KICA Leadership Academy

The intent of this 18 month long engagement program is to help the member institutions of the Kansas Independent College Association strengthen our “bench” of future leaders for our academic departments and staff divisions. The Academy is the outgrowth of several years of conversation among our presidents and provosts about the need for a high quality leadership training opportunity targeted for smaller private colleges like ours. Moreover, all of us had identified a gap in the existing programs: while there were multiple programs for those interested in becoming provosts and/or presidents, there were few such programs focused on the other tiers of the organizational hierarchy – the division/department heads and deans. Thus, we’ve developed the KICA Aspiring Leaders Academy to fill the void.

The Academy consists of One-Day Intensive Symposiums disseminating tangible leadership skills to any interested institution employee. From there, leaders are nominated for the long-form program with curriculum surrounding budgeting within the broader institutional framework, using data effectively, hiring and faculty evaluation tools, program prioritization, work-life balance, advocacy, board recruitment and relationships, and 13 other key higher education issues. Participants of this next iteration will graduate in the Spring of 2019. 

“It has been said, ‘Our collective future is as bright as our leadership pipeline is full of great leaders.’ That’s why Spelman Johnson invests much of its time and resources in the development of a strong and diverse leadership pipeline for our nation’s colleges and universities. We are delighted to support KICA and its Leadership Academy.”
-Ellen Heffernan, President, Spelman Johnson

ComSpec chose to be involved in Higher Education because our leadership team strongly believes education is an extremely important issue to our society. Whether, educating students on skills in trades or to earn a two to four year degree, in order for a person to have a positive life, they need the skills or education to survive this fast changing job market. ComSpec is committed to higher education and the future leaders of tomorrow.
-Robert Brender, President, ComSpec (EMPOWER)

The 2017-2019 Aspiring Leaders Academy is made possible by our curriculum partners Credo, the Center for Creative Leadership, and PEN. But it would not even be feasible without the support and involvement of our presenting sponsors: 



Our 2017 Graduates

Congratulations to the first class of Aspiring Academic Leadership Academy Graduates, who completed the first iteration of this innovative program on March 17th, 2017:

2017 Kansas' Aspiring Leaders by Name

Andrea Cook

CURRENT ROLE: Academic Operations Specialist

EDUCATION: B.A. Communication Studies, M.Ed. in Education

DREAM JOB: Academic Dean and Published Fiction Writer

NAME: Becky Bartell

CURENT ROLE: Nursing Faculty, Nursing Program Curriculum Coordinator, Professional Programs Division Chair


DREAM JOB: Any job in which I can make a difference in other people’s lives

NAME: Carine Ullom

CURRENT ROLE: Director, Instructional Design and Academic Technology

EDUCATION: B.S. Computer Science and German, M.A. German Literature, Ed. D. in Leadership of Higher Education Systems (in progress)

DREAM JOB: Dean of Global Experiential Learning or Associate VP for Global Learning Initiatives at a small (1000-1500) liberal arts college in the Midwest or for a consortium of small colleges

NAME: Stanford Cheyenne Kroeker

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Dean for Distance Education Programs


DREAM JOB: Photo journalist and travel the world

NAME: Damon Kraft

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor of English

EDUCATION: PhD (English)

DREAM JOB: Hmm…I might have it. Being a faculty member at a university is a special role. It’s possible that I’ll find myself on the administrative side of the house before my career ends, though

NAME: Dee Erway-Sherwood

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Program Director & Department Chair of Visual Arts


DREAM JOB: Teaching + Studio Designer

NAME: Duke Rogers

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Business and Economics/Director of Outcomes Assessment


NAME: Enrique Nicola Barreiro

CURRENT ROLE: Full-time Faculty in Business, Sports Science and Spanish

EDUCATION: Accepted to Walden University for a Doctorate in Business Administration

DREAM JOB: Chair of the Business Department, teach in a MBA program

NAME: Eric Fox-Linton

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor/Chair, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in Physics, University of Chicago

NAME: Genilyn McCaffrey (Pronounced “Jenny Lynn”)

CURRENT ROLE: Professor of Worship Ministry

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Biblical Literature, Ozark Christian College, Master of Divinity, Lincoln Christian Seminary, Doctor of Worship Studies, Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

DREAM JOB: I’m doing it – teaching the theology, history, and practice of worship ministry, with a little New Testament Greek on the side. It really is my dream job. (My fantasy job would be to star in musicals on Broadway, but I’m pretty sure that one’s out of reach.)

NAME: Hans Nickel

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Sports Management, New Faculty Development Coordinator, Faculty Athletic Representative

EDUCATION: M.Ed in Sport Management from Wichita State University

DREAM JOB: Commissioner of an NAIA Conference

NAME: Jackson Lashier

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Religion, Academic Dean for the Institute for Discipleship

EDUCATION: B.A. in English, Iowa State University, M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary, Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Marquette University

DREAM JOB: I have it right now. The only position I can imagine that would be better than what I am doing is to teach at a higher level in my specific discipline. It would be something like, Professor of Church History/Historical Theology at a Seminary

NAME: Jill Gonzalez-Bravo

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor, Director of Clinical Experiences

EDUCATION: Doctorate in Leadership, Kansas State University

DREAM JOB: Program Design and Administration


NAME: Joshua Papsdorf

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Theology

EDUCATION: BA – Dartmouth College, MA – Boston College, PhD – Fordham University in Historical Theology

DREAM JOB: The dream job would be very similar to my current position but with much less grading, paperwork and committees and more time for reading, coffee, and academic debates

NAME: Kerry Dobbins

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of History

EDUCATION: BA Skidmore College, 1998; Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010

DREAM JOB: Designing and using games in history classrooms

NAME: Lisa Wallentine

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor of Business

EDUCATION: B.A., Business Administration and Public Relations, MidAmerica Nazarene University, M.B.A., concentration in Marketing, Wright State University, Ed.D., Ethical Leadership, Expected May 2017 from Olivet Nazarene University 

DREAM JOB: My dream job is working in higher education; I enjoy working in a field that makes a difference in shaping future generations

NAME: Lori Wright

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor of Art, Art and Design Department Chair

EDUCATION: MFA from Kansas State University

NAME: Marelby Mosquera

CURRENT ROLE: Natural Science Instructor, Biology & Environmental Science

EDUCATION: B.S Biology and Environmental Science, M.S Environmental Science, Policy and Natural Resources Expected Fall 2016

DREAM JOB: National Geographic Explorer: “Field-based research, conservation, exploration, and education continue to provide the world with scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that inspire people everywhere to care about our planet.”

NAME: Mark Bartel

CURRENT ROLE: Director of Choral Music; Associate Professor of Music

EDUCATION: BA music; BA history; Master of Music; Master of Sacred Music; Doctor of Musical Arts

DREAM JOB: University choral director

NAME: Mark Hayse

CURRENT ROLE: Coordinator, Faculty and Staff Development – Director, Honors Program – Co-director, Center for Games and Learning – Professor of Christian Education

EDUCATION: B.A. Religion, MidAmerica Nazarene University, M.R.E., Nazarene Theological Seminary, Ph.D. Educational Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

NAME: Megan Rucker

CURRENT ROLE: Director of Radiologic Technologies

EDUCATION: A.S. in Radiologic Technology, B.S. in Medical Diagnostic Imaging, Ms.Ed. in Organizational Leadership

DREAM JOB: I don’t have a specific dream job, more of a goal to continue to inspire and lead within my organization

NAME: Michele Hinds

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor in Nursing

EDUCATION:BSN, Washburn University; Masters of Nursing and PhD in Education with focus on Teaching and Leadership, University of Kansas

DREAM JOB: A leadership position in a nursing program

NAME: Nichole Pendleton

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor, Accounting

EDUCATION: Masters of Accountancy, Kansas State University

DREAM JOB: I love my job now so I can’t imagine it getting any better…I know it will though

NAME: Preston Todd

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Dean, College of Business, Arts, Science, & Education

EDUCATION: B.S. Liberal Studies Master of Leadership and Management, Friends University, Ph.D. Leadership in Higher Education, Capella University

NAME: Rebecca Williams

CURRENT ROLE: Writing Center Director & English Instructor

EDUCATION: B. A. and M. A. in English from Bob Jones University

DREAM JOB: An English Department Chairperson

NAME: Robyn Long

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of Study Abroad

EDUCATION: B.S. Baker University; M.E.d The University of Georgia; Ph.D. The University of Georgia

DREAM JOB: I'm doing it! Teaching at my alma mater and directing study abroad; but I am keenly interested in growing in each position and making a positive impact on my university for the next thirty years

NAME: Sandra Bequette

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant professor, Education; Early childhood unified director

EDUCATION: B.A., Elementary Education and M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Wichita State University, Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Oklahoma State University

DREAM JOB: Curriculum writer and research facilitator in early childhood studies

NAME: Sara Crump

CURRENT ROLE: Associate Professor of Psychology

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara

DREAM JOB: My current job

NAME: Sarah Bernard-Stevens

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Bands

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2007, Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting, Kansas State University 2010

DREAM JOB: I pretty much have my dream job as I've always hoped to become a college band director

NAME: Spencer Wagley

CURRENT ROLE:Associate Professor of Education, Chair of General Education, Director of Foundations of Servant Leadership

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in Education from Capella University, M.Div. from Hardin-Simmons University, B.S.E. from East Texas Baptist University, A.S. from Panola College

DREAM JOB: Administrator at a small private college

NAME: Tammy Andrews

CURRENT ROLE: Assistant Professor of Psychology; Interim Chair of Social and Behavioral Science Department

EDUCATION: MA, Southern Nazarene University (Marriage & Family Therapy); Ph.D. Northcentral University (Psychology).

DREAM JOB: I would like to have my career culminate in a central administrative position such as Academic Dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs.