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ILA Leadership Education Academy

29 July - 1 August 2024
College Park, MD, USA

Do you want to improve as a leadership educator?

Register now for ILA’s 7th Leadership Education Academy and take your practice to the next level.

“Best investment ever (for me) of our university’s development funds. I was exposed to so many innovative, creative, and effective teaching methods. I have never been more excited for the beginning of a new school year.”

“The Leadership Education Academy was one of the most transformational professional development opportunities of my higher education career. I have been teaching and coaching in higher education for over two decades and the LEA provided me with a learning experience and community. Our affinity group meets regularly and we are able to help each other throughout the academic year. The LEA is a MUST ATTEND event for those who want to ground their work in the leadership literature while developing lateral thinking for future leadership growth and development!”

Ron Siers, Jr. PhD, Professor, Salisbury University & 2021 LEA attendee

Don’t miss this 4-day immersive training program designed by leadership educators for leadership educators. Check out the schedule below to see how each session sequentially builds the knowledge and skills needed to excel in leadership education.

  • Cohort-Based: Registration is capped at 80 to ensure quality mentoring and networking. Participants leave LEA with an international professional network of colleagues.
  • Resource Rich: Available exclusively to LEA participants! Participants resources include activities, definitions, overviews, annotated bibliographies, leadership topics, and instructional design strategies.
  • Expert Facilitation: Learn from some of the top names in leadership education.

ILA’s Leadership Education Academy (LEA) is intentionally designed to advance one’s ability to teach leadership in a variety of settings. Through the rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, LEA participants will enhance their knowledge of leadership foundations and theories while exploring and practicing a range of instructional strategies and pedagogies for use in their own leadership education context. LEA is limited to 80 participants in order to foster collaboration and networking in a supportive and interactive learning environment. Participants will experience individual development, peer and mentor-guided feedback, and intentional opportunities for connection. Faculty, Student Affairs professionals, Graduate Students, and Community and Corporate Leadership Educators from various fields who currently or plan to teach leadership in credit-based courses or non-credit programs are invited to participate.

Conference Location
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

What to Expect at LEA

In this video, Nathan Eva discusses the content and design of this year’s event.

Learning you can't get anywhere else

In this video, leadership coach/educator John Weng explains what this program offers, and how it can help you take your leadership education practice to the next level.

Thank you to Our Sponsor

Become a Sponsor!
Email Britt Carey at or call +1 202-503-1995 to discuss all advertising opportunities.

Words from Past Participants

“I have worked in this field for 10+ years and LEA was one of the best professional development experiences in which I have participated. I learned a number of new things, which was a valuable reset and rejuvenation at mid-career.”

“This is the best conference for a leadership educator to attend. This is a focused, high value, learning community that advances the work of leadership educators across the world.”

“The way in which the topics covered built onto one another helped me take in the material in a way that was easy to understand, and it gave me real-world ways of incorporating different practices into my classes”


Limited to 80 participants

Your registration includes:

  • A cohort experience that facilitates the formation a learning community and network of colleagues to share advice and resource and collaborate on projects.
  • Training, mentoring, and support from expert facilitation team, tailored to participants’ roles and contexts.
  • A comprehensive participant workbook with leadership education resources.
  • Daily lunch and snack breaks
Registration Rates Price
All rates in USD
ILA Member
Become an ILA member during registration to receive ILA member rate

If the person who registered cannot attend and you wish to make a substitution, please email by 8 July 2024. Depending on the complexity of the request, the ILA reserves the right to assess a $30 change fee. 

1. Cancellations must be emailed to by 1 July 2024. Cancellations received after 1 July 2024 are not refundable.

2. Registration cancellations received before the deadline are refundable, less a fee of $100. 

3. Refunds will be processed using the same method used for payment.  Refunds are processed once per month. 

Our Team of Professional Facilitators

Nathan Eva

Nathan Eva

LEA Chair; Associate Professor in the Department of Management at the Monash Business School, Kulin Nation, Australia

Award-winning educator and researcher, focusing on servant leadership and leadership development.

Jill Arensdorf

Jill Arensdorf

Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Professor of Leadership, Fort Hays State University

Award-winning educator whose research focuses on civic engagement and leadership, leadership behavior and skill development, and the transfer of learning.

Nyasha GuramatunhuCooper

Nyasha GuramatunhuCooper

Founder, Girton Road Leadership Learning & Consulting

Award-winning leadership educator, facilitator, and learning and development consultant who specializes in personal, team, and organizational leadership development.

Dan Jenkins

Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies at the University of Southern Maine

Global expert on leadership pedagogy, curriculum, and course design; co-host of the Leadership Educator Podcast; and co-author of The Role of Leadership Educators: Transforming Learning.

Darren Pierre

Darren Pierre

Lecturer in the Office of Global Engineering Leadership in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland-College Park

Thought-leader within higher education, authoring a book, book chapters, journal articles, and presenting at numerous conferences on topics centered on leadership, identity development, and student engagement

Melissa Rocco

Melissa L. Rocco

Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, University of Vermont and Faculty Director, National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP)

Thought-leader in interdisciplinary and cross-functional leadership education specializing in transformative pedagogy and the intersections of human development and leadership learning.

Corey Seemiller

Corey Seemiller

Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations at Wright State University

International speaker and author of The Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook; Generation Z: A Century in the Making; Generation Z Goes to College; and Generation Z Leads.

Gayle Spencer

Gayle Spencer

Director of the Illinois Leadership Center

Leader in higher education and student engagement, focused on emotional intelligence and sustainable change

John Weng

Certified Leadership Coach, Facilitator with the Center for Creative Leadership and Lecturer at the University of San Diego

A coach, facilitator, and lecturer of leadership development in classrooms, organizations, and scholarship bridging theory to learning to practice.

Cris Wildermuth

Cris Wildermuth

Associate Professor of Education and Director of Barry University's Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership

Teaches organizational leadership, ethics, and human resource development courses at undergraduate and graduate levels

Nathan Eva, Ph.D. (he/his) is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Engagement in the Department of Management at the Monash Business School, Kulin Nation, Australia. He was a 2021 Fulbright Scholar. Nathan was awarded the 2016 and 2013 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence and nominated for Monash University’s 2017 and 2016 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his local and international leadership development units. ​​Nathan’s research on servant leadership and leadership development has appeared in leading international outlets such as The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management. He is the Chair of the Leadership Scholarship division for ILA, a Senior Editor for Management and Organization Review and an editorial board member of The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, and Group and Organization Management.

Jill Arensdorf, PhD is in her 5th year of service as the Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  She also holds the rank of professor in the Leadership program at FHSU.  Her research interests include civic engagement and leadership, leadership behavior and skill development, and the transfer of learning. She has been active in civic engagement efforts at FHSU, co-writing FHSU’s Civic Investment Plan, and co-coordinated a freshmen learning community at FHSU, L3-Live. Learn. Lead. for nine years. Dr. Arensdorf has received both the prestigious Navigator and Pilot Awards at FHSU for her exceptional advising and teaching.  In 2017-18, she served as President of the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE).  She completed her Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education at Texas A&M University and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Kansas State University.

Dr. Arensdorf is extremely passionate about teaching about and participating in leadership.  In addition to her leadership responsibilities at FHSU, she serves on the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters board, FHSU Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Kansas Leadership Center board.  Prior to her work at FHSU, she worked as a 4-H/Youth Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension.  Dr. Arensdorf’s interests include spending time with her family, music, golfing, reading, and trying new recipes.

Nyasha M. GuramatunhuCooper, PhD, is a passionate learning and development consultant and leadership educator, working with organizations across industries. Nyasha is the founder of Girton Road Leadership  Learning & Consulting and serves consultant, facilitator, and faculty roles with organizations such the Center for Creative Leadership, DeEtta Jones & Associates, and Soley DEI Consulting. Nyasha has facilitated team retreats, professional development programs, and capacity-building sessions for clients across industries. With extensive experience in learning experience design, Nyasha taught undergraduate through doctoral leadership courses as Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University, Assistant and Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at Kennesaw State University, and adjunct faculty at Gonzaga University. Recognized for excellence in teaching, research, and service at Kennesaw State University, Nyasha has been honored as a recipient of the University College Distinguished Faculty Award, the University College Excellence in Teaching Award, the Leadership and Integrative Studies Kiesler Service Award, and the Kennesaw State University Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award.

Dan Jenkins, Ph.D., is Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies at the University of Southern Maine. He received his doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Florida. Dan is co-author of The Role of Leadership Educators: Transforming Learning and has published more than 50 articles and book chapters on leadership education.  As an award-winning international speaker and facilitator, Dan has engaged thousands of leadership educators, students, and professionals on topics such as leadership pedagogy, followership, and curriculum and course design. Additionally, Dan is  past Chair of the ILA Leadership Education Member Community, Co-Founder of the ILA Leadership Education Academy, Vice-Chair of the Collegiate Leadership Competition, Co-Lead of the Association of Leadership Educators Teaching & Pedagogy/Andragogy Focus Area Network, Associate Editor of the Journal of Leadership Studies, and co-host of The Leadership Educator Podcast

Darren Pierre, Ph.D., (he/him) is a lecturer in the Office of Global Engineering Leadership in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland-College Park. Pierre is a thought-leader within higher education, authoring a book, book chapters, journal articles, and presenting at numerous conferences on topics centered on leadership, identity development, and student engagement. In 2020, he led a team in developing one of the nine strategic priorities developed to inform the 2020–2025 National Leadership Education Research Agenda (NLERA). He is co-editor of  the special issue Leadership Education through Complex Transitions in the New Directions for Student Leadership series. Dr. Pierre received his Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Melissa L. Rocco (she/her) is a senior lecturer in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. At the core of Dr. Rocco’s work is her desire to help individuals, groups, and communities identify, develop, and engage their capacity for change-making. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on the application of transformative and liberatory pedagogy to challenge dominant leadership narratives and center identity, equity, and justice in leadership education. Dr. Rocco primarily teaches courses on leadership and identity, social action and change, learning and curriculum design, developmental theory, and postsecondary educator preparation.

Dr. Rocco’s professional and scholarly contributions include roles as Faculty Director for the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP), co-chairperson for the Leadership Educators Symposium (LES) and Leadership Educators Institute (LEI); and national representative to the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in higher education. She is also a collaborating author on the National Leadership Education Research Agenda 2020-2025, issue editor and author for New Directions for Student Leadership (NDSL), and contributor and reviewer for some of the most widely-used texts in graduate and undergraduate leadership education.

Prior to her faculty appointments, Dr. Rocco worked as a higher education administrator in functional areas including co-curricular leadership programs, student activities, academic advising, and fraternity and sorority life. She has also facilitated hundreds of leadership programs for professionals and students across the globe through her consulting and volunteer work. Dr. Rocco has over 18 years of professional experience as an educator and holds a PhD in Higher Education, Student Affairs, & International Education Policy from the University of Maryland.

Corey Seemiller, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations at Wright State University. Corey is the author of several books, including The Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook, Generation Z: A Century in the Making, Generation Z Goes to College, Generation Z Leads, Generation Z Learns, and Gen Z Around the World, and gave a talk at TEDxDayton on Generation Z, which has been viewed by more than a quarter million people. Corey has served as an issue editor for New Directions for Student Leadership, co-chair for the National Leadership Symposium, co-chair for the Leadership Education Academy, board member of Lead365, and Associate Editor for the Journal of Leadership Studies.

Dr. Gayle Spencer has served as the Director of the Illinois Leadership Center since October 2013. She also serves as an instructor in the College of Engineering teaching “Emotional Intelligence Skills” and “Leading Sustainable Change.” Previously, at Kansas State University, she served as an Associate Dean of Student Life and adjunct faculty member in the Staley School of Leadership Studies. Spencer has also worked at the University of Notre Dame (IN), and the University of Houston (TX). In all her roles, putting students first and finding ways to make sure all students are engaged in both curricular and co-curricular experiences has been her focus.

Spencer served as the Chair of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Board of Directors from 2002-2003 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1999-2004. She served on the NACA Foundation Board of Trustees from 2018-2021 and was the 1999 NACA National Convention Chair and was the Chair of the NACA Diversity Task Force.

Spencer is currently representing NACA on the Council for Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education National Board of Representatives and serves on its Executive Board. She is currently the President of CAS.

Spencer has also been actively involved in the International Leadership Association (ILA), having served on the Sustainability Leadership Member Steering Committee and a Committee Member for the 2021 Sustainability and Beyond: Reimagining Leadership for Just and Regenerative Global Futures Virtual Summit. She currently is serving on the Committee for the Advancement of Leadership Programs (CALP).

Her volunteer experience also includes working with Chi Omega Fraternity, serving as a chapter advisor for several years. She has served on many national committees, including the National Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Collegiate Engagement Team, and currently the National Housing Corporation Team.

Awards and honors Spencer has received include the 2015 Founders Award from NACA, the 2005 Western Illinois University Alumni Achievement Award, the 2004 NACA East Coast Higher Education Research Scholarship, and the 2004 American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Commission for Student Involvement Research Award.

In her spare time, Spencer is an avid sports fan, who enjoys watching and attending college football, basketball, baseball, and volleyballs. She is also an avid Cubs and Blackhawks fan. Spencer also enjoys reading and traveling. An avid dog lover, Gayle has a chihuahua named Wrigley, who was born the night the Cubs won the world series, November 2, 2015.

Selected Publications:

Rosch, D.M., Wilson, K.D., May, R.A., Spencer, G.L. (2023). The hidden leadership curriculum: Alumni perspectives on the leadership lessons gained through co-curricular engagement. Journal of Leadership Education 22(1), 116-130.

Rosch, D.M., Wilson, K.D., May, R.A., Spencer, G.L. (2023). Challenging the perception: Alumni observations of the value of student leadership initiatives. Journal of Leadership Education 22(1), 40-54.

Spencer, G.L., and Smedick, W (2020). CAS Standards for Campus Activities Programs: A review of the Contextual Statement and Standards. The journal of Campus Activities Practice and Scholarship, 2(1), 18-23.

Smith, K., Spencer, G.L., and Rooney, G.S. (Eds). (2018). Leadership development for career readiness in university settings, no. 157. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Rosch, D., Spencer, G.L., and Hoag, B.L. (2017). A comprehensive multi-level model for campus-based leadership education. Journal of Leadership Education, 16(4), 124-134.

Spencer, G.L, and Peck, A. (2017). Soft Skills in Leadership Development. In. A. Peck (Ed.), Engagement and Employability: Integrating Career Learning Through Co-Curricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education. Washington, D.C.: National Association for Student Personnel Administrators.

John Weng, PhD, ICF PCC is a leadership educator, coach, and practitioner. He is the Principal of his own practice, John Weng Consulting LLC and serves as Faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership and a Leadership Coach with ExecOnline. He is a lecturer at the University of San Diego in the department of leadership studies teaching, department for counseling and marital family therapy, and Knauss School of Business. He is credentialed by the International Coaching Federation as an Professional Certified Coach, Gallup as a Certified Strengths Coach, and the Myers-Briggs Foundation as a MBTI Master Practitioner. He is certified in a variety of tools such as the Hogan, WorkPlace Big 5 and the CCL 360 Assessments. He is a co-editor and contributing author of the special issue Leadership Education through Complex Transitions and upcoming issue on Intentional Emergence in the New Directions for Student Leadership series. His scholarship and practice is informed by his experience with the group relations methodology, as a certified consultant with the A.K.Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and co-creator at Group Relations International.

Cris Wildermuth, Ed.D. (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Education and the Director of Barry University’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. At Barry, Dr. Wildermuth teaches organizational leadership, ethics, and human resource development courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Wildermuth has traveled extensively, facilitating leadership development programs in Europe and Latin America. She is the author of the book Diversity Training, published by the Association for Talent Development, and has been published in various academic journals such as the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Academic Ethics, the Journal of Leadership Education, and the Journal of Psychological Issues In Organizational Culture. Wildermuth is passionate about the use of pop culture – especially TV shows, movies, and fables – in her graduate and undergraduate courses. Her courses have incorporated materials from classic TV Game Shows, The Hunger Games, the legend of King Arthur, the Food Network “Chopped” competition, and the TV series Game of Thrones. Currently, Dr. Wildermuth is exploring applications of the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale to adaptive and crisis leadership.

Hotel & Travel

Meeting Venue

The Leadership Education Academy will kick off at the A.J. Clark building on the UMD Campus, which is a short 9-minute walk from the Cambria Hotel.
Visit the UMD Campus map to familiarize yourself with the campus layout: UMD Web Map


Cambria Hotel College Park
8321 Baltimore Avenue,  College Park, MD, 20740, USA

Room Rate: $120 USD/night +taxes

Space is Limited!

Or contact the hotel directly at +1.301.595.2600 and reference LEA-ILA for the room block. 

The booking deadline to receive discounted rates is 30 June 2024.

Hotel Poaching Advisory 
Please be aware of inappropriate solicitation or poaching from unauthorized third-party housing agencies.  

If you experience unauthorized solicitations, please report it to ILA will demand a cease and desist.  

Host City

Saint Paul combines urban amenities with historic charm. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Minnesota’s Capital City is a short 8 mile drive from the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport.

Explore the Twin Cities, Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Arrive early or stay after and plan a visit to tour Prince’s home, Paisley Park, the Mall of America or go on a Wabasha Street Cave tour and learn about Saint Paul’s history with gangsters, ghosts and more.


Airports & Ground Transportation

The University of Maryland is conveniently served by three major airports – DCA (Ronald Reagan Washington National), BWI (Baltimore Washington International), and IAD (Washington Dulles International Airport). Travelers arriving at any of these airports can access various transportation options, including taxis, Uber/Lyft, car rental agencies, and public transportation. Moreover, the event venue is located near the College Park/U of MD Station, offering attendees easy access to the Metro system. With a range of transportation choices available, each traveler can select the option that best suits their preferences.

  • Reagan Washington National (DCA)
    Located in Arlington, Virginia, this airport is located about 15 miles south of College Park. Approximate driving time is 40 minutes, but travel can be slow through downtown Washington, D.C. during rush hour. Please use the Metro trip planner for details to College Park/U of MD station.
  • Baltimore-Washington International (BWI)
    Located south of Baltimore, this airport is approximately 25 miles north of College Park. Driving time is approximately 35 minutes.  The MARC Camden train line serves College Park; that station is 2 miles from the Cambria Hotel and UMD. A combination of Amtrak and METRO* is an option.   
  • Washington Dulles International (IAD)
    Located in Virginia, this airport is about 35 miles southwest of College Park. Driving time is approximately one hour although it can be much longer during rush hour. The METRO Silver Line now serves IAD; please use the Metro trip planner for schedules to the *College Park/U of MD station.

Book Your Flight

Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for the International Leadership Association’s Leadership Academy Education Event:

Please click here to book your flights.

You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 1.800.328.1111* Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (EST) and refer to Meeting Event Code  NM3U8
*Please note there is not a service fee for reservations booked and ticketed via our reservation

800 number.


Sunday 30 July
17:00 - 18:00
Participant Check-In and Meet & Greet (Optional)
Monday 29 July

Day 1 Welcome

Introduction to Course and Program Design

This session will introduce a framework based on ILA guiding principles and offer a template to support designing your own course or program.

Leadership Development Journeys

This session introduces how to facilitate horizontal and vertical leadership development in others and reflect on our own personal leadership development journey through this lens.

Lunch break

Identifying Context & Conceptual Framework

This session introduces participants to context (situational factors) and conceptual frameworks that influence and inform how to effectively design meaningful learning experiences.

Developing Learning Objectives

This session provides participants with frameworks and practices to develop content- and context-based learning goals, objectives, and outcomes for programs and courses.

Leadership Education Philosophy

Participants will engage in critical self-reflection to explore how their identities and values shape their philosophy of leadership education.

Day 1 Closes

Optional Social Dinners
Tuesday 30 July

Day 2 Welcome

Critical Leadership Theory

This session invites participants to reflect on how one’s positionality can impact their perspectives, considerations, and ultimately, approach to leadership education and introduces diverse perspectives on leadership education.

Exploring Leadership Theories

This session exposes participants to the variety of families of theories that exist in leadership education and provides detailed resources and activities to teach those theories.

Lunch break

Exploring Leadership Models

This session allows participants to choose 4 of 20 different leadership model roundtables to learn how to teach and integrate these models into their curriculum. For example: adaptive leadership, social change model, student leadership competencies, servant leadership.

Exploring Leadership Concepts

This session allows participants to choose 4 of 20 different leadership concept roundtables to learn how to teach and integrate these into their curriculum. For example: innovation, communication, intercultural competence, motivation.

Day 2 Closes
Optional Social Dinners
Wednesday 31 July
Day 3 Welcome

Selecting Content

This session familiarizes participants with methods of content selection so they can intentionally select essential content for their leadership education context.

Sequencing Content

This session provides an introduction to various learning taxonomies and strategies for sequencing content.

Designing Assessment

This session provides an overview of common assessment terminology, domains of assessment, and strategies for designing and deploying assessment using different types of methods. For example, personal reflections, interviews, surveys, and rubrics.

Lunch break

Teaching & Learning Strategies

In this session, participants will explore diverse processes associated with traditional and nontraditional leadership learning contexts, examining the instructional design process with regard to the instructor/facilitator, audience, issue, and individual learning preferences.

Instructional Strategies Roundtables

This session allows participants to choose 4 of 20 different instructional strategy roundtables to apply in their learning environments. For example: Using AI in the classroom, gamification, case-in-point, and coaching.

Day 3 Closes
Optional Social Dinners
Thursday 1 August
Day 4 Welcome

Peer Coaching

This session assists participants in addressing their own leadership education challenge, experiencing a blend of support and challenge from peers, identifying a “what’s next” for action, leaving with ideas, resources, powerful questions, and a commitment to put new ideas into action.

Leadership Educator Vision

This session encourages participants to integrate their experience of core values, personal and social identities, and leadership knowledge and practices to create a vision that reflects a holistic perspective of their being and becoming a leadership educator.

Closing Session
Day 4 Closes
Lunch on Your Own