Leupold and Dirienzo present at national leadership conference
Chris Leupold, associate professor of psychology and Faculty Leadership Fellow, and Casey Dirienzo, associate professor of economics and associate dean of the Love School of Business, delivered a presentation at the Association of Leadership Educators Annual Conference July 6-10 in New Orleans, La.
Their presentation was titled “Infusing Leadership Insight and Development into a Business Economics Course,” and discussed the modifications and enhancements made to the ECO 301: Business Economics course that Dirienzo taught this past spring.
A staple in undergraduate business curricula, Business Economics is a highly quantitative course that focuses on how to optimize managerial decision making primarily through analyses of economic variables such as demand, production, costs, and market structure.
Dirienzo had long recognized that traditional textbooks and pedagogy for the course rarely makes sufficient reference to the complementary softer skills managers require in order to truly make the best organizational decisions. While continuing to focus on the core course objectives as outlined by the Love School and AACSB guidelines, Dirienzo worked with Leupold to infuse elements of ethical leadership, courageous leadership, and authentic leadership into her revised course. This infusion came through selected readings, guest speakers, class discussions, and assignments that required students to consider the role of leadership in organizational decision making as well as their own personal lives. In addition, a pre-post self assessment indicated that overall, students exhibited a statistically significant increase in all three forms of leadership at the end of the semester.
A 2012-13 Faculty Leadership Fellow, Leupold also served as a participant in a conference action session titled “From Graduate Student to Professional.” Along with other leadership educators from academic and applied work settings, Leupold discussed employment trends facing new leadership program graduates and offered strategies for managing their transition into professional roles. Key to this discussion was the importance of balancing knowledge of leadership theories with behavioral application of leadership skills.