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Leadership Development Minor

Sharpening the skills and shaping the consciences of future leaders...

The Perfect Complement to Any Major

Like leadership itself, the Leadership Development Minor is interdisciplinary in nature, with students completing courses from three academic areas. With 12 of the required 18 credits also fulfilling requirements in the John Carroll core curriculum, the minor has the flexibility to align with the needs and interests of individual students from all different majors.

The Leadership Development Minor provides students with opportunities to stretch their leadership capacities through a series of courses that will force them to discern and recognize their individual approaches to leadership, teach them about the effects that leaders can have on justice issues, and sharpen the skills needed to be an effective leader, including communication and making decisions.

Do we simply teach leadership? No. Rather, the faculty in the Leadership Development Minor prepares students to be effective when opportunities arise to have an impact and create change.

The Leadership Development Minor helps our university live its mission of inspiring individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and in the world.

Click here to find the list of required courses.

Click here to see some examples for possible pathways to completing the Leadership Development minor.

The process for declaring the Leadership Development minor can be found at

About the Minor

image of top of graduate cap on a female graduate

It’s an age-old question: are you born a leader?

Or is leadership developed, or, at different times and through different circumstances, thrust upon you? Are leadership skills more critical for some than others, depending on personal interests, civic involvement, potential career paths? In short, is this program right for you? Yes!

Group of students sitting on brick ledge reading books

This minor is designed to complement any major you may be pursuing. First, it’s an interdisciplinary minor, allowing you the chance to gain perspective and pursue interests from multiple disciplines across the university. Next, it combines theory and practice, so that you are grounded in critical thought, skilled in strategic thinking, and then given the chance to translate theory into practice. Finally, you individualize your experience by designing a Capstone Legacy Project that impacts the campus or community in a positive way. Additionally, 12 of the 18 credits also fulfill JCU core curriculum requirements!

Instructors with professional experience will guide you as you learn what it means to develop true leadership capacity in you and in others and, in so doing, to help fulfill the JCU mission of inspiring individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and the world.

Two smiling students from CSDI at program.

Mission Statement

The Leadership Development Minor seeks to inspire and equip students with knowledge, skills, and confidence to be agents for change in their daily lives, in their communities, and in their chosen vocations.

Image of clock tower on campus

Leadership Development Minor Learning Goals

After completing the Leadership Development Minor, students will:

  • Possess a conceptual understanding of leadership theory and practices;
  • Understand how leadership is exhibited in various contexts;
  • Be aware of the personal attributes that impact their strategies for and abilities to influence others; and
  • Have executed and reflected upon a significant capstone experience.

KYLE O'DELL, PH.D. Leadership Development Minor Director and Director of Undergraduate Leadership Education


Dr. Kyle O'Dell began his John Carroll experience in 2004, when he was named the Assistant Director of Residence Life. In the past 17 years, he has held several positions on campus, including the Director of Orientation & Leadership, and Senior Director of Student Engagement, where he coordinates the university's orientation programs and leadership formation and training while supervising the staff who manage many aspects of the extracurricular experiences for students. He assumed the director role for the Leadership Development Minor in 2017 and has worked to create an academic program that incorporates important leadership principles, key elements of JCU's Jesuit and Catholic tradition, as well as the needs of the contemporary world.

Courses Taught

LP 135: Leadership and Social Justice

LP 401-403: Leadership Capstone Sequence

LP 250: Global Leadership (summer)

LP 140: Big Problems

Additional Information

Kyle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo in Higher Education and Leadership with Masters and Bachelors degrees from Bowling Green State University. He is a member of the National Orientation Directors Association and the International Leadership Association. He sings in his parish church choir and enjoys coffee, movies, reading, cooking, and hiking with his family.



Lisa Brown Cornelius is the Senior Director of Residence Life at John Carroll University. In this role, Lisa leads and directs all aspects of the residential student experience, including managing a dedicated team of professional and student leaders focused on supporting residential students as they learn and develop meaningful relationships in community. Lisa also serves as the university liaison with John Carroll's food service vendor, Pakrhurst and is a member of the leadership of the Division of Student Affairs representing Residence Life and Student Affairs on multiple university committees and task forces. Previously, Lisa served as the Associate Director of Residence Life at Xavier University.


Courses taught

LP 250: Global Leadership

Additional Information

Lisa is currently a PhD candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at Kent State University. Her dissertation research is focused on the identity development of White women educated at Jesuit colleges and universities who are engaged as racial justice allies. Lisa earned her Master of Arts in Student Affair Administration from Michigan State University and Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Xavier University. Lisa is also actively involved in professional organizations, serving as the Vice President of Programming for the JASPA, the Jesuit Student Affairs organization, and serving on the NAPA IV-E Regional Board.



Katie Jansen is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement here at John Carroll University. In this role, Katie advises the campus’s Programming Board and Student Government, plans and coordinates major campus events, and assists with leadership formation programs. Previously, Katie served JCU as an Assistant Director of Enrollment, as a Career Advisor in the Center for Career Services, and as a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Student Engagement, primarily working with commuter students, orientation, and leadership initiatives.

Courses Taught

LP 304: Strategic Decisions and Experiences in Leadership

LP 401-403: Leadership Capstone Sequence

LP 250: Global Leadership (summer)

Additional Information

Katie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Walsh University in 2014 before joining the John Carroll University community for her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling ('17G). On campus, Katie serves as the staff advisor for Streakathon (JCU's Dance Marathon) and as a Campus Colleague, welcoming new members of the JCU community and acting as a point of contact on campus. She has previously been an Immersion participant on the Immokalee, FL and Spencer, WV experiences and a member of Staff Council.

Outside of JCU, Katie likes to spend as much time as possible with her ferociously cute pup, Griffin, and finding the best spots for donuts!



Dr. Michele Scott Taylor is the Chief Program Officer at College Now Greater Cleveland and provides strategic leadership for the organization’s programmatic efforts, including school- and community-based advising programs as well as federal programs such as Talent Search, GEAR Up, and Upward Bound. Her research and practice ensure that College Now’s programming reflects” Best in Class” thinking and is on the cutting-edge of research in the college access and success field. She also teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels at local universities including John Carroll University and Cleveland State University.  Formally, she taught at Baldwin Wallace University and Walsh University. 

Formally a Senior Research Analyst for Cosmos Corporation, she conducted applied research, policy analysis, and evaluations for federally funded projects typically funded by Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and Department of Justice.  

Courses taught

LP 250: Global Leadership

Additional Information

Michele has spent most of her professional career in higher education administration in a myriad of student affairs and academic affairs roles.  Her professional and research interests include: diversity, cultural competency development, program evaluation, organizational development and organizational learning in higher education and non-profit organizations.   She received two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Akron majoring in Political Science, Sociology, and French.  She earned a Master of Education degree from Kent State University specializing in College Student Personnel as well as Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in Higher Education Administrative and Policy Studies.

Michele is also CEO and principal of Global Learning Solutions, a small consulting firm she started in an effort to provide cultural competency development, program evaluation, program and proposal development, grant writing and organizational development assistance to small businesses and non-profit organizations.

In the community, Michele takes pride in serving on the board of Progressive Arts Alliance, a non-profit that inspires students to reach their full potential by providing unique and relevant learning experiences using contemporary arts and 21st century medial; the Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA); and Ideastream’s Community Advisory Board. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Michele has received numerous recognitions including Leadership Cleveland c/o 2017; Cleveland Magazine’s “One to Watch”; YWCA’s Woman of Professional Excellence; and Kaleidoscope’s 40/40 (2012), to name a few.  Of all her accomplishments, she is most proud of her three children: Paris, a rising college senior at West Point; Peighton, a rising Sophomore at the Ohio State University, Honors College; and Douglas, a rising 6th grader who finally likes reading!



Dr. Kevin Wallace was commissioned a second lieutenant, aviation officer, from the Cleveland State University/John Carroll University ROTC program in 1985. He held various staff and command assignments in the US and Europe. From 2003 through 2013, as a member of the US Army reserve, he taught for the US Army Command and General Staff College, teaching the Intermediate Leader Education (ILE) course to mid-career officers. ILE is a leadership development course equivalent to a civilian graduate certificate program. He retired in 2013 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Courses taught

LP 101: Introduction to Leadership

LP 102: Approaches to Leadership

Additional Information

Kevin holds a Doctorate from Liberty University in Educational Leadership and is a former Director of the John Carroll Univ. Leadership Minor Program 2012-2014, and former ROTC instructor at JCU 2009-2013. Additionally, he was co-owner of Command Consulting LLC. (2005-2009) a security planning and training company. He also is the volunteer public relations coordinator for Cleveland Area Mensa.

Leadership Minor Faculty

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Kyle O'Dell

Kyle O'Dell, PH.D.

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Picture of Katie Jansen

December 9, 2019

Katie Jansen, M.A.

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Picture of Michele Scott Taylor

December 9, 2019

Michele Scott Taylor, ED.D.

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