Leadership Scholarship

The Leadership Scholarship Member Community brings together seasoned and new scholars and researchers sharing an emphasis on leadership from all disciplines, fields of study and research approaches. The Leadership Scholarship Community creates opportunities to share research and theories, encourages rigor and relevance, and fosters collaboration.

Priorities & Projects

  • Engaging in discussion within ILA on the meaning of rigor and relevance concerning research and scholarship about leadership.
  • Supporting the Leadership Education Research Agenda and recruiting members to contribute to its Research Priorities
  • Engaging scholars within ILA to submit and review conference papers, panels, workshop and symposia or book proposals.
  • Organizing the Emerging Scholars Research Consortium at the annual conference to support the success of emerging scholars and connect them to seasoned scholars.
  • Exploring how the ILA can support and engage scholars in the association.

Join this Member Community

Contact the Community Leaders

Community Leaders

R.J. Youngblood

Leigh Fine
Assistant Director, Honors Program, University of Connecticut

R.J. Youngblood
Assistant Director, Academic Achievement Center, Kansas State University

Katherine Friesen
Graduate Assistant, College of Engineering Iowa State University

Sample Resources

Leadership Perspectives Webinars


R.J. Youngblood is the Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement Center at Kansas State University. She holds a BA in English from the University of Central Florida, an MA in English from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is working toward completion of a PhD in Leadership Communication at Kansas State University. In addition to roles in higher education, she has had careers in clinical research for retinal diseases, architecture, and technology. Because of her experiences as a first-generation college student, her role in academic success is grounded in a commitment to making equitable spaces for student learning, and her research interests focus on leadership practices that support student success and employee engagement. Her current scholarly agenda is positioned at the intersection of material discursive leadership practices, emergent technologies, and gender. She is active with the organization Girls on the Run and works to produce forms of community-engaged scholarship that advocates and empowers young girls and women to participate more fully in civic life.



Katherine Friesen is a doctoral candidate and graduate assistant at Iowa State University studying Education with a specialization in Higher Education. Her dissertation research explores academic leadership programs through the lens of institutional theory, disciplines, and higher education, with interest in the emergence of interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge and coinciding academic programs among institutionalized disciplinary and higher education structures. Additional research interests include leadership capacity building in women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as a tool for retention and persistence in their majors.

She serves as a graduate assistant for the College of Engineering and Leadership Studies Program. In her role, she provides leadership development opportunities for students in the College of Engineering through various initiatives. She is the instructor for the engineering leadership courses, electives in the interdisciplinary leadership studies certificate and minor program. She advises the Emerging Leaders in Engineering student organization and Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow conference, and hold leadership development workshops and presentations for student organizations and various programs on campus.

She received a B.S. in Secondary Education and a minor in Leadership Studies from Kansas State University, and a M.L.S. in Leadership Studies from Marquette University. Previously, Katherine taught middle school social studies in the Kansas City area. She is a native of Kansas, having grown up and learned the value of leadership on the family farm in Colby. ×

Q&A With Chair-Elect of Leadership Scholarship,
Katherine Friesen

Q: What are you looking forward to as Chair of Leadership Scholarship?
I am looking forward to working with the Chair and Past Previous Chair to continue building and shaping the Leadership Scholarship MIG as a source of the significant scholarship being produced in leadership.

Q: What new goals do you have for the year as chair?
I seek to acknowledge rigorous and relevant scholarship being produced in leadership, highlighting the contribution and implications of the work that encapsulates the body of knowledge. I also seek to continue developing structures to support scholars in their quest to produce rigorous scholarship, pertinent to our understanding leadership and important to the foundation of literature used in many different sectors and areas of life by many different people.

Q: Why is the Leadership Scholarship MIG important?
The Leadership Scholarship MIG is important because of its relevance to the field of leadership. This MIG seeks and disseminates rigorous scholarship from a diversity of methodological perspectives that contributes to our understanding of the leadership process and its application to a variety of contexts.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing leadership right now?
One of the challenges facing leadership, currently, is articulating the value and legitimacy of studying and learning about the complexity of the leadership process in a way that honors the nature interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of leadership. Value and legitimacy are important for acquiring resources, in many forms, necessary for the sustainability of leadership associations, education and training programs, and scholarship. All of which are important for the continued generation and dissemination of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge associated with leadership.

Q: What's the best leadership oriented book you read for the first time last year?
The End of Leadership by Barbara Kellerman

Q: What is your favorite movie for illustrating leadership concepts?
Still to this day, Office Space. ×

About Leigh Fine

As Assistant Director of the UConn Honors Program, Leigh Fine supervises the co-curricular leadership requirement experience. He also co-teaches a year-long peer mentor courses, Peer Mentoring & Leadership and Peer Leader Practicum, for the sophomore Honors students who serve as first-year experience course mentors. Leigh is fortunate to practice leadership with a capable team of professional and student staff who support our Honors Students' holistic development. He previously spent five years as a faculty member in the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses related to introductory leadership, multicultural / inclusive leadership, ethics in leadership, and peer mentor development.

Originally from Kansas, USA, Leigh earned a bachelor's in chemical science with minors in women's studies and leadership studies from Kansas State University. He earned a master's in college counseling / student affairs practice from the University of Delaware, a Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State University. Leigh lives in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, with his partner, Matt, and their sociable cat, Chico. ×


Natalie Coers joined the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Florida in Fall 2010 after receiving her Master of Agricultural Leadership degree from the University of Georgia and B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Natalie's work at UF involves two programs: the CALS Leadership Institute and CALS Teaching Resource Center. Her interests include student leadership development through international service experiences, program development, and teaching/learning practices. Natalie has been a member of the ILA since 2007 and is excited to be serving in the capacity of Team Lead for the Resources Team of the Leadership Education MIG! ×

Leadership Scholarship MIG Community Teams

Conference Creative Team
The Conference Programming Team is responsible for creating innovative and exciting programming for the Leadership Scholarship community at the ILA Annual Global Conferences.

Scholar Engagement Team
The Scholar Engagement Team works to create, coordinate, and implement experiences throughout the year that serve and involve Leadership Scholarship MIG members fostering active engagement and connection in between conferences. ×