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University Welcomes Student Leadership Expert as Beideman Visiting Scholar

The Oskin Leadership Institute at Widener University welcomes Dr. Susan R. Komives, author of more than a dozen books and monographs on student leadership, as the 2013-14 Beideman Visiting Scholar.

Dr. Susan KomivesAs the Beideman Visiting Scholar, Komives will deliver a Widener Invited Lecture at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 26 in Lathem Hall. Inspired by a set of posters she hung on the walls of her residence hall room as a college freshman, her talk will explore how the leadership lessons embedded in those posters have informed her writing, research and leadership practice.

In addition to the Invited Lecture, Komives will meet master's and doctoral students in the Higher Education Program and with the team responsible for the leadership goal of the university's new strategic plan. She will also conduct workshops with the university's Senior Leadership Team and Office of Student Affairs, and meet with the Student Leadership and Assessment Committee to discuss how to assess leadership competencies in college students.

"Widener University and the Oskin Leadership Institute are deeply honored that Dr. Susan Komives accepted our invitation to serve as a Beideman Visiting Scholar," said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, executive director of the Oskin Leadership Institute. "Susan is recognized internationally for her pioneering work on developing student leaders, including her groundbreaking research on the relational model of leadership."

Komives is professor emerita in the Student Affairs Program at the University of Maryland where she taught until 2012. She is immediate past president of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and former president of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

She was a member of the team that wrote Learning Reconsidered and the ensemble that developed the social change model of leadership development. She is a co-founder of the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, a former senior scholar with the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and former member of the Board of Directors of the International Leadership Association.

A recipient of both the ACPA and NASPA outstanding research and scholarship awards, her research includes a grounded theory on leadership identity development and the international multi-institutional study of leadership. She is the 2012 recipient of the ACPA Life Time Achievement Award and the 2013 Leadership and Service Award from the Association of Leadership Educators.

Paul Beideman, who received a master's degree in finance from Widener in 1979, and his wife, Caroline, established the Beideman Visiting Scholar program within the Oskin Leadership Institute in 2011. Through their gift, distinguished scholars from outside institutions spend time at Widener sharing their expertise and guiding faculty and student discussion and research.

A member of the Widener Board of Trustees, Beideman currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Avenue of the Arts, Inc., an independent non-profit organization created to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia. Previously, Beideman served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Associated Banc-Corp.

The mission of the Oskin Leadership Institute is to perpetuate the university's long and noble tradition of inspiring students to be strategic leaders and responsible citizens who possess the character, courage and competencies to affect positive change throughout the world.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, PA, and Wilmington, DE, serve approximately 6,300 students. Visit the university's website,, for more information.