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Norwich University's Center for Leadership
Inaugural Leadership Conference

Championing Change and Transformation - Blending academic findings with practical insights

With its first annual Leadership Conference, the Norwich University Center for Leadership will bring current and future leaders together to develop solutions to recent leadership challenges, introduce new leadership strategies, and encourage collaborations across different industries and academia. This year's conference theme is Championing Change and Transformation

Following Norwich's mission and vision, which emphasizes honest and ethical leadership, the NU Annual Leadership Conference will provide a space to discuss, brainstorm, and share new leadership visions, explore new leadership strategies, and practice innovative leadership skills. Our goal is to build transformative leaders and to send them out in the world armed with the tools to grow themselves, their industry, and their communities.

April 10-11, 2023
Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont

Register to Attend

Conference Speakers

Marene N. Allison

Marene N. Allison
Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Damon Young

Damon Young
Chief Business Officer, Kansas Leadership Center

Gillian Ward

Gillian Ward
Health & Fitness Professional

Speaker Lieutenant Colonel Oakland McCulloch (Retired)

Oakland McCulloch
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), US Army

Mark D. Young

Mark D. Young
Chief Risk Officer & Senior Data Advisor, ConsenSys Software Inc.

Learn about our distinguished invited keynote speakers, panelists and presenters.


Monday, April 10, 2023

9 AM to 9:50 AM | Opening Remarks & Keynote Address
Mack Hall Auditorium

Opening Remarks: Karen F. Gaines, PhD, Provost & Dean of Faculty, Norwich University

Keynote Speaker: Mark C. Anarumo, PhD, President, Norwich University

10 AM to 10:50 AM | Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Session 1 | North Instruction Room, Kreitzberg Library
Transformative Leadership in Foreign Public Service Revisited by Hyesun Song, PhD Student, Troy University

The goal of this presentation is to determine that aspects of transformational leadership in government contribute to effective international affairs and trade outcomes. Furthermore, the purpose of this presentation is to assess the relationship between transformational leadership and public leadership, especially in the public sector. In summary, the main research question for this presentation is understanding the attributions and significance of transformative leadership in terms of public leadership, particularly for foreign service officers aboard, which can positively affect relationships with a country's international trading and diplomatic partners.

Concurrent Session 2 | Sullivan Museum Conference Room
Turning into Your Mother: A Guide to Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World by Sarah Kazmierczak, Residential Life Coordinator, Tufts University

In a post-pandemic workforce, people are reevaluating what they want from their leaders. Trends find that employees are seeking leadership traits that are traditionally held by women and have historically been criticized. As more people voice their needs at work, we must reconsider what we view as effective leadership and adapt our practices, policies, and teachings to reflect a more empathetic and nourishing leadership practice.

Concurrent Session 3 | Mack Hall 306
Leadership Habits of Mind during Dramatic Wartime Changes: Thomas Holcomb and the US Marine Corps, 1936 – 1943 by David Ulbrich, PhD, Associate Dean & Associate Professor, College of Graduate & Continuing Studies, Norwich University

Moderator: Dr. Steven Sodergren, Professor and Chair, History Department, Norwich University
Commentators: BG William McCullough, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, Norwich University; Col Scott Conway, Commanding Officer, Professor Naval Science, Navy ROTC, Norwich University

This paper analyzes the remarkable expansion of the U.S. Marine Corps from 18,000 men in 1936 to 385,000 men in 1943, during which Thomas Holcomb served as Commandant of the Marine Corps. More than any other Marine, Holcomb established his Corps as the United States’ premier amphibious assault force and an essential contributor to the American victory against Japan in World War II. He blended effective leadership with efficient managerial approaches to meet strategic, fiscal, and organizational challenges. This paper uses leadership studies principles to evaluate Holcomb’s habits of mind including his organizational capacity, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence.

Concurrent Session 4 | Mack Hall Auditorium
Sharing, Collaboration, and Improvisation in Experiential Learning: A Panel Discussion by Military & Civilian Teachers of Organizational Behavior & Leadership at the US Coast Guard Academy by Theresa McBride, PhD, Lecturer, School of Leadership and Management, USCGA; Lt. Edward R. Gailor, Instructor, School of Leadership and Management, USCGA; Jon D. Heller, Director, Admiral James M. Loy Institute for Leadership, USCGA

The United States Coast Guard Academy serves the unique purpose of preparing future Officers for the United States Coast Guard. To fulfill this purpose, all cadets are required to take an Organizational Behavior and Leadership class, which is currently taught by 2 Military and 3 Civilian personnel across a total of 6 sections. The course itself uses leadership as its focus to examine the relationship of individual and group behavior to organizational effectiveness, with particular attention paid to the practical leadership implications of current theory. Teaching methods used include case studies, classroom exercises, lectures, discussions, and use of the Academy simulator. This is a dynamic teaching environment with an emphasis on experiential learning, consistency in curriculum, and content delivery that is aligned with the mission of the USCGA.

11 AM to 11:50 AM | Transformation
Mack Hall Auditorium

Workshop Facilitator: Damon Young, Chief Business Officer, Kansas Leadership Center

Trust and Transform
Leveraging his experiences as Chairman of the Board of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and his Civic and Leadership Development background, Damon Young presents an invigorating session that you will not want to miss.

Why the challenge of trust must be faced for us to reach transformational goals in our personal, organizational, and civic lives and how our personal stories may be the key.

12 PM to 1:50 PM | Networking Luncheon
Milano Ballroom

2 PM to 2:50 PM | Innovative Leadership
Mack Hall Auditorium

Keynote Speaker: Mark D. Young ‘92, Chief Risk Officer & Senior Data Advisor ConsenSys Software Inc.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Utility of Humanities in Leadership

This presentation will identify the gaps in current impressions of leadership and offer a solution derived from literature, philosophy, music, and other humanities expressions. It will demonstrate the value of four key elements: artifacts, reflective study, community, and commitment as applied by Kallion Leadership. 

The lack of these elements has undermined trust in public and private institutions, increased the general anxiety of multiple demographics, and ignited a new period of anti-intellectualism.  These leadership gaps are self-reinforcing and will continue to grow absent a counterbalance of humanities-based leadership. Kallion's approach has proven successful with multiple organizations. It closes the gaps in trust, builds confidence for leadership engagement, and encourages active engagement with values through the humanities.

3 PM to 3:50 PM | Servant Leadership
Mack Hall Auditorium

Keynote Speaker: LTC (R) Oakland McCulloch

Your Leadership Legacy: Becoming the Leader You Were Meant to Be

Oak highlights leadership principles that will benefit today's leaders and inspire the leaders of tomorrow. There is NO discussion of theory in this presentation. We will discuss what every leader can do every day to improve their leadership skills and abilities. His presentation is based on his leadership experiences. McCulloch will examine with the audience what it takes to become the leader you were meant to be – a Servant Leader.

4 PM to 4:50 PM | Student Leadership Panel
Mack Hall Auditorium

Panelists: TBD

5 PM to 6:30 PM | Leadership Conference Dinner (BY INVITATION ONLY)
Milano Ballroom

7 PM to 8:30 PM | Norwich University Todd Lecture Series
Mack Hall Auditorium

Keynote Address: Marene N. Allison, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Johnson & Johnson

The Road Less Traveled


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

8 AM to 8:50 AM | Transferable Skills (Forever Skills / Infinity Skills)
Mack Hall Auditorium

Panelists: Pelin Kohn, PhD, Director, Norwich University Center for Leadership; Capt. Jamie McGrath, USN (Retired), Director, Virginia Tech Leadership Center
Moderator: David Blythe, PhD, Director, School of Business

Leadership Beyond Borders: Building Transferable Skills for Success

It is important to be able to communicate, solve problems, lead others, manage time, think critically, work in teams and adapt to changing environments. Leadership centers provide students with a variety of leadership opportunities and programs. Directors from the NU Center for Leadership and Virginia Tech Leadership Center, along with two cadets (one from Norwich University, one from Virginia Tech) will discuss the importance of teaching transferable skills.

9:25 AM to 10:25 AM | Thinking Better & Decision Making
Mack Hall Auditorium

Workshop Facilitator: Damon Young, Chief Business Officer, Kansas Leadership Center

When Everyone Leads

Leadership is not about authority and position. Leadership is an activity—small actions taken in moments of opportunity. That means everyone can lead.  You can lead, no matter where you sit in your company or community. And when more people feel empowered to see, and seize our moments to lead, we make more progress on our most important challenges. When Everyone Leads is a new book from Bard Press and the Kansas Leadership Center. It’s a resource that helps tap your power and unleash capacity among your peers and teams. Check out this video. Then, join us in conversation with a member of our speaker’s bureau. Discover new ways to move forward on what matters most.

Leave with energy and insight about

  • Leadership in The Gap between big concerns and bold aspirations.
  • Common barriers to leadership and how to get around them.
  • Leadership starts with you and must engage others.
  • Moving forward on what matters most.
  • Making leadership less risky for others.
  • Building cultures where everyone leads.

10:50 AM to 11:50 AM | Game-Changer/Changing the Game
Mack Hall Auditorium

Keynote Speaker: Gillian Ward, Health & Fitness Professional

Lessons from the Girl who Thought She Could Fly

12 PM to 12:15 PM | Closing Remarks
Mack Hall Auditorium

Call for Papers/Articles

Norwich University's newly established Center for Leadership will host its first annual leadership conference from Monday, April 10 to Tuesday, April 11, 2023. The inaugural conference theme is Championing Change and Transformation. The Norwich University Center for Leadership invites papers, posters, or articles from interested researchers, scholars, students, and professionals/practitioners in leadership, business, public service, government, non-profit, and management for inclusion in the conference schedule as individual, group, or poster presentations.


Submitted papers/articles will be presented in 50-minute-long time blocks. Submitted posters will be displayed during a networking luncheon on Monday, April 10.  Papers will be published after the event in the Norwich University Center for Leadership’s newly established Journal of Leadership. Posters will be converted into a digital display.

The presentation style of the paper may take any of the following forms:

  • Panel Presentation (2-3 people with similar topics speaking in turn);
  • Individual Presentation (1 person speaking on a single topic); Workshop (any number of facilitators engaging the audience with a hands-on activity focused on their topic);
  • Roundtable (any number of facilitators engaging the audience in group-based discussions focused on their topic).

Proposal Details and Guidelines

Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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