As I was growing up, my grandmother would give a coin to the first male relative who came to her house on Christmas Eve. This male-oriented custom was a sign of thanks for bringing good fortune to her home. Living eight doors away from my grandparents, I was often the first visitor, but as a female I never received a coin. My curiosity about gender equity began early in my life and I have been learning ever since.

More formally, I have been researching women and leadership for more than 20 years, and I have given presentations and led workshops around the world. I have written numerous articles, chapters, and case studies, and my recent book with Dr. Sherylle Tan, A Research Agenda for Gender and Leadership, was published in 2023.

As Professor and Director of Leadership Studies at West Virginia University (WVU), I hold the F. Duke Perry Endowed Professorship in Leadership Studies. I am also a leadership coach. I teach, I write, and I speak about leadership every day. As a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, I taught leadership to women in the Middle East. West Virginia Living Magazine named me a West Virginia Wonder Woman in recognition of my work with women’s leadership and WVU’s Council for Women’s Concerns chose me as the Mary Catherine Buswell award recipient for advancing women on campus.

I have lived most of my life amidst the natural beauty of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I believe embracing who we are and where we come from makes us stronger. The places I have lived, the people I have met, and the education I have gained have all influenced and strengthened me as a leader.

Avid about exercise and a healthy lifestyle, I reside in Morgantown, West Virginia with my husband and our orange tabby cat.