Lauren Bullock, assistant professor of instruction in Klein College of Media and Communication's Public Relations Department, is bringing leadership education to earbuds everywhere with The Leadership Educator Podcast. Along with co-host Dan Jenkins, department chair of leadership studies and associate professor at the University of Southern Maine, Bullock explores topics that leadership educators talk about in public and private discussions. The show is expected to launch its second season in early February and is supported by the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) and the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at the University of Georgia.
Bullock and Jenkins started the podcast after Jenkins made use of his professional connections. He was inspired by his countless conversations with fellow leadership educators, whose positions can range from student affairs directors to independent consultants. In 2018, he received backing and training from ALE and the Cox Institute to design the podcast as a development initiative for leadership educators. Eventually, he reached out to Bullock, who, in addition to teaching leadership and public relations courses at Klein College and having previous experience with podcasting, shared similar interests regarding leadership education.
"I'm glad I decided to collaborate with [Bullock] on this," Jenkins says. "She's just a wealth of experience and just a great person. It's fun when you're able to endeavor on projects with people you've known in the field for a while."
Bullock and Jenkins facilitated a soft launch of their first season late last year, which served as an introduction to the purpose of the podcast and focused on what it means to be a leadership educator. To collect feedback about the show, the co-hosts referred back to their colleagues. Bullock was excited to receive positive reactions from leadership educators close to home, such as Tania Irwin, the program director of Temple University's Office of Leadership Development.
"For me it's just about making sure that we are talking about issues, talking about opportunities that relate to what leadership educators are facing — not just researching and talking just to research and talk. But really contributing and putting good work out there," Bullock says.
The second season of The Leadership Educator Podcast will feature more voices with knowledge about best practices in leadership education. Bullock and Jenkins are looking forward to including the expertise of leaders in professional organizations, like the Inter-Association Leadership Education Collaborative (ILEC). ILEC includes eight organizations, including ALE, associated with leadership training in higher education, and convenes to exchange ideas, generate resources and develop research about leadership studies.
"We know that this need [for the podcast] exists, and we know that we're looking at problems that people from all of these different communities will look at or explore or struggle with, as well as inviting them to the conversation," Bullock says.
To that end, Bullock and Jenkins are looking forward to using the podcast as a platform to spark dialogue between leadership educators about subjects they want to investigate further. The co-hosts are also open to taking suggestions about the podcast. Follow The Leadership Educator Podcast to stay updated on the release of new episodes!