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The Grad Post Spring 2019, Student Spotlight, John Banter and John Egan

John Banter

Graduate program: Ed.D. Educational Leadership
Undergraduate degree: History
Undergraduate University: Asbury University
Length of program: 69 credit hours

Q: What drew you to Georgia Southern for your graduate studies?

A: Several years ago I was having a conversation with a colleague, Dr. Georj Lewis, about my future career aspirations and he recommended the Educational Leadership doctoral program at Georgia Southern from his own experience in the program.  Dr. Lewis was serving at the time as the Dean of Students at Georgia Southern and now serves as our Vice President of Student Affairs.

Q: What are your Georgia Southern “points of pride?” What is one thing you are most proud of during your time here at Georgia Southern?

A: Both John Egan and I work with the Southern Leaders Program, which is housed within Georgia Southern University’s Office of Leadership and Community Engagement.  The Southern Leaders Program is an undergraduate student leadership development program that involves extensive leadership development opportunities that include leadership courses, team-based community service, and a capstone leadership project students complete in order to receive a leadership seal and medallion.  Through our doctoral program’s focus on research methods and collection practices within educational environments, we implemented more assessment practices to collect quality data to show leadership development, student success, and retention enhancements within our student population.  Having this data led to the Southern Leaders Program being recognized by the Association of Leadership Educators as the 2018 Outstanding Program of the Year during their national conference.  This showcased not only the efforts John and I have done to further enhance the program, but showcases the scholarly professional practices we have gained through the educational leadership doctoral program.

Q: Are you a part of any research projects? If so, what are you doing?

A: My doctoral research focuses on leadership behavior development of first-year students’ within a leadership development program.  This research showcases the leadership interventions utilized within leadership development programs that may indicate enhanced leadership behavior development through student participation in a formal leadership program.

On top of our doctoral research, John and I are involved in research focused on the use of games as a method to teach and assess leadership competencies.  This past year we developed a model for other educators to use when creating escape games to teach and assess leadership competencies and presented the model at a national conference.  From that presentation, we were invited to publish our work on the use of escape games as a learning assessment in a manual for leadership educators, which is currently in press.  We are also working with Dr. Carl “Kip” Sorgen, assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development, to extend our research on the use of escape games as a pedagogical approach for leadership competencies.

Q: How is Georgia Southern preparing you for your future career?

A: Georgia Southern’s Educational Leadership doctoral program has developed me into a more of scholarly practitioner.  The program provided the tools and techniques necessary for us to put into place quality assessment of learning and student engagement to be able to showcase our programs and to identify where further development was needed.  These types of scholarly practice are necessary in today’s educational environment.  On top of being a requirement in higher education, putting into place these scholarly practices allowed us to tell our story on a national stage as we to highlight our program’s efforts in student engagement, leadership development, and student success because of the education we received in the doctoral program.

John Egan

Graduate program: Ed.D. Educational Leadership
Undergraduate degree: Sport Management & Policy and Telecommunications
Undergraduate University: The University of Georgia
Length of program: 69 credit hours

Q: What drew you to Georgia Southern for your graduate studies?

A: I am employed full-time by Georgia Southern University and believed having local access to faculty would be important to my success.  Also, the Tuition Assistance Program through the University System of Georgia covers my tuition due to my employment at Georgia Southern.

Q: What are your Georgia Southern “points of pride?” What is one thing you are most proud of during your time here at Georgia Southern?

A: Professionally, I’m proud of my work as a leadership educator in the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement.  We have a fantastic team, and have built a leadership program, Southern Leaders, that was recently awarded the 2018 Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) Outstanding Program Award.  Ultimately, I’m confident our offices’ programs are making a significant impact by empowering students to lead positive change.

Academically, I’m proud that I’ve made it through the defense of my Prospectus, and I’m on my way to a final defense.  Balancing work and family life with kiddos has made this by far one of my most challenging pursuits.  Thankfully I have a precious wife that has been supporting and living through this doctorate as well.

Q: Are you a part of any research projects? If so, what are you doing?

A: The purpose of my current research is to explore alumni’ valuation of an undergraduate leadership program by gaining an understanding of what leadership learning and leadership behaviors have transferred into their work environment.  This will allow leadership educators to better understand the influence of their programs beyond graduation, and evaluate program attributes through an alumni lens.

Q: How is Georgia Southern preparing you for your future career?

A: The Ed.D. program has been immediately applicable in my current work in the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement.  It has allowed me to explore the way I lead others, and enhanced my capacity to bring relevant theory as well as best practices into action.

 

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