Drone view of College Hall.

Our Alumni

Congratulations to our 2020 graduates!

Maria Rivera Gonzalez

Dr. María Rivera González

Graduate, DPLS

Dr. Rivera González has over 15 years of experience in leadership teaching-learning and development in Mexico and the US. María has worked with high school and undergraduate students in the US and Mexico and is currently developing leadership solutions for organizations at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. For her dissertation, “A Qualitative Study on Women in Top Leadership Positions in Higher Education Institutions in Mexico”, María studied women’s leadership experiences in private Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Mexico. “Dr. Rivera González conducted interviews of seventeen women leaders who held top positions (presidents, vice-presidents, vice-chancellors, deans and directors of academic programs). Conducting and analyzing interviews in Spanish, and then translating major findings into English, Dr. Rivera González found four categories emerged: 1) absence of gender perspective in women, 2) a personal invitation to the decision-making “table,” 3) the Mexican Wonder Woman expectation, and 4) recommendations for Mexican HEI to create more inclusive environments that allow women to succeed. Dr. María Rivera González has provided a deeper level of understanding and texture to the lives of women higher education leaders in Mexico, and insight into experiences of all women leaders around the globe.” -Dr. JoAnn Danelo Barbour, Dissertation Advisor


Rosemary Muriungi

Dr. Rosemary Muriungi

Graduate, DPLS

Dr. Rosemary Muriungi has worked in higher education and organizations advocating for children’s/human rights and sustainable human development in Africa and the United States. She was Deputy Head of Human Resources Management at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Kenya prior to pursuing doctoral studies in the United States. Her dissertation, “Leadership in Higher Education of Refugees Living in Vulnerable Spaces: The Case of Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins” was a "graceful example of human dignity, scholarly excellence, and deep service to the international community", said her dissertation advisor, Dr. Shann Ray Ferch. "In turn, at Gonzaga University, her work in pursuing and completing the Ph.D. profoundly impacted our city, our region, and America in the context of thought-leading research, practice, and insight in the field of leadership studies. She is an authentic person with a meaningful and avant-garde approach to both women’s leadership and global leadership. Profoundly adept at issues of culture, diversity, individuality and community, she has great self-discipline, takes appropriate risks, and leads others to more robust understandings of how to lead in uncertain times. Through her research, her writing, and her direct leadership in concert with others she generates a new vision: one that honors the ancient truth in which collective love and service to the least privileged transcends brute force. Rosemary, your soulful and dedicated way of life will be a deep influence on my life into the future.  With gratitude and joy for you and your loved ones!" -Dr. Shann Ray Ferch, Dissertation Advisor 



Peter Mulinge

Dr. Peter Mulinge

Graduate, DPLS

Dr. Peter Mulinge is the founder of the Africa Servant-Leadership Development Initiative in the US and Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies and Ph.D. in Ministries in Organic Leadership Development. He has published two manuscripts, "The anchor of Servant-Leadership: Julius Nyerere and Altruism" and "Altruistic Love: Intrinsic Motivation for Servant-leadership." He completed his dissertation on, “The Essence of Political Skill in Community Development from a Servant Leadership Perspective in Rural Kenya: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology Study.” His dissertation advisor, Dr. Shann Ray Ferch, said "I'm grateful for the honor to have witnessed Dr. Peter N. Mulinge's care for God and the world in environments of tremendous complexity, and seen his leadership of other people honed to a balance of love and power that generates greater wisdom, health, freedom, autonomy, and vitality in those he serves.  I have been influenced by Peter as he is a person so aligned with the greatness envisioned by Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.  It only takes a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.” Peter has devoted his life to love and serve others so that the world might be a better place, a place in which a sense of the Divine flourishes and people live within a moral framework in which others become more whole.  His research into the political skills required to make nation states better examples of compassionate community is a significant addition to the body of literature on servant-leadership worldwide.  Peter, your kindness and ever-present smile, as well as the strength and dignity of how you give your heart to others has richly inspired me! Thank you!"  -Dr. Shann Ray Ferch, Dissertation Advisor


Dr. Ricky W. Spruel 

Graduate, DPLS

Dr. Ricky W. Spruel is a husband, father, and small business owner in the Seattle-metro area. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, as well as a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Washington. His dissertation, "Cosmopolitan Monuments: The Leadership Sensibilities of International Human Rights NGOs" explores the leadership sensibilities of International Human Rights NGOs, and the role of morality and ethics in conceptions of global citizenship. Ricky's work is a deeply thoughtful and theorized treatment of how contemporary confusions and arguments around the universalization of human rights and questions of moral and ethical sensibility are mediated and mitigated by INGOs. Probing for the practice and presence of leadership sensibilities in the work of these three organizations - this work illustrates the deep roots of human expression as it has evolved in the spheres of both reason and ethical response to the lifeworld. Ricky's work offers a substantial contribution to the ongoing conversation regarding universal claims regarding questions of moral and ethical action." -Dr. Chris Francovich, Dissertation Advisor



Scott Hagan

Dr. Scott Hagan

Graduate, DPLS

Dr. Scott Hagan is the seventh President of North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. He began this role in June 2017, following a 35-year career as a pastor. He is the author of six books and more than 60 articles on leadership and influence, including his most recent book, “The Language of Influence and Personal Power.” (Kensington Books). His dissertation, “Becoming President: An Autoethnography”, was inspired by his first two years of his presidency at North Central University. “Transitioning from his role as senior pastor and community activist, Dr. Hagan recognized even before assuming the mantle of presidential leadership that he would be embarking on a transformative and significant journey that would challenge and alter his personal and professional life. Also recognizing contemporary pressures and demands on the university presidency as a social-material role and category, Scott aimed at beginning his new job with as clear a view as possible. Thus, this work offers a careful accounting and interpretation of his subjective and personal life in relation to becoming president and his changed professional role as he assumed the presidency. Scott’s dissertation reflects a significant contribution to the leadership literature probing the unique and fractious experience of university presidents in a volatile and uncertain higher education landscape.” -Dr. Chris Francovich, Dissertation Advisor