ILA Podcast

Creating Community Any Place They May Go…

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Susan Komives


Episode six features a relevant and timely conversation with Dr. Susan Komives, Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland. We had a wonderful discussion about a wide range of topics within the domain of leadership education. For those interested in developing their knowledge, skills, and abilities, Susan explores several insights. For those tasked with developing leaders, Susan shares her wisdom and reminds us that our ultimate goal is to prepare men and women to create community any place they may go…

Quotes from This Episode

  • On approaching individual student leader development: “First, I would want to get to know them better build a relationship. But then I would also want to better understand where they are in their own conception of what leadership is.”
  • “Anybody in a leader role and anybody in a leadership context should look at making it an inclusive environment.”
  • “So if I were to emphasize anything it would be to teach people how to create communities around them any place they may go, and in the community, people care about you.”
  • On what she wants for students leaving a leadership program: “I would want them to come out saying I’m a person of character… I see myself as ethical, honest, and trustworthy.”

About Dr. Susan Komives

Dr. Susan Komives is Professor Emerita in the Student Affairs Graduate Program at the University of Maryland. She is past president of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and of the American College Personnel Association. She served as Vice President of both Stephens College and the University of Tampa. She has consulted in leadership or student affairs in Canada, China, Japan, South Korean, Taiwan, and Qatar.

Komives was a founding co-principal investigator of the international Multi-institutional Study of Leadership, principal investigator for the widely used Leadership Identity Development grounded theory, and co-founder of the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs. She was a member of the teams that wrote Learning Reconsidered and the ensemble that developed the widely used Social Change Model of Leadership Development. In 2014, she became the founding executive editor of the New Directions for Student Leadership series, a quarterly monograph from Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

Komives is the co-author or co-editor of 16 books or monographs including:  Exploring Leadership;  Leadership for A Better World;  Facilitating the Social Change Model;  Handbook for Student Leadership Development;  Management and Leadership Issues for a New Century;  How Academic Disciplines Approach Leadership Development;  Cross Border Enhancement for Student Learning and Developmentand forthcoming in 2023, Research Agenda for Leadership Learning and Development Through Higher Education. 

Komives work in the field has been widely recognized. She is a recipient of the University of Maryland Board of Regent’s Award for Faculty Teaching, NASPA’s Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a graduate faculty member, and the Association of Leadership Educator’s Leadership and Service Award. ACPA and NASPA both presented her with outstanding research and scholarship awards and in 2019, she received NASPA’s John S. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar of the Profession Award. She received ACPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.