This blog about higher education leadership began in 2012, in conjunction with the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Southern Polytechnic State University (www.spsu.edu), in Marietta, Georgia.  This format continues to provide a medium for exploring ideas about leadership — including, but not limited to, increasing women’s leadership in higher education.  My involvement with the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network has provided many valuable insights into leadership opportunities.

I became the president of Humboldt State University (California) in 2014, and I served as president of Southern Polytechnic State University (Georgia) from 1998 to 2014.  I earned my Ph.D. (Geological and Geophysical Sciences) at Princeton University, and I have worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, a geothermal exploration company, and National Public Radio.  I have served in faculty and administrative positions at the California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, Whittier College (California), and Dickinson College (Pennsylvania).  My research interests focus on the role of water and water ice on the planet Mars.  My bimonthly column has appeared in the magazine Geotimes (renamed Earth in 2008) since 1988, and I have written books on geology, science, and the media.  I am passionate about changing lives through education, leadership development, music, landscapes, the natural beauty of Northern California,  the St. Louis Cardinals, and finding the perfect chile relleno.


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