Honors Senior Theses/Projects


Rachel Bayly

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Aislinn Addington

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


The traditional leadership paradigm recognizes a narrow group of people as possessing the capability to be leaders. Specifically, educated white heterosexual males are overrepresented in leadership positions, and characteristics traditionally expected of leaders come more naturally to that demographic. This narrow paradigm is problematic, because it creates barriers to leadership for individuals who do not identify as educated, white, heterosexual, or male. Moreover, it does not acknowledge leadership as diverse and malleable. Individuals who do not identify with the characteristics acknowledged as leaderly by the tradition paradigm, but who have potential to be strong leaders tend not to seek leadership roles. Undergraduate college students who seek to create altruistic change, but lack the identities associated with the traditional leadership paradigm have much to gain from a paradigm shift toward a more inclusive idea of leadership. This thesis seeks to address this issue and opportunity through developing a leadership workshop focused on instilling the belief that leadership should be fit to the individual, not the other way around. The Anyone Can Lead workshop, developed through this project, creates a space for diverse undergraduate students to reconceptualize leadership. The workshop is built on the values of servant leadership and guides participants in discovering the unique version of leadership that will allow them to create positive change.



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