Dana Carnes Pursley
Interim Director for the Center for Leadership

Educational background: I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from Heidelberg University in Ohio and my Masters’ degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the Ohio State University.

Professional experience: My career path includes residence life and leadership development over the past eight years. I started as a graduate assistant at Otterbein University in Ohio, where I worked in residence life as a Hall Director for two years. Following graduation, I continued working in residence life at Wittenberg University in Ohio as an Area Coordinator for three years. Additionally, I served as Wittenberg’s Leadership Initiatives Coordinator, where I cultivated my passion for leadership education and development.

Personal information: I have an amazing dachshund named Buckeye and I love all things Ohio, even the Cleveland Browns! I love watching sports, reading, cooking and baking, working out, yoga, running, hiking, and spending time with my husband.

Why I enjoy working in the Center for Leadership: My passion is helping others find their passions! I am grateful that I get to assist students in developing their identities and cultivating their strengths. It is so rewarding to see the amazing contributions that Elon students make as a result of their leadership experiences.

Favorite quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Melody Harter
Program Assistant for the Center for Leadership

Educational background: I received my undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, earning a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (go Commodores!).  I have also taken a course in Human Resources at Harvard University’s Extension School. I am also an alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy.

Professional experience:  My career path includes administrative work at higher educational institutions as well as pursuing music as a piano instructor. I have worked at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, in student affairs at Albion College, and in several positions at University of Chicago, including the Department of Music, Department of Philosophy, and the Dean’s office at the Divinity School.  I also continue to teach piano privately and to learn new repertoire.

Personal information:  I enjoy attending all kinds of fine arts events such as concerts, plays, and exhibits.  When there is extra time, I like to take a hike with my family, watch Dr. Who, and crochet amigurumi .

Why I enjoy working in the Center for Leadership:  I believe in the mission of developing students both in and outside of the classroom. Working in the Center for Leadership allows me to support the wonderful and hardworking students and staff, and to learn about their work.

Favorite quote: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." – John Quincy Adams