DBU Holds Eighth Annual Christian Leadership Summit

Christian Leadership Summit speaker

On Saturday, February 5th, Dallas Baptist University's Gary Cook School of Leadership hosted the eighth annual Christian Leadership Summit on campus. The summit aims to honor, educate, encourage, and strengthen current leaders at DBU, as well as invite those seeking their next steps academically to experience a glimpse of what the School of Leadership is passionate about.

Prior to the evening's dinner and award ceremony, seven breakout sessions were given by a collection of DBU faculty, staff, students, and special guests. Among the sessions included topics such as "Moral Injury in COVID-Era Leadership" presented by Cook School of Leadership alumni Dr. Brian Bayani; "Leading in the Age of Digital Disruption" led by a doctoral student panel; and "What is Required of Us? A Conversation on the Subject of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)," hosted by Dr. Marcus "Goodie" Goodloe, a Cook School of Leadership doctoral graduate.

Following the breakout sessions, the summit joined in Sadler Hall for dinner and the presentation of both last year's and this year's award recipients. The night opened with a word of welcome given by Dr. Jack Goodyear, Dean of the Cook School of Leadership, followed by greetings from Chancellor Dr. Gary Cook and Provost Dr. Norma Hedin.

Dr. Cook presented the Marion Donnell Scholarship Award, named in honor of Marion Donnell who served as an elementary school teacher, housewife, and mother. The academic scholarship established by Donnell's granddaughters, Dr. Mary Nelson (Director of DBU's Ph.D. in Leadership Studies) and Paula Stripling, was awarded to its inaugural recipient, Monica Comeaux. Monica is a third year Ph.D. student in the Leadership Studies program pursuing a business concentration. She has served as a regional human resources director for more than fifteen years with a Fortune 50 company and has recently transferred her skills to the Corporate HR team, leading HR initiative and projects for the finance, legal, and public policy teams.

The presentation of the Outstanding Dissertation Awards was given by Dr. Sue Kavli, Associate Dean and Director of Research in the Cook School of Leadership. Because the School was unable to hold its regular in-person ceremony last year, this year's dinner recognized the 2021 Outstanding Dissertation Award Recipients, as well as named the 2022 recipient. For 2021, Ph.D. Outstanding Dissertation Awards were given to Dr. Jay Ferguson, Head of School of Grace Community School in Tyler, Texas; Dr. Joseph Hopkins, program director for the Master of Arts and Master of Science in Management at DBU; and Dr. David Murphy, Dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.

The 2021 Ed.D. Outstanding Dissertation Award was granted to Dr. Aubra Bulin who currently serves at Okayama University in Okayama, Japan, as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education. The 2022 Ed.D. Outstanding Dissertation Award was presented to Dr. Layna Evans, Assistant Vice President for Communications at DBU.

"The world needs Christian leaders who are willing to step out in faith and lead in all sectors of society. Today, our students are serving in so many capacities: health care, education, business, law, government, ministry, and military service," says Dr. Jack Goodyear, Dean of the Cook School of Leadership. "Our goal as an institution is to develop Christian servant leaders, scholars, and global thinkers who will impact the world for Christ."

Visit DBU's Ph.D., Ed.D., and master's programs in the Gary Cook School of Leadership for more information.

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.