At a time when the world is more connected than at any point in its history, the launch of Troy University’s new Ph.D. in Global Leadership is addressing a growing need across a variety of disciplines.
The program, which is a part of the College of Education, launched on Aug. 1 with an orientation seminar, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Éliane Ubalijoro, the Deputy Executive Director for Programs at Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN).
“Global leadership is an emerging discipline. In the past 10 years there has been an increase in the demand for professionals with advanced training in global leadership,” said Dr. Pamela Lemoine, Program Coordinator. “TROY’s Global Leadership Ph.D. program will develop practitioner scholars with an interdisciplinary range of preparation taught by faculty from a variety of academic disciplines.”
Through the online program, students complete a core curriculum focused on leadership, leadership theory, and the global nature of today’s workforce, in addition to continuing their education in an area of specialization in Strategic Communication, Higher Education, Organizational Leadership, Instructional Leadership and Public Administration.
Global internships are also a component of the program, allowing the students to apply concepts studied in the classroom setting in real-world international locations, Dr. Lemoine said.
The program’s first cohort is made up of 18 students – seven men and 11 women – from seven states with educational backgrounds ranging from biology to diplomacy to adult education.
For Monica Anderson Young, a Daphne resident, being accepted to the program brought her educational journey full circle. She completed the bulk of her undergraduate studies at TROY where she received a full academic scholarship, before transferring to the University of Central Florida to complete her bachelor’s degree. She earned a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication from Georgetown University and a post-graduate certificate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University.
“Sentimentally, finishing where I started holds a certain nostalgia,” Young said. “Practically, I was looking for a quality program that allowed me to work and was focused on the practitioner side of study. The flexible time component of this program is a game changer. When I am swamped at work, I can still choose the nights I tackle the reading and writing for the program.”
Young and her husband Chris, also a TROY alumnus, have three daughters. She serves as principal of Assisted Communications, a consultancy that provides advisement in the areas of culture, engagement, communication and talent optimization, and has worked in North and South America, as well as Asia and Europe.
Young also has recently worked with Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett, an Assistant Professor from TROY’s College of Education, on the development of “SHORT the Squirrel,” an interactive literacy program to engage and occupy children who have to visit the state’s courtrooms.
“In just a month (in the program), my critical thinking skills are sharpening,” she said. “In addition, zeroing in on a dissertation topic will create specialized expertise. As a practitioner in this space, I feel grateful to be learning not only alongside a talented, diverse group of thought leaders who make up my cohort but from them as well. Each week I find nuggets of great takeaways in our online discussions. Our group comes from a variety of career journeys and locations. It’s very empowering to learn from them as well as from the highly qualified professors.”
Fellow TROY alumnus Traci A. Howell, who earned a master’s in Human Resource Management in 2006, agreed that learning from her classmates in the program adds to the value of the program.
“The diversity of this group is amazing. All are leaders in their own rights, and I am always learning something new weekly as we interact in our courses,” Howell said. “I love the support and availability of my professors. The support system is what makes it so comforting, knowing I have someone to reach out to for anything. It’s like a family environment.”
Howell said the flexibility of the program made it an attractive option. She and her husband, Robert, reside in Montgomery and are parents to their 3-year-old daughter, Olivia.
She serves as the Chief of Mission Support Systems Portfolio Office at Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate with the Department of the Air Force at Maxwell-Gunter Annex in Montgomery, where she is responsible for business operations and the integration activities of 40 defense business systems within the division.
Howell, who has been hearing impaired since the age of 5, also is passionate about giving back, serving as a community and youth advocate. She founded Tie and Doll, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of mentoring youth to build their self-esteem and empower them to lead courageously, give generously and enrich themselves culturally.
“I needed a program that was flexible to accommodate my work/family commitments,” she said. “In addition to this, the Ph.D. program in Global Leadership is the perfect fit to my current career and diverse experiences in innovation, organizational culture change and strategic communications. In my current professional role, I am responsible for managing the end-to-end lifecycle of Information Technology (IT) services by collaborating closely with stakeholders within the United States and outside the United States to include overseas.”
For TROY employee Lauren Cole it was the comprehensive nature of the new program that drew her attention.
“From a 30,000-foot level, the beauty of the Ph.D. in Global Leadership is the comprehensiveness of it with the five different concentrations offered,” said Cole, who has served as Coordinator for the University’s Career Services since 2011. “I was drawn to the broad nature of the degree that still offered us the ability to pursue the concentrations that were of the most interest to us.”
Cole, who earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Auburn University at Montgomery, previously worked as an Agribusiness Development Specialist with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry, promoting and marketing Alabama grown and manufactured food products regionally, nationally and internationally.
It was that global experience that drew her to come to work at TROY, Alabama’s International University, and ultimately weighed heavily on her decision to pursue the Ph.D. in Global Leadership.
Wesley Fondal, Jr. was intrigued by the focus of the new doctoral program.
“The first thing that made the program attractive to me was that it was a new doctoral program at the University, and I thought it would be nice to be a part of something new and fresh,” Fondal said. “I was also intrigued by the emerging field of Global Leadership and the wide-ranging possibilities within the field.”
For the last 21 years, Fondal has served as the Executive Director of Starbase Robins, a Department of Defense STEM Education program at Robins Air Force in Warner Robins, Georgia. The Macon, Georgia, resident also is Founder and CEO of E2 (E squared) Educational Consulting, LLC and the father of three sons.
“I would eventually like to influence STEM and educational policy, and I feel that this degree will give me preparation and tools that I need to affect STEM policy around the world,” Fondal said. “One issue that I would like to explore on my Troy University journey is in the area of Public Administration or Instructional Leadership and Administration. My area of focus for my dissertation research will be on Creating or Sustaining a Global Impact through STEM Education.”
Fondal earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Dillard University, his master’s degree in Cell Biology from the University of the Incarnate Word and also did doctoral work at the University of Missouri in Microbiology and Immunology. He feels the Global Leadership Ph.D. will help to elevate his career goals.
“I feel that pursuing my doctoral degree in Global Leadership at Troy University will help me to propel my career goals to the next level,” he said.