From my earliest memory, I have been interested in helping people develop the best of who they are.
In elementary school, I read a book about a girl who was in an accident that left her in a wheelchair. She sat with longing while other kids happily played on the playground. One of my favorite activities was the sliding board, so I crudely took my pencil and crayons and drew a sliding board with pulleys and a bottom that leveled off so that children with leg braces could pull themselves to the top and then glide to a stop at the bottom without falling off. The next step, I knew, was to figure out how to help the children develop the muscles and courage to learn to use it, but that was beyond my nine-year-old capacity.
This has been the metaphor for my work: helping people maximize their potential within supportive environments.
In college and graduate school, I was attracted to subjects that helped me understand how environments influenced people's choices and how people co-created the environments in which they lived. I delved into sociology, macro social work practice, public health, organizational behavior and change, public administration, social and clinical psychology, sport psychology, theology, political science, social justice theories, and empowerment. The new information that is coming out now in these and other disciplines excites me. I am a perpetual learner. I held various community organization and management jobs before entering academia. At the University of Houston, I worked my way up from lecturer through the various ranks to full Professor and then endowed college professor. Along the way, I was the principal investigator of several grants, published numerous papers, and won several teaching awards. I am now officially "retired" from UH, although I still teach two classes in leadership. For more about my academic career, click here. As a result of years of research, teaching, and consulting, my co-author (V. Jean Ramsey) and I have compiled a practical guide to removing barriers and enriching the personal and work life of anyone committed to change and leadership: Reframing Change: How to Deal with Workplace Dynamics, Influence Others, and Bring People Together to Initiate Positive Change, Praeger 2009.
I am now President of Leading Consciously, an organization dedicated to building community among those who wish to make a difference in their work, personal, and community lives based on the concepts and skills of Reframing Change. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and had stints in New York City and Chapel Hill, NC before moving here to Houston.
I have a wonderful husband, adult daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren, siblings, 20+ nieces and nephews, and close friends. They keep me grounded and remind me of what's important.
You can reach me at [email protected]