and Moore, a choral director at Christian Brothers Academy, say that they strive to be where they believe God needs and wants them to be. For Behm, leadership is largely about setting a positive example and engaging in careful and active listening before arriving at a decision. For Moore, it is about inspiring and walking with others, establishing and maintaining a vision, and never losing sight of your values. Likewise, Moore believes that a people are most successful if they find joy and contentment in what they do and use their gifts to make life better for others. Continuing her education at Le Moyne is a springboard to that life’s work.
“I was drawn to Le Moyne's Ed.D. program because of the quality of Jesuit education,” she says. “I did the Spiritual Exercises in the summer of 2013 and that has been foundational in my faith life, my personal life and my vocation as a teacher. I’ve worked with the Christian Brothers in San Francisco and Syracuse over the last 13 years, so good Catholic education has been a big part of my life. I am excited for the connections I am making in this program and am hopeful for new adventures to come.”
You may learn more about applying for admission to the Ed.D. Program here.
Photo: Danielle Behm (left) and Erin Moore (right)