CCL Represented at 2017 Gulf-South Summit with Golden LEAF Lessons of Experience
On March 23, 2017, Societal Advancement team members Micela Leis and Jayke Hamill, presented findings from a current research project and pilot study at the 2017 Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education. The study, “Lessons of Experience from Rural North Carolina,”* is a participatory action-research project conducted in partnership with approximately 60 scholar-researchers within the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program (GLSLP).
Currently in its seventh year, the GLSLP is a joint initiative of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and the Golden LEAF Foundation. The program provides community and workforce development training to approximately 300 college students across North Carolina who graduated from high schools in rural, economically-distressed, and/or tobacco-dependent regions of the state. The aspirations of the GLSLP are to educate these scholars as leaders and to encourage them to return to their home communities upon graduation, in pursuit of strengthening the economies of those communities.
The overall aim of the research project conducted by Micela and Jayke is to identify the key experiences, key relationships, and key learnings that made leaders within these North Carolina regions successful. The intent behind this inquiry is twofold: 1) to understand rural leadership so that CCL can strengthen program offerings and tailor the scope of the program in future years to best prepare Golden LEAF Scholars to rise as leaders throughout rural NC; and, 2) to provide experiences for scholars both to develop competencies as researchers and to build powerful relationships with individuals serving the communities to which many of the scholars aspire to return.
Seven GLSLP scholars from East Carolina University, considered the “founding members” of the third-year cohort, were recruited to participate in a Fall 2016 pilot study for the purpose of co-creating a research process to be implemented with the full third-year cohort in January 2017. During the pilot study, Micela and Jayke worked with the founding members to develop a protocol to: 1) identify successful rural leaders, 2) request interviews, and 3) conduct interviews. The seven scholars then followed this protocol to conduct their own interviews with rural leaders. After transcribing the interviews, the pilot team reconvened to collaborate on a thematic data analysis of the results. Throughout the 2017 program year, the founding members will assist Micela and Jayke in training and supporting the other, approximately 60, scholars in their cohort as the larger group conducts interviews using the established research protocol.
* LESSONS OF EXPERIENCE: The Golden LEAF study is the latest in CCL’s Lessons of Experience stream of research, which first gained prominence with the publication in 1988 of The Lessons of Experience: How Executives Develop on the Job. The intent of that study was to interview successful corporate leaders in pursuit of collecting data around how those leaders became successful. Much of this current study, including many of the questions asked of the rural leader interviewees, was adapted directly from this previous research design and protocol.