Kem Gambrell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Leadership Studies

Dr. Kem Gambrell is a member of the DPLS program and teaches a variety of leadership, social justice, and research classes. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she has spent the last 30 years in the Midwest, previously teaching at the University of Nebraska...

Dr. Kem Gambrell

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

M.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

B.S., Concordia University

Courses Taught

DPLS 700: Leadership Theory

DPLS 703: Global Leadership

DPLS 705: Social Justice and Leadership

DPLS 706: Diversity in Leadership

DPLS 720: Principles of Research

DPLS 777: Power and Influence in Leadership

DPLS 777: Constructive Development, Sense-Making and Leadership


Dr. Kem Gambrell is a member of the DPLS program and teaches a variety of leadership, social justice, and research classes. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she has spent the last 30 years in the Midwest, previously teaching at the University of Nebraska and Viterbo University. Dr. Gambrell holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Concordia College (Seward, Nebraska), a Masters degree in Leadership Studies, and a Ph.D. in Human Sciences (Leadership Studies) from the University of Nebraska. Dr. Gambrell works to facilitate a process in the classroom where transformative learning, critical thinking, and social justice perspectives are developed and utilized to evaluate and apply subject matter. Her goal is to correlate various leadership topics to contemporary issues and students’ life experience to foster learning, as well as developing skills for academic and post educational success. This is done with the intent of building/strengthening relationships with self, others and community, addressing complex societal problems, as well as contemplating diverse perspectives. Dr. Gambrell’s research has centered around exploring under-represented leadership paradigms, specifically focusing on Native American perspectives, as well as constructive development and the social construction of leadership. In addition, she has consulted for not-for-profit and medical organizations on a variety of leadership and organizational change over the past fourteen years.

Burbach, M. E., Matkin, G. S., Gambrell, K. M. & Harding, H. H. (2010). The Impact of Preparing Faculty in the Effective Use of Teams. College Student Journal, 44(3), 751-761.

Gambrell, K. M., (2015). Lakota Women Leaders, Getting Things Done Quietly. Leadership, 15(4), 1-15 doi: 10.1177/1742715015608234 .

Gambrell, K. M. (In Press). The Case for an Indigenous Collectivist Mindset: Book Chapter for Global and Culturally Diverse Leaders and Leadership: New Dimensions, Opportunities and Challenges for Business, Industry, Education and Society. (Accepted by International Leadership Association series Building Leadership Bridges- Late Fall 2017 publication). (Peer Viewed Book Chapter).

Gambrell, K. M., & Fritz, S. M. (2012). Healers and Helpers, Unifying the People: A Qualitative Study of Lakota Leadership. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 19(3), 315-325.

Gambrell, K., Martin, A. & Mungaray, K. Following the 2016 Presidential Election: Positive and Negative Mood Affect and the Impetus Towards Activism. Accepted for publication in the Journal of Hate Studies (accepted for Winter 2018 publication date)

Gambrell, K. M., Matkin, G. S., & Burbach, M. E. (2011). Cultivating leadership: The need for renovating models to higher epistemic cognition. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 18(3), 308-319.

Gambrell, K. M. & Topuzova, L. N. (2016). Creating a Decolonized Alliance: American Indian and Alaska Native Doctoral Leadership Program. In P. Blessinger & D. Stockley (Eds.), Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning: Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education (Vol. 6). (pp. 129-147).

Nelton, M., & Gambrell, K. M. (2012). Midwestern Cultural Values. Journal of International Business Research and Practice, Vol. 6, 19-36.

Segler, F. W. Jr., & Gambrell, K. M. (2012). Conflict Resolution Methods Preferred by Degree of Religiousness. Journal of International Business Research and Practice, Vol. 6, 76-89.

Stahl, M., & Gambrell, K. M. (2014). The Human Touch: A Phenomenological Study of Health Care Workers in the Hospital Setting. Journal of Human Resource Management and Labor Studies, Vol. 2(2), 1-24.