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Jacqueline AshleySr. Curriculum Coordinator

Professional Experience

Jacqueline D. Ashley is the Senior Curriculum Coordinator for Northwestern University's Center for Leadership and a faculty member in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. She previously taught at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in the College of Business Administration’s Management and Human Resources program and completed postdoctoral work at the University of La Verne where she earned her Doctorate in Education (EdD) in Organizational Leadership.

Teaching and Research Interests

Ashley focuses on coaching leaders and future leaders on how to apply foundational and contemporary leadership principles to be able to effectively and inclusively lead teams. Her courses include Paradigms and Strategies of Leadership and Field Study in Leadership (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science) for undergraduate students. Ashley also conducts an interdisciplinary fellowship program with The Graduate School for PhD students, medical and law students, and postdoctoral students. Ashley holds a Courtesy Appointment in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) as an MS in Higher Education Policy program instructor.

Ashley’s research interests are Leadership Theory and Practice, Transformational Leadership, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory, Executive Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Organizational Behavior. Ashley looks forward to expanding her teaching and research interests while also introducing a new and comprehensive leadership curriculum to NU leadership that brings about a new perspective on what it means to lead.

Civic Interests

Ashley is an involved contributing member of the Engineering Education community. She serves as an executive board member for the Engineering Leadership Development Division (LEAD) for the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).

Ashley is an active and long-standing community volunteer and mentor, supporting initiatives that enhance the quality of life and careers of Black Americans. She has served as a mentor for Cohort Sistahs, a digital nonprofit organization that supports Black women pursuing doctoral degrees by providing resources, mentorship, and community; for the Ujima Program whose primary focus is to equip students with resources to aid in successful academic, social, and personal growth and development; and for study skill enhancement courses at Pasadena City College in her hometown of Pasadena, California. She has worked with Black Women for Wellness, a group of mentors and coaches committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy.

Along with mentoring, she supports causes such as prison reform, sustainability, homelessness advocacy, and economic reform.

On Learning About Leadership

“Improving and continuing to fine-tune our leadership skills is something that we have to work on every day. In more recent years, many organizations and individuals have openly discussed the significance of having the ability to lead others effectively. All leadership theories have their strengths and weaknesses; there is no one perfect theory for all situations. Truthfully, many leadership theories overlap by sharing the same or similar approaches to leadership, so it’s important to be familiar with them all in order to find the best theory to apply in a particular situation.”

“Great leaders are not born, they are built. Charisma and conviction can invoke great followership, but effective and successful leadership is developed. For every leader whose charisma and conviction created unqualified success, you can find a leader whose humility and adaptability or whose work ethic and focus on quality led to success. This is an understanding amongst researchers like me - successful leadership is when you develop your abilities.”

Favorite Leadership Reading

“Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age” by Juana Bordas

“Transformational Leadership Theory” by James Burns

“The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Dubois

“Leadership Theory and Practice” by Peter Northouse

Three Personal Passions

Fitness, wellness, and yoga meditation

Three Things That Need Work

Reading for pleasure, bike riding, and finding new hobbies

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