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Leadership Education and Service: Exploring Transformational Learning Following a Tornado

Autor:   •  August 7, 2018  •  Article Review  •  3,232 Words (13 Pages)  •  110 Views

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Article Title: Leadership Education and Service: Exploring Transformational Learning Following a Tornado


Eric Buschlen, Ed.D. Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Cathleen Warner, Ed.D. Residence Hall Director, Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 

Sean Goffnett, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Logistics and Marketing Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Abstract: Each year, millions of people around the world are affected by natural disasters. Following these disasters, many students from colleges and universities arrive to support the affected areas. These seamless leadership learning opportunities engage students by allowing them to implement the concepts they learned in a classroom. Humanitarian relief requires leadership and logistics to mobilize essential resources to aid vulnerable groups affected by these disasters. This qualitative study evaluates two separate relief projects that were hands-on, weeklong service trips involving college students responding to two natural disasters in the United States of America. Using data collected from prompt-based journals, the researchers in this study sought to develop a deeper understanding of participant service experiences in relation to leadership education. Leadership education provides valuable reflection points for students and this manuscript outlines key themes from two unique service experiences. This project showcases these reflections and provides a potential qualitative assessment process for similar endeavors useful for both educators and researchers alike.

Introduction: Following the declaration by the United States Federal Government of   more than 600 national emergencies due to major events such as tornados, hurricanes, fires, heat waves, and floods that required substantial humanitarian logistics relief in the last decade. In 2011 alone, the United States experienced a Journal of Leadership Education DOI: 1012806/V14/I1/R3 Winter 2015 34 record number of natural disasters (Schultz & Elliott, 2013). Disasters, like hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Rita demonstrated the importance of humanitarian logistics and the servant leadership qualities that are essential to providing relief (Lima, 2012; Waugh & Streib, 2006). A major goal of humanitarian logistics is to reintroduce supply and alleviate human suffering (Helferich & Menzies, 2012). Leaders and volunteers from local communities, however, are often not enough to manage ongoing disaster relief. Most humanitarian efforts are challenged by the lack of key support, particularly practiced logisticians, servant leaders, and other skilled relief workers (Thomas & Kopczak, 2005; Van Wassenhove, 2005; Overstreet et al., 2011).


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