Adrian B. Popa, Ph.D., M.P.A.

Associate Professor & Chair of Organizational Leadership

Dr. Adrian B. Popa is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Organizational Leadership. His degrees are in Psychology (B.A., University of California at Irvine), Social Work (M.S.W., California State University of Long Beach), Public Administration...

Dr. Adrian Popa

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., University of Utah

M.P.A., Public Administration, University of Utah

M.S.W., Social Work, California State University of Long Beach

Courses Taught

Leadership & Communication Ethics

Leadership & Hardiness

Leadership & Imagination

Leadership Seminar

Methods of Inquiry and Strategy for Contemporary Global Issues: A Brussels European Forum Simulation

Methods of Research


Dr. Adrian B. Popa is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Organizational Leadership. His degrees are in Psychology (B.A., University of California at Irvine), Social Work (M.S.W., California State University of Long Beach), Public Administration (M.P.A., University of Utah), and Doctor of Philosophy (University of Utah). Dr. Popa worked as a clinician in the hospital setting working with patients, families, and medical family centered care initiatives. His clinical career led to research with federal and state program development and outcome evaluation, along with community grassroots leadership development at University of Utah. Love for teaching, research, and leadership education progressively led Dr. Popa to Gonzaga University. His scholarship of teaching and research focus on the impact of leadership practices on organizational and human performance. Additionally, Dr. Popa continues to study, investigate, teach and present on the role of psychological hardiness or resilience in post-conflict societies, human, and organizational flourishing. Dr. Popa embraces Ignatian pedagogy in the Jesuit tradition and has taught experiential courses in partnership with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). He currently teaches experiential immersion courses on global leadership in Brussels, Belgium and leadership hardiness on Mt. Adams, WA. At the interest of graduate leadership students, Dr. Popa has organized and executed seven memorable expeditions that bridge theory with practice and action.

Dr. Popa has presented at numerous international conferences and has consulted on personal and organizational resilience with Chamber of Commerce in Coeur d’Alene, WA State Fire Chiefs Association, Dorian Studios, and other regional organizations. He has been on the Board for the Alliance of Universities for Democracy, which linked U.S. and Eurasian universities, since 2001. He served as co-Editor of AUDEM: The International Journal of Higher Education and Democracy, a scholarly journal of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Leadership Education (JOLE) and on the Board of Peak7 Adventures, a local non-profit organization that introduces at-risk youth to the outdoors.

Dr. Popa was born and raised in Romania, where he continues to visit, serve, and partner with colleagues on scholarship and other initiatives. In his spare time, Dr. Popa enjoys traveling, mountaineering, sea kayaking, and camping – but most of all – spending time with his precious family.

Selected Publications

Popa, A. B., Hazel, M. & Barker, D. (2017) (in Press). Learning about the predictive power of young voter party affiliation and leadership perceptions in U.S. Presidential Elections) Journal of Leadership Education.

Popa, A. B. (2012). Learning about hardiness and servant leadership by accompanying refugees at a United Nations resettlement camp. Journal of Leadership Studies, 6(1), 72-78.

Popa, A. B. (Oct/Nov, 2012). A quantitative analysis of perceived leadership practices in child welfare organizations. Journal of Public Child Welfare 6(5), 636-658.

Popa, A. B. & Kingsley, B. (2012). Teaching ethics: Using moral imagination to explore worldviews and expand perspectives. Journal of Business and Leadership, 7, 14-22.

Hickman, N. & Popa, A. B. (2012). The perceived impact of geographically dispersed work teams on job attitudes. Journal of Business and Leadership, 7, 92-101.

Popa, A. B., Hazel, M., Whatley, L. R., Andenoro, T., Crandall, H. (2011). Young voter’s perceptions of candidates’ leadership practices in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race. Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(3), 25-39.

Popa, A. B. (2011). Learning from post-conflict societies through the eyes of political trauma victims: An interview with Romanian psychologist and family therapist Ileana Rogobete. AUDEM: The International Journal of Higher Education and Democracy, 1, 106-114.

Popa, A. B. & Andenoro, A. C. (2009). The perceived relationship between leadership practices and job attitudes in human service organizations. Journal of Business & Leadership, 5(2), 56-67.

Popa, A. B. (2009). Form follows function: A backward design to develop leadership ethics curriculum. Journal of Leadership Education, 8(1), 59-71.

Enlow, B. & Popa, A. B. (2008). Developing moral imagination in leadership students. Journal of Leadership Education, Special Issue Popular Culture in Leadership, 7(2), 24-31.

Book Chapters

Popa, A. B. (2006). Leadership in Child Welfare. In Jannah H. Mather, Child Welfare. United States: Thompson/Wadsworth.

2005 Popa, A. B. & Vogel, M. B. (2005). Families and Social Policy. In Grafton H. Hull, Jr. & Jannah H. Mather, Understanding Generalist Practice with Families. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Other Notable Scholarly Publications

Whatley, L. R. & Popa, A. B. (2012). Community and leadership: The role of humility, rhythm, and experiential learning. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 9(4), 113-143.

Andenoro, A. C., Popa, A. B., Bletscher & Albert, J. (2012). Storytelling as a vehicle for self-awareness: Establishing a foundation for intercultural competency development. Journal of Leadership Studies 6(2), 102-109.

Frost, C. J. & Popa, A. B. (2004). Comparative course results within a technological exchange. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 2(3).

Research Reports & Consulting

Popa, A. B., Medina, A. A., Shevland, J., Ortiz, F., Sheppard, K. M. (2011). Task Force on Wellness Report and Recommendations. Gonzaga University Student Life Division.

Popa, A. B. (2009). Review of Report of Round 6 & 7 of Consumer Testing of HUD’s Good Faith Estimate (GFE) Form. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Popa, A. B. (2008). Critical Evaluation of Qualitative HUD Report, Round Six. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Popa, A. B. (2008). Evaluation of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association Code of Ethics. Summative Evaluation Report.

Popa, A. B. (2007). Peer review report. Consumer Testing of HUD’s Good Faith Estimate Form. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.